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Thank you for visiting the FileMaker Thoughts blog. I recently moved this content over from my blogger account. Hope you like it! When you get a chance, check out the centralized search feature for all the FileMaker blogs found along the right side panel. It is quite handy!


Saturday
Oct022010

None Found / Get(LastError)

From Dwayne Wright PMP - Certified FileMaker Developer
WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

Here we have a very simple example file. I have included two find buttons, however, neither one will find any records. The point of the example is to show how you can script a different experience for your users based upon what errors they may encounter.

The first button performs a regular find and then throws up a classic FileMaker dialog box. This dialog box contains the three choices of Cancel, Continue or Modify Find. If the current database user is someone unfamiliar with FileMaker, they may easily get confused by these choices.

What we would like to do is to simply inform the user that no records were found and go back to Browse mode with all records in the found set. We can do that with the second script tied to the button Find With Get(LastError) function Enhanced. This button runs a script that detects the 401 No Records Found Error. It tells the user this is what happened and simply goes back to browse mode.

Below is the sneak peek at the script.

An example file can be downloaded by clicking (here)
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More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2007 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.



Thursday
Sep302010

For You FileMaker In-House Developers

From Dwayne Wright PMP - Certified FileMaker Developer
WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

For a little over six months now, I’ve been working as an in house FileMaker Developer / Project Manager for Hasbro under an outside contract agreement. Many in-house developer positions start off as contract, so this is quite common in the industry. I have a few months left and hopeful that “the powers that be” may choose to make this role a full time position.

Anyhoo ...

The temporary contract status is why I haven’t moved closer to work and have a 1 hour commute each way every day. In the mornings, I try to listen to a professional podcast and then queue up something more nerdy on the drive home. I unsubscribed from most technical podcasts because they seem to focus on mobile phones, video games and gossip and a little of that goes a long way. I stumbled upon The Manager Tools podcast, and after gobbling all of its episodes, their sister podcast Career Tools. You can subscribe to both via iTunes and I recommend them with equal enthusiasm.

A two part episode that I’d like to turn my in-house developer brethren to is "How to Give a Decision Briefing" in Career Tools. Part one is just under a half hour and part two is almost 45 minutes. In some ways, this technique seems a bit heavy handed but I experimented with it as a tool for a project that I’m working on at the office. Haven’t sent it out yet but I’d love to hear feedback from other developers on what they think on the topic.

If you are interested, the current drive home listen is Furies Of Calderon by Jim Butcher. I have listened to about 1/2 of his Dresden Files books from audible, narrated by James Marsters (Spike on Buffy) and wanted to give his fantasy series a taste. I’m barely into the fourth chapter of Furies but like it thus far!

Thursday
Sep302010

FileMaker Links For Week 40 of 2010

From Dwayne Wright PMP - Certified FileMaker Developer
WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

Here is a listing of interesting links I found in the FileMaker community. These might not be new links but ones that I discovered and wanted to share with you this week. There were a number of videos this week as well but I didn’t get a chance to review them yet (busy week)!

FILEMAKER GO 1.1 SPECIFIC
FileMaker Go 1.1.1 – Camp Software
A nice posting that lists the stated features of this update along with a sentence or two of complimentary (and sometimes not completely complimentary) commentary.

BLOGS
Generating Totals for Filtered Portals - Goya Pty Ltd
A nice article and I will assume the technique will work just fine. Personally, I’m not ready to embrace FileMaker 11 portal filtering until there is a native calculation function to support aggregate related needs. There is also the aspect that there are no backwards compatibility with previous versions of FileMaker. I’m a bit amazed out how some high profile developers praise filtered portals for less relationship graph overhead only to turn around and build in user interface, scripting or calculation overhead workarounds to offset its limitations. To each his / her own and I suppose that is the true FileMaker way (grin).

FileMaker DevCon 2010 – Linear Chat
The best journal of a particular devcon I’ve seen in many years. I’m still amazed that FileMaker Inc does not leak some of the information from previous years sessions to spread knowledge and build hype for future devcon attendance goals. Check this post out, bet you find a tidbit you want to investigate!

A layout warehouse - FMLayoutMode.com
A technique where layouts and their independent elements can be archived in the container field creating a repository of layout information for later recycling.

Portal grid - FMLayoutMode.com
A nice set of general portal design techniques applied to a desire to show rows of icon options within a FileMaker layout.

Forcing radio button to a single choice - Goya Pty Ltd
Uses a nice portable calculation that can be applied to the auto enter option of a field. This strong arm technique is great to fix a problem you might have with users making multiple selection options in a field. However, I think that it maybe is a “missed opportunity” to interact with your user to find out why they want multiple options. There may be a real business need for a change in the field setup to allow for multiple selections. I’ve seen users encounter a setting like this, choose to NOT communicate the need with me and then blame “FileMaker” for a perceived lack of flexibility. Seems that a validation option with a message dialog might be a better implementation.

CUSTOM FUNCTION
ExtractPortion - Doug Elam, US Home Systems, Inc.
I didn’t give this custom function a go yet but will on my next (inevitable) parsing endeavor. This custom function claims to extract a portion of a text field from a stated prePortion and postPortion setting. This sounds quite cool!

Wednesday
Sep292010

Random Password Generation

From Dwayne Wright PMP - Certified FileMaker Developer
WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

In this example, we paste a long text message into a global field. Then we click a button and 7 text fields will have a random word placed within it from the text in the global field. This way we have 7 unique passwords that are real words and not just a string of characters. We also want to build in some logic to detect if we have used the same word twice. This can happen because some words may appear many times in a piece of text ( such as a, the, and, I ).

An example file can be downloaded by clicking (here)

EXTRA CREDIT: Since these passwords are real words, the could be vulnerable to a dictionary hack. Although, I really doubt that many FileMaker passwords have been assaulted in such a manner. It is best practice to try and have passwords that have numeric or special characters sprinkled into the string. You could do that with this example as extra credit. You can detect where some characters may reside and have FileMaker replace them with other characters. For example (e = 3) (i = 1) or (o = 0).


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More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2008 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.



Tuesday
Sep282010

Regular, Exact & Field Content Searches

From Dwayne Wright PMP - Certified FileMaker Developer
WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

In this example, we want to illustrate the differences between a regular find, an exact match find and a field content match find. In our example file, we have 3 records. We have company names of Bob Jones Company, Bobblehead Company and Bob. Yes, we have a company called Bob ( it could happen!).

The regular find is looking for Bob and will show a found set of all three records.

The exact match find is looking for Bob also but there is an equal sign in front of the word Bob. This means we are looking for an exact match of the word Bob. This will return two records of Bob Jones Company and Bob. The Bobblehead Company record was omitted from the found set.

The field content match find is looking for Bob also but there is are two equal signs in front of the word Bob. This means we are looking for and exact content match of the word Bob. This will return the one record of Bob. The Bob Jones Company and The Bobblehead Company records were omitted from the found set.

= Exact Match searches for exactly matching strings or better yet, for each full word match for each word specified.

== Field Content Match
This is used for finding matches exactly how you typed in your search settings.

NOTE: For case sensitivity when searching for text information, you will need to index the field in ASCII ( see indexing discussion for details ).

An example file can be downloaded by clicking (here)

© 2007 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.