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FileMaker® Pro Design & Scripting For Dummies®

Book Description

Get the scoop on designing databases for Mac and Windows

Use FileMaker Pro design and scripting to quickly, easily build databases that solve real problems

FileMaker Pro has grown up, and it's better than ever! This easy-to-use guide shows you how to design a great FileMaker application, build a database that works, add the functionality you need, populate your database, and venture into programming with ScriptMaker. You'll find out how to share and protect your database, too.

Discover how to

  • Build a layout that works

  • Create custom triggers and calculated fields

  • Generate reports automatically

  • Manage security

  • Publish your database on the Web

  • Embed pictures, sound, and video

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Author
  3. Dedication
  4. Author's Acknowledgments
  5. Introduction
    1. About This Book
    2. Foolish Assumptions
    3. How This Book Is Organized
      1. Part I: Getting To Know FileMaker Pro
      2. Part II: Building the Perfect Beast
      3. Part III: Taking Control with FileMaker Programming
      4. Part IV: FileMaker Exposed! Sharing and Protecting Your Database
      5. Part V: The Part of Tens
      6. Appendix A: Scripting Reference
    4. Icons Used in This Book
    5. Downloads for This Book
    6. Where to Go from Here
  6. I. Getting to Know FileMaker Pro
    1. In this part . . .
    2. 1. Introducing FileMaker Pro
      1. Why Use FileMaker?
        1. Common uses for FileMaker
      2. Picking the Version That's Best for You
      3. The Happy Modes of FileMaker
        1. Dealing with data in Browse mode
        2. Searching in Find mode
        3. Taking a look in Preview mode
        4. Laying out the layouts in Layout mode
      4. What's on the Menu?
      5. The Right Toolbar for the Job
        1. The Standard toolbar
        2. The Text Formatting toolbar
        3. The Arrange toolbar
        4. The Tools toolbar
      6. Configuring Your FileMaker Installation
        1. Setting general preferences
        2. Choosing your layout preferences
        3. Practicing memory control
        4. Plugging (and unplugging) plug-ins
        5. Fiddling with fonts
    3. 2. Creating a Database
      1. Starting a Custom Database from Scratch
      2. Adding and Renaming a Table
      3. Playing the Field: Adding Fields to the Table
        1. Adding an identifier field
        2. Adding the fields that hold the data
        3. Robotic table field data entry
        4. Automatic garbage detector
        5. The bit bucket: Setting Storage options
      4. Connecting Tables with Parent/Child Relationships
        1. Setting up a child table
        2. Defining the table relationships
        3. Exploring your options in the relationships graph
    4. 3. Calculation Programming: You Have the Power!
      1. Introducing the Calculation Editor
        1. Understanding the basic syntax
        2. Operator, could you please connect these values?
      2. Deciding Where to Put a Calculation
        1. Embedding calculations in your database
        2. Building calculations and scripts in ScriptMaker
          1. Taking a look at the basic steps
          2. Trying out the functions and features
      3. Getting Crazy with the Calculation Functions
        1. Adding a database status dialog box
        2. Formatting a phone number by calculation
          1. Checking out the functions
          2. Understanding how the functions work together
  7. II. Building the Perfect Beast
    1. In this part . . .
    2. 4. Designing a Good FileMaker Application
      1. Analysis Isn't Just for Doctors
        1. Asking the initial questions
        2. Turning your answers into requirements
      2. Data In: Creating a Well-Designed Database
        1. Identifying the fields
        2. Organizing fields into tables for efficiency
        3. Building good relationships (between tables)
      3. Data Out: Designing an Effective Layout
        1. Adding a layout to a database
        2. Setting options for a layout
          1. General options
          2. Views options
          3. Printing options
        3. Organizing Data within FileMaker's Layout Parts
          1. Checking out the available parts
          2. Sizing, showing, and hiding parts
        4. Adding basic objects to a layout
          1. Typing text
          2. Moving and resizing an object
          3. Adding fields to the layout
        5. Saving and Previewing a Layout
    3. 5. Whipping the Layout into Shape
      1. Aligning Objects the Easy Way
      2. Inserting the Current Date on the Layout
      3. Simplifying Life with the Format Painter
      4. Adding Pretty Pictures to the Layout
        1. Inserting a background image
        2. Using pictures for buttons
      5. Make Those Fields Behave
        1. Setting field options
        2. Setting the tab order for layout fields
      6. I Need a Tooltip!
      7. Organizing the Layout into Tabs
      8. It's Mini-Me! — Adding Subtables
      9. Adding a Grand Summary
    4. 6. Finding and Sorting Your Data
      1. Searching for Data
        1. Doing a simple search
        2. Narrowing a search criteria
        3. Omitting a record from the search
        4. Viewing omitted records
        5. Creating a button to do your search automatically
      2. Putting Your Jobs in Order (By Sorting)
        1. Sorting A to Z and 1, 2, 3
        2. Setting up a custom sort order
        3. Adding a button to sort columns
    5. 7. Making FileMaker Do Tricks
      1. Buttoning Up the Layout
      2. Putting a Data Field to Work
      3. Using Those Wonderful Drop-Down Lists
      4. Popping Up Menus
      5. Presenting Choices with Check Boxes and Radio Buttons
      6. Storing Pictures, Documents, Sounds, and More in a Container Field
        1. Creating a Container field
        2. Adding stuff to the Container field
      7. Customizing the Menus
  8. III. Taking Control with FileMaker Programming
    1. In this part . . .
    2. 8. It's All in the Script!
      1. Saving Time with FileMaker Scripts
      2. Checking Out the Parts in a Script
      3. Creating a Script in ScriptMaker
        1. Creating a script
        2. Defining and editing scripts
        3. Adding conditionals and other logic to a script
          1. Creating a global variable
          2. Adding the decision logic
        4. Assigning a script to a layout object
      4. Playing with Animation: The ShipMover Database
        1. Laying the groundwork for ShipMover
        2. Managing a global variable with several scripts
        3. Designing the ship-movement script
    3. 9. Your Programming Toolbox
      1. Good Commenting Practices
        1. Adding a comment
        2. Adding header comments
        3. Keeping application notes
        4. Structuring your script listing
      2. Auto-Centering a Layout
      3. Using External Scripts and Value Lists
        1. Linking to an external file
        2. Using linked scripts
        3. Using linked value lists
      4. Calling Up an Address with Google Maps
      5. Automated Error E-Mails
  9. IV. FileMaker Exposed! Sharing and Protecting Your Database
    1. In this part . . .
    2. 10. Share (Data) and Share Alike
      1. Sharing a Database over a Network
        1. Enabling sharing for the database
        2. Connecting to a hosted FileMaker database
      2. Exporting Your Data to Other Formats
        1. Understanding your options
        2. Exporting to Microsoft Excel
        3. Exporting to HTML
      3. Importing Data from Other Sources
        1. Excellent data from Excel
        2. Getting text into your database
        3. Taming the dreaded comma-separated variable file
        4. Importing from SQL via ODBC, and other strange acronyms
        5. Importing XML data
      4. Linking to Other FileMaker Databases
        1. Setting up a file reference
        2. Using a file reference
      5. Sharing Data with Another Database System via ODBC/JDBC
      6. Generating the Ultimate Database Report
    3. 11. Batten Down the Hatches! Keeping Your Data Safe
      1. Introducing FileMaker Security Methods
      2. Defining User Accounts
        1. Creating a user account
        2. Enabling logins for the database
        3. Changing the admin password
      3. Using Privilege Sets
        1. Creating a privilege set
        2. Using the Custom Privilege feature
      4. Managing Extended Privileges
        1. Adding an extended privilege to a privilege set
        2. Adding a new extended privilege
      5. FileMaker Security Guidelines
    4. 12. Putting Your Databases on the Web
      1. Designing Layouts for the Web
        1. Keeping a layout Web friendly
        2. Checking out the browser interface
      2. Script Writing for the Web
        1. Choosing Web-compatible features
        2. Considering scripts for the Web application
        3. Handling the two-faced script statements
      3. Putting Your Database on the Web
  10. V. The Part of Tens
    1. In this part . . .
    2. 13. Ten Cool Things You Can Do with FileMaker
      1. Making Hidden Buttons
      2. Giving Your Layouts Pizazz with Graphics
      3. Making Layout Titles and Text Dynamic
      4. Reusable Layouts
      5. Showing Movies in FileMaker
      6. Using Auto Start & End Script Code
      7. Sending E-Mail from FileMaker
      8. Launching a Web Site with FileMaker
      9. Changing a Field Background Color
      10. Running Another Application
    3. 14. Ten (Or So) Items to Aid Your FileMaker Development
      1. Checking Out Online Resources for FileMaker Pro
        1. FileMaker Pro mailing lists and newsgroups
        2. FMNewswire
        3. FileMaker Magazine
        4. comp.databases.filemaker
      2. Plugging into FileMaker Pro
        1. Troi Automatisering
        2. 24U Software
        3. WorldSync
      3. Expanding Your Themes
      4. Not Just Scripting, but AppleScripting
    4. A. Scripting Reference
      1. Add Account
      2. Adjust Window
      3. Allow Toolbars
      4. Allow User Abort
      5. Arrange All Windows
      6. Beep
      7. Change Password
      8. Check Found Set
      9. Check Record
      10. Check Selection
      11. Clear
      12. Close File
      13. Close Window
      14. Comment
      15. Commit Records/Requests
      16. Constrain Found Set
      17. Convert File
      18. Copy All Records/Requests
      19. Copy Record/Request
      20. Copy
      21. Correct Word
      22. Cut
      23. Delete Account
      24. Delete All Records
      25. Delete Portal Row
      26. Delete Record/Request
      27. Dial Phone
      28. Duplicate Record/Request
      29. Edit User Dictionary
      30. Else If
      31. Else
      32. Enable Account
      33. End If
      34. End Loop
      35. Enter Browse Mode
      36. Enter Find Mode
      37. Enter Preview Mode
      38. Execute SQL
      39. Exit Application
      40. Exit Loop If
      41. Exit Script
      42. Export Field Contents
      43. Export Records
      44. Extend Found Set
      45. Flush Cache to Disk
      46. Freeze Window
      47. Go to Field
      48. Go to Layout
      49. Go to Next Field
      50. Go to Portal Row
      51. Go to Previous Field
      52. Go to Record/Request/Page
      53. Go to Related Record
      54. Halt Script
      55. If
      56. Import Records
      57. Insert Calculated Result
      58. Insert Current Date
      59. Insert Current Time
      60. Insert Current User Name
      61. Insert File
      62. Insert From Index
      63. Insert From Last Visited
      64. Insert Object (Windows)
      65. Insert Picture
      66. Insert QuickTime
      67. Insert Text
      68. Install Menu Set
      69. Loop
      70. Modify Last Find
      71. Move/Resize Window
      72. New File
      73. New Record/Request
      74. New Window
      75. Omit Multiple Records
      76. Omit Record
      77. Open Define Database
      78. Open Define File References
      79. Open Define Value Lists
      80. Open File Options
      81. Open File
      82. Open Find/Replace
      83. Open Help
      84. Open Preferences
      85. Open Record/Request
      86. Open Remote
      87. Open ScriptMaker
      88. Open Sharing
      89. Open URL
      90. Paste
      91. Pause/Resume Script
      92. Perform AppleScript (Mac OS)
      93. Perform Find
      94. Perform Find/Replace
      95. Perform Script
      96. Print Setup
      97. Print
      98. Recover File
      99. Refresh Window
      100. Re-Login
      101. Relookup Field Contents
      102. Replace Field Contents
      103. Reset Account Password
      104. Revert Record/Request
      105. Save a Copy as
      106. Save Records As Excel
      107. Save Records As PDF
      108. Scroll Window
      109. Select All
      110. Select Dictionaries
      111. Select Window
      112. Send DDE Execute (Windows)
      113. Send Event (Mac OS)
      114. Send Event (Windows)
      115. Send Mail
      116. Set Error Capture
      117. Set Field
      118. Set Multi-User
      119. Set Next Serial Value
      120. Set Selection
      121. Set Use System Formats
      122. Set Variable
      123. Set Window Title
      124. Set Zoom Level
      125. Show All Records
      126. Show Custom Dialog
      127. Show Omitted Only
      128. Show/Hide Status Area
      129. Show/Hide Text Ruler
      130. Sort Records
      131. Speak (Mac OS)
      132. Spelling Options
      133. Undo
      134. Unsort Records
      135. Update Link (Windows)
      136. View As