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John Mark Osborne

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John Mark Osborne last won the day on February 2 2017

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About John Mark Osborne

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    FileMaker Expert
  • Birthday 03/22/1967

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    Chino Hills, CA
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  1. 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
  2. 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 FileMaker web sites. Happy FileMaking! View the full article
  3. 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
  4. 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 deleting duplicates, followed by another article discussing how to prevent them from being entered in the first place. View the full article
  5. Most people don't think about indexing when designing a solution. FileMaker automatically turns on indexing when needed so why should they? Indexing can only be good, right? I mean, it makes finds faster. Well, in most situations, indexing is nothing to worry about. But, under certain circumstances, indexing can have an adverse effect on your FileMaker file. Let's talk about how indexing works, where it is used and how it can slow down your solution when unchecked. View the full article
  6. I hear it over and over on the forums, "my Tab Control changes to the default tab when I run a script". What initially seems like an innocent little script that adds a new related record by setting a variable to a primary key, switching layouts, creating a record, setting the foreign key and returning to the original layout, becomes a nightmare of fixes to restore focus to the correct tab panel. In fact, loss of focus can happen with a variety of different objects including Portals, Slide Controls and fields. I don't think there's one solution that fits all situations so we'll discuss the ins and outs of a handful of techniques so you can choose the right one for the job at hand. View the full article
  7. Just about every serious FileMaker developer has their own personal naming standards for fields, scripts, tables, layouts and anything else that can be named. There's really no correct naming standard. It's all about what works for you and your development style. Still, you need somewhere to start. I'm not just going to provide some specific ideas but the reasoning behind the choices I've made so you can better decide what works well for you. View the full article
  8. Let me start by saying, this is the most complex technique in the series of five articles covering the restoration of found sets. The sequence started with an explanation of why it's important to save found sets, followed by simple solutions like creating new windows and collecting serial numbers. I even covered a variety of methods for collecting serial numbers to give readers different tools because every technique has it's time and place. The previous article took a different approach and used the Snapshot Link feature to save a found set. Today I'm going to cover a technique I've never actually implemented in a client hired solution simply because it's complex. View the full article
  9. According to the FileMaker online help, the Snapshot Link feature saves a found set of records. But, it saves so much more including the current record, layout, sort order and the mode. The basic idea is to save a Snapshot Link and send it to a colleague via email so they can see what you are viewing. So much more efficient than trying to tell someone in another building or state how to recreate a found set. In this article, we're going to use Snapshot Links to save and restore multiple found sets for future retrieval. View the full article
  10. Don't be a one-trick pony and apply the same FileMaker feature to solve every problem. That's like wearing a tool belt and only putting one tool on it. FileMaker has many options, each with it's own unique advantages and disadvantages. Over-relying on a single tool will result in a subpar solution. Try to learn all the features in FileMaker so you can choose the right instrument for the right job. View the full article
  11. Forums are a great way to get technical advice for FileMaker but for some reason, many people don't think they have to be nice in the electronic world. I was raised to say "please" and "thank you" and that has translated over to the internet for me. But, other folks think the anonymity of cyberspace is an excuse to be a jerk. Some posters are outright offensive and others will just leave snide responses like, "that wasn't much help". News flash! People on the internet are real and you should be as nice to them as you would in real life! In fact, I would say you should be nicer online so as not to be misinterpreted. View the full article
  12. It took a while to scour the internet but I finally came up with my favorite videos and articles. I personally read each of these blog articles and watched every one of these videos. I've focused on choosing resources that use specific examples, rather than vague general discussions. I wanted to show off authors who took the discussion of the new FileMaker 18 to the next level and applied them in real-life scenarios. However, I will start off with some web sites that contain good overviews of the entire set of new FileMaker 18 features. View the full article
  13. Eighteen is the age you become an adult in the United States. In China, it's an auspicious number associated with success. In Hebrew, the word of life has a value of eighteen. It's also a composite number in mathematics, totaling the addition of it's divisors. But, most importantly, it's the latest release from FileMaker! I don't have eighteen different things to cover, just the stuff I find most important which includes scripting, calculations and relationships. I'll do a brief overview of most of the new features but I'll focus on only what you can do with FileMaker Pro Advanced. View the full article
  14. The Set Field script step is one of the most widely used steps in FileMaker due to it's versatility at moving data around a solution. You can simply transfer data from one field to another or even construct a complicated calculation and then target a field with the result. But that's just skimming the surface of what it can do. Set Field is workhorse script step that has no equal. In this article, I'll discuss seven essential techniques you can perform with Set Field. These concepts are crucial to learning how to program complex FileMaker solutions. View the full article
  15. Back in college, when I was working in the computer lab on campus, it was a requirement to know Microsoft Word backwards and forwards. That's because half the students in there were creating resumes. The biggest issue was using spaces to line up columns so I spent a lot of time fixing resumes, for which I got little thanks. Wait! What was I going to talk about? Oh yeah... custom menus. The reason I mention Microsoft Word is I loved a feature that allowed you to customize the menus to my preferences so I could remove the clutter I didn't want to see. I haven't used Word in decades so I'm now partial to customizing menus in FileMaker to make it easier to use. I won't be covering the basics in this article so you might want to bone up on custom menus in the online help before reading this article. View the full article
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