Using Cocoa’s PDFDocument class from FileMaker

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

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Freebie: Grab CSS From FileMaker 12 Layout Objects

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…

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Native Web 2.0 Controls in FileMaker 12 Layouts

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?

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FileMaker 12: Exciting New Possibilities

FileMaker, Inc. introduced the next generation of their database platform today with the release of FileMaker 12. This is a major upgrade to every part of the FileMaker product line. There are new versions of FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Pro Advanced, FileMaker Server, FileMaker Server Advanced, and FileMaker Go – which is now free for iPhone and iPad.

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Recipe for testing JDBC connection to FileMaker Server

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.

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99 bottles of beer

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 for the official challenge details. Continue reading “99 bottles of beer”

Working with Repeating Fields

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.

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Good Sir William’s Heirs

Demo file:  Sir_Williams_Heirs_fp7

That old Bard, good Sir William, is nearing the end of his life. Having already provided well for his five children, he now seeks to divide his literary empire among his eleven grandchildren:

FamilyTree 1

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FileMaker Read-only Fields: Lighter, Smarter, Friendlier.

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.

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