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Scripted Change Log

Scripting a change log table has been around since script triggers were introduced in FileMaker 10. But, do you know the right way to script a field modification log? I've been programming them for years and have gone through every version of them and have settled on what I'm going to cover today. We'll start off with the wrong way to script an event log so you can get some perspective but will end up with a dynamic solution that can be copied and pasted from FileMaker file to FileMaker file.Vie

Abstracted Log

A long, long time ago, in a far away land, Bob Cusick, of Clickware, sent me a tip file that used a single field to log changes to fields in a table. Through the years I modified it and released it many times but here’s the latest version. This version is so abstracted, all you need is a single custom function with parameters that specify the fields that trigger the log and the log field itself. That means you can copy and paste the formula from table to table and make minor changes to create lo

Decluttering

FileMaker, Inc. and Claris have been waging a war against Manage Database clutter for over two decades. In the early days of FileMaker, let's say FileMaker 3.0, there was no need to worry about packing too much into Manage Database because people weren't designing complex solutions like they do today. These days, it's critical that you use all the tools at your disposal and don't just cram everything into Manage Database. This article will serve as a history of why features were added to FileMak

Multilingual Solutions

I've talked to other developers, read articles and even attended presentations on how to create multilingual FileMaker solutions. I've always thought to myself... "I'll never have to do this myself" so I only half listened. Now I have a client who needs multilingual field labels, titles, button text, tooltips and placeholders. I'm going to walk readers through the process of determining the best solution for my particular client so you can learn the way I did. You may have to adjust your approac

Why then How

I once asked someone on the forums why they wanted a particular solution. I did this because they were asking for a technique that seemed like a lot of unnecessary work. I was attempting to provide a better answer that met their true needs within the abilities of FileMaker. In other words, why give a man a fish when he really wants a fishing pole. The response I received was, "Why is not relevant to how." Wow! This guy couldn't be any more wrong. Such a shortsighted approach to programming is no

Twenty-Twenty in Review

A lot has happened in 2020 but I'm not hear to preach about the pandemic, the presidential race or George Floyd. A ton has transpired in the FileMaker market too! Probably the biggest news is JavaScript and FileMaker living in perfect harmony. But, I'll also pontificate about quarterly releases, Claris Engage, public speaking and even publishing in the FileMaker market. All of these subjects have come to exist or have changed drastically in the 2020 FileMaker market. So... sit back and enjoy th

SVG Ready

The SVG button icons that come included with FileMaker are great but there are so many holes in the library. Lately, I've been scouring the internet for free icons to meet the needs of some more complicated client interfaces. When I find a good one, it usually isn't in SVG format so I have to convert it and then add the FileMaker fill tag to get the icon ready for prime time. What I'm going to do in this article is take you through my journey to learn more about finding, manipulating and impleme

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Removing Text Formatting

Almost every single solution I develop requires a method for dealing with text in fields that is purposely or accidentally formatted in browse mode. For better or worse, FileMaker allows users to change text formatting in browse mode via the Format menu. FileMaker also doesn't automatically remove formatting that's been pasted or drug from another application like a web browser. This leads to all kinds of issues with displaying field text on multiple layouts as well as output. This article will

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Nineteen Point One

You've all heard it's going to happen! Releases every quarter rather than every year. Even yearly releases were a shock given the multiple years between release in the previous decade. It may be uncomfortable but it's necessary with the way technology moves in the current day and age. You'll get less with every release but the changes will come much faster. As promised publicly by Claris, FileMaker 19.1.2 (or 19.1) includes JavaScript Add-Ons and a few other surprises. View the full article

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Transactional Processing

Record locking in a multi-user scenario is easy to control on a single record. Just use the Open Record/Request script step and test for an error 301. If the error occurs, stop the script and present a dialog telling the user they can't run that script right now. If no error occurs, the current user now has control of the record and it can be freely modified by a script. However, if your script loops through records or uses the Replace Field Contents script step, the difficulty controlling recor

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Conditional Tab Control

The story to this solution begins with a client of mine who has complicated contact management needs. Each contact falls into a particular category and not all panes in the Tab Control object need to be shown for each contact. I started off by offering a conditional formula on a standard Tab Control object that resulted in "" or blank when the pane was not available for the current contact. This resulted in a small tab at the top of the Tab Control but didn’t make it disappear. To make a long st

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Server Optimization

Just because you streamlined your solution during the design phase doesn't mean it's going to react efficiently across a LAN or WAN. You also need to optimize your hardware and network on your FileMaker Server machine. Hardware and networking are usually secondary to proper design but it can make a big difference in how your solution performs if you have sub par equipment. There are so many factors that play into how a solution performs that it's nearly impossible to provide the right answer for

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Designing for Efficiency

This article was previously released for one day but was removed from the site when FileMaker 19 was unexpectedly released. Happy FileMaking! Designing a single-user FileMaker solution for efficient display is pretty easy. If it works on your computer, it's likely to perform the same on any other computer. The trouble starts when you share a FileMaker solution with multiple people. The rules change. There's record locking for starters but I've covered that already in several articles on this we

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Hey Nineteen

FileMaker 19 contains some features that are going to revolutionize development. With complete Web Viewer JavaScript integration, the ability to create FileMaker apps in the Cloud and a new developer tools for copying schema from one file to another, FileMaker 19 is poised for a massive change. It's the starting point for something new that's only get better with their new agile release schedule. View the full article

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Hey Nineteen

FileMaker 19 contains some features that are going to revolutionize development. With complete Web Viewer JavaScript integration, the ability to create FileMaker apps in the Cloud and a new developer tools for copying schema from one file to another, FileMaker 19 is poised for a massive change. It's the starting point for something new that's only get better with their new agile release schedule. View the full article

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Designing for Efficiency

Designing a single-user FileMaker solution for efficient display is pretty easy. If it works on your computer, it's likely to perform the same on any other computer. The trouble starts when you share a FileMaker solution with multiple people. The rules change. There's record locking for starters but I've covered that already in several articles on this web site. What I want to talk about today is designing an efficient form and list view. It's especially important when displaying single and mult

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Why FileMaker

Development platforms have come and gone but not FileMaker. Why has it been around for over three decades and why will it be around for more decades to come? If you develop using FileMaker, you probably know the answer already. Even if you do know why FileMaker is so great, I'm going to make some points that will help you to explain it to your clients, IT department or boss. Or, you can just refer them to this article. View the full article

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Why FileMaker

Development platforms have come and gone but not FileMaker. Why has it been around for over three decades and why will it be around for more decades to come? If you develop using FileMaker, you probably know the answer already. Even if you do know why FileMaker is so great, I'm going to make some points that will help you to explain it to your clients, IT department or boss. Or, you can just refer them to this article. View the full article

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Merging Duplicates

A script that identifies duplicates and deletes them isn't always the best choice. Sure, it works great when you are importing new contacts from a marketing campaign but what if the duplicate comes from an overzealous or lazy employee? Sometimes you need a system for merging a new record with an old one. While this can be completely scripted, I truly believe a human needs to oversee this process in most cases. View the full article

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Merging Duplicates

A script that identifies duplicates and deletes them isn't always the best choice. Sure, it works great when you are importing new contacts from a marketing campaign but what if the duplicate comes from an overzealous or lazy employee? Sometimes you need a system for merging a new record with an old one. While this can be completely scripted, I truly believe a human needs to oversee this process in most cases. View the full article

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Twenty Nineteen in Review

I just looked over what happened in the FileMaker world in 2019 and I'm stunned! Doesn't seem like much happened till you consider everything at once. Truly, this has been an eventful and pivotal year for the FileMaker industry. In this article, I'm going to review what happened and what is going to happen at Claris and to the Claris product line. I'll enhance this discussion with blog postings, YouTube videos and example files from the Database Pros, Philosophy of FileMaker and Fireside FileMak

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Twenty Nineteen in Review

I just looked over what happened in the FileMaker world in 2019 and I'm stunned! Doesn't seem like much happened till you consider everything at once. Truly, this has been an eventful and pivotal year for the FileMaker industry. In this article, I'm going to review what happened and what is going to happen at Claris and to the Claris product line. I'll enhance this discussion with blog postings, YouTube videos and example files from the Database Pros, Philosophy of FileMaker and Fireside FileMak

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Preventing Duplicates

Preventing duplicates from ever being entered in the first place is my personal preference. Sometimes we don't have a choice and have to remove them after the fact. But, if you can stop them from ever being entered, it's going to make your life much easier. In this article, we'll discuss a variety of techniques for stopping duplicates in their tracks including validation, script triggers and plain old vanilla scripting. View the full article

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Preventing Duplicates

Preventing duplicates from ever being entered in the first place is my personal preference. Sometimes we don't have a choice and have to remove them after the fact. But, if you can stop them from ever being entered, it's going to make your life much easier. In this article, we'll discuss a variety of techniques for stopping duplicates in their tracks including validation, script triggers and plain old vanilla scripting. View the full article

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

Deleting Duplicates

Database administrators have nightmares about duplicate data entry. There are tons of solutions out there. Which direction do you go? Do you try to prevent duplicate record entry with validation or scripting? Do you let the duplicates get entered and delete the periodically? And, what about merging two records? Maybe it's not a nightmare but at least it's an issue you have to address before allowing users to enter data. This article will discuss the ins and outs of the various methods for deleti

John Mark Osborne

John Mark Osborne

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