Category Archives: JavaScript

JavaScript-driven PDF Reports in FileMaker using AngularJS

Introduction – Extending FileMaker with JavaScript

Using a combination of AngularJS, HTML5, CSS, WKHTMLTOPDF, PDFtk, bBox and FileMaker scripting, we can create PDF reports from a FileMaker solution, taking advantage of the design and development flexibility afforded by using JavaScript and web tools to accomplish the task.


One of the great things about working at Beezwax is that we get to work on a dynamic and creative team that is continually creating and evolving techniques and tools to solve complex problems in elegant ways.  This blog post is really a public reveal and peek into one such collaboration: Brian Schick developed the technique over a period of years before handing it off to Perren Smith to integrate into a customer solution. Many other denizens and friends of the hive contributed code, exteral tools and methods that all integrate together to produce a result that would otherwise be challenging to produce from FileMaker on its own.

Advantages of JavaScript + FileMaker

There comes a time when you’re asked for a report that’s difficult or impossible to create in native FileMaker. Examples include printing rows of data from multiple related tables on a single report, or cross-tab reports. While we have Virtual List techniques to help address these challenges, you may want to reach into the web development toolkit, and pull out a JavaScript-driven technique.

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FMAjax and FileMaker Web Viewers

With everything that we’ve learned with our last post, Communicating with a Web Viewer in FileMaker, it makes sense to wrap up the functionality into a FileMaker module and JavaScript library.

FMAjax is a JavaScript library and accompanying FileMaker module which includes functions to facilitate communication with a web viewer without reloading the page. It helps you call FileMaker scripts from a web viewer app and return data to the Web Viewer. These solutions work across Mac, Windows, and iOS, on both hosted or local files. FileMaker 13.0v2 or later is required.

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Communicating with a Web Viewer in FileMaker


Beezwax has always been active in the community regarding advanced use of web viewers in FileMaker.  Check out the previous postings if you’d like to learn more.

  1. Native Web 2.0 Controls in FileMaker 12 Layouts
  2. Go, JavaScript Go!
  3. Enable WebKit debugger in FileMaker Web Viewer

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Enable WebKit debugger in FileMaker Web Viewer

If you are having difficulty getting your HTML, CSS, or JavaScript to render in a FileMaker Web Viewer, you may have a struggle ahead of you trying to find the problem, and no good way to debug it. In comparison, most web browsers have debug facilities that can help developers find problems in their code.

It turns out if you are using Mac OS X you can get the same facilities found in Safari to debug your code that’s running in a FileMaker Web Viewer.

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A Web Developer’s OS

What must an Operating System do to satisfy web developers’ needs? This is a tricky question, as each person is a whole different world, so it’s impossible to have a single answer to satisfy every person.

One could say “Well, because each person is different, the OS must be able to adapt to all different kinds of people”. Basically, meaning the OS must be easy to customize. This is great, but when is it too much customization? Systems that are very customizable also tend to be hard to use. In this post I’ll compare the three most used Operating Systems out there, namely Windows, OS X and GNU/Linux. I like FreeBSD but the userbase is so small I sadly won’t consider it here.

When talking about customization, I’d say Linux is king. Windows, on the other hand, is not natively customizable, but easy to use and with sane defaults. OS X gets the best of both worlds. That’s just my humble opinion, as I don’t consider myself to be a full power user of any of those systems, I just use them to get work done on a daily basis.

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jQuerySF 2015 – Much more than jQuery…

Attending jQuerySF 2015:

This week I had the pleasure of attending jQuerySF 2015, held in San Francisco, CA.

Despite the name of the conference, the range of web-technology topics included far more than just jQuery. The conference spanned two days, with each day featuring a series of 20 minute presentations by charismatic representatives of diverse web technology subject matter. If you couldn’t make this year’s jQuerySF, and are wondering what you missed, fear not! Below is a quick outline of the conference, a short list of my favorite presenters, and links to full conference video from both days.

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Working with JSON data in FileMaker

There are a number of ways of working with JSON data in FileMaker. At least two typical ones are:

  • Custom Functions based parsing & encoding
  • using a WebViewer & JavaScript

JSON however doesn’t parse easily with FileMaker’s text handling functions. And using a WebViewer has a number of complications, the main one being the awkwardness of getting data in & out of the WebViewer. Some other solutions only parse JSON, but don’t encode it. So I am going to propose yet another way.

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hello San Antonio. hello FileMaker DevCon.

It’s FileMaker Developer Conference time, with 8 Beez in San Antonio for DevCon. We’re studying new development techniques from FileMaker Inc. and our industry peers, sharing a few methods of our own and even riding a few mechanical bulls at a real live cattle ranch!

Several members of Beezwax’s development team are featured presenters at FileMaker DevCon 2014, in the following sessions:

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Our d3.js Saturday – Beezwax at d3.unconf

Beezwax was a proud sponsor and participant in the first ever d3.unconf in San Francisco this weekend. This event was created as a one-day gathering of data visualization practitioners, centered on d3.js, a powerful and flexible JavaScript data visualization library.

As a participant-driven “Unconference”, d3.unconf allowed us to interact with other d3 devotees in sessions that ranged from “New to d3” through “Multivariate Data” and “Visualizing Neural Networks”.

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Go, JavaScript Go!


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.

Most of us understand this isn’t an oversight, but rather a basic constraint imposed by the architecture of Apple’s iOS. Still, the inability to extend Go’s native toolbox through plugins often limits the capabilities and expressiveness of Go solutions. Many developers and users have probably daydreamed of how much better their mobile solutions might be if only they could find some way of extending Go with plugin functionality. If only… if only…

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