Level: Intermediate, Version: FM 11 or later

Summary Report in a Filtered Portal

Have you ever wished there were an easy way to summarize the contents of one portal in another portal? Perhaps something along the lines of the “Summary” portal below?

I’ve touched on the possibility of using a portal to produce (or assist in the production of) an on-screen summary report a couple times in the past…

…but today we’re going to look at a fresh approach, and if you wish, you can follow along in today’s demo file, fm11-summary-report-in-a-portal, which uses a filtered portal and therefore requires FileMaker 11 or later. Continue reading “Summary Report in a Filtered Portal”

Level: Intermediate, Version: FM 10 or later

Easy Sorting of List Views, part 3

Update 22 Jan 2013: Demo file and screen shots have been revised to fix bugs identified by Matt Ayres and David Schwartz (see comments at the end of article).

Ever since I posted part 2 of this series, I’ve been torn between, on the one hand, wanting to move on to other topics, and on the other, the realization that I wasn’t quite done with this one yet. So, here is what I expect will be my final posting, and final demo (dynamic list sorting, v3 rev5), on this subject.

Thus far, we’ve looked at various methods to facilitate dynamic list sorting (by “dynamic” I mean that the field to be sorted is determined programatically). Most of these methods use two fields — one of them uses four — and you can see them all in part 2.

But in the back of my mind has been the knowledge that Ugo Di Luca pulled this off with a single field back in 2004 (EasySort.fp7, shared by permission of the author, and previously discussed last April in an article entitled Portal Sorting, pt 3).

Continue reading “Easy Sorting of List Views, part 3”

Level: Intermediate, Version: FM 10 or later

Easy Sorting of List Views, part 2

Well, I thought I’d said everything I had to say on this subject, but yesterday afternoon I noticed a glaring omission in part 1’s demo — what happens if the user manually unsorts the found set?

The sort indicator doesn’t disappear the way a good little sort indicator should. Fortunately this is easily remedied, thanks to the Get(SortState) function. Continue reading “Easy Sorting of List Views, part 2”

Level: Intermediate, Version: FM 10 or later

Easy Sorting of List Views, part 1

Earlier this year, I posted a three-part series on Portal Sorting, and part 2 focused on dynamically sorting a portal when a column heading was clicked. Well, with just a few tweaks, this technique can be applied to dynamic sorting of found sets, and of course the most likely place to employ something like this would be on a list view.

I should note that on very large found sets, sorts using this technique can be noticeably slower than traditional “hard-coded” scripted sorts. (Performance is fine with normal found set sizes.) The benefit of using this technique, is that a new field can be added to a layout and sort-enabled in about 60 seconds without touching the script itself.

Continue reading “Easy Sorting of List Views, part 1”

Level: Intermediate, Version: FM 8 or later

Birthday Challenges, part 1

Dear FileMaker Hacks,

My personnel database has a scripted routine that locates all employees with birthdays in the current month, like so:

When I sent a copy of the database to our sister organization in Australia, the scripted routine did not function properly for them. Could it have something to do with their computer expecting D/M/Y rather than M/D/Y?

— Perplexed in Peoria

Continue reading “Birthday Challenges, part 1”

Level: Intermediate, Version: FM 9 or later

Conditional Invisibility, part 2

One of my favorite aspects of FileMaker Pro is reporting, and I appreciate it when a client poses a reporting challenge, because the phrase “we can’t do that” is not in my vocabulary (except when used as an example of a phrase not in my vocabulary). But recently I was given a reporting request that momentarily tempted me to utter those forbidden words.

Background: the client gives away prizes. Each prize falls into a “category”, and each category has one or more “types”.

The request: For a given date range, display and summarize prizes by category, and by type within that category, with each category starting on a fresh page… so far so good, right? The hierarchy is Prize Category → Prize Type, and FileMaker developers can crank out reports like that in their sleep.

But then came the twist: show different columns of information depending on category and type. And yes, the client wanted this all in a single report.

Continue reading “Conditional Invisibility, part 2”

Level: Beginner, Version: FM 9 or later

Conditional Invisibility, part 1

I mentioned this technique in passing a few months ago (Portal Sorting, part 2), but today I would like to examine it in greater detail. Have you ever had a text object or a field that you wanted to selectively change based on some logical condition? For example, say you have a check box, and want the label next to the check box to change depending on whether the box is checked or not, like so:

In the old (pre-FileMaker 9) days, you could have used auto-enter or calculated field trickery, but now, thanks to the modern miracle of Conditional Formatting, you can make this happen at the layout level, rather than having to pollute your table schema.

Continue reading “Conditional Invisibility, part 1”