Monthly Archives: August 2004

Desert Ridge AZ Gorgeous for FileMaker Devcon

Desert Ridge AZ FileMaker Dev Con

I was amazed and very happy upon arriving at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Arizona yesterday. Here’s a photo from my balcony! This is just one view of many drop dead gorgeous views. The rooms are wonderful too with lots of wood, giant-sized bathrooms, great design and comfort.

Desert Ridge Pool Shower

It’s hot out mid-day around 105 degrees. So, I’m finding amusement indoors until later in the day when I will play in and around the pool for a while. Then there’s a jam from 9:30 pm to midnight every night with Devcon attendees playing. They’ve been quite capable of driving a lot of dancing at past *shows*.

Desert Ridge Pool left

Getting off to a great start.

Stretching FileMaker 7 Table Occurrences

Wide_Table_Occurrences

It’s easy to run out of room on your Relationships Graph. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to easily widen or narrow table occurrences (TOs)? You can move and resize TOs using the arrow keys. In this example, the Contact TO has been widened using Control-Shift-Right arrow. The Phone TO has been narrowed using Control-Shift-Left arrow.

You can also select the TOs with the keyboard by typing the letter of the TO in this case typing p selects the Phone TO and c selects Contact.

Moving TOs

Here I just typed p to select the Phone TO and then typed Control-Right arrow to move the Phone TO over a bit to the right and then Control-Down arrow to move it down a bit. Couldn’t be any easier! [I created these two tables for an exercise in Learn FileMaker Pro 7 by Jonathan Stars which I reviewed on August 5th.]

Book Alert: Learn FileMaker Pro 7

Learn FM7 bookThis is the first book I’ve seen that actually covers advanced topics in some depth. List priced at $36.95, it’s available at Amazon for $25.13. It just barely exceeds their free shipping threshold so you can get it pretty quickly without paying extra for shipping.

Here’s the scoop. It’s level is listed as “introductory to advanced.” If you are on the advanced end of the scale, you can scan and skim the introductory material looking for the *good stuff* like explanations of more advanced new features, gotcha warnings and relational design concepts. I’ve got a text file going so I can make some notes on the good stuff for future posts here.

The book is 515 pages in all – and those are densely packed with information including a good index, a glossary and questions at the end of each chapter with answers in the back of the book. The teaching-effectiveness-quotient of the book is upped a few notches by the able assistance of Nonie Bernard, director of curriculum development for FMPtraining – one of the very best FileMaker training outfits.

I love the fine balance they’ve struck between advanced and beginner. That’s a tough proposition but they’ve made some of the tougher subjects seem easy. I’m betting that more of you are in the intermediate to advanced level than beginner, so will address the advanced coverage next.

There’s a lot of advanced content in this book! They devote page 88 – 134 to “Working with Related Tables”. That’s not a cursory glance like you see in a lot of FileMaker books. Calculations are covered in three chapters from page 181 to 227. Scripting is 230 to 263. There are brief sections on XML (9 pages) and Conversion Issues (8 pages).

Overall. If you need to know FileMaker 7 now, get this book. This could be a great primer for you if you are going to the FileMaker Developer’s conference on August 29th. You’ll know what the heck people are talking about and get more out of the conference – which will be full of FileMaker 7 content.