Reminder: Contributors To Failures In FileMaker Server Side Script Execution

From Dwayne Wright PMP
Certified FileMaker Developer

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I really enjoyed Rosemary Tietge’s presentation at the 2011 FileMaker Developers Conference called “Use FileMaker Server To Help Stop Worldwide Robot Domination”. At that time, I had only dabbled with FileMaker Server Side Scripting. I’m like that, a dabbler with new FileMaker features until they have been out for awhile. It is not that I’m risk adverse, or maybe, perhaps I am.

I had used server side scripting successfully in building a reporting system for a  wine distributor client that wanted to slice and dice legacy data without waiting hours for the totals to compile. Used it successfully for sending out SMTP emails when a FileMaker record needed to be “blessed” by someone in a particular workflow chain. All in all, I felt pretty comfortable with it, encountered some limitations and overcame them fairly quick.

As I sat in the session, Rosemary would point out some “gotchas” that never jumped up and bit me so far. In the same day last week, I got nibbled by two of them. I thought I’d share the experience because my initial web searches for help came up empty. Then I thought about Rosemary’s session and had to dig up the pdf of the session notes for a quick refresher.

STARTUP SCRIPTS WITH INCOMPATIBLE STEPS
I’m a little surprised that this is an issue but a files startup script can break the execution of a server side script that has nothing in common with the startup script (with the exception that they reside in the same file).

The answer is to put a header in the startup script to detect execution by FileMaker Server and exit.

RENAMING THE SCRIPT
In regards to renaming things in FileMaker, we are a spoiled bunch. FileMaker is so forgiving that we take it for granted. However, renaming a script that is called upon from FileMaker Server will cause it to be ignored in the schedule. I don’t see that in the pdf notes of the session, so that might have been something an audience member mentioned. As I remember it, that session had one of the best audience participation flows of any FileMaker conference session I’ve attended.

There you go, feel free to add any other potential “gotchas” you know about in the comments section!

Cheers!
Dwayne´╗┐

´╗┐© 2011 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

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