Note: FileMaker 12, released a few months after this article was written, introduced a “Find Matching Records” step, effectively eliminating the need for the techniques explored below.
Sometimes a seemingly-simple FileMaker challenge turns out to be more nuanced and educational than first impressions might indicate. This happened recently when I was asked to help make a scripted search behave properly. Most of the time, the existing routine worked correctly, but on certain records it would fail.
The challenge: Click a button to find all records with the same Note text as the current record.
No problem — how hard could that be? Any competent FileMaker developer can do this in his or her sleep, right? Well sometimes properly defining the problem turns out to be half the battle. Later, after the smoke had cleared, I built a demo to explore various approaches one might take…
…and we’ll get to that in a minute, but right now let’s look at the original script and the problem, or rather, series of problems, as they initially unfolded. Continue reading “Locating Matching Records, part 1”