Install OnTimer FileMaker Script Step

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

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Introduced with FileMaker 10, the Install OnTimer script step is used to run a script at a particular moment in time (based upon a number of seconds after it has been initialized). When the Install On Timer script step is executed, it attaches itself to the current window.

Previous to FileMaker 10, this capability was only available via third party plug-in products. Those products still may offer a better feature set than the Install OnTimer script step and would be compatible with most pre-FileMaker 10 systems. However, they are significantly more difficult to setup than the Install OnTimer script step, require the plug-in to be installed/active and may have an associated additional costs involved.

If the window attached to the Install OnTimer script step is closed, the Install OnTimer event is flushed from the active FileMaker system.

A window can only have one OnTimer event attached to it. If a second OnTimer event is applied to a window, the first OnTimer event instructions are flushed from the system. Some developers are using this technique as a way to turn off a timer without closing the window it was attached to.

At this early date (4/9/2009), I haven’t seen this script step used at all and there hasn’t been a lot of discussions about it. The most logical choice for using OnTimer would be some sort of reminder system or a way to commit a record if a user has been idle for quite some time. I can only imagine that some “killer” implementations are coming down the pipe as developers begin to use FileMaker 10 in more production database systems.

Here you can see the Install OnTimer script step within a script. The two options available are what script to run and how many seconds after the step has executed that the desired script will run.
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