Plan Your FileMaker Script To Script Your Plan

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

TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

Unless you are an experienced FileMaker designer, it might be a good idea to plan your scripts before writing and particularly before executing them. There is no "undo that last script" command in FileMaker. So once you have accidentally executed a script that deleted all your database records... you have accidentally deleted all your database records.

So just like ScriptMaker is a series of individual steps, you should plan along those same lines. Some questions you might want to address are...

- Where will I be when the script starts?

- Where do I want to be when the script ends?

- Do I have any page setup, find, sort, import, export routines?

- If yes, should they be saved as subscripts?

- Do I need to branch the script based upon anything?

- Can anybody run my script or are there security access issues?

- Should I document what this script does, if so where?

- Can I import this script from another file?

- Do I need to show the user a dialog box before, during or after the script execution?

and that is just a short list that I made from the top of my head. I heard of a really great technique being used by another local Seattle developer called John Sindelar with SeedCode ( and I heard it from the adatasol FileMaker podcast (search for filemaker in iTunes to subscribe).

The technique is to use the comment script step in FileMaker to comment what you want the script to do along the way of it’s execution from top to bottom. The thing is, this was before adding any of the actual operational script steps. He then would go back and fill in the blanks with the actual script steps. This allows him to plan the script before creating it and then has it already documented it when he finishes!

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