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Friday
May222015

FileMaker Launcher Files With Embedded Account Settings

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

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

Overall, I recommend that each user have an unique account name and password and a developer take the appropriate actions to make that a reality. However, not every situation is the same and here is a technique that you can use if you have multiple users using the same account settings and you have multiple files with single tables.

In fact, I strongly recommend against the technique I'm describing but it is important to know that you may run into this type of setup as a professional FileMaker developer.

The purpose of this technique is to create a FileMaker file with a default security account for one purpose ... to open another file with those security access settings. If one FileMaker file has been opened with the same account/password as another FileMaker file, when needs to open that other file ... it will use the same account/password. This helps keep the account/password challenge entry dialog box from opening up all the time as you navigate to newly open FileMaker files.

How it works...
If the invoice and the inventory files both have the account setup with the name of Sales and has a password of PointyHairBoss ...

If you open the invoice file with the account/password of Sales/PointyHairBoss...

If there is a portal to the inventory file, it will need to open the inventory file...

It will open the inventory file with account/password of Sales/PointyHairBoss automatically and the account/password entry dialog box will not come up.

FYI... As with any default password system, many developers will say that a launcher file is a potential security breach. For example, if the opener file were to get into the wrong hands, it would be a potentially major security breach. So for the above reasons, I would suggest this technique for the lower level security settings and not the higher ones.
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More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2008 - 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.

Friday
May222015

The FileMaker DatabaseNames Function

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

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

DatabaseNames
There is no parameter for this function
All Recent Versions Of FileMaker
Returns A Text Result

The DatabaseNames function provides the names of all open FileMaker database files at the time the function is executed. Each database file name is separated by a carriage return. If you are thinking about using this in script branching, you will probably have to use it in tandem with the PatternCount function.

The extension information is not included in the result of the function. This means that it is possible ( however remote ) that this function might break if you have two FileMaker databases open with the same name but different extensions. This could be the case when you are building runtime databases with FileMaker Advanced.

© 2010 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com
The material on this document is offered AS IS. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.

Wednesday
May202015

The Open URL FileMaker Script Step

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

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

The Open URL Script Step opens a specified Internet URL address or performs other specified URL protocol commands. This means that you can have a combination of web and FileMaker actions within a script that you use in your database solution.

The Open URL script step will work with the HTML commands of http, https, ftp, file and mail to perform such things as

- http / https is used to bring up your web browser and go to a specific web page

- ftp is used to retrieve files from the Internet

- file is used to open a file that you specify via a path given

- mail to opens your email app and gets it ready to send a new email message

By default, the open URL script step will bring up a dialog box. In this dialog box, you can set the URL in a field in the dialog box or you can specify to use a field in the database. The first option is more of a user dynamically set option. The second is used more for designer control.

You can make the URL equal to a field. This means that you could have a different URL for each record. This would mean that when a user executed the script on a record, they could go to a different web page or download something from a FTP site. The designer can hard code in a URL that the script will go to when it executes. The end user can even be shielded from seeing the Select URL dialog box. The third way is to have the user enter in the URL via a pop up dialog box at the time the script is executed. For this to work properly, you will need to make sure the end user can see the Select URL dialog box during the scripts execution.

There is a small check box that allows the script step to perform without bringing up a dialog box. If this is chosen, the user cannot specify or edit the URL to execute while the script is running. This may or may not be what you want to happen, so you should plan ahead.

HOW IT IS USED
Creating a FileMaker database of bookmarks. Go to the web site of a listed contact, company or organization.

Got To Know Factor - 7

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

© 2008 - 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
May202015

Indexing Of A FileMaker Field Explored

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

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

Indexing is one of the most fundamental aspects of relational databases. It's what makes searches possible, relationship key fields to function, sorting happen faster and a number of other technical things happen in the database system.

If you were reading a FileMaker book, it would likely have an index in the back. This index would tell you on what pages you may find a topic or sub topic. For example, the topic "indexing" may be listed on pages 12, 50, 79 and 112. Indexing, as a topic, would be spread out over that many pages because it may be discussed in detail or only in passing as other FileMaker related topics are discussed. In theory, if the index was not there, you would have to scan each page of a book (front to back) to see if the word or topic you're looking for appears. One can see why an index is a critical addition for books, especially those which cover a multitude of topics. On the flip side, we should look at the drawbacks of having an index in the back of a book First, it makes the book bigger since the printed index takes up physical space. The more words you index for the book, the more pages the book will be. Also, if you decide to add or delete a sentence, paragraph, page or chapter in the book, chances are that you will need to rebuild your index to make sure it's up to date.

FileMaker is similar to a printed book except that it's also completely different. (Indulge me, I just love saying things like that!) FileMaker indexes focus on the data within a field. So if you have a FileMaker field indexed, FileMaker can look at it and go to the associated records quicker than it can if it is not indexed. For this reason, indexing is a key player in searches, sorts, reports and relationships.

Now FileMaker 7 makes a distinction between indexing words and indexing values. An indexed value can and often is a collection of words. For relationships and calculations, the index works on the value. Word indexes are not used in relationship keys. Word indexes are typically used in searches.

So if a database has two records with one field. In one record the field contains “I win” and the other contains “I lose.” The value index would return “I win” and “I lose.” The word index would return “I”, “win” and “lose.”

As a default, FileMaker fields are not indexed when you create them. You can manually set the indexing options for a field by accessing the fields options ( File Menu - Define Database - Fields Tab - Options button - Storage Tab ). There are 3 radio button options for indexing which are All, Minimal and None.

All - The most complete ( and storage intensive ) option that uses both word and value indexing.

Minimal - FileMaker can index a field by each word or each value and the minimal index setting is using one of those choices. There is no clear indication to the user within this dialog box if the minimal index option is using the word or the value index. When you select the automatic index creation option, it will generally select the minimal index option.

None - Does not allow the field to be indexed.

The "Automatically Turn On" option is done via a check box and will index a field when needed but will not store the index in the database. FileMaker will automatically index a field when a find or save operation is executed. The more you use your database, the more it will grow as you build more fields, add more data and do find/sort operations on new fields. This increase in size could be a problem if your about to run out of hard drive space and have no way of increasing the available space on the hard drive the database resides upon. As you can probably guess, running out of hard drive space on a "live" database is not an experience you want to have.

© 2010 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com
The material on this document is offered AS IS. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.

Tuesday
May192015

FileMaker Calculation Functions Helpful To Secure Design

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

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

Calculation functions can be used when customizing privilege sets, branching which steps a script can perform, determining access to a record and of course change the results of a calculation field. Here are some of the new functions that come to mind and ways you may ( possibly ) want to use them.

Get ( AccountName ) - returns the name of the account used to open the file. The account name is authenticated and ensures the user is ... who they say they are ( within reason ).

Get ( PrivilegeSetName ) - returns the name of the privilege set associated to the account used to open the file. This can be used to branch a script, when you don't want to change everything a privilege set does. For example, you may only want to change what a particular script does for users of a privilege set temporarily.

Get ( ExtendedPrivileges) - returns the extended privilege settings in a text carriage return based format that is associated to the privilege set associated to the account used to open the file. This could be used for logging activity of a user in a script or to branch a script.

Get ( SystemNICAddress ) - looks at all the network cards in the computer and returns the hardware address of each. When used in concert with Get(AccountName), you may be able to see if someone has "shared" their account sign in information. If a particular account name is be used by multiple NIC addresses, it may indicate you have a security problem.

Get ( SystemIPAddress ) - looks at all the network cards in the computer and returns the IP address of each. Much the same as Get ( SystemNICAddress), when used in concert with Get(AccountName), you may be able to see if someone has "shared" their account sign in information. If a particular account name is be used by multiple IP addresses, it may indicate you have a security problem.

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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.