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The 80/20 rule - which scripts do you use most

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In my experience, most people use about 20% of any language 80% of the time. Scanning through the long list of script commands in FileMaker (approx. 155 of them), I'm wondering which 20% (let's call it 30 commands) do people use most?


This will give me an idea where to focus my reading. 


Many thanks,


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Roughly in order of what steps I use the most:

  1. Comment
  2. Set Error Capture [ on ]
  3. Set Field[]
  4. Set Variable[]
  5. Freeze Window
  6. Enter Find Mode
  7. Perform Find[]
  8. If, EndIf, Else, ElseIf
  9. Sort
  10. Commit record/request
  11. Close File
  12. Show Custom Dialog
  13. Exit Script
  14. Loop, Exit Loop If
  15. Refresh Object
  16. Go To Record/Request/Page[], 
  17. Go To Layout[]
  18. New Record/Request
  19. Delete Record/Request
  20. Show All Records
  21. Show Omitted
  22. Omit[]
  23. Allow User Abort [ off ]
  24. Go To Related Record
  25. Revert Record/Request
  26. Go To Portal Row
  27. Import/Export
  28. Refresh Window
  29. Adjust Window [ resize to fit ]
  30. Save Records as PDF/Save Records as Excel
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For myself, I'd start with LaRetta's list, lose:

  • Close File
  • Show All Records
  • Go To Related Record
  • Go To Portal Row
  • Adjust Window



  • Set Error Capture [Off]
  • Allow User Abort [On]
  • Perform Script
  • Go To Field
  • Insert From URL
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Excellent topic, MoxieGirl, and excellent list, LaRetta!  (And dare I continue with "excellent addendum, Jeremy"?)


Like Jeremy, I'd probably lose Close File and Show All Records from LaRetta's list and add Perform Script. I'll bet that LaRetta left that last one off quite inadvertently! Re Show All Records, more and more my thinking is that a FileMaker UI should generally nudge users away from expecting to view all records and toward always working with a tidy, purpose-specific found set. Like Amazon's website, for example, where you start with nothing (other than a few targeted ads) and search for exactly what you want.


Jeremy, may I inquire why GTRR does not make your list? To me, it's the beez kneez and an important work-horse script step.


Lastly, I scanned LaRetta's list curious as to which "new-to-13" step(s) would make her list and was pleased to see Refresh Object. What a "refreshing" addition that one is to our toolset!



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Jeremy was right to leave off Show All Records - that was 'old' thinking.  I was also surprised about his omitting GTRR.  Leaving off Perform Script was an oversight.  I only added Adjust Window (not used as much any more) and Go To Portal Row because I was running out of steps that I would use regularly.  Refresh Object ROCKS.

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I find that my relationship graphs don't have as many of the right relationships to support GTRR operations any more as ExecuteSQL makes so much information accessible via other means. GTRR also has unfortunate error behavior; switching layouts and performing a find matches my mental model better.

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Close File isn't.  It was my mistake.


Show All Records is only used by Developer when working.  You do not need to issue a Show All Records before a find ... FM always searches all records in the table (unless you are Constraining). :-)

The reason it isn't used often is because we rarely want to show all records but rather a sub-set.  

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Interesting! I'm not sure why I thought that was necessary.

I use show custom dialog really just for testing purposes. For production, I find Troi's dialog plug-in a lot more powerful -- although yesterday I discovered FM's dialog plug-in, which seems to be even more powerful, although sadly they say they're no longer updating it.

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Thank you everyone for your input, and especially LaRetta and jabante for the core list.


I have a nearly 300 page PDF detailing every Script, didn't really fancy reading the whole thing. Now I can focus on the top 30 (ish) and do a quick scan of the others so I know they exist. 



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