Beverly Voth, Claris Platform, Claris Pro, Claris Studio, Level: Intermediate

Claris Studio (part 4): Forms the easy way!

About the author: Beverly Voth has been in the Claris FileMaker community many years. In addition to FileMaker Pro and its integrated products, she is a Full Stack Web developer & SQL database administrator. The only recipient of the FileMaker Excellence Award for Outstanding Contribution to the FileMaker Web Publishing Community (DevCon 2003), she’s been advocating Claris FileMaker and web since they could work together.

This article covers more Views, a little errata from past articles (Parts 1, 2, & 3), and where we go from here. This is the final article of the planned four. But if something really inspiring materializes, there may be followup article(s). Some famous “trilogies” (films and books, especially) have gotten additional content, so why not?

Welcome back! The Spreadsheet View and the Dashboard View are not the only features of Claris Studio. I chose them to discuss first because the Spreadsheet has more information about the tables and fields. That information may be helpful on all Views. But we have other Views: anonymous Form submission, a List-Detail View (suitable for searching, adding, editing), a Kanban View (just another way to present the data & edit it), and some new ones since the last article. Remember that Dashboards are created from the Spreadsheet View only, so they do not appear on this graphic:

Click on the Create New View button to see these options.

We can start with one of these views to create the “table” or we can start with existing data (from a Spreadsheet setup or migrated from Claris Pro). Let’s get started with a review of the Forms. Continue reading “Claris Studio (part 4): Forms the easy way!”

Level: Intermediate, Version: FM 19.5 or later, Virtual List

A Summary Field Bug and Workaround

Introduction

Recently a client asked me to implement a virtual list reporting framework similar to the one I wrote about a few years ago in Virtual List Simplified. I added the framework to the client’s hosted file, and things went smoothly until I ran a report similar to the one shown below… and observed that the repeating summary field at the bottom wasn’t rendering. The same report worked flawlessly a) offline, and b) when hosted on FMS 19.4 and earlier, but when hosted via FMS 19.5 or 19.6, the summary repeater was malfunctioning.

Continue reading “A Summary Field Bug and Workaround”

Beverly Voth, Claris Platform, Claris Pro, Claris Studio, Level: Intermediate

Claris Studio (part 3) – Spreadsheet: Details, please!

About the author: Beverly Voth has been in the Claris FileMaker community many years. In addition to FileMaker Pro and its integrated products, she is a Full Stack Web developer & SQL database administrator. The only recipient of the FileMaker Excellence Award for Outstanding Contribution to the FileMaker Web Publishing Community (DevCon 2003), she’s been advocating Claris FileMaker and web since they could work together.

This is part three of a series on the new Claris platform. We introduced the overview, Claris Studio, Tell Me More! on 29 September 2022, and Claris Studio (part 2) – Integration with Claris Pro on 12 October 2022. This article gets into more details on the different types of views in Claris Studio. Since the spreadsheet view will likely be a most common usage for many, this article will be devoted to it. The spreadsheet view in Claris Studio has plenty of goodies & features, and can be used to create Dashboard views (charts and summary text).

A new spreadsheet view – with default fields, table name, & view name

Claris Studio, Spreadsheet View

Of all the views available in Claris Studio, the spreadsheet is a very flexible table for data entry & editing, sorting & grouping. These web-based data grids (tables) are more robust than FileMaker/Claris Pro table view, better than web viewer data tables (easier at least!), but probably not as full-featured as Excel or Numbers spreadsheets. There are no “cell” formulas or references as in some spreadsheets, but there is a way to present a grid of rows & columns for data entry, viewing, and reporting. Web-based data grids may use methods that allow drag-and-drop re-arrangement of rows and/or columns, as you will find in Claris Studio’s spreadsheet.

There are several JavaScript & CSS techniques & frameworks or libraries used for tables on the web. Many of them have been integrated into FileMaker Pro (and now Claris Pro) though Web Viewers.

But they all look like coding down and dirty. That’s great if that’s what you want to do. Would you like something easier? Would you like to send this data to the other Claris Studio view types, including dashboards (charting)? And would you like to share the data collected with Claris Pro? Let’s get started with the finer points of spreadsheets in Claris Studio! Continue reading “Claris Studio (part 3) – Spreadsheet: Details, please!”

Beverly Voth, Claris Platform, Claris Pro, Claris Studio, Level: Intermediate

Claris Studio (part 2) – Integration with Claris Pro

About the author: Beverly Voth has been in the Claris FileMaker community many years. In addition to FileMaker Pro & its integrated products, she is a Full Stack Web developer & SQL database administrator. The only recipient of the FileMaker Excellence Award for Outstanding Contribution to the FileMaker Web Publishing Community (DevCon 2003), she’s been advocating Claris FileMaker and web since they could work together.

Welcome back to part two of our Claris Studio & Claris Pro exploration. This article will cover Claris Pro and how it integrates with Claris Studio. Since we started with Claris Studio, Tell Me More!, there was a major update to the features in Claris Studio. You were advised to be alert! Check What’s New for the latest Claris Studio updates. This article is about conversion of Claris FileMaker Pro database files to Claris Pro files and how Claris Pro works with Claris Studio tables (two way interaction!)

What is Claris Pro?

Claris Pro is an application toolbox full of features that allow you to create user interfaces for data collection, display, and reporting. It can be used to create everything from a collection of Grandma’s recipes to full mission-critical business applications. It’s a cool and R.A.D. (pun intended!) toolbox for use by those starting out to full-stack relational database developers. Claris Pro uses a graphical interface for most creation, but easily works with external data exchanges. Once created with Claris Pro, these apps can be used on iPhones, iPads, or viewed in web browsers, as well as on the desktop/laptop by one user or thousands of users. You can use Claris Pro with Windows and macOS. Continue reading “Claris Studio (part 2) – Integration with Claris Pro”

Level: Intermediate

Sometimes Less Is More Reliable

Update: Make sure to read Tony White’s comment below. It contains important additional information re: the behavior described in this article.

Recently I noticed some code that had worked flawlessly for years was suddenly returning “?” instead of valid values. What it came down to was that I had renamed my file from “JSON Custom Functions” to “JSON Custom Functions for FM 19.5”

Well you know those functions like ValueListItems…

ValueListItems ( fileName ; valueListName )

…that have a fileName argument? The culprit turned out to be that I was using Get(FileName) for that argument, and I needed to instead use "".

All 21 of the design functions are vulnerable to this, ahem, behavior. From the online help —

  • If you specify a filename that contains a period, include the filename extension in the parameter. Otherwise, functions may interpret the period in the filename as the beginning of the filename extension, which can lead to unexpected results.
  • If you specify no filename (""), functions return results for the current file.

Source:  https://help.claris.com/en/pro-help/content/design-functions.html

Bottom line:  When using a design function and referencing the current file, use "" instead of Get(FileName). There’s no down side, and your code won’t break if you decide to add a period to the file name.

JSON, Level: Intermediate, Version: FM 19.5 or later

Thinking About JSON, part 4

This article is part of a series. See also…
•  Thinking About JSON, part 1
•  Thinking About JSON, part 2
•  Thinking About JSON, part 3

Demo Files

Make sure to download the correct version for your locale:

Introduction

Welcome back to the fourth installment in this ongoing series. It’s hard to believe it’s been four years since the last segment, but in the meantime some exciting developments have occurred at the intersection of FileMaker and JSON, including… Continue reading “Thinking About JSON, part 4”

Level: Intermediate

Button Bar Segment Fun, part 2

This is a quick follow up to Tuesday’s article, and to avoid unnecessary repetition I will assume the reader is familiar with that material.

Demo Files

There were some things in v3 I wasn’t completely happy about, and I realized this morning that they would be easy to fix, and that the act of fixing them would help demonstrate the power of using this approach in the first place. Continue reading “Button Bar Segment Fun, part 2”

JSON, Level: Intermediate, Version: FM 18 or later, Virtual List

Virtual List Reporting, part 4

Introduction

Back in 2017 I wrote about a technique to enable users to a) produce multiple on-screen reports, and b) interact with those reports in browse mode. The article was called Virtual List Reporting, part 3, and while the approach it advocated works well enough under most circumstances, today I’d like to share some fresh ideas.

Note: as you might guess from the title of this article, implementing this technique in your solution, and/or understanding what’s going on under the hood, requires some knowledge of virtual list. If you are not familiar with virtual list, or need a refresher, you may find this article helpful: Virtual List Simplified.

Demo Files (require FM 18 or later)

Continue reading “Virtual List Reporting, part 4”

Level: Intermediate, Version: FM 13 or later

PSOS – Run Script in File not open Locally

Update: See Jason Wood’s suggestion in the comments section for making this technique more secure.

INTRODUCTION

Today I want to take a look at a certain Perform Script On Server (PSOS) behavior, and for those who find this behavior to be inconvenient, propose a work around.

Here’s the behavior, or misconception, actually: a server side script initiated via PSOS (apparently) cannot access files on the server unless the user already has those files open locally. But of course there may be circumstances where you’d like to be able to access files server side that the user does not have open client side, either because the user’s credentials do not allow access to those files, or because you’d rather not have to open the files client side merely to facilitate a PSOS call.

If we consult the online help entry for running scripts on server, the official word is that server-side scripts can access other FileMaker files only when…

…in other words, if you want PSOS to be able to access files, you need to either a) already have the files open client side, or b) throw caution to the wind, and configure the hosted files to auto-open with pre-entered credentials.

Hmmm… I think we can agree that from a security standpoint “b” is a non-starter, and the whole point of this article is to avoid “a”. Fortunately there is a “c” option not mentioned above which I’ll get to shortly, but first let’s demonstrate the issue. Continue reading “PSOS – Run Script in File not open Locally”