A few weeks back I posted my first contribution to Todd Geist’s new collaborative effort to create a library of shared FileMaker modules. This script was originally inspired by the need to create reusable code for my customer projects at MightyData. My goal with the Propa-Gator module was to increase my coding efficiency by creating a portable script that would allow the creation of records and setting of any number of fields in the new record with any desired value.
In addition, I wanted the script to be able to use global field inputs as the field values in the new record and to nullify those globals on completion. Finally, I wanted to ensure that the script was completely context free and immune to field renaming.
The default behavior for FileMaker’s PHP API find requests is “AND.” Enter multiple criteria in the find request, and FileMaker treats this it as a “Find records where A = ‘this’ and B = ‘that’ in the request. But what happens if you need to search using OR? The PHP API documentation states that you can override the default AND behavior by setting the logical operator:
$find->setLogicalOperator( FILEMAKER_FIND_OR );
Email is whooshing. A text is dinging. Facebook chat is chiming. The computer is beeping. The calendar is flashing. A reminder is bonging. And, wait, is that the phone actually ringing?(How many of you actually had to think about what your phone sounds like when someone calls?)
You can customize every sound to the point that there are so many you don’t even know what they are anymore. Communications these days are zooming through the intertubes. And sometimes it is just too much. In the business world, you must participate in all of these methods of communication… and even more that I haven’t already mentioned. So, how can you ensure that just dealing with the communication methods doesn’t zap all your brainpower?
Thought I would share a quick tip that I learned while working on a mobile database application for a customer.
Naturally there are many user interface behavioral differences between the desktop and mobile versions of FileMaker. This one involves the display of a field when the field has focus. Here are two screen shots of the same layout as displayed in FileMaker desktop vs. Go.
The Virtual List technique has been around for a few years (created by Bruce Robertson ca. 2009). Over time and with changes to FileMaker, implementation of this technique has evolved. Knowing how to set up and use virtual lists will help with creating certain reports, especially if you draw the values from ExecuteSQL statements in FileMaker Pro 12.
Articles (see Lisette Wilson’s Taming the Virtual List, Part I and Part II) and examples are fairly easy to find. So why write another one? Many examples and articles include use-specific cases to illustrate the virtual list. I’m going to attempt to boil this down to three simple steps. Once you draft the basics of this process into a FileMaker file, you can use this as a template for more complex reports. You can re-use the draft as a template, copying the table and script from one solution to another. This technique requires one dedicated reporting table, plus a script to populate some global variables. The fields in the reporting table are set up as calculation fields that get their values from the list within the global variable.
What are you afraid of? What’s holding you back? Are you afraid you will bite off more than you can chew? Are you afraid to say no? Worse, are you afraid THEY will say no? Are you afraid to say yes?
Fear can tremendously impact your success. Being able to plan, decide and move forward are skills that can be developed. But, even if you have that, finishing the project takes dedication and consistency. And, it starts with baby steps.
Published in Productivity
Tagged consulting, database, development, discovery, FileMaker, goals
Tags consulting, database, development, discovery, FileMaker, goals
Join FM Academy for a free webinar showcasing the FileMaker Ecosystem. During the webinar we will demonstrate the many ways in which a FileMaker database can be accessed directly by users as well as other systems. We will discuss the 4 major ways in which a FileMaker database can interact with users and systems and demonstrate a solution using all them. We will also touch on basic design considerations when expanding your FileMaker ecosystem.
Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CST
Here is small development gotcha regarding FileMaker 12 advanced window styles. If you create modal dialog window, and then execute a Go To Related Record (GTRR), creating a new window from the modal dialog, the window style of the new window must also have an advanced style set to modal dialog.
You might want to do something like this if you present a modal dialog to the user and then need perform some off-screen processing in a new window after the user performs an action in the dialog. If the new window is not set properly as a modal dialog, the GTRR script step returns an error 1 (User Canceled Action) and the GTRR does not occur. Seems to me this error message does not clearly lead to an understanding of the actual cause of the error, hence the gotcha.
Intuit’s QuickBooks software organizes business information: contacts, vendors, orders, invoices, inventory, and more. Many small businesses use QuickBooks as their back-end accounting software, alongside FileMaker. Often these two applications perform separate functions, but sometimes there may be a need to integrate them. I’m going to briefly discuss one such method, using the FM Books Connector plugin (FMBC) from Productive Computing, Inc.
I’m not going to cover installing the plugin, as the files that are included with the plugin explain how, in detail. However, there are some items to keep in mind:
- FMBC runs only on Windows.
- You need to have QuickBooks, install the plugin into the directory FileMaker uses for plugins, and run a couple of installers that allow for XML communication via QuickBooks. Again, PCI has step by step instructions for this process, along with a sample database that will test each required piece.
- QuickBooks needs to be up and running when you make your queries, edits, and new record requests from FileMaker.
- Finally, the plugin needs to be registered, or it can run in demo mode for 30 days, though you will run into time-out issues while in demo mode.