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Featured Entries

  • Steven H. Blackwell

    Hacking Your Own FileMaker Platform Solutions

    By Steven H. Blackwell

    Hacking Your Own FileMaker Platform Solutions Should FileMaker Platform developers mount hacking attacks on their own solutions? At first glance, this may seem an odd question. But I believe that the answer is “Yes, we should.” Consider this. As developers we see our solutions from a totally different perspective than Threat Agents see them. Without practicing our own hacking skills, we can become blind to the vulnerabilities a Threat Agent can exploit to compromise the Confidentiality
    • 1 comment
  • Josh Ormond

    A Conversation About '2 Factor Authentication'

    By Josh Ormond

    [ Edit: 3/16/2016 - With the help of some other people, we have been able to recover, or recreate some of the original images from original thread. ] Security is always a big topic when it involves data, or people, or possessions. Recently, over on the FileMaker Community, there was a very beneficial discussion regarding security. Unfortunately, that discussion was the victim of a necessary action...and was deleted. It was deleted, because the discussion was tied to a video that, as was det
    • 1 comment

DataTables Deep Dive - Replacing Portals - Part 2

This is Part 2 of a series about using the DataTables JavaScript library in order to simply pull data you wish to display and doing so within a Web Viewer. While standard FileMaker Portals present one of the easiest methods for showing related data, it's now a viable option to simply use a Web Viewer to present data to the user. With the bi-directional support of JavaScript within FileMaker 19 and higher we can take advantage of what JavaScript does best - being fast! In this video we focus sp

DataTables Deep Dive - Replacing Portals - Part 1

Portals and list views represent one of the biggest reasons for using a database for managing data. You can view the data in a myriad of ways and FileMaker provides the tools to modify the views quite easily. FileMaker's list view happens to be the most powerful when compared to portals. We don't really have the same feature set presented within a portal. Using a portal it's an all or nothing approach to sorting by default and you can't really search the portal contents. You can certainly hack

PSOS – Run Script in File not open Locally

INTRODUCTION Today I want to take a look at a certain Perform Script On Server (PSOS) behavior, and for those who find this behavior to be inconvenient, propose a work around. Here’s the behavior, or misconception, actually: a server side script initiated via PSOS (apparently) cannot access files on the server unless the user already… Continue reading PSOS – Run Script in File not open LocallyView the full article

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

Formatting Date, Time & Timestamp Values

What's the easiest way to format a FileMaker date, time or timestamp value? Using a custom function? Maybe... In this video, I'll show you a unique trick for getting a formatted date, time or timestamp value without using a Custom Function or any of FileMaker's Date or Time functions. Of course, I'll also provide you with one of the better custom functions for formatting date/time/timestamp values. The custom function in this technique file handles pretty much all possible variations of date/t

UI Portal Enhancements

Anyone can just throw everything they need within a portal. Adding a new field? Just throw it in the portal. But WAIT! The question is "Should you?". The fine art of determining what should end up in your portal is based on how the data and/or actions are being referenced/used. Is the frequency for editing the data high or low? If it's low, then maybe the user doesn't need field access. What is the frequency of record deletion? Low? Then, do you really need that obvious red trash can icon on ev

Towards A Better JavaScript Development Environment

Writing JavaScript in FileMaker is hard. Sure, the path is easy to see and clear to follow, but the actual writing of the code is hard. I have tried to find a way to write JS code that makes it fairly easy. And by “easy,” I mean “make it so that FileMaker developers don’t have […] The post Towards A Better JavaScript Development Environment appeared first on Geist Interactive. View the full article

Todd Geist

Todd Geist

FileMaker 19 + JSONata

Introduction Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Jeremy Brown on The Context Podcast about an open-source project called JSONata that enables you to query and transform JSON. The JSONata site is packed with useful information, including this short video… …as well as… Extensive documentation A link to the Stack Overflow forum, where you… Continue reading FileMaker 19 + JSONataView the full article

Claris FileMaker 19.3 Overview

Claris' 19.3 release of the FileMaker platform is out! In this article, we will discuss our favorite new features including native support for Apple Silicone, leveraging Microsoft Edge, and FileMaker Cloud-native script schedules! Read the full article here. 

Mutually Exclusive Values

Value lists are one of the fundamental building blocks of any good UI built on top of a database system. Providing users with a preselected list of options to choose from helps the data entry process go faster and - is - just easier. When using value lists, there are times when you need to limit the number of selections of any given value to being used just once. You may also need to enforce that one of each of all possible values is used. In this video, we tackle both situations by enforcing

Big 3 Local Development Options

Being able to develop locally, as if the data and the server was right there on your local machine provides a nice advantage. You know how the solution will work when hosted, you can develop and test PSOS scripts effectively, and you're generally protected from client crashes. Plus, you're fully mobile if need be - it's all on one machine. This is where hosting your FileMaker solutions locally becomes a big advantage. This video showcases what I consider to be the Big 3 of local hosting. 1) You

Extracting System Paths - Media Archiving

In the process of creating a simple media archiving database I found I had used the same skill twice because of how FileMaker returns data from certain functions. Hence, I decided to provide you with my simple little start to a Media Archiving solution. Simply, it asks for a folder, then pulls the paths to all files from the selected, and enclosed, folders into the database. It's really a pretty simple thing because it's managed with one simple function from the BaseElements plug-in. However,

FileMaker Formstack Integration

Formstack takes your FileMaker data collection to the next level! Formstack can automate document creation, collect secure signatures, and drive your data collection with astonishingly customizable forms. Our integration guide includes a video and sample files to get you started! Read the full article and download the sample file here.

Universal List View Sorting

What makes FileMaker development so fun is the variety of different functions and script steps. They provide an almost infinite number of combinations to solve a wide variety of technical problems. There isn't always just "one way to do it". So, what happens when you stop to think about a more recent feature in light of how you've "always done it before"? Like... sorting... for example. Have you always simply attached the Sort script step to your list view headers and called it a day? What if y

Narrow vs. Wide Tables - Part 2

Continuing on with the two part series about Narrow vs. Wide tables, this video will go into how to best filter your data, especially if you have a large amount. It will present the data within the structure we'd created within the first video. Knowing the impact of data operations isn't just limited to the structure of your tables. It's also about how much data is loaded and shown to the user based on what the user needs to see. If you have a relationship resulting in hundreds of thousands of

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

Bypassing Scientific Notation

Earlier today I needed 1 billion to render in the calc engine as 1000000000, but FM helpfully converts numbers to scientific notation if they A) are >= 1 billion, and B) contain nothing but zeros following the initial digits. Example where “A” and “B” are both true: Example where “A” is true but “B” is… Continue reading Bypassing Scientific Notation View the full article

Narrow vs. Wide Tables

Like any good craftsperson, you should know your tools and your methods for accomplishing things in the most efficient and best performing way. This is always most obvious when it comes to that every slowing FileMaker solution which started out innocently as a simple "helper" database. Then... it ended up being used for all kinds of things. Critical things even! It was thrown together based on how you mentally "see" the data and not how the data should have been structured. This is one of those

elemental_dropzone has landed - Drag and drop multiple files with ease

We're thrilled to announce the release of our fist add-on called elemental_dropzone. With this really easy to use add-on you're given the power of dragging multiple. files directly into your solution all at once. You can even drop entire folders into your solution.   Once dropzone is installed just drag it onto your lay out and specify a script for the dropped files to be sent to for processing - it's really that simple.   Best of all it is 100% free.  

Getting Started with Claris FileMaker

If you're new to FileMaker and don't know where to start, you're in luck! We've been working with FileMaker since 2003 on hundreds of projects, and we want to share our expertise with beginners like you. This collection of resources will help you get started building custom FileMaker Apps today. Read the full article here. 

Extracting PDF Contents

It seems like it's taken decades for many businesses and government agencies to move from pushing paper into the digital age of transactions. Recently, I was reminded of this by heading into town hall and having to push a bit of paper myself. Banks and other financial institutions still actually offer paper options surprisingly. I guess being in the world of tech comes with its own biases. But, despite the seemingly slow adoption, the migration is still happening and more and more things are goi

Understanding External Authentication

Even if it's not a super interesting topic, and really only applies if you're managing a FileMaker server, it always pays to know how things work behind the scenes. If you've never used FileMaker's external authentication via LDAP then you'll want to watch this particular video. If you're creating any type of FileMaker solution which needs to know when your users both enter and exit the system, which especially applies to using external authentication, then you'll enjoy the super simple access


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
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