Today we’re going to dig a little deeper into the new-in-18 While function, and to avoid repetition, will assume readers are familiar with last month’s article on SetRecursion and While. We’ll look at some new examples ranging from basic to advanced, investigate the circumstances under which While can use variables previously declared via Let, and check out some benchmark results comparing While vs. CustomList.
Today we’re going to look at a design pattern I’ve recently been using to accommodate a client request. The request is to be able to view and edit a parent, all related children, and all related grandchildren via a single “flattened” interface.
Today I want to talk about a potential problem lurking in a small percentage of FileMaker solutions, and discuss various options for mitigating it.
As you may know, there are three ways to display a new window…
- Via the New Window script step
- Via the Go To Related Record script step
- Manually via Window > New Window
…and it’s this last option that can, depending on circumstances, be problematical.
I say “depending on circumstances” because typically it’s okay for a user to spawn a new window, which is to say that doing so doesn’t pose any challenges beyond those the developer already faces when building a multi-user system, which presumably the developer has considered and has intelligently dealt with.
FileMaker is pretty flexible. As developers we are given options as to how to reference things; fields, scripts and layouts can be referenced by name or number/id. Whilst we know that referencing things by name is more fragile, it is still a very useful capability to have, but it is definitely more robust to reference by ID…
Windows are a bit of an odd one out; we can only reference them by name.
As windows are probably the most likely things to have their names changed during normal day to day usage of a FileMaker Database it would be really useful if we could keep track of them by an ID independent of the displayed window title. Another benefit of having access to an ID to identify a window is that we then have to option to very easily store and access window specific variables. Kevin has made use of window specific variables based upon the window name in several articles and I suggest that access to a numeric ID that was independent of the window title would be an improvement. Continue reading “Creating and Using Invisible Window IDs”
It’s been a few years since we last had a tips ‘n’ tricks article here at FileMaker Hacks, and during the interim some new items have accumulated in the old developer bag of tricks. (If you like this sort of thing, you may also want to check out part 1 and part 2.) Some of these are obscure, and one is very basic. Ideally developers at all levels of expertise will find something useful (or worth arguing about) in what follows.
I recall Corn Walker introducing a DevCon session by saying, “I’m just a kid who paid attention in math class.” Along similar lines I pay attention when smart people share their hard-won wisdom, and a number of the following tips come from these individuals with (what I hope is) proper attribution.
Tip #1: One of these functions is not like the others
Some FileMaker functions require one or more arguments, e.g., Sum () or Evaluate ()… some do not require an argument, e.g., Random… and there is a single function where the argument is optional, i.e., the function can stand alone without parentheses like so…
…or with parentheses like so:
Function ( argument )
Do you know which one it is? (See further discussion at the end of this article.) Continue reading “Tips ’n’ Tricks, part 3”
Recently we’ve looked at two methods to generate a “faux” subsummary to address a shortcoming of FileMaker native subsummaries… namely that in a multipage report you can have orphaned entries at the top of a given page with no indication of what parent entity they belong to.
The methods were documented here:
One limitation of both the above approaches is that they only worked with fixed-height report rows. Well today we have a nice, outside the box solution from Daniel Wood that does not suffer from this limitation.
Demo file: Faux-Subsummaries-with-Variable-Height-Rows.zip (requires FM 16 or later) Continue reading “Faux Subsummaries with Variable Height Rows”
Today we’re going to take another look at a challenge we discussed last time (in Conditional Summary Report Header)… namely how to cajole FileMaker into displaying a subsummary, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, at the top of a report page when items in the group begin on an earlier page.
Demo file: Faux Subsummaries via JSON + Virtual List
Recently I received an email wondering…
When printing a multipage report sorted by a sub-summary, is there a way to display the sub-summary heading on the following page when it breaks across two or more pages?
There are various approaches one might take, and I actually buried one of those approaches inside an article + demo file posted on this site back in 2013 (PDF Catalog with Table of Contents). At the time we didn’t have “Hide Object” so I used conditional formatting in conjunction with a special-purpose “helper field” to flexibly display the conditional heading.
Well today we’re going look at an approach that doesn’t require a helper field, and you are welcome to follow along in this demo file if you are so inclined: conditional-summary-report-header.zip