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”.
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”.
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.
SSL certificates are a very common way to secure client/server network connections, and the FileMaker platform has made use of them for many years. Starting with version 15 however, FileMaker introduced a number of security changes, in handling SSL and certificates, on both the server and the clients. But where do they come into play, and how might this affect your deployments?
In the transit-planning universe, planners and economists often get excited about 5 minutes shaved off of a 30-minute bus ride. The individual rider might shrug at a mere 50 minutes saved per week, but the planners and economists multiply that 50 minutes by the number of people who ride that route during a typical week and see something much bigger.
FileMaker gave us the ability to integrate iBeacon technology with the release of FileMaker 15 last month. This is a great way to enhance existing apps with microlocation features as well as build entirely new apps to solve problems we couldn’t solve before.
Some potential app ideas that have been floating around in my head include:
We develop FileMaker applications because we want a place to store information for the long term. We track events, tasks, contacts, finances—FileMaker can track almost anything. To update information, the application might ingest a spreadsheet.
In recent years, design, has become such an important aspect of what we do; luckily FileMaker has responded with a much improved design surface. With themes and styles, conditional visibility, SVG icon support, and new layout objects, we can now use design and color to communicate with users in ways not previously possible (see, for example, the “Priorities” example in the accompanying demo file).
If you’ve developed solutions with FileMaker for any length of time, you’ve almost certainly created files using FileMaker’s native Excel exports. Although quite useful, this feature gives almost no control over the formatting, and definitely no way to set formulas, charts, or even text formatting.
Xhtml2pdf is a cross-platform Python module that allows easy conversion of HTML or XML to PDF files. Its dependencies, ReportLab & Pisa, also have a host of very useful functions, including programmatically creating or modifying PDF content & creating barcodes.
Now more than ever we’re relying on Perform Script on Server (PSoS) to maximize FileMaker performance, so naturally a need arose for a way to proactively monitor how many concurrent scripts are being triggered. This type of logging helps us see if we’re reaching our maximum limit, or have a rogue script eating up processing power.