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  1. Demo file: sql-join-fun-etc.zip requires FM 18 or later. Recently I was asked to create a mini-report combining data from a pair of related tables via ExecuteSQL. This provided an opportunity to think about SQL joins, and also to come up with a way to apply currency formatting to dollar amounts in the SQL query result,… Continue reading Fun with SQL Joins and Currency Formatting View the full article
  2. One of the best feelings for any database developer is knowing that duplicate data simply can't sneak into your solution. You've got clean data such that when you search for a specific email address you know there's only one and it belongs to the right entity. In the associated video and sample file you'll get all the details for how you can use FileMaker's Unique value validation option. You'll see how you can prevent FileMaker from showing it's annoying dialog box which uses the name of the field when a duplicate is entered. Additionally, you'll be able to execute your own script when the v
  3. 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 not uncommon which is why I'm writing this article. It's your job as a developer to ask your clients "
  4. Out of the box, FileMaker is a really easy solution for inputing data and simply finding the results you want when searching that data. There are, however, times when you need to break away from FileMaker's "solve all" solution of case insensitive searching. Times where you simply want to present some data within your user interface - without setting up extra relationships or fields. Or, those times when you simply need to search based on the case sensitivity of the data within a field. In order to accomplish this, there are pretty much two different methods. In this video I show you how to
  5. By now you’ve all heard the earth-shaking news: the merger between the Proof Group and Geist Interactive. The new company, Proof+Geist (the ‘+’ is silent, by the way), brings together the best of The Proof Group and Geist Interactive. All that you know about those separate entities are now as one. Now led by Ernest […] The post A Bit More about Proof+Geist appeared first on Geist Interactive. View the full article
  6. Some of my most favorite moments, when working with technology, are when you see the result of a few lines of code do what used to take hours and hours of work. Seeing the fruits of knowledge labor which replaces a lot of manual labor. It's glorious! The example I'm mentally referencing is any time you need to extract some content from a web page and it's literally SITTING RIGHT THERE in front of your face and you end up using your precious time doing the good old copy and paste. Every day there are SO many mistakes made by human error because of duplicate entry that if the data is in digita
  7. Demo file: file ids, table ids and field-level schema.zip (requires FM 18 or later) INTRODUCTION Recently I was asked to help document a FileMaker solution by creating and populating a “schema” table as per the above screen shot. One of the requirements was to programmatically determine internal ID numbers for the file and for the… Continue reading File IDs, Table IDs and Field-Level Schema View the full article
  8. Who doesn't want to know how long something takes? It's not like we, as the busy bees we are, have all the time in the world - right? Well, how about some convenient progress information. One of the most common procedures within all of computing is to cycle or iterate over a set of something. In FileMaker, this comes in the form of records. A record loop is one of the most common things you'll ever do within FileMaker. Setting a field value to something else across a range of records? You'll likely use a record loop. So, what's the easiest way show the progress of that record loop? It's curr
  9. FileMaker Pro provides a variety of methods for extracting your data from its database. From memory, we have standard relationships and calculated concatenations, the Copy All Records script step, scripted data loops and using the ExecuteSQL function. In FileMaker 19, we're provided with yet one more method for pulling data out of the system. The Execute FileMaker Data API script step allows us to use what was formerly available only from outside of FileMaker Pro via a url. Now, within our scripts, we can use this fast retrieval method for extracting data in the popular and common JSON format
  10. The Claris FileMaker Add-ons, released just a few updates ago, are one of the components that make up the Open Platform release. They’re useful in solving problems for FileMaker developers. Calendars and Kanban boards are popping up all over the community. They’re not without their issues, however, but most of what’s there we can control. […] The post FileMaker add-on Found Set: Changing the Limit and Offset appeared first on Geist Interactive. View the full article
  11. 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 the ride through memory lane of twenty-twenty. View the full article
  12. There's a great feeling about writing functional code when it's something you can rely on. You know it's just going to work. Which, for some import routines, doesn't always feel this way. Sometimes the import may fail or you can't figure out how to make it work. Columns may get renamed, they may be shifted around and vary or you may be importing from multiple different providers. If you're consolidating data from multiple sources or you have a situation where you need to manipulate the data before the import, then we've got a great solution for you. Not only is this video about server side i
  13. In normal years, when I get to travel around and speak to people about FileMaker, I am always gratified by how many of you in our FileMaker community ask me about One Spark Academy, the non profit learning center that my wife Lori and I started in 2011. Many of you follow the happenings there, […] The post One Spark Academy 2020-2021 Giving Campaign appeared first on Geist Interactive. View the full article
  14. Demo file: set-variable-by-name-v2.zip (requires FM 16 or later) INTRODUCTION You’ve probably heard the old joke that goes… Patient: Doc, it hurts when I do this. Doctor: Don’t do that. Perhaps you’re also familiar with the FileMaker equivalent? Developer: It hurts when I try to assign certain variable names. FileMaker: Don’t do that. Or how about… Continue reading Set Variable By Name Revisited View the full article
  15. Every trade has its own tips for making your work go faster or happen more easily. During this holiday season I thought it would be great to bring you 12 Tips of Developing in FileMaker Pro. So, I opened FileMaker and stared at the blank screen of a new file thinking about the things that tend to help me out the most. I pulled down a CSV file from Data.gov and just let the tips flow out from there. I hope, with this list of 12 tips, you'll pick up some productivity enhancements that will carry you forward into the new year! Happy Holidays! Click the title or link to this article to view the
  16. With a handful of simple scripts and just a few fields, you can easily accomplish some powerful image organization both inside and outside of FileMaker. In this video, we take a look at how FileMaker can be used to organize a collection of images. This is prior to sending them out or making them available for a web server to host them. If your FileMaker solution needs to work with images used for verification or any form of media communication, then learning how you can make FileMaker bend to your media will can have a number of big benefits. Need to know how to manage the whole process and
  17. 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 implementing SVG graphics in FileMaker. View the full article
  18. Using JSON for passing multiple parameters can be a real life saver. Because JSON keeps all individual parameters separate from each other, you can pass pretty much any type of data except for container data - although you can pass a reference to a container easily enough. Your parameters can also have as many levels as necessary and the JSON can easily be modified as it moves from script to script. When writing a complex and large collection of scripts, you eventually hit errors and issues. You end up spending extra time hunting down problems and eventually you find out it's a simple issue w
  19. FileMaker natively provides us with some really nice tools for user feedback. We can use the Show Custom Dialog or even create a dedicated dialog using a Card Window and Layout. There are, however, times when you need something a little more subtle. Just a simple message on screen will often suffice. The next question is whether you need the user to interact with that message or not. The solution is simply to provide both options of course. In this video and technique file, we explore a super simple method for providing user feedback via a simple message which is shown using a dedicated Butt
  20. Demo file: a-value-list-experiment.zip Note 1: today’s demo is recycled from the one that accompanied Virtual Portal, part 2. All we care about today is how we assign the parent company; the remainder can be ignored. Note 2: if you’re unclear on value list basics, check out Thinking About Value Lists, part 1. “I want it… Continue reading A Value List Experiment View the full article
  21. The wonderful thing about creating software is it feels like you're able to create your own universe. You're the master of that universe and how it functions and reacts to its users. It's a very empowering feeling to know you can direct and control data in a way that makes it useful to others. When considering all the directions that software can take there's always that simple fact that different people like different things. Heck, someone buys the Rhubarb from the grocery store - because they keep stocking it - right? So, what is the best way to offer user specific preferences to your solu
  22. Portals are wonderful tools for showing related data relevant to what your solution is solving. Sometimes, however, there's a trick to getting them to show exactly what you want. The combination of functions required may not always be obvious and it can be hard to achieve the desired result. Essentially, you have to know how to extract the specific key values which allow you to filter only the desired rows. In this video, I walk through all the specifics of creating a custom function which allows you to filter unique keys such that only the desired records will be shown. If you've ever had t
  23. There's this special feeling you get when developing software where you feel like you've created something magical. Sometimes, it doesn't even matter if you've done the same type of thing before. It just feels like you're the master of the universe and you've created something super useful. This may even be the case when you're simply creating a virtual trash can and providing users with the ability to reverse course on that accidental record deletion. In this video, we're taking a look at a super simple trash can metaphor. It's easy-to-implement and allows users to bring records back from t
  24. It’s been a few weeks since the Claris FileMaker add-ons were put into the product. A lot has happened since then. People have explored them using the sample data and even their own. The community is now filled with questions about these new packages of functionality. People are discovering what can be done with them. […] The post In-Product Add-ons: A Few More Things appeared first on Geist Interactive. View the full article
  25. Do you need to work with online APIs and find yourself wishing there was an easy way to accomplish it? Well, there actually is. In fact, in much of technology, there's something or someone somewhere which has likely already solved the problem. In the case of using REST (Representational state transfer) to interact with service APIs within FileMaker, it's nice to have a single tool which will handle most of the heavy work for you. When native JSON was added to FileMaker, the last piece to the puzzle was a more expanded method of interacting with the network. The cURL library was already being
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