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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

One of the best ways to learn about a particular FileMaker feature or behavior is to build a demo. You might build one in response to a client request, or to try to answer a question somone has asked, or just to see what happens. At any rate, today we’re going to look at three demos, each of which explores some aspect of summary reporting. For reasons of backward compatibility today’s demos are in .fp7 format, but you can convert them to .fmp12 format if you are so inclined.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

Last time we examined some of the nuances of tab controls, both visible and invisible. Today we’re going to extend the exploration to include simulated and, in demo 5, genuine tab interfaces for layout navigation.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

The presentation layer is a term that is given in regards to the appearance of your solutions data. Now the elements of the presentation layer are usually layout specific like formatting, buttons, portals and the like. Some of the more advanced elements in the presentation layer might be influenced by scripts or calculations outside of the layout. This can include custom menus, conditional formatting, tooltips, web viewers and even show custom dialog boxes.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

Suppose you have a script where Go To Related Records is a script step. A common method of checking whether there are actually related records found is

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

The Export Field Contents script step takes the contents of a particular field and exports it to a desired location. Although not exclusively used for container fields, this script steps really shows off its flexibility when used in conjunction with container fields.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

Part two in this three-part series deals with constructing conditional value lists that are to be used within a portal. In part one, the conditional value lists built were for use on a single record on a layout. Portals however may contain many rows, each row being a record with it's own field values.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

Conditional Value lists may be the most asked about piece of functionality on the FileMaker Cafe. To try and provide a thorough and easy to follow explanation of what they are and how they work, I decided to write an article on the subject and build a small example file to help illustrate the technique.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

FileMaker Script Triggers feature opens the door to create richer, more dynamic and more responsive user interfaces.  For example, it is now possible to create as-you-type search functionality similar to that found in iTunes and Mac OS X where the list of results updates dynamically as the user types. This is a slick feature. I’ve added this functionality to a few of my client’s databases, and it has never failed to elicit a glowing response.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

One of the things I find I need to do frequently is create a variable using a calculated name.  For example, I can use the FieldNames function to get the list of fields on a layout. I might want to then declare a number of variables that have the same names as the fields, and then populate them with those fields’ values.  Later, I can loop through the fields again, perhaps updating them with a Set Field By Name step, and reference the variable with the similar name.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

This is one of my favorite tips, which we first published in August 2007 when conditional formatting was introduced in FileMaker Pro 9.  A not-uncommon request we’ve received over the years is to highlight the current field with something more than slightly darker field borders.  Conditional formatting seems the perfect answer: there must be a way to change a field’s background fill from its default to another color on entering the field, right?

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

The introduction of custom functions in FileMaker Pro Developer 7 delivered power that most of us FileMaker Pro users have just begun to unleash. Without custom functions, performing a global search and replace would have been done using a clumsy, time-consuming script.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

This article describes a script-less technique for using dynamic relationships and portals to search values in a related table using a single global field. It is a part of a series on Advanced Search Interfaces.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

9 FileMaker Pro Tips using the Set Variable script step to make your scripts more efficient, portable and easier to maintain.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

Using FileMaker 11′s new Portal Filtering feature, you can now show filtered views of related records in portals without having to define new relationships. What’s better than that? How about dynamically filtering your portal data while you’re typing letters into your search field! With a very simple script (4 steps), a custom function and a script trigger, you can search data in your FileMaker portals the same way you search for music in iTunes!

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

The ability to manually select individual records for filtering is useful and often necessary, but is not as straight forward as you might think. Your first thought may be to create a field in the table to act as a flag and place it on a list layout as a checkbox allowing users to check the records they want. The problem with this is that when one user selects a checkbox, that record is flagged for all users. So, if you have more than one user wishing to select different records, their selections will interfere with one another.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

If you’ve played with FileMaker Pro 11’s filtered portals at all, you may have discovered its biggest stumbling block:  aggregate functions and related data.  All of your calculations summarizing related records no longer reflect what appears in the filtered portal.  Various solutions have been proposed using script triggers and merge variables, but they can require some foresight and maintenance.  Fortunately, there’s an even easier solution for the majority of cases where you need to total up related records.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

Sometimes, when writing a FileMaker script to do a find, sort, or export, doing it manually first can save you LOTS of time. I was just tasked with creating a script to export all the fields on a layout. The layout, however, is non-trivial and contains fields from multiple different tables, and the relationship graph I inherited is very complicated and nearly impossible to decipher. It would have taken me HOURS to identify the table occurrence and field name of every field on this layout and then set up the export in a script.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

Over the years I have noticed that some beginner and intermediate level developers are not aware of the possible uses of extended privileges, other than as a means of controlling methods of sharing (such as through standard FileMaker Pro to Server networking, Instant Web Publishing, PHP, etc…). Extended privileges are probably one of the most underused features in FileMaker and at the same time incredibly simple and powerful with regards to enforcing security and access control. I have seen people write very complex scripts that attempt to manage or limit access to specific areas of a system, creating elaborate, complex security access levels or hard coding some of this security functionality within the data structure when they could have used custom extended privileges to do the same in a cleaner and most efficient manner.

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

This project consists of 5 basic steps which are similar to those in the Dynamic Portal Filtering While You Type article. The main differences are that the filter calculation and script become slightly more complex. The steps are as follows:

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Posted by on in FileMaker Functionality

Have you ever wanted to find records where a certain field is empty? Suppose you are updating your contact database and trying to capture email addresses for as many people as possible.  You need to find every person for whom you do not have an email address. When searching in FileMaker, the equal sign operator (=) is used to find an exact match; when used by itself in a field, with nothing else following it, it tells FileMaker to find records where the field is empty. So… easy enough, right?  Just go to the contact detail view, enter Find mode, type an equals sign into the email field (or select the symbol from the Operators popup in the toolbar), and click the Perform Find button.

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