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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!


Tuesday
Nov252014

Do They Really Need To See That FileMaker Layout?

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

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

You are all familiar with the FileMaker status area that resides on the left side of the screen. This is where the flip book lives where you can go from one record to another and above the flip book is a pull down menu that allows you to go to a particular layout.

Although this is not a security magic bullet, hiding a layout from this list can be an additional layer in your overall security scheme. An easy and effective way to secure a field, button or other layout object is to put it on a particular layout and make that layout unavailable in the layout list.

Here you can see the layout list that resides above the flipbook in the status area.

If the average user does not see the layout in the list, they will likely never go to it. You can hide a layout by going into layout mode, go to the particular layout you want to hide, go to Layout Setup under the Mode menu, then uncheck the box with the label of "Include in layout menu." I’m not sure what version of FileMaker this was added but in most recent versions, the same check box is available in the set layout order dialog box as well.

Here you can see the check box that allows you to show (or hide) the current layout in the layout setup dialog box.

Here you can see the layout order list and it also has the check box to allow or not allow the layout to be seen in the layout list.
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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.

Monday
Nov242014

FileMaker And Auto Enter Lookups

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

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

A very popular auto enter option is called the lookup. This auto enter option does not enter information into a field when a record is created. It is dependent upon refreshing a valid relationship between two or more tables and when that happens, the lookup feature will copy the information from a child table into a field in the parent table. The copying of information is triggered when the parent key field in a relationship had data first entered into it or data is edited.

Here you can see the field auto enter dialog box.

In a little more detail, a lookup can take place in at least five different situations.

1) When data is first entered into a parent field of a relationship, the lookup is executed for that record.

2) When data is edited in a parent field of a relationship, the lookup is executed for that record.

3) When the replace command is executed within a parent key field of a relationship, the lookup is executed for all the records in the found set.

4) When data is imported in from another file into a parent field of a relationship, the lookup is executed for that record ( note ... this can be turned off via one of the import dialog boxes).

5) There is also a relookup command under the File menu and as a ScriptMaker step. When the relookup command is executed for a parent key field of a relationship, the lookup is executed for that record.

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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.

Sunday
Nov232014

The FileMaker One To One Relationship

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

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

A One To One Relationship is when one record in one FileMaker table occurrence is related to one and only record in another FileMaker table occurrence. I don't think I've ever used a one to one relationship in the real world. Normally, if you have a one to one relationship, you would simply have all the data from the two entities in the same table. I guess you could use it as a security feature, using relational key to filter whether the related data can be seen or not. Another use might be for temporary data about an entity. You could put all the temporary data in one related table under a one to one relationship. When the temporary data is no longer useful, you could delete all of it in one click of the mouse.


Here you can see how one record relates to only one other record

I'll take that back, I have used a one to one relationship but the reason I did it ... wouldn't make sense with FileMaker 7. It is a cute little trick, in case you are still supporting any FileMaker 6 networked systems. In FileMaker 6 and before, you cannot define fields while the database is being shared ( in FileMaker 7 you can ). You can however create a file with just one field, link it relationally using a one to one relationship[ to your main system, make sure the relation is set to create new fields automatically, upload the new file and place it's field on the layout of the main shared database. FileMaker would then see the main field, be able to collect data and this would be transparent to the user. Later on, you would merge this related data back in a field in the main system, when the database wasn't sharing any other users. I learned this technique at one of the FileMaker developers conferences and I believe it was referred to as " a live splice."

NOTE: Another one to one example could be a customer that ordered only one product from you and never placed a repeat order. This one customer - one invoice would be a one to many relationship in waiting ... waiting for another invoice! So if you were looking at this in an ER diagram, it would probably be viewed as a one to many relationship.

Normally, you don’t strike out to make a relation of the one to one variety. However, it can be done via validation. You can make sure that both the parent and child keys have the field validation set to unique. This means the information in the key field can only appear once or validation fails. This would lock in a one to one relationship.

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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.

Friday
Nov212014

The FileMaker Parent Key Field

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

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

The parent key field is the field defined for the current layout table occurrence that is used in a relationship. Say you are on a layout that is linked to a table occurrence named people. All the fields used in relationships in that table are parent key fields. If you move to a layout that is linked to a table occurrence called Invoices, then the key fields in that table are now the parent key fields.

The above picture is taken from the relational graph area of where I store my blog posts.
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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
Nov112014

The FileMaker Text Operators

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

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

Text operators are very easy to use and are designed to work with strings of text to make them larger, work with literal text strings or add paragraphs.

Concatenate ... ( & ) ... applies to putting two more fields together to build a calculated key or an array. If you are using it to build an array, you need to put in a separator that you can identify but would not be found in the data. Say we want to build an array of peoples names, titles and phone numbers. We have those three fields for all the records in a found set and we want to combine them into one field on one records that we can later parse out into 3 fields and however many records again (using FileMaker text functions and a script). Typically, I use the "|" character when separating the text strings. This is the character above the return key with the shift held down. Using this character, my array of LeSaux folks would look something like...

Dwayne|Wright|Designer|2174423038
John|Reid|WebMan|2174423028
Dan|Wright|Marketing|2174423028
Marianna|Beasley|Bookeeping|2174423028

Using 4 fields and four records, I have concatenated them into one array that could later be parsed out by using FileMaker text functions by looking for the "|" character and/or the a carriage return. Then I would slice the data from both sides of the "|" character and create a new record once I encounter a carriage return.

Literal ... ( “” ) ... is used when you are placing a string of characters in a calculation saved as a test result. The string needs to be enclosed between the two “” characters. For example say that you have a person name field and a birth date field and you wanted to make a calculation field return a birthday message. The calculation could be something like Person Name & “ birthday is “ & Birth date.

The Literal Text symbols ( “”) can also be used in searches to get a found set of records for literal matches. Normally if you did a search for Dwayne Wright in FileMaker the search would return records with Dwayne Wright and Wright, Dwayne. A search for “Dwayne Wright” would only return records matching Dwayne Wright.

Carriage Return / Paragraph / Pilcrow ... ( ¶ ) ... is an operator symbol that represents a carriage return. This symbol will need to be inside the quote marks because it is considered text. This can be used in calculations that combine fields with literal text to make an intelligent message on a record by record basis.

Perhaps I should give an example. Let us say that a calculation that has ...

"FileMaker" & "¶Rocks!"

would return ...

FileMaker
Rocks

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