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FileMaker Pro 9: The Missing Manual by Susan Prosser, Geoff Coffey

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Developer Utilities

The Tools → Developer Utilities command looks insignificant and benign to the unsuspecting person, but behind it lurks a vast array of powerful features. There are developer utilities for the following techniques:

  • Rename one file in a system of interconnected files, and have every file reference in the other files automatically update to the new name.

  • Turn your database into a kiosk system. You can use this feature to make interactive programs that run on publicly accessible computers. In this setup, FileMaker hides the menu bars, the Windows taskbar or Macintosh Dock, and all other screen decorations that aren't part of your layouts.

  • Create a runtime solution—a special version of your database that anyone can use, even if they don't have FileMaker Pro.

  • Permanently remove full access to files so you can send your database to people you don't know, and be sure they can't tamper with your hard work, including your scripts, table and field definitions, and relationship graph.

  • Create an error log to help you troubleshoot problems that occur when FileMaker generates runtimes.

In fact, you can (and often want to) do several of these things at once. Here's an example: You build a beautiful interactive product catalog, complete with pictures and an easy-to-use ordering screen. You then want to set up a kiosk computer at a trade show where attendees can use the database to see what you have and place their orders. Using the developer utilities, you could do all this:

  • Add "Kiosk" ...

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