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Thank you for visiting the FileMaker Thoughts blog. I recently moved this content over from my blogger account. Hope you like it! When you get a chance, check out the centralized search feature for all the FileMaker blogs found along the right side panel. It is quite handy!


Friday
Oct312014

FileMaker Layouts And Table Occurrences

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

FileMaker layouts are linked to a defined table occurrence that appears in the relationship graph. Please note that I said a table occurrence and not a table, although by default the occurrence is linked to a table.

The linking of a table occurrence to a layout will affect some of the related fields you can see from this layout. I quickly began to add the name of the table occurrence ( a code to it at least ) in my layout names, so that I can recognize any limitation the defined table occurrence may place on me. In general discussions, I've heard the relationship between a layout and a table occurrence referred to as a table context setting.


Here you can see where the table occurrence comes into play in the layout setup dialog box. This pull down menu highlighted ( Show records from ) will show you all the defined table occurrences and you pick one to link to the layout.


Here you can see the defined table occurrences for the FileMaker file I’m working on. You can see how some of the base tables appear more than once but have different names. This is because how they are used on the relational graph.

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More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2007 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.

Thursday
Oct302014

Ask Yourself “What Do I Want My FileMaker Calculation To Do?”

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

There are a number of questions you should ask yourself before building a complex calculation that involves multiple functions, relationships and fields.

What functions will you need?
If you are using a text function, you might want to read up on the other text functions. It’s possible that it may change your ideas about what you can do and make your FileMaker solutions that much better.

What fields are needed and where are they?
When you are in the middle of building a complex calculation ... it is NOT the time to realize you forgot to create a needed field. So take a moment to think about the calculation you are about to create, see what fields and relationships you my need before you enter the calculation dialog box.

FYI... With the newer versions of FileMaker, you can create new relationships on the fly. When in the define calculation dialog box, look at the bottom of the pull down list for fields, you can see where you can define a new relationship on the fly!

What Is The Result Type? ( text, number, date, time or container )
This may be more of something you should think about before you close the calculation dialog box because it is definitely something that will throw your calculation awry. It’s quite frustrating to finish a calculation, wait for it to recalculate through all the records in the file ... only to realize you forgot to specify the result type.

Does The Calculation Need To Be Indexed (stored)?
If you use a status function, you may want to make sure the calculation is set to “Do Not Store Calculation Results - Calculate Only With Needed.” On the other end, if it is a key field or a field that is used in Finds or Sorts ... you may want to make sure the field is indexed. This is done via the “Storage Options” button in the lower right corner of the define calculation dialog box.

Did you forget a to use a conversion function?
This is another one of those “Aw Nuts” mistakes that occurs to you after you look at the result of a newly created calculation. When you are dealing with information that is different than the result, you very well may need to wrap one of the following functions around a field to get the desired result ...

GetAsText - The GetAsText function looks at information that is stored in another format and converts it to text. When converted to text, then you can manipulate the text string with any of the text functions like left, right, middle, position or patterncount ( to name just a few ).

GetAsDate - The GetAsDate function looks at information that is stored in another format and converts it to an acceptable date. When converted to date, then you can manipulate the value with any of the date functions. It is possible that the data string is formatted that FileMaker cannot convert it accurately to a date. Usually this comes with someone enters in an incomplete date string without the day, month or year information.

GetAsTime - The GetAsTime function looks at a text string and ( if the text is formatted correctly ) return the text string as time related data. As time related data, you can apply any of the time related functions.

Finally, if you are using FileMaker Advanced, you might always think about custom functions. If this calculation or parts of it are used many times, you might want to make a custom function out of it. That way you can recycle the code many times and any updates to it can be done in one central place!

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More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2007 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.

Wednesday
Oct292014

The FileMaker (Exit Loop If) Script Step

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

Used to determine what set of conditions need to be met to exit out of an established ScriptMaker looping routine. This is based upon using the calculation dialog box to establish those “end loop” parameters. Here is a brief example

Go To First Record
Loop
If (this record has this quality)
Set This Field Equal To That
Else
Set This Other Field To Something Else
End If
Go To Next Record
Exit Loop If The Next Record Has (this, that or the other quality)

HOW IT IS USED
All loops need to have a way to exit out of the loop. Loops normally will go from record to record ... or ... field to field in a particular record. In either case, the Exit Loop can be used to exit the loop based upon any calculation such as ...

Customers Name, Address, Payment Status, etc...
The current record contains duplicate values, unique values, etc...
Counter ( using a method to increment a global ) has reached a value of ...

It is also possible to have loops inside of loops. The Exit Loop If script step is one of the most popular ways to exit out of sub-looping routines based upon a fulfilling a set of criteria.

COOL IMPLEMENTATIONS OF IT
There are some cool ways to have FileMaker count. You can have an Exit Loop If step activate when the counter reaches a predetermined number.

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More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2007 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.

Tuesday
Oct282014

The FileMaker Auto Enter Of Last Data And Literal Strings

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

Two more conventional auto enter choices are auto enter from previous record and auto enter of a literal string of text.

Here you can see the field auto enter dialog box.

Auto enter data from the last record visited can be a big time date entry time saver if you are doing the same task over and over again and one field is usually has the same data as the last record.

For example, I have an ongoing invoice project for a company that delivers eggs across a large city. Don't laugh, all those restaurants, schools, stores and even prisons have to get fresh eggs from somewhere. This company will send out drivers with a truck full of eggs and a set of invoices from the customers normal order. The customers may change their order when the driver arrives, taking more eggs than their normal amount or taking less eggs than normal.

After the shift ends, each drive has to verify each invoice and update them as necessary. They have to manually enter in the driver name, truck name, shift and other redundant data for all the invoices on their route. The auto enter via last record is a big time saver when it comes to entering in dozens of invoices that have much the same data within them.

Auto Enter: Literal Data Strings
This is used to automatically enter in a default data string for each record. For instance, perhaps the majority of business you do is in the state of Texas. You can put in a literal text string of TX in the state field for each new invoice when a new record is created. The auto entered data can always be edited if a record shows up that is outside the normal data entry settings.

 

More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2007 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.

Monday
Oct272014

Some Of The More Granular FileMaker Privilege Set Controls

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

The edit Privilege Set dialog box is divided into a number of organized areas. One of these areas is Other Privileges and contains some very meaty security settings.

Allow Printing - when checked, allows printing throughout the database.

Allow Exporting - when checked, the user can export data from the file. This also controls information to be imported into another file/table and the function of the Copy All Records script step. Many developers turn the allow export option off without thinking. However, it is common to have scripts that perform export operations ( including the Copy All Records command ). So when the script tries to run and the security setting doesn't allow it to ... things can break.

FYI... There is a check-box option in ScriptMaker that will allow you to run a script with full access privileges.

Manage Extended Privileges - when checked, it enables access to extended privileges that focus around shared data. Extended privileges can be complex and this is just one of the many settings that affects it. The sharing that we are speaking of is remote access, instant web publishing, ODBC / JDBC data sources, FileMaker Mobile and other extended privileges on the horizon. Enabling manage privilege sets also needs sharing setup for each extended privilege.

Allow User To Override Data Validation Warnings - This setting allows a user to override ( when checked ) or not override ( when unchecked) a fields validation settings. An example may be ... a particular field requires a pretty strict validation. When checked, the privilege sets overrides what the fields validation settings are.

Disconnect User From FileMaker Server When Idle - When checked, the user can be removed from a FileMaker Server during idle periods. This helps keep the server running at peak performance and helps eliminate record locking when an idle user is inside of a record.

Allow user to modify their own password - allows the administrator to allow users to change their password. You can also specify a number of days before the user needs to rotate their password and the number of maximum characters for the account password.

Available menu commands - gives you the options to define what menu options are available for a particular privilege. This is broken down into 3 categories that appear in a pull down menu. These options are Normal, Editing Only and None.

Normal Menu Option - Means that you are not selecting to have any additional restrictions on what appears in the menu bar. It will look like the normal FileMaker menu, of course with the possible exception of the other security settings.

Editing Only Menu Option - Designed for regular users that will be working with data but will not be creating scripts or editing layouts. Removes access to much of the File, View And Records menus. Normally a user will provide buttons on the FileMaker layout, if the user needs to access a menu option that is no longer there.

None Menu Option - This will gray out almost all of the menu commands. When using this option, you will want to provide a number buttons for users to take care of the missing menu options.

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More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2007 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.