FMDiSC Follow Up

Thank you to the folks at FMDiSC (FileMaker Developers in Southern California) for allowing me to present this past Friday on the topics of Summary Lists and Virtual List Charts. Here are links to files we looked at during the presentation, as well as relevant blog entries and xmChart links.


Demo Files

Blog Postings



Unique Records Revisited… again, part 2

In part 1, we looked at a new way to count unique entries in a sub-summary report based on an arbitrary found set of sales data. To avoid redundant explanation, this article will assume the reader is familiar with part 1, but in a nutshell…

1. we used a pair of FM 13 summary list fields
2. to create found-set-aware multiline keys
3. which we related to special purpose table occurrences
4. which provided the basis for related value lists of salespeople
5. the ValueListItems function allowed us to grab lists of unique salespeople
6. and the ValueCount function allowed us to count them

The demo in part 1 was based on a single “flat table” of data. Today we’re going to unflatten that table, and see how the technique can be applied to a properly normalized system, i.e., with separate tables for Sales, People and Zones, related like so…

graph 1

Continue reading

Unique Records Revisited… again, part 1

Several recent postings on this blog have offered variations on a theme: using the new-in-13 summary list field type as the basis for a multiline relational key. The net effect is to produce a relationship that is found-set-aware. (If you aren’t familiar with summary lists, you can read about them here.)

Last week we looked at basing a value list on one of these “summary list relationships”, to facilitate counting unique values within the current found set…

4-2-2014 8-02-41 AM

…and today we have a demo file, FM-13-Count-Unique-v1, that extends the concept to sub-summary reporting.

4-1-2014 10-57-14 PM

Continue reading

FM 13 Column Chart on Found Set, revisited

Today I’m going to address a shortcoming in the “FM 13 Column Chart on Found Set” demo in my previous article. Specifically, I took a lazy path of least resistance re: calculating the chart title.

3-27-2014 11-47-00 AM

The challenge was to count the number of states in the found set, and since there weren’t many records in the original demo I decided to use a recursive custom function to build a list of unique states, and then the ValueCount function to count the number of entries in that list.

And that was fine. When the found set was small. Continue reading

FM 13: Simple Column Charts

Two things I appreciate about FileMaker charting are its user-friendliness and its flexibility. I do a fair amount of charting with xmChart, but when it’s time to “go native”, my typical approach is to load up some variables with return-delimited lists of data, and use those as my data source.

[Note: click here to see all FileMaker Hacks articles with charts.]

An advantage of basing charts on variables is that it allows charts to be context-independent, reusable objects. But a disadvantage can be a loss of simplicity, and missing out on some of the ease-of-implementation that FileMaker charts offer “out of the box”. So today we’re going to take a look at some simple FM 13 column charts that do not rely on variables…

2-26-2014 8-31-27 AM

…with help from these four demos: Continue reading

Site Migration Complete

If you recently experienced broken links within this site, they have now been corrected. If you’ve had problems coming into this site via an external link, here are updated links to recent articles, and I apologize for any inconvenience.

FM13: Summary List + Virtual List

Summary List Fields in FM 13, part 2

Summary List Fields in FM 13, part 1

FileMaker 13 Popovers

Generating Sample Data

It’s Sorta A Value List Thing

Tab Panels: Seen, Unseen and Simulated

Conditional Tab Panel Access


FM 13: Summary List + Virtual List

Recently a question came up on the FMP Experts list re: the possibility of displaying a found set of customers in 3 columns in browse mode in FileMaker 13. While FileMaker doesn’t naturally display data this way, there are various ways to trick it into doing so, and today we’re going to look at a method that combines the new-in-13 Summary List field type with the Virtual List technique.

Demo file: FM 13 Summary List + Virtual List

2-1-2014 10-03-20 PM

Continue reading

Summary List Fields in FM 13, part 2

Welcome back for our second look at the new summary list field type in FileMaker 13. Today we have three demo files…

…which in addition to summary lists, utilize a couple other new-in-13 features: popovers and conditional invisibility. As in part 1, the core technique uses a summary list to facilitate relational found-set awareness (in demos 1 & 2). We’ll also apply a modified version of the technique to SQL queries (in demo 3).

Demo 1: FM 13 Summary List – MLK, v2  (reminder: we saw v1 in part 1)

1-19-2014 9-41-31 PM

Continue reading