FILEMAKER 10: Five Script Trigger Videos Online By Bartigé Mann

From Dwayne Wright - Certified FileMaker 9 Developer
TWITTER: dwaynewright

CHAPTER 17: Script Triggers

I had seen Brad submit a twitter post about five script trigger videos he did for his Sub's Tool Box (a FileMaker based application solution geared towards the glass and glazing industry).

Here is the link ...


I really enjoy and appreciate this type of content from my fellow FileMaker developers. It is one of the best ways to share the true craftsmanship of FileMaker design. It allows you to see more real world examples of technology. Some videos or leader led presentations are mostly a standard slideshow presentation with a little bit of FileMaker example file illustration.

Brad also does an excellent job in all five videos. This “Um - Ah” count is pratically zero and he does a great job of the classic presentation format of ...

- telling you what he is going to tell you
- telling you
- telling you what he told you

I have to admit, this is one of my chief complaints about my own video endeavors and I'm going to try and get better!

I'm a little concerned about how script triggers are going to be employed in the FileMaker community as a whole. I can see a possible future in which I turn down working on a customer project that was developed by a previous developer because of script triggers. Well, not script triggers themselves but the extensive and undocumented way they were implemented by the previous developer.

If I go to a layout and a massive amount of objects have script triggers assigned to them, it is possible that I would turn the project or the support session down. I know of developers that do the same thing as soon as they look at a clients relationship graph.

If too much of a layout has triggers applied to them, I cannot support the customer because I have no way of knowing what each of those triggers do. If one of them is wired improperly, I might be troubleshooting the problem for days until I isolate the problem down to a field on a layout that has a trigger applied to it.

I'm afraid I'm overly critical about videos 2 and 3. Then I sit up in my chair and praise the dickens out of video 4 and video 5. By the end of my video viewing session, Brad "almost" has me drinking the KoolAid on the first two videos.


In a nutshell, it comes down my opinion that the benefits do not support all the additional code. The benefits are a scripted go to edit layout and setup conditional formatting. There is a significant amount of ScriptMaker code involved and 44 layout objects have script triggers and conditional formatting assigned to them.

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the end result but the cranky old man geek in me is on the front porch yelling “You kids, get off my lawn!” ... if you know what I mean. I just do not see the ROI for my projects. However, Bart starts to turn me around on this mindset towards the end of the video series.

Ok, this one got me to sit up in my chair and take notice. Here is an example of great craftsmanship that I haven't seem displayed in script trigger videos from anyone thus far. This is because the example is highly layered and there lies its beauty. On the left side of the layout, Brad has a control panel for each record. This can change based upon a particular set of conditions, which are custom made for script trigger actions. Based upon typing one character in one field, the entire control panel changed to help support that user in data entry. All I can say is "BRILLIANT!".

I'm assuming the control panel is a tab panel that has its tabs hidden and the script trigger is going to the appropriate tab via its assigned object name. He is probably using a layout based trigger to maintain the correct control panel is shown as you go from record to record.

I take the pause off the video and see that he is ... ALSO ... setting portal filters based upon script triggers and these portals contain control panel buttons. Again, a very nice and elegant use of multiple techniques for a real world productivity benefit!

His premise for this video is different than the one that is my personal comfort zone option. I tend to make my users create new invoices from going to the client record first and then clicking a button to create a new invoice.

Another method is to create the new invoice and then have the user select the client from there. In these videos, Brad has 4 different contacts for each contract record. He has to provide a client picker technique and I like it! I hope he takes this as a compliment, I will probably experiment with the techniques he has shown us in a new project I've just had a client sign off on.

Do yourself a favor and go over to and check it out. I would bet that it will get your script trigger ambitions itching to be scratched.
More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at

© 2009 - Dwayne Wright -

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.

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