FileMaker Links For Week 40 of 2010

From Dwayne Wright PMP - Certified FileMaker Developer
TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

Here is a listing of interesting links I found in the FileMaker community. These might not be new links but ones that I discovered and wanted to share with you this week. There were a number of videos this week as well but I didn’t get a chance to review them yet (busy week)!

FileMaker Go 1.1.1 – Camp Software
A nice posting that lists the stated features of this update along with a sentence or two of complimentary (and sometimes not completely complimentary) commentary.

Generating Totals for Filtered Portals - Goya Pty Ltd
A nice article and I will assume the technique will work just fine. Personally, I’m not ready to embrace FileMaker 11 portal filtering until there is a native calculation function to support aggregate related needs. There is also the aspect that there are no backwards compatibility with previous versions of FileMaker. I’m a bit amazed out how some high profile developers praise filtered portals for less relationship graph overhead only to turn around and build in user interface, scripting or calculation overhead workarounds to offset its limitations. To each his / her own and I suppose that is the true FileMaker way (grin).

FileMaker DevCon 2010 – Linear Chat
The best journal of a particular devcon I’ve seen in many years. I’m still amazed that FileMaker Inc does not leak some of the information from previous years sessions to spread knowledge and build hype for future devcon attendance goals. Check this post out, bet you find a tidbit you want to investigate!

A layout warehouse -
A technique where layouts and their independent elements can be archived in the container field creating a repository of layout information for later recycling.

Portal grid -
A nice set of general portal design techniques applied to a desire to show rows of icon options within a FileMaker layout.

Forcing radio button to a single choice - Goya Pty Ltd
Uses a nice portable calculation that can be applied to the auto enter option of a field. This strong arm technique is great to fix a problem you might have with users making multiple selection options in a field. However, I think that it maybe is a “missed opportunity” to interact with your user to find out why they want multiple options. There may be a real business need for a change in the field setup to allow for multiple selections. I’ve seen users encounter a setting like this, choose to NOT communicate the need with me and then blame “FileMaker” for a perceived lack of flexibility. Seems that a validation option with a message dialog might be a better implementation.

ExtractPortion - Doug Elam, US Home Systems, Inc.
I didn’t give this custom function a go yet but will on my next (inevitable) parsing endeavor. This custom function claims to extract a portion of a text field from a stated prePortion and postPortion setting. This sounds quite cool!