The Support Group Blog

Aggregating Filtered Portals

If you’ve played with FileMaker Pro 11’s filtered portals at all, you may have discovered its biggest stumbling block:  aggregate functions and related data.  All of your calculations summarizing related records no longer reflect what appears in the filtered portal.  Various solutions have been proposed using script triggers and merge variables, but they can require some foresight and maintenance.  Fortunately, there’s an even easier solution for the majority of cases where you need to total up related records.

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Dynamically naming a variable in FileMaker Pro

One of the things I find I need to do frequently is create a variable using a calculated name.  For example, I can use the FieldNames function to get the list of fields on a layout. I might want to then declare a number of variables that have the same names as the fields, and then populate them with those fields’ values.  Later, I can loop through the fields again, perhaps updating them with a Set Field By Name step, and reference the variable with the similar name.

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Shortcut References for FileMaker Pro 11

With keyboard shortcuts for both Mac and Windows users, this convenient reference sheet can help you navigate faster through your FileMaker application. It’s perfect for keeping on your desk, attached to your monitor, or on your wall. It provides all the keyboard shortcuts for browsing, navigation, finding, changing modes, files, editing, formatting, and layouts.

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Find the preceding Sunday (or Monday, or…)

Often we are asked to produce reports that show total sales (or student attendance, or whatnot) by week. In order to produce these reports, we need some value that allows us to group our records by week. What we can use is the Sunday—the start of our week—that occurs before our activity date.

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Knowing when a user is logged in through Instant Web Publishing

From our Get ( Answers ) newsletter archives, updated for FileMaker 11:

We’ve been asked this many times, so it’s worthy of repeating: How can you tell if a user is logged in to a solution through Instant Web Publishing rather than through the FileMaker Pro client? The answer is to use the Get(ApplicationVersion) function.

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Printing “Records Being Browsed” by Default

From our Get ( Answers ) newsletter archives, updated for FileMaker 11:

Michael in Illinois asks: “When some users go to print a record the drop down print box will says ‘Current record’, while for others it says ‘Records being browsed’. Any idea how to make the latter the default? Is it a FileMaker setting?”

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Quick notes on Quick Find

One of my favorite new features of FileMaker Pro 11 is Quick Find, which allows you to perform a find the way we’ve been trained by search engines: you can search for your criteria anywhere in the record, regardless of which fields the data is in.  Here are a few things to keep in mind about Quick Find:

  • Quick Find only searches the current table, the same way you search when using Find mode.  If you’re on the Company Detail layout, and search for Peter Parker, you might find a company record for The Daily Bugle, but you won’t find Peter’s contact record.
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Highlight the Active Field with Conditional Formatting

This is one of my favorite tips, which we first published in August 2007 when conditional formatting was introduced in FileMaker Pro 9.  A not-uncommon request we’ve received over the years is to highlight the current field with something more than slightly darker field borders.  Conditional formatting seems the perfect answer: there must be a way to change a field’s background fill from its default to another color on entering the field, right? Turns out… no.  You cannot use conditional formatting to change a field’s fill color on entering it.  It’s just not possible.  Never.  Conditional formatting does not work in any way whatsoever while focus is in the field in question. 

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New Functions in FileMaker Pro 11

FileMaker Pro 11 introduces three new functions: Get(AccountPrivilegeSetName), Get(AccountExtendedPrivileges), and Get(QuickFindText).  Get(QuickFindText) obviously returns the contents of the Quick Find field in the status toolbar; its main use will be in scripts for custom menus that override the default Quick Find behavior.  But those first two… didn’t we already have Get(PrivilegeSetName) and Get(ExtendedPrivileges)?  Those are still there as well, renamed as Get(CurrentPrivilegeSetName) and Get(CurrentExtendedPrivileges).

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FileMaker Pro 11: First Thoughts

FileMaker 11 has shipped, and with it come a number of new features and interface enhancements. 11 is an evolutionary, not revolutionary, update, but that’s not a bad thing.  In the same way that FileMaker 7 introduced a whole new architecture and FileMaker 8 refined the product with script parameters and results, tab panels, PDF creation, and so on, FileMaker Pro 11 continues the goodness of 10’s updated UI, script triggers, dynamic reports and saved finds.  Here are some initial thoughts on some of 11’s new features and how they’ll impact us.

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The Support Group to Present at DevCon 2010

This year, The Support Group is excited to send two of its own to speak at the 2010 FileMaker Developer Conference in San Diego, which runs from Sun, August 15th through Wednesday, August 18th.

In honor of our upcoming silver anniversary, Rich Coulombre, President of the The Support Group, will be presenting a pair of business-focused sessions: one reflecting on what’s he learned in the almost-25 years of TSG’s existence, and an interactive session advising attendees starting or growing their businesses. “[Y]ou’ll hear the stories of how we have grown to this point. Learn from our successes and tough learning experiences. Hear how we operate and how things have changed over 25 years. And most importantly, learn about the one thing that has never changes… taking care of customers.”

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