The Support Group Blog

FILEMAKER 13 IS HERE!

Take a tour of the new FileMaker 13 platform. Watch the demo.

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Thirteen is a Lucky Number

FileMaker, Inc. announced the newest version of their flagship database environment, the FileMaker Pro 13 family. It marks the latest in a progressive line of evolution for the product. As a long-time FileMaker developer I, along with my colleagues at The Support Group, am excited about the new features that will help us build even better solutions. In this post we’ll take a look at a few lower-level enhancements and peek at the possibilities of the UIX refinements.

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Talking About Risks

Every project of any kind faces risks: future events and possibilities that threaten to undermine it by preventing it from coming to completion or by reducing the benefits it offers. For example, in custom database development, misunderstandings about what the client needs for a report or feature, political conflict in an organization, differences in personal styles, and a hundred other things can slow the project’s momentum or create obstacles such as conflicts or technical hurdles.

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FileMaker Training Series: Advanced Training for FileMaker 12

The Support Group is excited to announce our new Advanced FileMaker classes for FileMaker 12, using the FileMaker Training Series!

The Support Group’s Advanced FileMaker I and Advanced FileMaker II classes are arranged as two separate, two-day sessions. Scheduled back-to-back to make it convenient to attend both, our Advanced training will immerse you in the essential information you need to be highly proficient in FileMaker and helps prepare you for the FileMaker 12 Certification exam by covering a number of advanced topics. These classes are taught by experienced FileMaker Authorized Trainers who themselves are also FileMaker Certified Developers.

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Upgrade to FileMaker 12 without Worries

This is my first week at The Support Group, and I get to kick it off with FileMaker 12!

FileMaker 12 is here and with it comes a new file format. However, this isn’t your father’s file format change (i.e. fp5 to fp7), full of architectural rewrites, modifying scripts, and changes in behavior. If planned for correctly, it is a fairly painless and worthwhile adventure, chalk full of performance increases and development possibilities (awesome layout themes, better and easier charting, more robust container field behavior and many more).

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The Royal Treatment

The Support Group Helps a National Entertainment Company Manage Royalty Reporting

What’s a well-known, national entertainment organization to do when they need a way to track the music for their many television programs? Turn to FileMaker Pro, of course.

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Select Script Options by First Performing Them Manually

Sometimes, when writing a FileMaker script to do a find, sort, or export, doing it manually first can save you LOTS of time.

I was just tasked with creating a script to export all the fields on a layout.  The layout, however, is non-trivial and contains fields from multiple different tables, and the relationship graph I inherited is very complicated and nearly impossible to decipher.  It would have taken me HOURS to identify the table occurrence and field name of every field on this layout and then set up the export in a script.

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Using Custom Extended Privileges

Over the years I have noticed that some beginner and intermediate level developers are not aware of the possible uses of extended privileges, other than as a means of controlling methods of sharing (such as through standard FileMaker Pro to Server networking, Instant Web Publishing, PHP, etc…).  Extended privileges are probably one of the most underused features in FileMaker and at the same time incredibly simple and powerful with regards to enforcing security and access control.  I have seen people write very complex scripts that attempt to manage or limit access to specific areas of a system, creating elaborate, complex security access levels or hard coding some of this security functionality within the data structure when they could have used custom extended privileges to do the same in a cleaner and most efficient manner.

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Searching Across Relationships for “Empty” Fields

Have you ever wanted to find records where a certain field is empty? Suppose you are updating your contact database and trying to capture email addresses for as many people as possible.  You need to find every person for whom you do not have an email address. When searching in FileMaker, the equal sign operator (=) is used to find an exact match; when used by itself in a field, with nothing else following it, it tells FileMaker to find records where the field is empty. So… easy enough, right?  Just go to the contact detail view, enter Find mode, type an equals sign into the email field (or select the symbol from the Operators popup in the toolbar), and click the Perform Find button.

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Making an Old FileMaker System Young Again

The Support Group Helps Mass Insight Help Schools

Mass Insight is a Boston-based group that works to benefit education and provide competitive advantages to schools on multiple levels. The organization is comprised of two segments: Mass Insight Global Partnerships, a consulting firm that unites schools, companies and government agencies for the purpose of building competitive advantage, and Mass Insight Education, a non-profit affiliate that works to improve public school performance in the maths and sciences as well as help to revive the schools themselves.

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