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Tuesday
May192015

The FileMaker FieldComment Function

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-PBA, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

FieldComment
FieldComment( fileName ; fieldName)
Introduced With FileMaker 7
Returns A Text Result

In FileMaker 7 and higher, you can add comments to any field. The comments field was added as part of the dialog box that you used to create and edit fields. The FieldComment function allows you to fetch data entered into the comments area of a field defined in the Manage Fields dialog box.

The default syntax for this function is to refer to the current table. If you want to use an outside table, you have to add a little something in front of the fieldname parameter ( nameoftable::fieldname ).

Here you can see the comments area that can be attached to a defined field.
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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.

Thursday
May142015

FileMaker Script Steps That Need To Enter Into A Field

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-PBA, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

There are also a number of script steps that need to enter into a field on the
current layout to perform. So in your script, you have to make sure you have a Go To Layout script step to insure that the needed field is there. So more than likely, your script will look something like this ...

Freeze Window (prevents screen flash going between two layouts)
Go To Layout (that you know has the field you need)
Do That Thing (one of the dependent steps mentioned below)
Any Other Steps You Want To Do While You Are Here
Go To Layout (goes back to the original layout

The following script steps (and this list may grow as new versions of FileMaker come out) need to see the field they are working with ...

Copy, Cut, Clear, Go To Field, Insert Calculated Result, Insert Date, Insert Time, Insert User Name, Paste and Replace.

Also the script step of Relookup needs to be able to enter into the parent key field of a relationship to perform the relookup operation.

Generally, you don’t get any kind of error from FileMaker when this happens ( unless you are trapping for it ). So this can be a hard bug to troubleshoot.

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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
May142015

FileMaker Storage And Repeating Fields

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-PBA, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

Once again I feel the need for a recap. You know that FileMaker fields have a dialog box for setting options such as auto enter, validation and storage. Auto enter allows you to create a set of conditions in which a field is automatically populated with data you selected. Validation is where a field can be verified that it contains the data or type of data you want within it. The storage options area is a flexible way to control how data is stored.

The repeating field is one of those “unique and flexible” storage types. In fact, it is so unique, you probably won’t find anything like it in most other database systems.

A repeating field can be used with any type such as text, number and date. The only exception to this the summary field type. The storage option of repeating fields allows you to have multiple cells of information within the same field. Once again, as far as I know, FileMaker is the only database application that has anything like repeating fields.

To make a field a repeating field, you select the field, click the options buttons, click the storage tab and in the storage options area, you define how many repetitions you want the field to have. There is one additional step you need to take when you put a repeating field on a layout. You have to tell FileMaker how many of the repetitions you want to show on the layout. This is done in layout mode ( of course ), you click on the field and choose the field options selection from under the Format menu.

Repeating fields were popular before FileMaker went relational and portals replaced repeating fields in most FileMaker solutions. Portals have significant advantages over repeating fields. Portal data is easy to search upon, report upon and write scripting events with. So you might wonder why repeating fields are still around.

As you might know, databases can become complex. There are databases that were built with repeating fields and those databases rely on them. Forcing every database owner to rewrite repeating field logic to portal logic would be a tough decision. Also, the act of converting this data isn't always easy to do.

Another good reason is those crazy FileMaker developers started using them for all sorts of things they were not designed to do ... and ... some of those things they did turned out to be downright useful. Repeating fields can be used to hold graphics, sounds, movies and even buttons in a dock like appearance.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are up on your relational design theory, you might remember about a little thing called the rules of normalization? For a database to comply with first normal form standards, it must only contain one value. As you can see, repeating fields are a slap in the face of the first normal form rule.

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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.

Wednesday
May132015

Controlling The FileMaker Found Set Of Records

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-PBA, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

Say you want to limit a particular user to access of their own records. FileMaker has a record level security setting, so a user cannot see the information on a record based upon a calculation. However, the user can still get to that record. This is not a security problem but it is a user experience problem. A user might have to view a large number of "access denied" records before they can get to the ones they can read.

You want to limit interface shock when designing a system. Looking at a record in form view or a set of records in list view that you do not have access to ... is ... well ... not very warm and fuzzy. Wouldn’t it be better if the user only saw records they have access to? In other words, when they go to a table, all records they do not have access to are in the omitted found set.

To do this, you may need to work with a self relationship and make use of the script step of Go To Related Record. You will need to build your own controls for going from one record to the next and how the Find command works on a log-in user name. Here is a list of some of things you will need to consider in controlling the found set of records ...

- a relationship that ties the account name to the name of a record creator
- a script from the successful account that goes to those related records
- hiding the status area & locking it so users cannot see the actual record count
- creating buttons to go to each record
- build a search screen and add the users name to all searches and add constrain found set parameters
- add a show all records button that only shows related records
- build your own display of record count and found set

FileMaker makes this much easier than earlier versions. For starters, you can have multiple tables in one file. You can have multiple windows open at the same time. You can have a button pass data to a script. This means a button can be made to branch a script, without duplicating and rewriting the script.

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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.

Wednesday
May132015

The FileMaker Get(TotalRecordCount) Function

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-PBA, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

Get(TotalRecordCount)
Introduced With FileMaker 7
Returns A Number Result

The Get(TotalRecordCount) function will return the sum count of all the records in the current FileMaker table as viewed by the foremost layout window. The current table will refer to the source table that is attached to the table occurrence in the current layout. The calculation will need to be unstored in order to be accurate when viewed on the layout. It will count the current users uncommitted records as well as the records that are in the index.

In some layout designs, the status area is hidden from the user. This can be done for security reasons or the developer wants to maximize the use of the screen real estate. Many times this function is used when someone is mimicking the information shown in the status area in browse mode.

© 2010 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com
The material on this document is offered AS IS. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.