Using BaseElements FileMaker Plugin to Generate Code – Video

BaseElements FileMaker Plugin

BaseElements is very powerful free plugin from Goya . Among it’s dozens of useful features is the ability to create FileMaker code in the form of ClipBoard objects and place them on the clipboard so you can paste them into your solution.  We used this to add a hidden feature to our GoSign Configurator to make integrations even easier.

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What Can WordPress Teach FileMaker?

WordPress is the dominant web platform on the planet.  It’s ecosystem is orders of magnitude larger than FileMaker’s. Clearly they are doing something right.  Is there anything that FileMaker and FileMaker Developers can learn from WordPress’s success? Read more

Announcing GoSign v3, Scriptable, FileMaker Signature Capture

FileMaker Signature Capture

Newbury Park, California, Feb 5th, 2014 – Geist Interactive is pleased to introduce GoSign 3.0 for FileMaker Go and FileMaker Pro. GoSign 3.0 is a major rewrite of the popular FileMaker Signature Capture add-on for FileMaker Go. GoSign allows FileMaker Signature Capture to happen anywhere in the layout, including in new FileMaker 13 PopOver Controls and Slide Panels. Read more

FileMaker Unit Testing Video – Make Collaboration Easier

Tim Anderson reported an awesome bug with HyperList version 2.0.  I wanted to jump right in there and start fixing but the main HyperList script is a bit complicated. So you need to be careful.  One of the ways I try to make sure that I don’t break existing codes, is to use FileMaker Unit Testing.  I also use unit tests to make sure that I have actually fixed the bug. In this video, I take a look at solving Tim’s bug using FileMaker Unit Testing. I wrote about this a while back, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to bring up the subject again.

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Clearing DreamPress Cache In One Step

DreamPress is a supercharged, optimized for WordPress VPS from Dreamhost.  We run geistinteractive.com and modularfilemaker.org on it. It uses Varnish and Memcached to keep WordPress just zipping along. Overall I’d say we are pretty happy with it. But when you are developing your site, the aggressive caching can really throw you.  I have sent a lot time yelling at the browser, trying to figure out why something wasn’t showing up as it should.  I finally figured out a good way to deal with it.

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Hazard’s of Consensus

The most long-term success tends to come from reducing, to the greatest extent possible, the need for agreement and consensus.

– Isaac Z. Schlueter

Issac is the creator of npm, the nodejs package management system.  This quote is the opening line of a great post on Issac’s blog called “Hazards of Consensus”. It does a great job of crystalizing some of the ideas I was thinking about when I was trying to get modularfilemaker.org going.  Well worth the read.

 

FileMaker Separation Model: Splitting a File Video

The FileMaker Separation Model has been around for a long time.  It started way back in the pre FileMaker 7 days.  It’s not right for every project, and sometimes you can go too far, (see update below) but it sure can help with large complex solutions.  I am not going to go into all the reason why. That has been done elsewhere.  But what if you started or inherited a single file solution and now you want to use the Separation Model?  Can you do it?The answer is yes and in this video we show you how to get started.

FileMaker Separation Model

Key Concept

The main reason this works is that FileMaker does everything through the Relationship Graph.  In no case, ever, is the data accessed directly from the underlying base tables. It always goes through the Table Occurrences on the relationship graph.  Therefor if you change the Base Table that a Table Occurrence is connected to you change how what Base Table the FileMaker code references.

Achieve FileMaker Separation Model Nirvana

You can use this to move the Base Tables into another file and then reconnect the code in the original file to the new tables in the new file. Sound crazy?  It’s not. It works!

Update!…  Kevin Frank’s four part series on Radical Separation is well worth read.  It’s an excellent exercise.  My comment above about going too far shouldn’t be seen as a dig. Kevin’s site filemakerhacks.com is an excellent resource for all things FileMaker.  I just don’t think that going to that extreme length pays off in the long run.

Gathering Filemaker Records with HyperList v2.0

The modularfilemaker.org module, HyperList, is one of the best examples of what can happen when you get a community involved in developing solutions to common problems.  HyperList v2 gains support for gathering multiple fields and it can optionally detect and use the new FileMaker 13 only ListOf Summary Field. It provides a single common method for all your list gathering needs.

Video

Gathering Filemaker Records

Gathering record IDs across a found set comes in handy in a couple of different scenarios. It’s useful if you want to save and restore found sets and if you want to build FileMaker virtual lists.  MasterDetail, another mFM module, uses HyperList to gather record IDs.

Multiple Fields

Sometimes you want to gather the data from more than one field into your virtual list.  This technique may take a bit longer to gather the data. But it makes up for the speed lost while gathering by getting rid of the requirement to pull in data through un-stored relationships. Thanks to Jason Young of SeedCode, HyperList 2 can now handle up to 5 fields at a time.

FileMaker 13 ListOf Summary Field

FileMaker 13 added a new type of summary field called “List Of“. This field makes it easy to gather Filemaker record IDs by summarizing a record ID field.  HyperList can now detect if it has been given such a field and skip over it’s looping steps and just use the field as is.

You may ask why bother with HyperList if at all if ListOf can do it faster?  ListOf is FileMaker 13 only, and does require adding a new field for each ID you want to gather.  HyperList works in FM 11 and FM 12 and it doesn’t require adding any additional fields.  HyperList is more modular and is still pretty damn fast.  If you encounter scenarios where you need the extra speed that ListOf provides, you can easily swap over and use it instead without having to go back and rewrite other code.

Graph

Here is a graph showing how HyperList performs in various configurations over various found sets.

HyperList Gathering FileMaker records

Download

HyperList is available for download over at modularfilemaker.org

Modular FileMaker Application Development

ModularFileMaker.org has done really well in 2013.  There are lots of modules available now, and the list keeps growing. One question that we are trying to answer is how do we organize our “Modules” into an “Application?  This is a topic that will likely remain beyond the scope of the Modular FileMaker spec, as it is almost antithetical to the whole approach.  Modular FileMaker specifically stays out of the Application Framework conversation. But in my own projects an organizational pattern is starting to emerge. I thought I would share it. Read more

Looping Through and Filtering Lists with FileMaker

Looping through and filtering lists of values turns out to be a common task in FileMaker.  Having a few different techniques at your disposal is quite useful. In this post, we are going to look at a set of related techniques for processing lists.  First we look at how to loop through each item and perform some function or task on each item.  Then we will move on to a custom function for filtering lists by any valid FileMaker expression.  Finally we will use another Custom Function to easily parse Layout Object Names from a layout and use them in a dynamic slide navigation scheme.

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