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Steven H. Blackwell

Managing Saved Finds

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One of the more interesting new features in FileMaker® Pro 10 is the ability for users to save specific “Find” criteria and use that saved find later. Developers need to know how FileMaker Pro manages this process.

These Saved Finds are stored and managed on an Account by Account basis for the specific file. That way the results are available in multi-user hosted files across LAN’s and WAN’s. These elements are stored as properties of the specific Account. Therefore, when administrators delete an Account, the Saved Finds are deleted at the same time.

This raises an interesting question about how FileMaker Pro manages the Saved Finds associated with externally authenticated Accounts. There is a new option in Manage Accounts & Privileges section to handle this. When selecting External Server as the authentication method, a new button appears in the lower left corner of the screen titled “User Data” for this purpose. Selecting that button brings up a second UI window where stored finds for individual Accounts associated with the Group can be deleted. That way, the entire Group does not have to be deleted when one member of it leaves.

Thank you FMI PM’s and Engineers for this feature.

Steven

SavedFinds2.jpg

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I don't believe this is a feature that we'll use. I am not aware of a way to move Saved Finds from a production system to a newly shipped version. Is there a way to migrate these finds?

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Cool. When I first learned about end user customizations a few months ago, I had thought that these user specific settings were going to be stored possibly on the box that they logged in with, much like a cookie or ini file. I had worried that since we often rebuild Citrix profiles that it would blow away their customizations.

This management method that they added is wonderful and well thought out. Kudos to FMI for this one.

:

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Not really Barbara, but they are aware of the value in incorporating such a functionality... :

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I fail to see the usefulness of this feature. Don't see using it much if at all.

-Mark Lemm

If I had a nickel for every time a client asked for this feature...

Well, I wouldn't be able to retire, but I'd have bucketloads of nickels. Clients have been asking for ways to store user-initiated complex queries since the beginning of (FileMaker) time.

I probably won't use this feature much myself, but I am not the target user of the products I build. I may have to build complex queries with multiple omits, extends and so on - but it's usually to manipulate data on a one time basis, or part of a scripted process.

Users have to do these all the time, and they repeat these finds continually, and before 10 had no way to store them unless the developer built some Rube Goldberg device to handle the stored queries.

In short, maybe you won't use this feature - but your clients will.

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I've been doing development over 15 years and NEVER had a customer ask me for this feature but once I learn about it more it may prove useful for them.

-Mark

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I've been doing development over 15 years and NEVER had a customer ask me for this feature but once I learn about it more it may prove useful for them.

-Mark

I'll give an example of the kind of thing I'm talking about.

"Gee, you know how I have to find just NJ and NY and PA clients, only within urban zip codes, whose orders have aged 60 days but have never subscribed to our newsletter, plus EVERYONE in CT whose subscriptions have lapsed, plus those over the age of 55 in MA who have 2 dogs? And then OMIT everyone who has a cat with feline inflammatory bowel disease?"

You know, the find that involves 15 requests, 3 of them omits, then with 5 more constrains?

And how I have to do that every week?

And how I have do to variations on that find for each region, but my coworker does it for slightly different regions, so that script you built for me doesn't work for her?

And how every other person in this office has equally complex query needs, but different from mine?

Gee, it would be nice if I could define and store these finds myself."

If you've never had a conversation with a client that ran along the lines of the above quote, then you've lived a charmed life (or never done non-profit work : ).

This kind of user requirement was previously answerable by scripting the interface with canned find scripts, scripts that prompted the user for selections, etc. In short, it was answerable by development time, e.g. expense.

This doesn't eliminate the need for or usefulness of scripted finds and reporting. But it does open up possibilities for the end user, which may result in fewer scripted processes around the Find function, which means more money for other features.

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Barbara said:

I don't believe this is a feature that we'll use. I am not aware of a way to move Saved Finds from a production system to a newly shipped version. Is there a way to migrate these finds?

This IS pretty much of a showstopper, isn't it? This feature breaks in most file version upgrade processes that I can think of.

Edited by Guest

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