Part 4 of this training series continues on with FileMaker Scripting, Calculations, Relationships and Reporting but then delves into FileMaker Go, WebDirect and FileMaker Server. With over two decades of experience teaching FileMaker, John Mark Osborne will help you understand tough FileMaker concepts with ease. Intermediate and advanced FileMaker techniques will be taught throughout the three part tutorial series. In order to better understand every nut and bolt that goes into designing a solution, a single file will be created from scratch. The chosen solution is an invoicing solution for its familiarity to a wide audience and flexibility of applying techniques to other solutions. The completed FileMaker file at each stage is provided to assist with the learning process.
Preferences allow each user/account to customize the solution to their own particular way of working.
Let's start by creating the table, fields and interface for our preferences feature.
There's a right way and a wrong way to access preferences. Understanding the wrong way will help you understand why the right way is the best way.
Using the ExecuteSQL function to grab information from preferences is a lot easier than attempts in previous videos to total filtered portals.
Placing the ExecuteSQL formula in a custom function will centralize the code, making it easier to update.
The first preference we will implement is the startup layout.
The next preference is the size of the screen on open.
Options are similar to preferences but aren't unique to each user/account.
Display company information from options on the invoice print layout.
Adding the logo from options to the invoice printing layout isn't as straightforward as the text information.
Let's add one more option so users can specify their preferred phone formatting.
On open, let's check if the account is new and add a preference record when necessary.
You might be thinking it would be easier to use variables to store preferences and options upon opening of the file.
A script to organize your notes is very important.
Portals inherently organize data and are often a better choice for notes.
Both note techniques covered are mostly adaptive so let's move them to invoices.
A reminder system is handy for sales and customer service employees so they don't have to keep separate notes about future customer contact.
To better organize the to dos portal, let's sort and conditionally format it.
A script automating the finding of unfinished to do items is ideal for efficiency.
A report can be useful for meetings or other situations where you may not have a computer available.
Generate a PDF version of the To Dos report on the desktop or as an email attachment.
Produce a report like you can achieve in a spreadsheet with columns and rows.
The ability to apply multiple payments to a single invoice is crucial in some businesses.
With the ability to add payments, we now need a balance owed calculation.
With our new payments portal, we need to update some of the existing calculations and scripts.
Let's add a button to enter a full payment.
Validating for overpayments is a very important task!
Allow for a single payment to be applied across multiple invoices.
A seasoned developer is also a good software quality assurance expert.
Format a number for currency with a calculation outside layout mode.
A Google map is easy but what about Google directions?
In order to verify the validity of an address, you'll need to scrape a web site.
Before you design scripts and layouts for an iOS device, you first need to understand the idea behind the design of FileMaker Go.
FileMaker Go was designed as a client and within the limitations of a portable device so there are things you cannot do and things you shouldn't do.
Knowing iOS screen sizes and window elements will help you design a layout that works well.
Layout size is the main difference between designing for desktop versus iOS.
Let's add buttons for adding records, finding, list view, calling, emailing and visiting a web site.
The open script needs to go to the iPhone layout instead of the desktop layout.
The buttons on the iOS home layout still don't function.
Sharing to FileMaker Go devices isn't much different than FileMaker Pro but there is one important consideration when authenticating.
Let's see what our solution looks like on an iPhone.
Testing even the simplest features is key to a robust solution.
Along with form view, the list view is crucial to all FileMaker solutions, regardless of the platform.
Testing often takes longer than programming.
iOS devices have the ability to provide your location with GPS, allowing you to grab the current address.
On an iOS device I prefer to use the Apple Maps URL scheme.
A quick discussion of the unique features available in Container fields on an iOS device.
Live connections aren't always possible on the go so synchronization is the best alternative.
The iPhone and iPad have very different screen sizes so should you design custom layouts for each device?
FileMaker Pro can act as a host so why do you need FileMaker Server?
Choosing the right hardware and configuring it properly will help provide uninterrupted service for your guests.
Consider what ports need to be opened in your firewall so you are ready to go when you install FileMaker Server.
Installing FileMaker Server is not much more difficult than FIleMaker Pro but there are a few considerations.
FileMaker Server installs a sample file so you can test immediately after installation.
Uploading a file is as easy as choosing a menu item from the FileMaker Pro or Advanced menus.
The Status pane is the default screen when opening the Admin Console and shows you an overview of what's happening.
The Activity pane displays live information about the databases and clients using the server.
Schedule backups, FileMaker Scripts, System Level scripts and more to run automatically at specified times.
Logs include events, access and web publishing.
Troubleshooting a performance problem is aided by averages, peaks, lows and graphs of related statistics.
General Settings are pretty straightforward but there are a few items worth discussing.
One of the most important configuration panes for performance and functionality.
The Folders tab in the Database Server pane specifies additional file folders, a backup folder and a progressive backup folder.
The Logging tab controls the frequency of data collection, the size of logs and additional logs that can be written to disk.
Some plug-ins can run on FileMaker Server and Directory Service helps FIleMaker clients find an LDAP server on the network more easily.
The Web Publishing pane controls settings for custom web publishing and WebDirect.
Should you make changes to a live database or a backup?
FileMaker Cloud and third party hosting services can save you up-front costs and time.
Before you design a WebDirect solution, understand the purpose and limitations of this deployment option.
The most often forgotten sharing option is extended privileges.
Be careful with your time and money and reuse layouts and code when it makes sense.
Pay attention at all times cause you never know when a bug might rear it's ugly head.
Let's test from a web browser to see what doesn't work.
Hide Object even works in WebDirect!
John Mark Osborne has been working with FileMaker Pro for over 20 years. He earned his FileMaker Pro degree working on the frontlines of Claris technical support. John was the Technical Lead for FileMaker, serving as an escalation path for other technical support representatives and writing a large portion of TechInfo (now called Knowledgebase), their technical information reference. John also acted as a liaison between the technical support department and the FileMaker development team, reporting bugs, attending product meetings and acting as resource for the development team.
John Mark is best known as the author of the popular FileMaker Pro web site Database Pros. The Database Pros web site has been on the internet for 20 years and gets over 35,000 hits a day by offering free FileMaker Pro tips, tricks and techniques.
John Mark is also well known as the co-author of the wildly popular Scriptology book and CD ROM. John Mark launched a hands-on training class based on his Scriptology book and it has become so popular that it is now taught at MacWorld Exposition in San Francisco and New York. Most recently, John Mark was one of twelve trainers in the United States authorized to teach their new FileMaker Training Series of classes.
John Mark has been a featured speaker at the FileMaker Developer Conference for 15 years. At the 1999 Developer Conference, he was awarded the FileMaker Pro Excellence award for "creation of outstanding technical resources".
John Mark is a former technical editors for Advisor magazine working on the tips and tricks section which is the most popular column in the magazine.
John Mark has recorded beginner, intermediate and advanced tutorial videos for FileMaker 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 totaling thousands of hours.
John Mark Osborne is an FBA member (FileMaker Business Alliance) working closely with FileMaker, Inc. and their most important customers. John Mark Osborne has also passed the rigorous FileMaker 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 certification tests and is proud to display the FileMaker 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 certification logos.