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  1. Within the world of FileMaker development, there are always those golden gems which become the hallmarks of "how to do something" - despite there often being more than one way to solve a problem. For managing lists of data, prior to the existence of the While function, the go-to custom function is CustomList. When it comes to variable output display using a portal you'll almost always reference Virtual List as the commonly understood approach. When it comes to saving user state, there's always been a number of ways accomplish this. But, for my part, I'm going to declare Layout Variables as the way to solve many issues when it comes to saving user state in FileMaker. While the term "Layout Variables" can apply to either locally scoped variables or global ones used within the layout, the concept is such that you're using variables to store things for the specific layout the user is on. When it comes to saving state, whether for the specific session or in order to persist, there has to be a simple and easy way to store, reference and retrieve these values and I think that solution is finally here. In this video, I showcase the Custom Functions and methods I use to implement Layout Variables. If your FileMaker solution has a need to maintain state and make it easy to both store and restore global variables used for the user interface, then you simply must watch this video. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  2. Within the world of FileMaker development, there are always those golden gems which become the hallmarks of "how to do something" - despite there often being more than one way to solve a problem. For managing lists of data, prior to the existence of the While function, the go-to custom function is CustomList. When it comes to variable output display using a portal you'll almost always reference Virtual List as the commonly understood approach. When it comes to saving user state, there's always been a number of ways accomplish this. But, for my part, I'm going to declare Layout Variables as the way to solve many issues when it comes to saving user state in FileMaker. While the term "Layout Variables" can apply to either locally scoped variables or global ones used within the layout, the concept is such that you're using variables to store things for the specific layout the user is on. When it comes to saving state, whether for the specific session or in order to persist, there has to be a simple and easy way to store, reference and retrieve these values and I think that solution is finally here. In this video, I showcase the Custom Functions and methods I use to implement Layout Variables. If your FileMaker solution has a need to maintain state and make it easy to both store and restore global variables used for the user interface, then you simply must watch this video. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  3. One of the most powerful features of any and all software is the ability to search and identify things which would be human impossible without computers. The ability to search for any given string and have that combination of characters be instantly presented is what has made our current world possible. In this video, we take a look at FileMaker's default Find & Replace feature and we integrate this into our database systems. We then enhance that feature by implementing a Highlighting feature based on what the user is searching for. With both the Find & Replace feature and the ability to highlight all occurrences, we have a pretty powerful solution for users who need to be able to modify and make changes to data based on what they're searching for. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  4. One of the most powerful features of any and all software is the ability to search and identify things which would be human impossible without computers. The ability to search for any given string and have that combination of characters be instantly presented is what has made our current world possible. In this video, we take a look at FileMaker's default Find & Replace feature and we integrate this into our database systems. We then enhance that feature by implementing a Highlighting feature based on what the user is searching for. With both the Find & Replace feature and the ability to highlight all occurrences, we have a pretty powerful solution for users who need to be able to modify and make changes to data based on what they're searching for. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  5. Communication amongst solution users is often a desirable feature. While many companies will standardize on generalized options such as Slack, it's not your only option when it comes to messaging within a FileMaker solution. In the past, there've been a number "FileMaker only" solutions which take advantage of FileMaker's constant polling of the main data store. However, these solutions pale in comparison to what is available today. With the prevalence of super powerful browser-based Javascript solutions, we can simply use a Web Viewer and integrate directly into FileMaker. The question, however, is which one do you pick and how can you test things out before making your choice? That's what's covered in this video. How you can test out all kinds of different software integrations within FileMaker. Also, how you can determine if FileMaker's Web Viewer can handle what the software is designed to do. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  6. Communication amongst solution users is often a desirable feature. While many companies will standardize on generalized options such as Slack, it's not your only option when it comes to messaging within a FileMaker solution. In the past, there've been a number "FileMaker only" solutions which take advantage of FileMaker's constant polling of the main data store. However, these solutions pale in comparison to what is available today. With the prevalence of super powerful browser-based Javascript solutions, we can simply use a Web Viewer and integrate directly into FileMaker. The question, however, is which one do you pick and how can you test things out before making your choice? That's what's covered in this video. How you can test out all kinds of different software integrations within FileMaker. Also, how you can determine if FileMaker's Web Viewer can handle what the software is designed to do. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  7. We all love those "Top 10" videos because we know what we're getting into. It's just a list of 10 things right? But it's the best 10 things - right? Ok, well, "best" is possibly relative to what your particular daily workflow is like, but at least there's always something new to learn! Right! And, that's exactly what this video is about. It's about learning those little time-saving tricks which make it much nicer to work within FileMaker's Layout Mode. Need some incentive to check it out? Here's the first 5 of the top 10 list of what's covered. #10: Easier cursor selections #09: Using the Object Inspector #08: Shortcuts for Align & Resize #07: Top Object Wins #06: Know your Parts Want to know what's covered in the remaining 5? Just watch the video and pick up some new skills! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  8. We all love those "Top 10" videos because we know what we're getting into. It's just a list of 10 things right? But it's the best 10 things - right? Ok, well, "best" is possibly relative to what your particular daily workflow is like, but at least there's always something new to learn! Right! And, that's exactly what this video is about. It's about learning those little time-saving tricks which make it much nicer to work within FileMaker's Layout Mode. Need some incentive to check it out? Here's the first 5 of the top 10 list of what's covered. #10: Easier cursor selections #09: Using the Object Inspector #08: Shortcuts for Align & Resize #07: Top Object Wins #06: Know your Parts Want to know what's covered in the remaining 5? Just watch the video and pick up some new skills! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  9. Knowing how to take advantage of Server Side scripting within FileMaker is quite critical when you want the best performance possible. Of course, it makes total sense that you'll get the best speeds when working with the data where it's most accessible. The trick with creating scripts which will also work on the server side is being very specific with the context of things. There's also the very important choices of which method you're going to use. In 2018 I covered a method using a dedicated table occurence which is perfectly viable today. However, I didn't show the other methods possible and we also got some newer features which allow us to do things even more differently. This video shows you how to write a script which will duplicate related record sets and do so using the method of exporting and importing. I also cover a method which uses JSON in order to replicate a set of related records. This code can be used in many more places than just duplicating related record sets. I hope the content helps you advance your level of FileMaker development knowledge. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  10. Knowing how to take advantage of Server Side scripting within FileMaker is quite critical when you want the best performance possible. Of course, it makes total sense that you'll get the best speeds when working with the data where it's most accessible. The trick with creating scripts which will also work on the server side is being very specific with the context of things. There's also the very important choices of which method you're going to use. In 2018 I covered a method using a dedicated table occurence which is perfectly viable today. However, I didn't show the other methods possible and we also got some newer features which allow us to do things even more differently. This video shows you how to write a script which will duplicate related record sets and do so using the method of exporting and importing. I also cover a method which uses JSON in order to replicate a set of related records. This code can be used in many more places than just duplicating related record sets. I hope the content helps you advance your level of FileMaker development knowledge. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  11. When someone asks a simple question like "How can I make FileMaker export a second worksheet in Excel?" The method you use to achieve this may not be immediately apparent. Especially if you've not worked with other programming languages like Python. Rest assured, however, you can certainly solve most any FileMaker problem as long as you're willing to take a little journey into the land of other tools. And, it's probably not as scary as you think it is. Yes, FileMaker is nice and comfortable, but it has it's limits. When you want to become a power developer, you have to become familiar with what's possible. In this video, I walk through the use of Python, in conjunction with FileMaker in order to export a multiple sheet Excel workbook. Need to include Excel calculations, multiple worksheets, graphics and charts? Do the corporate leaders demand that you provide your report within Excel? Well, let's take a quick trip to Python land and we find all kinds of wonderful gems in our brand new toolset! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  12. When someone asks a simple question like "How can I make FileMaker export a second worksheet in Excel?" The method you use to achieve this may not be immediately apparent. Especially if you've not worked with other programming languages like Python. Rest assured, however, you can certainly solve most any FileMaker problem as long as you're willing to take a little journey into the land of other tools. And, it's probably not as scary as you think it is. Yes, FileMaker is nice and comfortable, but it has it's limits. When you want to become a power developer, you have to become familiar with what's possible. In this video, I walk through the use of Python, in conjunction with FileMaker in order to export a multiple sheet Excel workbook. Need to include Excel calculations, multiple worksheets, graphics and charts? Do the corporate leaders demand that you provide your report within Excel? Well, let's take a quick trip to Python land and we find all kinds of wonderful gems in our brand new toolset! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  13. When "dark mode" finally creeps into your operating system, you know it's time you consider the trend and possibly adapt your FileMaker user interface as well. Although, "light mode" is still perfectly acceptable too! In this video, I walk through some of the tips and tricks I use in order to style a FileMaker user interface into a "dark mode" theme. I cover topics such as where and how to find colors, how to deal with grid settings and how to generally convert a light theme into a dark one. If you've been considering giving your FileMaker UI a facelift, then I'm sure you'll find some valuable goodies in this video about converting a theme into a "dark mode" compatible one. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  14. When "dark mode" finally creeps into your operating system, you know it's time you consider the trend and possibly adapt your FileMaker user interface as well. Although, "light mode" is still perfectly acceptable too! In this video, I walk through some of the tips and tricks I use in order to style a FileMaker user interface into a "dark mode" theme. I cover topics such as where and how to find colors, how to deal with grid settings and how to generally convert a light theme into a dark one. If you've been considering giving your FileMaker UI a facelift, then I'm sure you'll find some valuable goodies in this video about converting a theme into a "dark mode" compatible one. Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
  15. Occasionally, you hit certain issues within FileMaker development where you're just stumped as to why you can't do something. Let's take a super simple example like being able to show and hide a button based on having selected a given portal row. How do you know when the user is within the portal? How do you know when they've left? Think it's easy? Try to solve this issue without watching this video first. You'll quickly find out, that because of how FileMaker's "event model" works, known as script triggers, that some times things happen when you want and other times they don't. And, ultimately, you don't have control. FileMaker picks the Pre vs. Post. Unless, that is, you get creative with how you solve this particular problem. In the case of Pre vs. Post script triggers, it is possible to extend how FileMaker behaves. In this video, I showcase how to solve the simple problem of showing and hiding a given button when a portal row is selected. It's a bit of a trick, but it can certainly be done. Additionally, if you don't yet know the value of knowing when a user has a given portal row selected then you'll learn that lesson as well by watching this video! Click the title or link to this article to view the video. View the full article
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