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FileMaker Overview: Logical Functions

For some of us, one of the most enjoyable aspects of programming is the fact that we get to feel so "in control" over every single aspect of how something works. You are the God of your own universe and it's either as bad or as good as you make it. Our human shortcoming, however, is that fact that we don't just know it all - we have to learn the various ways of doing things. Knowing how to use FileMaker's functions, and when they are useful, is a key aspect to creating well functioning software
 

Ultimate Card Window Control

FileMaker 16 changed the entire landscape of how many things are accomplished within FileMaker. Because of the ability to show a completely different context as a new Card Window, you can now do all kinds of wonderful things. Need an interactive sidebar? Use a Card Window. Need greater degree of control over your custom dialog boxes? Use Card Windows. Need to present a pick list, a palette or pretty much any information you could ever want to display in a dedicated child window? Used Card Windo

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

No Duplicate Emails

FileMaker Pro has some very simple and straight-forward validation options. For example, if you only want one field named email to only ever have a single copy of a given email, you choose the Unique option in the Validations section of the field's options. But, what if you want to allow a given contact record to have multiple email addresses. How do you check for uniqueness across multiple fields? The same email could appear within one field and then would be perfectly valid in a second field

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Reducing Available List Options

Whether you're just starting out with FileMaker Pro or you've been hovering in the intermediate zone for a little while, it's always a good thing to have a solid understanding of how to structure data and use the Relationship Graph in order to accomplish the end objective. When it comes to presenting a reducing set of available options, you have to understand how to get at what isn't being used in order to present it. The steps you need to take to show what isn't being used requires you to, fir

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

FileMaker Overview: Aggregate Functions

So, what's the point of collecting all that data if you're not going to determine what it's telling you? Well, a lot of those burning questions are often answered with the power of the Aggregate functions. Whether you simply need some total using the Sum() function or if you're an advanced developer writing crazy scripted loops using the List() function, you need to know how to use the Aggregate functions to achieve the desired results. There are a few peculiarities about using the Aggregate f

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Zoomable & Clickable SVG Navigation

Don't get me wrong, FileMaker has a lot of cool things it can do all on its own. In fact, they keep adding more and more useful tools which makes it easy to create great working software. There are, however, those certain things that FileMaker just can't do on it's own. For example, you can't interact with images within container fields quite like you can certain web pages. Yet, right in front of us, we have the wonderfully powerful Web Viewer which exposes access to the power of JavaScript and

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

FileMaker Overview: Container Functions

When first learning about database development, and how to store large files such as media, archives and documents, I was introduced to the concept of a BLOB (Binary Large OBject). At that time, I wasn't using FileMaker Pro as of yet but a database called FoxPro. The concept of FileMaker's Container fields, as places to store BLOBs, came so much easier than having to convert a file into another format which can be stored within a SQL data store - which is what you have to do with some other dat

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

FileMaker Overview: Date & Time Functions

Knowing how FileMaker's Date and Time functions actually work is quite a big help when you're creating anything related to time based data. When I first started learning FileMaker, I was pleased to see how easy it was to use the date and time functions. However, I didn't quite know how things worked underneath the hood. It wasn't until I tried creating my first calendar within FileMaker that I had to really get into the guts of what was going on. Once I learned how the functions really worked,

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

FileMaker Overview: Number Functions

If you're the type of person who's into Math, then you probably know when you need to use Factorial() versus Exp() versus Div(). Inevitably, you're a better mathematician than I. My use of the Number functions extends to how useful they can be when you're creating your FileMaker user interface and solving workflow related problems. When it comes to FileMaker's Number functions, there are number of tricks I've picked up over the years from those who are much smarter at the "math part" than I am

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

FileMaker Overview: Text Formatting Functions

While placing fields and merge text onto a layout is a simple matter of adding the elements to the layout, the formatting you apply to onscreen data can only go so far. Sure, we can use Conditional Formatting in order to achieve all kinds of great looking layouts, but, what if there were a way to go beyond these straight-forward layout tools and leverage even more control. What about dynamically displaying colored and formatted text without having to create calculated fields? Well, all of this,

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

FileMaker Overview: Text Functions

When you're learning a new skill or programming language, you don't always know what you might need to know. Such was the case when I received an email asking me to go through the various groups of FileMaker functions. I thought to myself, "In most of my videos, I showcase the use of certain functions, but, I've never really gone through each function one by one." So, in this video, I do exactly that. I relay my experience and exposure to each of the various FileMaker functions. Starting with t

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Generating SVG Barcodes

While barcodes have been around for decades, and we all know how fundamental they are to everyday life, it doesn't mean your last implementation is still the best way to integrate them. Technology is always changing and it's moving forward while new technologies replace older ones. A barcode which used to be in JPEG format can now be in the scalable SVG format. In this video, I walk through the use of a JavaScript library which allows for the easy creation of SVG barcodes. This works without a

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

JavaScripting PDFs

FileMaker Pro has a wonderful PDF generator. In fact, one of the biggest benefits of using FileMaker for the purpose of output is that you can make any layout look exactly how you'd like and with a few script steps, you've got PDF output which will fit 95% of the situations you'll come across. There are, however, certain situations where knowing how to generate a PDF using JavaScript, from within a Web Viewer, will give you the exact results you're looking for. There are a number of advantages

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Pivoting data

While FileMaker's own Layout Mode provides excellent tools for formatting data for display and output, it isn't always the most convenient for certain types of output. A prime example is a pivot table. Or, the output of data which is normally columnar formatted into a horizontal format. When attempting to do this with native FileMaker functionality, it quickly becomes a bit of a hassle, typically including more relationships than should be otherwise necessary. There are solutions which can mak

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Card Sidebar Navigation

FileMaker 16's new Card Windows have opened the flood gates for all kinds of new methods for presenting information. Not least of which are your common dialogs and wizards. But, what about using them for navigation? Why not? In fact, you'll find so many benefits from using a Card Window, for the purpose of navigation, you may think it makes little sense to use anything else. Especially, when you want the navigation to both hide and reveal as needed. In this video, we walk through a wonderful t

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Card Sidebar Navigation

FileMaker 16's new Card Windows have opened the flood gates for all kinds of new methods for presenting information. Not least of which are your common dialogs and wizards. But, what about using them for navigation? Why not? In fact, you'll find so many benefits from using a Card Window, for the purpose of navigation, you may think it makes little sense to use anything else. Especially, when you want the navigation to both hide and reveal as needed. In this video, we walk through a wonderful t

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Changing User Privilege Sets

Managing user accounts within FileMaker is pretty easy and straight forward. This, however, is an aspect of access control which only applies to what a user can do within the world of FileMaker's interface. When it comes to your own solution's user interface, it doesn't exist until you create it. And, of course, FileMaker knows nothing about what you create. It's just a tool. This means it's up to you to add your own security controls. In order to do this, you need to take advantage of all of

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Parsing XML into JSON

In the world of serialized data, there's only been a few key technologies and XML was certainly the forerunner. It's been around since the mid 90's and was originally added into FileMaker around version 5 - if memory serves. The implementation of XML/XSLT/XPATH wasn't fully complete with compatible functions and it only works as an import and export feature via the use of an XSLT style sheet. Learning XSLT and XPATH weren't the easiest things to do and as computing moved forward, so did other t

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

iOS Native Looking Tab Panels

Hacking away at FileMaker objects seems to be the theme for a few of my most recent videos. In this video, I'm back at it and hacking again on Tab Panels. These ever so useful layout objects allow you to show a ton of information on screen by allowing users to reveal what's important to them when they want to see it. Through understanding how individual layout objects are composed, we can take a crack at customizing them in ways in which are not current possible - at least not through FileMaker

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Card Window Progress Bars

One of the most wonderful things about FileMaker 16's release were Card Windows. While we've been able to create new windows for quite some time, the number of controls afforded those windows was limited. With card windows we can now present those windows within the main window. This provides for any other context than the current context. You can show related records or completely unrelated records. The great thing about the card window is, like all windows, it can use any of the 3 possible vi

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Switching from serial keys to UUID keys

While creating videos on my YouTube channel for my beginner/intermediate series of videos, a viewer asked if I would create a video about migrating from using Serial values as primary/foreign keys to using UUID key values. The process is actually quite simple, but not so obvious when you start thinking about all the scripting you might have to do for all the various tables and connections within your solution. The benefits of switching to a UUID key based system is that you no longer have worry

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Adding a logo to your theme

When FileMaker, Inc. released the new theming system for FileMaker Pro a while back, they made one of the best decisions possible for a development platform. They chose to go with an industry standard instead of rolling their own solution. The standard they chose to use was CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). While their implementation was specific to the platform, and the whole "cascading" part didn't really apply, the choice was a good one. Today, the upside is the fact that it's the same language

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Custom Function Database 17 - Adding a Search Bar

Making it easy for users to search for content is what your job is all about. If you're relying on FileMaker's default Query By Form method of searching, then many users may not know how to use the full functionality of FileMaker's search. This is where you, as the developer, get to control how users interact with the data. By taking advantage of both FileMaker's QuickFind and the normal Query By Form, you can implement really nice features like an easy-to-use search bar. In this video, we wal

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Button Bar Indicators

There are all kinds of methods in which you can provide visual feedback to users. You can use FileMaker's containers fields, calculation fields, and even normal text fields. There is, however, a great way to provide the visual feedback you desire by using FileMaker's Button Bar object. You gain a lot of flexibility with this method because it's so easy to copy and paste once you've put it into your solution. By using multiple segments in the button bar, and some creative use of hiding and condi

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

 

Basic JavaScripting - Adding a color picker

If you've been learning and using FileMaker for any amount of time, then you'll likely know that FileMaker also has access to JavaScript. It does this through the Web Viewer object which can easily be added to any layout. For some FileMaker developer's they may answer the question of "Why don't you know/learn Javascript?" with a response of it either being too hard or not being able to take the time to learn it. It' only when FileMaker can't do what what needs to be done when some developers st

FileMaker Magazine

FileMaker Magazine

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