Learning FileMaker Pro 15 - Volume 2

Complete Course for Mastering FileMaker Pro
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  • Lectures 141
  • Length 25 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 5/2016 English

Course Description

PART II

Experience Richard's dynamic and exciting teaching format, while learning both basic, intermediate, and advanced FileMaker development skills. With 25 years of FileMaker experience and a long time speaker at FileMaker's Developer Conference, Richard will teach you all the ins and outs of building FileMaker Solutions, while keeping an eye on customizing your own copy of a FREE Starter Solution! 

  • Learn intermediate skills, like script triggers, relationally connecting tables, and mastering the relationship graph.
  • Learning to write scripts... that can do anything... like automatically create Reports, and then send them out via email.
  • Learn advanced skills like configuration and security of FileMaker Server.
  • Learning about deploying and hosting the database for hundreds of simultaneous users.

The work file for this software is a copy of FM Starting Point, which is a completely free and unlocked CRM. This free database works on Macs, Windows, iPads, iPhone and Android devices. We'll teach you how to customize it for your business needs while learning important FileMaker skills.

This course is a good step toward getting your FileMaker Certification.

For maximum awesomeness... this course will reference a number of third party products, a couple of books, etc. I make NO money in these references. During this course, we will also reference the use of FM Starting Point... to use as a free software... to anchor the development of your internal systems. You will be required to input your personal information to get this free software.

What are the requirements?

  • This course assumes the user has FileMaker Pro 15 installed on their computer. Additional free software will be recommended and is optional to download.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn to organize and design a database
  • Learn to to build and deploy FileMaker 15 solutions
  • Learn to enable security and passwords as well as encryption
  • Learn beginning, Intermediate, and advanced FileMaker skills
  • Learn about performance tuning... so a database can be shared with a dozen people or a hundred people.
  • Learn How to write scripts ranging in complexity easy to hard

What is the target audience?

  • This course is a big course that covers topics for basic, intermediate and advanced skills.
  • No programming knowledge is required.
  • Intermediate users will learn a great deal, moving them into the "Expert" category.
  • Advanced users will benefit from learning techniques that they probably missed because they did not attend the annual FileMaker Developer's conference.
  • People with simple skills, like basic Excel skills will learn a tremendous amount from this course

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: 0900 - Writing Scripts
10:11

Introduction and Context...

Writing Code and understanding where the FileMaker Client "is at" the moment the code is executing ... is called context.  What layout and record is the FileMaker Client viewing?  What is the found set and sort order?   You will need to keep these items in mind when writing scripts.

12:35

Basic intro to this new Development Environment

This was introduced in 14, with some improvements in 15... and it's heavily loaded with Keyboard shortcuts.

* New Feature for checking for "Obvious Problem" in red.   Does not find subtle errors in scripts.

* Show Compatibly .., will show which FileMaker clients... the script steps will work with.

11:08

If you like a mouse... then skip this video

* Basic Keyboard shortcuts

* Comment your code!!  This is a sign of a good developer. Use the hash tag to start a comment.

* Inline scripts coding can be done for SOME script steps.   IF...THEN ...statements support inline editting.

16:48

Your first script...

We will be covering script creation, adding comments to scripts, and the difference between Set Field and Copy/Paste.  We also build our first button and use it to activate the script.   We did skip over the Table Occurrence conversation because we deal with that in our Relationship videos.  So if you want to know about TOs... then please skip to that video.

02:40

Set Field works against fields not visible on layout....

Set Field works against fields not visible on layout... as long as they do exist on the table for the active layout.   Copy/Paste/Cut will only work on fields if they are visible on the current layout.

08:40

And detailed discussion of FMSP Navigational Scripts & Modifier Keys

We talk about one button scripts, which are almost worthless.   We will also cover how the navigational scripts in FMSP can pop-up a new window if the user holds down a modifier key.   Super cool!!!   We use this capability all the time when juggling a busy schedule!   The modifier key function is omitted from GO and WebDirect for various reasons.  The reasons range from "it just won't work" to.... both of these technologies use a "Single Document Interface"... unlike FM Pro. Popping Multiple Windows.

03:34

Navigating between records too...

Resizing a window to refit the content size.


06:41

Making Logical Decisions in FileMaker

If Then... go together everywhere... but you can also use ELSE then... and ELSE IF

06:15

Great tools for capturing and holding bits of data...

Global fields go way back... before variables were added to the FileMaker platform.  Mastering both is important for good scripting skills.

To see global or local variables that are defined and in use while a script is running... pop open the Data Viewer!

Path names for files must use variables.

09:17

There is more than one way to script a Find...

You can script your finds using several different techniques.  One is somewhat succinct ... and the other is somewhat more verbose.

10:37

Learn the Basic of Trapping for finds.

Discussion of how Error Capture in FileMaker is NOT historical in nature and only tracks the LAST error generated by a script step.   Finds, GTRR (Go To Related Records), and other similar commands that are prone to failure MUST be trapped.    Also, Finds can be trapped by using more than one technique.

09:10

Learning to "call" or activate scripts... i.e. pieces of "code" to save time...

You can call a common process... that repeats a behavior many times.   Write the code once in a script... then reference on other scripts as necessary.

Defining terms: Script, Subscript, Script Parameter

Demo: We take apart the Sent Email Script for FMSP from the contact module, script #0783

04:19

Passing data back and forth between scripts...buttons to scripts too...

Advanced Info:   Passing values from multiple fields can be concatenated, and loaded into a script parameter or script result.   Use the List function to make things much more simple.

GetValue Function is used to extract data.

03:27

Loop and EndLoop are Great Tools to add to your skill set...

Looping a script is a great way to process a group of records... or to perform some sort of maintenance on the records, etc.   We have been using some sort of looping capabilities since FileMaker Pro 2... in 1990.   A million uses.

07:34

New Windows Script Step is really helpful!

Popping a new Window and working in that can preserve the users context.   Popping the new with -2000 points off to the left side of the screen also hides this window... so users don't see a bunch of flashing.   A diagnostic check... in the script for the get modifier key can help you decide to make the window visible for running it through the script debugger

09:32

Secret Agent Tracking Device for Your Scripts in FileMaker

The Script debugger is probably the biggest justification for buying FileMaker Pro Advanced.   Script debugger doesn't come with "regular FileMaker Pro."  This tool is a like a leash for your dog... or 3 year old. child.   Whatever works for you.  Its great!

Get demo of firing a sequence of script triggers in scripts.   Totally invisible.

11:42

Secret Agent Tracking Device for Your Scripts in FileMaker

The Script debugger is probably the biggest justification for buying FileMaker Pro Advanced.   Script debugger doesn't come with "regular FileMaker Pro."  This tool is a like a leash for your dog... or 3 year old. child.   Whatever works for you.  Its great!

Get demo of firing a sequence of script triggers in scripts.   Totally invisible.

03:27

The less used features...

Step Out, Triggers OFF/ON, Break Points, etc

13:50

How to spy on fields and variables... in realtime...

Learn how the variables and fields can be reviewed in real time while a script executes.   Current tab will show the fields and variable being acted upon by the current script.   The dots to the left tell you which field or variable is being affected by the current script step.

17:19

Viewer Requested "How to Video", review video 0528 first

Want to hijack some container fields... with open, insert, and delete buttons, and copy them to another screen or layout?   Well a viewer had problems with this... so we made this video to walk you through the steps.  We talk about Slide Panels, Tab Panels, Container fields, Script Parameters, Variables, Repeating fields... aka Arrays.

08:54

When your documents become unlinked or missing.

Container problems ... what generally happens and how we at RCC solve them.

11:08

Notify your customers about things in the db...

Adding a check mark graphic to a button can save you alot of time and stress.

05:55

One Big Cohesive Plan

A quick overview of the best videos to watch and in what order to tackle your database performance issue.

11:46

How many users can your database service?

Making a database that can work with 100 simultaneous users is not something that can be easily done by novice developers, but we have given you a good start in the right direction with FM Starting Point 4.6 This video provides a bit more direction on the topic.

10:13

Unload your client's burden...

Learn how a new script step can run your process-heavy scripts on the server... allowing your client to run more efficiently.

*** IMPORTANT *** If the process that runs the scripts crashes or quits running on FileMaker Server.... you can restart the process with the command line:

fmsadmin restart fmse

*No Animals were mistreated while filming this video

10:17

Unload your client's burden...

Learn how a new script step can run your process-heavy scripts on the server... allowing your client to run more efficiently.

*** IMPORTANT *** If the process that runs the scripts crashes or quits running on FileMaker Server.... you can restart the process with the command line:

fmsadmin restart fmse

*No Animals were mistreated while filming this video

07:23

Important Things with PSOS...

SASE and PSOS tend to act like Clients even though they are not.  There are some important things you need to know about how they perform.

12:40

PSOS, are you there?

Just because your using FileMaker Server 14... doesn't mean you have access to PSOS.   We should actually test to make sure its available... especially if we are calling it "blind". 

To Reset PSOS the Server enter the FileMaker Server Admin Command Line: fmsadmin restart fmse

10:14

Let Server help your Client...

Server Assisted Script Execution is very powerful.  The function is very similar to PSOS with one major difference...

02:20

Can be easier to understand than "If, Then"

Power users and developers use Case statements regularly.  They have the same functionality as an If statement, but are cleaner and more concise.

08:09

Purge your records of duplicates

Take a look at how RCC has wired in a way to eliminate duplicate records by some smart scripting.

08:15

Have you watch relationship videos yet???

This command can be activated manually or via a script step.  It is exceptionally powerful... and also dangerous.   Kinda like a tiger in the zoo.  If you don't know what you're doing, you're going to accidentally turn it loose... and it's going to start eating people.

08:21

Have you watch relationship videos yet???

This command can be activated manually or via a script step.  It is exceptionally powerful... and also dangerous.   It is different than Relookup, but also is pretty awesome if used properly.  Used improperly... well, data is going to die somewhere.

Roadrunner / Coyote Sales Demo.

10:03

Beware of accidental script trigger detonation...

Unplanned detonations in the script can cause problems in the future... you'll defintly not want to deal with anything spawned by the script splosion.

07:52

Error Capture - Lock Sync Error Testing ...

 Using error capture ... AKA testing your script checking to make sure your code works under any situation

05:28

Simple and Clever use of the Filter and Trim Function

You can use this technique to specifically test if the contents of a field are... what you expect... a number, a block of text, etc.   Very Cool!  Also, a quick explanation of the Trim function.

06:10

Check out this handy script technique involving Loops.

FileMaker’s version of “Try and Capture” is a one use loop technique.

Section 2: 1000 - Calculations
13:32

Calc Engine ... Super Powerful

The calculation engine in FileMaker is super powerful, and it is available in a ton of places.  Time for an overview.  We will be covering concatenating text; If then functions; IsEmpty functions; IsFull Functions (which don't exist); and Get(Thumbnail) function.  FileMaker Experts generally never memorize all the functions because there are too many.  The best strategy is to be familiar with the available capabilities, and then hunt for what you need.  Also discussed:creation of Calculated container fields.

05:27

Calc Engine... the continuation 

Calc Engine pt.2 and how its UI can be more easily worked with.

12:19

Extracting the text we want... from a Block

* FileMaker has... Character based functions

* FileMaker has... Word based functions

* FileMaker has... Value list Management

* Middle (text), PatternCounts, and Position Functions

Isolating an Email address

* How To extract an email out of a block of text.

* Sample File here is not available as part of this training

* We use the Data Viewer as part of FileMaker Pro Advanced

* PatternCount allows you to search for a single character... or a "string" of characters... in a block of text.

* Middle, allows you to extract one or more characters   from anywhere in a block of text.

* Calculate the length of  string of characters.

11:45

Word functions and Value List Functions.

Learning to clean up blocks of text, and parse into individual fields. This video focuses on entire lines in a Value List or evaluating entire words.

* ValueCount

* RightValues

* LeftValue

* GetValue

Save copies of the scripts in versions... in case you need to go back and check some previous calc.  When you totally done... then delete the unneeded scripts.

11:29

Learn to detect When the user is in Find Mode...or Browse...

Creating a reliable search method... when dealing with phone number fields.   Get(windowmode) and Filter functions are useful or improving the User Interface for people who do not understand how things should look.

05:23

Lots of Cool Date Related Function to get your Job Done...

Adding numbers to a date... adds days...

03:39

Learn to detect what type of device a user is running

Two different get functions ... now complement each other to really identify the type of client and type of device being used by the users.  Plus we have a good script sample, and instructions on where to find it.   FMSP uses some of this to send the users to the correct set of layouts when it starts up.

09:03

A high speed walk through....

Get Functions 101

07:28

A high speed walk through....

Get Functions pt.2

03:50

A high speed walk through....

Get Functions pt.3

05:26

A high speed walk through....Specific for 14

Get Functions wrap-up

05:38

Universal tool for returning data on layout objects...

Will return info on all sorts of objects, but it is more useful on certain types of objects.   Very handy for Web Viewers.  Very handy for managing Slide or Tab panels.

05:28

Universal tool for returning data on container fields...

Will return all kinds of info from container fields, related to images, photos, PDFs, barcodes, and signatures.  It is especially useful in finding out whether a signature is a valid signature or not.

08:23

Handy tools for generating unique serials...

These two Get functions can help you uniquely determine users and machines that are running your database.

http://filemakerstandards.org/display/bp/Key+values

08:11

Pretty Awesome stuff... and we use it everywhere

Practical discussion of generating an Email from Invoices with line items purchased in text body of email, using List function.

09:21

Double Click Sample File by Excelisys

Andy Persons, from Excelisys, has created an amazing free tool that helps you.

Sample file is in the Training Work Files.

16:52

XML Formatting and working around it

When A block of XML text is created its very difficult to understand for basic users/developers this video is all about.

Section 3: 1100 - Relationships
09:38

Relationships and keyfields

Relationships should help you model... the "real world" into a database.  Relationships are not abstract.  The same relationships between parts of your business... may need to be defined and set up in your FileMaker database.  Use serial numbers in primary key fields.  Definitely don't use fields that can change, or that might be unique.  Names are not unique.

12:04

and more on Keyfields for Beginners

TOs are a MAJOR part of the FileMaker relational model.  TOs are not the same as a table... AKA "Base Table".  You can connect two "Key" fields together.  A Primary key on the parent side... will typically auto populate with a serial number.   A foreign key on the child side, will typically NOT auto populate with a serial number.

12:35

What the heck is this... and what are the elements.

What is the difference between a FileMaker Relational Diagram and conventional Database Entity Relationship Diagrams.   Remember,  you can put many TOs from the same Base Table on a Relational Diagram.  It is all about your little Lego® Guy.   No circular references.

06:54

One to many Relationships

Without a portal... a relationship will only show you the first created related record... (assuming no sort setup in the relationship).

08:54

The "AND" Relationship ... Advanced Kung-Fu

Multiple fields can be used together to create more advanced relationships... where both fields have to match before the relationship works.

11:15

The "OR" Relationship ... Advanced Kung-Fu

Use value lists with a text field on one side to establish a multi-key.   We also show the inherent benefit of using a date "type" field... and the automatic intelligence of this field.

07:38

Connecting A Relationship

Checking this box in the relational dialog allows FileMaker to create a related record automatically by... (1) Create New Record, and then (2) auto-populate a foreign key with the value from the Primary Key.  Cool Stuff!

06:24

Don't auto-destruct your starship... unless you have a really good reason

Cascading Deletes can be useful for making sure that children records get deleted when the parent records are removed from a database.   But deleting is a dangerous tool... and about the time you have everything dialed in... you going to get a complaint from someone that records are randomly disappearing.   Then you have to go through and trouble shoot all your "delete" scripts and relationships.

16:59

Filter & Sort are just a couple of the options that await you.

These additional portal dialog options are cool but they come at a price.  Sorting can be a performance problem for users who access a solution across the Wide-Area-Network... AKA WAN... AKA Internet.   Filter is a bit funky, because it won't generally update itself... unless you beat the portal with a stick.   We'll show you how to do that.

07:27

You can use Sum Calc function to Get Portal Totals

OK there are several "Gotchas" with getting summary totals of Dollars amounts on a Portal. 

Gotcha #1:  Sum Calc won't reflect a "filtered" portal found set if you use the Filter option in the portal dialog.  The Sum calc uses the portal relationship

Gotcha #2:  Sum Calcs can be slow... for WAN connections... i.e. remote users.  That's why we do not use them in FMSP.

07:41

Learning to Filter Records Dynamically with a Relationship...

We're showing a real world example of filtering with both single criteria with a radio button and multi criteria with a check box.  This technique uses a relationship... and NOT the Filter check box option in the portal dialog.

08:11

Search as your type... portal filtering... 

This technique requires a practical application of script triggers to actually force a refresh of the portal.   Without the refresh... it will only work when you click out of the search field... which makes the solution goofy and non-usable.

The Portal Filtering Option REQUIRES a COMMIT before the portal will update.

13:24

Use these for Preserving "Historically important" data.

The lookup is old... and still a super critical feature of FileMaker.  Use Lookups to grab data through a relationship... and effectively copy and paste it from one location to another.   Use Lookups to grab data that must be *** Historically preserved ***.  Look ups have been frequently used in the Past with Repeating Fields... see video #0527

09:37

How to structure a relational graph...

This video covers setting up a relational graph... for beginners and intermediate users.  This proven design methodology has been around for a while.  It keeps things simple, understandable ... and easy to reverse engineer. 

07:44

Naming Conventions for the Relational Graph

Half the job of structuring the relational diagram is some sort of useful naming conventions.  Seems like everyone has their own naming convention.  Here is one that we used with FM Starting Point that works fairly well. 

1132 - Many to Many Relationships
14:50
1135 - Preference Table in your Solution
07:19
Section 4: 1200 - Security
05:33

Security Features Summary

FM Starting Point ships with no security enabled, but once you're getting comfortable... it's time to "raise shields" and protect your database.    New FileMaker files have a basic "admin" account setup with no password.  Also, FileMaker can be set to auto-login with a specific username and password.  FM Starting Point is setup this way, just like a new FileMaker file.  Admin/{no password}

12:31

Username and passwords... and privileges

FileMaker defaults new files... to "admin/{no password}.   Auto enter options are set for this for new files... so new users can get into a file and make customizations... without understanding that they are already logged in as an "admin."   Once you change the admin account to have a password, the auto enter won't work anymore... or you can update it.   But having Admin auto login... is a huge security breach.   So keep all this in mind.

08:50

Extending Access to other Technologies

Extended Privileges allow for access control to WebDirect, PHP, ODBC, XML, etc.  It also allows the users to set up the time delay before a inactive iPhone or iPad user has to log back in.

09:20

Attach a pit bull to your database....

If you could lock your database in steel safe and then surround with it hungry pit bull dogs... that would basically be EAR.   No one will be able to mess with it.

17:16

Unload your client's burden...

Learn how a new script step can run your process-heavy scripts on the server... allowing your client to run more efficiently.

*** IMPORTANT *** If the process that runs the scripts crashes or quits running on FileMaker Server.... you can restart the process with the command line:

fmsadmin restart fmse

*No Animals were mistreated while filming this video

17:44

Unload your client's burden...

Learn how a new script step can run your process-heavy scripts on the server... allowing your client to run more efficiently.

*** IMPORTANT *** If the process that runs the scripts crashes or quits running on FileMaker Server.... you can restart the process with the command line:

fmsadmin restart fmse

*No Animals were mistreated while filming this video

17:45

Unload your client's burden...

Learn how a new script step can run your process-heavy scripts on the server... allowing your client to run more efficiently.

*** IMPORTANT *** If the process that runs the scripts crashes or quits running on FileMaker Server.... you can restart the process with the command line:

fmsadmin restart fmse

*No Animals were mistreated while filming this video

12:39

Logging everyone's Actions...

Audit trails are NOT built into FileMaker as a default feature... so you need to build your own.   Part 1 of 2.

11:58

Taking Part Ultra Log V1.0

Lets learn the basics of Audit Logs.... from this great free demo from KnightWing Enterprises.

09:26

Bolting in Audit Trail in FMSP.

We decided to bolt in the Ultra Log 1.0 into FMSP... but we made some design changes so audit logs would be updated immediately with a script trigger.

18:10

Audit Trail in FMSP... with PSOS

We made some performance enhancements by leveraging Server performed scripts... or PSOS.   These improvements are available starting in FMSP release 4.2v3.

19:42

Learn about Summary Fields with List Option Enabled

Add some additional functionality to make your audit trails tighter and HIPAA compliant.

Details of the Summary Function using the List options set to the Individual option... which is AWESOME!!!!

08:07

Quick and Dirty... it can also be easily hacked...

Well... my daughter... who doesn't do much with FileMaker... can get around most basic security that a new user might try to build themselves.  Imagine if you have a real hacker type trying to get inside your database.

13:43

Restrict access between groups of staff

Get(RecordAccess) You will need to restrict to just to a layout... and then test to see if you can access it.  0 = No Access, 1 = Read Only, and 2 = Read/Write

15:20

2 Techniques covered here...one with External Priv

Get(LayoutAccess).  You will need to restrict to just to a layout... and then test to see if you can access it.  0 = No Access, 1 = Read Only, and 2 = Read/Write

Pattern count function is used too.

Get (AccountExtendedPrivileges)

Also notice that Admin accounts do NOT have access to everything... unless you set it up that way.

08:07

Putting on your FileMaker White Hat

Finding the in's and outs for A FileMaker file.  How to protect your important info and everything important related to your customers or employees.

Section 5: 1300 - FileMaker Server
12:31

Don't Cheap Out

Small businesses like to find ways to save money. Cheaping out, and not using FileMaker Server is a bad idea, and you will pay dearly for it later.   You have been warned.

18:49

Take a stroll through the Admin Console

Why are we training on FMS?  Well to load databases on it to share with our teams.  But also... to practice for when things go bad.

14:52

You need to setup your backups... or you will pay!

3 Types of Backups... Bootable, Scheduled, and Offsite.  You need them all.

(MAC Users) Sync2Folders... is the old shareware version.  They now have a updated professional app... called "Sync Folders Pro" on the Apple App Store for $7.99... which works pretty well.   This App will not Zip the files during Sync.

(MAC Users) "Get Back 2" is a similar App... but compresses the backup during the transfer.   Very clever. 

04:55

AKA Incremental Backups... Super fast!!!

These backups are highly automated and result in FileMaker only saving "changes" to databases during a backup... and not entire copies of a database.   So if a 4 gig database has 20K of new data... a progressive backups will only write 20K of data instead of the whole 4 gigs... so its super fast!!!

18:49

When FMS Blows Chunks, Also Discuss Hard Linking

There is a specific procedure for restoring from a crash on FileMaker Server.  You may want to create your own variation of this procedure for your organization... but keep your eye on the fundamentals.  Always restore from the last good backup.  DO NOT USE crashed databases.

We discuss Hard Links used during backups.

17:31

Proper Cache Settings, Loafing versus Choking...

This is a crazy good video.   Not a lot of explosions...

17:17

Proper Cache Settings, Loafing versus Choking...

This is a crazy good video.   Not a lot of explosions...

10:54

Proper Cache Settings, Loafing versus Choking...

This is a crazy good video.   Not a lot of explosions...

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Instructor Biography

Richard Carlton, CEO & Senior Engineer

Richard Carlton
CEO & Senior Engineer
Richard Carlton Consulting Inc
LearningFileMaker
Senior Trainer and Platform Advocate

Richard Carlton is the CEO, and a Senior Engineer at Richard Carlton Consulting Inc. and its subsidiaries.

Richard has been involved with the FileMaker platform since 1990 and has grown RCC into one of the largest top tier FileMaker consultancies worldwide. Richard works closely with RCC's staff: a team of 28 FileMaker developers and supporting web designers. He has offices in California, Nevada, and Texas. Richard is a frequent speaker at the FileMaker Developers Conference on a variety of topics involving mobile application development, and client server integration.

Richard is the Product Manager for FM Starting Point, the popular and most downloaded free FileMaker CRM Starter Solution.

Richard has previously worked with VTC as a Video Training Author, and then later, started a new video publishing company, dedicated to the needs of the FileMaker community. LearningFileMaker is a new startup, and is dedicated to the FileMaker Platform, with hundreds of videos and upwards of 50 hours of recorded content available for free.

Richard won 2015 Excellence Award from FileMaker Inc (Apple Inc) for outstanding video and product creation, leading to enhanced business development.

RCC and LearningFileMaker are headquartered in Santa Clara, CA.

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