Sometimes smallest features offer the biggest impact. The new While function, which gives the ability to loop within a calculation, drastically reduces the need for one-off recursive custom functions, speeding up development in any part of FileMaker that requires looping in a calculation. Let’s take at how it works.
How It Works
The format of a while function is broken into four parts: initial variables, the condition, logic, and the results. The function repeats the logic section until the condition is false; that is how the function provides the ability to loop. In the example below the While function returns a list of numbers 1 through 5:
While ( [ count = 1; numberList = "" ]; count < 6 ; [ numberList = numberList & (count) & "¶"; count = count + 1 ]; numberList )
The function returns:
1 2 3 4 5
- Initial variables are available throughout the loop of the function.
- You can define multiple initial variables by enclosing them in brackets, similar to how let functions work.
- Variables that need to retain information from each iteration must be defined in the initial variable section otherwise their values are empty in the next iteration.
- To prevent infinite loops the while function will return “?” after the number of iterations exceeds a limit.
- The default limit is 50,000 iterations. Use the new function, Set Recursion, to set a new limit to the number of iterations.
With the advent of the While function, development of FileMaker applications will become a simpler and quicker process, eliminating the need for one-off recursive functions. Download the demo file to try out the new function.
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