Tag Archives: filemaker

Speeding FileMaker Performance with Truncate Table

data wisps
"invisible programming–we like that." (photo credit: vincenzo menanno)

Managing Data You Use and Throw Out

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. You usually don’t want spreadsheet rows to feed directly into data tables, since you risk calamity should the columns be mismatched with target fields; you bring data into the application, validate it, and (often) massage it before updating regular data. After you process temporary data, you need to get rid of it.

In the past, Delete All Records represented the only option for removing large numbers of records. After a user performed a function such as the import mentioned above, the system would process the imported data, and then a progress bar would appear, informing the user that a (sometimes large) number of records was being deleted. You don’t want a user sitting through a slow process or worrying about losing information.

Removing the Wait and Concern

FileMaker 15 offers a means of reducing wait times and anxiety for users. Enter the new Most Dangerous FileMaker Command for Developers: Truncate Table. The word, “truncate” means to shorten or cut short; Truncate Table deletes all of the records in a table—the current table or one you select. “Remove Table Data” or “Delete All Records And I Mean It This Time” would be a more accurate name. (The name comes from a SQL command.) The only data not removed from the table when Truncate Table executes are values in global fields, with the exception of global container fields, which lose their values. Truncate Table will not delete child records–you still need Delete All Records for that requirement. Users must have full access privileges to run Truncate Table, which also distinguishes the command from Delete All Records.

We found that, when the Truncate Table script step is called either directly from a script or using Perform Script on Server, the user doesn’t see a progress bar or a message about deletion, and doesn’t have to wait—the records disappear right away.

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Version 0.82 of bBox Now Available

We are pleased to release another update to bBox, v0.82 of our free FileMaker utility plug-in.

bBox FileMaker Plug-in logo

I last posted about version 0.80. Some of the changes since then are:

  • XPath returns error messages with bBox_LastError
  • XPath can now return results with no nodes
  • XPath no longer attempts to register the same namespace multiple times
  • Python now returns compilation error messages with bBox_LastError
  • ExecuteSQL now clears error after a successful call
  • SQLite engine now has fmevaluate function

Continue reading Version 0.82 of bBox Now Available

Run PHP code with FileMaker & bBox

For quite a while, the documentation and product information for bBox has mentioned it as a way to run PHP scripts, but I only just recently realized that we never had any examples of how to do this.

Here are two methods to try.

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bBox 0.80 Now Available

Its been almost a year since we’ve mentioned bBox on this venue, but we are now pleased to announce that version 0.80 is publicly available.

A short version of what is new since its last mention:

  • new SQLite3 functions
  • enhancements to bBox_ExecuteSQL function
  • improvements to XPath error logging
  • XPath updated to libxml2 version 2.9.3
  • additional error results with POSIX commands (shell, grep, etc.)
  • fm.run method added for calling a FileMaker script from Python
  • additional data type handlers & bug fix for bBox_FileWrite

Continue reading bBox 0.80 Now Available

fmsadmin: where did you go?

I have a few scripts, including some Facter reporting “facts”, that make heavy use of FileMaker Server’s fmsadmin command. After a 14.0v4 on install on Yosemite I was puzzled to discover that one of the scripts wasn’t working. When run, the script was complaining that the fmsadmin command was missing, yet I could still run the command when I typed it in the Terminal. Puzzled, I eventually found that the shell’s whereis command was returning a different path from what I had in my script’s environment.

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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

Continue reading Communicating with a Web Viewer in FileMaker

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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FileMaker 14: Field Placeholder Text

FileMaker Pro 14 includes a new feature to add placeholder text to fields on a layout. What is placeholder text? Simply put, it is a way to put text inside a field when it is empty. This feature is useful for mobile, web and desktop users alike.

A layout with fields using placeholder text. *(How I made the magnifying glass appear is detailed below)

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Using InspectorPro 5 with FileMaker Pro Advanced 14

FileMaker 14 is here, and while the Database Design Report (DDR) hasn’t changed, here’s a “Getting Started’ walkthrough for using InspectorPro with the latest version of FileMaker Pro Advanced.

To  generate a DDR, go into your FileMaker solution and select ‘Database Design Report’ under ‘Tools’.

Generating DDR 1

Continue reading Using InspectorPro 5 with FileMaker Pro Advanced 14