A colleague recently posed this challenge: is it possible to show two columns in a portal, such that the first row displays records 1 and 2, the second row displays records 3 and 4, etc.? With FileMaker, the answer is usually “Yes!”
I’m always excited each time the FileMaker Platform gets new capabilities. It isn’t just the new features on their own that make things interesting, but what happens to the platform as a whole which provides for some interesting and inspiring innovations. In this case, it is a new way to do transactional record editing in FileMaker. This is the first in a multi-part series on this topic.
Continue reading “How Transactional is the FileMaker Data API?”
Way back when FileMaker 14 was released, as developers we were treated to the new-and-improved script workspace, adding all kinds of features from line breaks to auto-complete/type-ahead coding. To any of us who spend most of our day working in FileMaker, the response was sheer joy.
For all of its speed, flexibility, and ease-of-use, sometimes our favorite platform is missing some of those “standard”, quality-of-life features you would expect. For a long time, Layout mode has been lacking a few key features you would normally expect to see in a modern design application. With FileMaker 17, we get much closer to bridging that gap, receiving a whole bunch of handy, time-saving features along the way. Let’s dive in and take a look.
Continue reading “Lost in Layout Space: Getting to Know FileMaker 17’s Layout Mode”
One of the most exciting new features of FileMaker 17 isn’t part of the product, technically: it’s a command line function called the Data Migration Tool. You invoke it from the terminal, but don’t let that fool you. This is a uniquely powerful tool, one that honors the pitfalls of developing in a hosted, high-trafficked app — finally.
The Data Migration Tool allows you to merge two files, so you can develop in an offline copy and then migrate the live system into your improved app. Migration includes user accounts, value lists, serial numbers and of course data, all at once.
Continue reading “FileMaker Data Migration Tool – New Ways To Code In Complex Environments”
We have better tools than ever in FileMaker to create reusable modules. In this video of Mark Scott’s presentation at a Bay Area FileMaker developer meetup, he explores why the combination of card windows and JSON reigns supreme for modular FileMaker architecture. Included is an in-depth look at how modules can open, close, and communicate.
We recently built an application that included PDF document management. While it might seem as simple as a quick FileMaker container field, we wanted to impress our client with an integrated solution on par with a content management system (CMS). Here’s how we built a powerful PDF viewer directly into FileMaker.
Continue reading “Full-Featured PDF Viewer Embedded in FileMaker”
We’re thrilled to announce the official, “integration-ready” version of LOgiCATOR. LOgiCATOR is a modular search interface for FileMaker that can be easily integrated into new or existing solutions. It’s designed to help users locate data with logical precision, via a powerful yet intuitive interface for searching across FileMaker tables. This article includes a download link for the module and demo file, describes what’s changed since the preview version (a lot), and explains how to integrate LOgiCATOR into your FileMaker solutions.
At the Custom Web Publishing (CWP) user group at FileMaker DevCon 2017 in July, a number of speakers (and a big thank you to everyone for a great session!) discussed solutions they’ve taken or investigated for making CWP apps compatible with PHP 7.
At Beezwax, we have a client project with a requirement for PHP 7 compatibility, but many of the available approaches were closed to us due to various constraints, so we came up with this solution.
In Part 1 of this series, Introducing LOgiCATOR, I mentioned that LOgiCATOR grew out of a search interface I developed for a project several years ago. In ways we’ll briefly consider here, it wasn’t extensible, but all that has changed. As that early search interface grew into LOgiCATOR, it made a quantum leap in context independence. The reason we were able to accomplish that can be attributed to a powerful synergy of FileMaker card windows, JSON, window improvements, new functions, and the Layout Objects window — in short, FileMaker 16!
Visit the LOgiCATOR page at Beezwax.
We’re excited to announce the release of LOgiCATOR, a new modular search interface for FileMaker. It’s designed as a module you can drop into a FileMaker application and, with minimal configuration, add a rule-based search interface to any number of layouts in that solution. LOgiCATOR is also a springboard for learning about some great new design and integration features of FileMaker 16, like card-style windows and native JSON.
Visit the LOgiCATOR page at Beezwax.
While working on the third installment of Fun with FileMaker Button Bars, I was served a reminder of why it’s good to test the stuff you write about using the latest software updates (even if they just arrived that very morning).
Continue reading “Why It’s Always Good to Test Things with the Current Version of Software (When Writing a Blog Post)”
In Part 1 (“Check Please,”) and Part 2 (“Expert Panel,”) of this series, we had some fun doing things with button bars that showed off some of their unique usefulness within the FileMaker design-layer toolbox. Often as not, your button bars are going to include icon labels, with or without a supporting text label, and you want those icons to look great.
Highlighting insight, performance and collaboration
Wow! InspectorPro 6 is finally here. Can’t even believe it. It was such a massive undertaking. Lots of great new things and many improvements. Really proud of this release. In the immortal words of the late Steve Jobs… “This is our best version ever”.
The Lesson of Context
One of the first lessons I learned with FileMaker is that of context! Layouts, reports, calculations, scripts, and so on all act from the perspective of a single Table Occurrence (TO) — the “context” — pulling in data from related tables as needed.
Generally, the record set being acted on is the set of records in that context table occurrence or a found subset thereof. There are a few exceptions to this, however, and today we’re going to explore one of those.
A few years ago, I worked on a FileMaker project where the client told us that every week they need to import about 7,000 rows of data that represent some information that this company uses. And every week there might be some modified records, some records that don’t show up any longer, and some new records that hadn’t already existed. For this example, let’s just call it this data “Products”.
Fun with Button Bars, Part 2: Expert Panel
Have you ever had a FileMaker design conundrum for which you wished you could convene an Expert Panel to help guide you? If you’re thinking “panel of experts,” I can’t help you, but if you’re looking for a more flexible and visually engaging alternative to FileMaker Tab Panels, this combination of a slide-panel control and a button bar just might be your “Expert Panel.”
FileMaker Meetups: Seattle, Portland, Santa Clara & LA
Beezwax’s Vincenzo Menanno is hitting the road this week to visit our FileMaker colleagues across the West Coast, talking about “FileMaker Collaboration, Performance and Insight with InspectorPro”. Vince will be presenting our latest research, development and product offerings to FileMaker Developer Meetups in Seattle, Portland, Santa Clara and Los Angeles.
Ever wonder how you might be able to create a mobile app with data you already have in your FileMaker solution? I have, too! As it turns out, it’s not too outlandish of an idea thanks to the FileMaker Custom Web Publishing with XML API.
FileMaker 15 introduces a major enhancement for the Script Workspace that is a real boon for developers: editing Undo and Redo. This functionality continues the efforts at making the Script Workspace more like a “text editor”. It’s a stress-reducing development enhancement that I think will improve our ability as FileMaker Developers to write scripts.