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Friday
Jun152007

FILEMAKER: Advantages Of  Scripts

From Dwayne Wright - www.dwaynewright.com

Scripts, for the most part, allow you to automate things you can do by hand. There are very view script steps that cannot be done via regular options found under the FileMaker menu system.

If if you can do a series of steps manually however, if you do it with a script, you know that it will be done the same way, in the same sequence, every time. A script will also perform the task faster, in particular when it comes to tasks that are very long, tedious and complicated.

Some examples would be...

- Entering date into a record the same way for occasional repetitive tasks

- Printing reports that consist of separate find and sorting operations

- Adding features to your solution that are security related such as which operations can be performed by users with a particular business role

- Logging or Auditing how your database is used

- Replacing data in a field wholesale via Relookup or Replace in a more controlled manner

- Performing a set of actions whenever a file is opened or closed

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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
Jun142007

FILEMAKER: HOW SCRIPTS ARE CALLED

From Dwayne Wright - Certified FileMaker 9 Developer
WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright

CHAPTER 01: Introducing ScriptMaker

There are a number of ways a script can be executed. Script are primarily executed by the downward click upon a button that the developer placed on a layout. This is just the tip of the iceberg of choices! I won’t cover then all in detail in this discussion but I do want to illustrate how versatile they can be access in your FileMaker solution.

FROM THE SCRIPTS MENU
By default, FileMaker has a scripts menu at the top of the screen. When you create scripts, you can click a checkbox to allow them to appear in this menu or to un-check them so that they do not.

FROM ANOTHER SCRIPT (called a subscript action)
One script can call upon other scripts. That allows you to create a more modular approach in your script design. You can update one script and every other script that calls upon it would be updated as well.

FROM A CUSTOM MENU
Created with FileMaker Advanced, a custom menu can be created to run a specific script.

FROM A SCRIPT TRIGGER (FileMaker 10 and higher)
FileMaker 10 can now run a script without the user clicking a button or choosing a menu command. This is accomplished via what is called a script trigger. Triggers can fire based upon record conditions, layout conditions, object conditions and more! This means that FileMaker 10 solutions have the potential to be way smarter than FileMaker 9 and earlier versions. In fact, I would venture to say that FileMaker 10 database can be designed to be much smarter than the users they service. This is a game changer folks, I guarantee!

FROM A PLUG-IN

FileMaker allows you to add third party resources called plug-ins that can activate scripts on schedules, when exiting a field and more.

FROM A ROBOT

This is a variation of the subscript action and/or the plug-in feature. There are some FileMaker databases that all they do is run scripts in other databases on a schedule. This can include data cleanup and even automatic reporting sent via email. More about this in later discussions, don’t want to rush into the big stuff too soon. (grin)

FROM THE MANAGE SCRIPT DIALOG BOX
If you are looking at your list of scripts in the script dialog box, you can click upon a script and click the Perform button in the lower button bar.

FROM AN EXTERNAL RESOURCE
This can include options like AppleScript, Shell Scripts, Flash or a host of other possibilities. I have to admit, this area is not something I’m experience with but I have seen others do it with remarkable results.

FROM A SERVER
A new feature in FileMaker 9 Server is the ability to run FileMaker scripts from a scheduled event. Additionally, FileMaker 10 Server now supports some scripted data import / export actions and the ability to generate emails on a scheduled basis from the Server containing FileMaker generated data.

Here are some links to other posts that might be of interest in regards to this topic...
FileMaker 9 Server Only Runs Web Compatible Scripts
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More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2009 - 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.

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Wednesday
Jun132007

FILEMAKER: Say Hello To ScriptMaker

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

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

Scripts are the movers and the shakers in a FileMaker database solution. A script is generally used in association with a button on a layout to perform such tasks as printing, navigation, setting data inside of a field and countless other possibilities. In more robust FileMaker solutions, scripts can be called upon from menu commands at the top of the FileMaker window, when exiting a field (with a help of a plug-in), from a robot (not kidding) or a variety of other options. In fact, the landscape of how and when scripts are called upon is always changing.

Going back to my mention of scripts performing tasks as printing, navigation, setting data inside of a field, you don't have to write an individual script for each of these individual tasks. You can have one script perform all these tasks. One script could (and often does)...

- Set a field to a specific value
- Go to a specific layout
- Print under a set of desired specifications
- Set a field to a totally different value
- Go to a specific layout (perhaps the original, perhaps not)

This is because a script is actually composed of a set of script steps. You organize selected script steps in order (from top to bottom) and FileMaker will execute them in that order. This is nice because many other database products make you code your scripts in a pure text editor. FileMaker is more of a point, click and shoot design experience. Pretty logical don't you think?

So in summary, a script is a set of actions that you want a FileMaker database to perform. The set of actions need to be arranged with the first things at the top of the list and the following scripts in order as you venture towards the end of the script.

Actually, that is not a summary of scripts at all ... it’s just a start. Scripts can perform tests and branch accordingly. Scripts can be made to pause for a duration or until a user enters in data.

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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.

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