Earlier today I needed 1 billion to render in the calc engine as 1000000000, but FM helpfully converts numbers to scientific notation if they A) are >= 1 billion, and B) contain nothing but zeros following the initial digits.
Editor’s note: today we have a guest article by long-time FileMaker developer, Peter Doern, who has come up with an elegant, outside-the-box methodology for managing imports. This is one of the coolest techniques I’ve seen in a long time. Enjoy.
FileMaker includes a powerful and fast method for importing data from a source table to a target table. FileMaker 18 introduced an overhauled file import dialog which allows us to easily specify source data character set and delimiter, target fields, and auto-enter options on import.
But what if you want to pull a source field into multiple target fields, manipulate data during import, or split a flat source table into multiple related records? What if you want to import data from multiple different sources with different structures into a single, consistent, file? What if the structure of the source file changes frequently?
Using the traditional FileMaker import method, any of these scenarios will require multiple imports using hard-coded import script steps, or a solid understanding of XML and XSLT transformations. This Flexible, Robust, Accessible and Portal Mapping technique, aka FRAP-Map, provides a powerful alternative.
Today we’re going to take a quick look at a potential “gotcha” that can occur when performing numeric comparisons. Jason DeLooze and I discussed the general behavior back in 2011 (Space Is The Place), but this time around I want to focus on one particular set of circumstances where the problem can arise.
At first glance this may appear to apply to beginner-level developers only, but the problem is nuanced, and I have occasionally seen it crop up in solutions written by experienced developers as well as those created by newbies.
Specifically, when comparing two variables, for example…
ExitLoopIf [ $counter >= $rows ]
…FileMaker must determine whether to do a text comparison or a number comparison, and under certain circumstances, contrary to developer expectations, may perform the comparison in “text space” rather than in “number space”.
Of course we can explicitly ensure that all comparisons take place in “number space” like so…
[26 Feb 2022: demo file has been updated to v2 to address the concern raised by Phil McGeehan in the comments section. Screen shots have not been updated.]
Recently I was asked to create a mini-report combining data from a pair of related tables via ExecuteSQL.
This provided an opportunity to think about SQL joins, and also to come up with a way to apply currency formatting to dollar amounts in the SQL query result, given that FileMaker’s SQL implementation does not support the standard SQL way of accomplishing this (e.g., CAST AS NUMERIC or CAST AS DECIMAL) . Continue reading “Fun with SQL Joins and Currency Formatting”→
Recently I was asked to help document a FileMaker solution by creating and populating a “schema” table as per the above screen shot.
One of the requirements was to programmatically determine internal ID numbers for the file and for the tables (as opposed to table occurrences) within that file, and this was accomplished by leveraging some script steps that were introduced in FileMaker 18.
“I want it to work like it does in Quickbooks.” Based on a client request I recently implemented a Quickbooks-like picker… shown here enabling the user to easily assign a parent company via auto-complete as the user types the first few letters of the company name.
To be clear, we aren’t actually storing the parent company name, merely using it as a selection mechanism. When a name is chosen via this interface, the corresponding foreign key is immediately auto-entered into “id_parent”… Continue reading “A Value List Experiment”→
[Author’s note: the demo file is a work in progress. Modify it as you see fit.]
Today we’re going to compare various methods one might consider employing to render an arbitrary found set as a JSON object. The demo consists of a table of US customers with 250K records, and the JSON object will be structured like so…
Update 11 Apr 2021: as per comments below, demo has been updated to use a new service: openrates.io.
Welcome back for another exciting round of JSON exploration. Last time we discussed a JSON-related bug fix in FM 19, as well as a free package tracking service that returns results in JSON format. Today we’re going to look at a free currency exchange rate service.