It’s hard to believe it’s been only a few months since SQL was introduced as part of FileMaker 12.
You gotta love FileMaker Go. Go’s ability to effortlessly create data-driven mobile apps and extend existing desktop data applications to mobile users is transformative. But sooner or later, almost all of us run up against one of Go’s core limitations: its lack of native plugins.
I wanted to do some conditional formatting, such that when a global field had a certain value the label would change its appearance. For example, if my sort column was “address”, then I wanted the column header containing the text “Address” to highlight.
I’ve been looking for a way to interface with some Cocoa classes in the Mac OS X API from FileMaker for a while. My initial target was PDFDocument, part of the PDF Kit suite of classes. For more information on Cocoa’s PDF Kit see here: Introduction to PDF Kit Programming Guide
There’s been plenty of discussion on FileMaker’s developer forums about the implications of using CSS to style layouts in FileMaker 12. In case you weren’t aware, FileMaker 12 introduced a new layout design surface whose styling is based on CSS. It’s a powerful new feature that hints at an exciting roadmap for the FileMaker product line. I’m not going to indulge in any details on this topic, however, because FileMaker has yet to officially expose the CSS styling to developers.
But say you were curious, for educational purposes, about what that styling looks like…
One of the most exciting aspects of the newly-released FileMaker 12 product line upgrade is a major redesign to the product’s UI. A new Design Surface modernizes FileMaker Pro layouts and updates every built-in control, giving developers and designers powerful new tools for designing better interfaces.
But as great as Design Surface is, why just stay on the surface?
FileMaker Server Advanced allows external systems to connect to its hosted database files via ODBC and JDBC. The remote systems can then run SQL commands against the hosted databases. Often the hard part is getting all the infrastructure ready for this. That includes the correct extended permissions on the FileMaker database file, needed drivers, firewall settings, etc.
Here’s a fun little challenge for your Friday afternoon. You can do it at home, in a bar, or hopefully even at work. Best of all, it’s technical and creative. Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to produce the lyrics to 99 Bottles of Beer in your favorite programming language. I chose to do the solution below in FileMaker. See 99-bottles-of-beer.net for the official challenge details. Continue reading “99 bottles of beer”
Demo file: RepeatingFieldFunctions.fp7
I began using FileMaker at the spry old age of FileMaker Pro 8, so I’ve never been through the trenches of using repeating fields to accomplish what can now be done with portals. However, repeating fields still have a variety of uses, and I’m happy to have them in my toolkit.
When I’m working with a repeating field, there are several questions I might ask of it, depending on the task at hand.
Here’s an interesting interface challenge we recently faced: A client needed to place text fields on a layout and fluidly choose which fields would be editable or read-only—the same field might exist in both editable and read-only state on the same layout.
Now, here’s the challenging bit: Each read-only field must have all the same capabilities of its editable cousins—users must be able to scroll, select, and copy text, and the field control must display all rich text formatting entered.
On vacation, waking up to a dreary Pennsylvania morning…
I found myself staring at the OS X Address Book and wondering, “how did they do this?” I couldn’t help compare this little application to the many FileMaker-based contact management solutions I have seen, and concluding, a bit sadly, Apple’s is nicer.
As you may know FileMaker DevCon 2011 is just around the corner. In honor of 2011…and FileMaker Pro 11, here’s our list of Top 11 Tips for DevCon ’11:
1. Bring a sweater
Those hotels are known for cranking up the A/C. Take a comfortable layer that you can slip on and off easily to ward off the shivers as you’re sitting all morning.
If you’re like most power FileMaker users, you’ve discovered that it’s a great tool for managing collections of things or for gathering disparate data sources for reporting. So you’ve probably wanted at some point to do one or more of these actions:
- Get a list of files on your computer
- Import a batch of files
- Move files on your computer
- Read the text of a file that doesn’t import correctly (e.g., HTML)
Color is one of the most important tools available to you when designing user interfaces. Using a little color can turn a drab wall of text into something attractive and readable.
The attached file demonstrates a technique for opening/closing areas of a record, allowing a user to hide the information they don’t want to see.
FileMaker File: DisclosureAreas2.fp7
Neither I nor my client can anticipate every chart that the solution’s users might want to see. A user’s desire to view a high-level visual representation of their data can be spontaneous and idiosyncratic. This technique allows for the user to create an ad hoc chart, albeit within narrow parameters (i.e. the chart is simple, presents only counts of values, and is pre-formatted).
FileMaker File: ChartActiveField.fp7
I recently needed to total up some records in a found set in a FileMaker solution, but I wanted to keep all the revisions within the scripts so that I could easily migrate the changes from the development system to production. This solution also already had quite a few “special case” calcs and fields, and I didn’t want to add any more clutter to the schema.
If you have a FileMaker system and you need to script the processing of adding or removing files on the server, the first problem you are going to come across is: how do I stop the server from a script?
You may already be familiar with the fmsadmin command. This is present on both Mac OS and Windows installs of FileMaker server. You can simply run the following command in Terminal to stop the server:
fmsadmin stop server
FileMaker 11 is here! Are you ready for the next generation of the world’s most widely used, easy-to-use database?
As Platinum members of the FileMaker Business Alliance and long-term beta testers with FileMaker, we’ve been testing the new version of FileMaker for a while now and wanted to share some of what we’ve learned.