Category Archives: FileMaker Resources

FileMaker Go Must Have Documentation + Free Toolkit

Ipadshowingfmgo_180w If you are using or creating a FileMaker database and want to provide a satisfying experience via FileMaker Go, you will need the best information available about how FileMaker Go differs from FileMaker Pro.

You will need advice about changes you can make to your current FileMaker database to make it data-safe and touch-friendly to iPhone and iPad users.

Make sure you've got these three resources, handy:

FileMaker Go Development Guide, FMI

FileMaker Go Tech Brief, Scott Love, Soliant

FileMaker Go Training Tool, Richard Carlton Consulting

There is some overlap between the three, but beggars can't be choosers at this preliminary phase of the FileMaker Go learning curve.

Toolkit_Screenshot-320

Soliant's free FileMaker Go Toolkit is a must have compliment to Scott's above listed Tech Brief. The brief takes its examples from the Toolkit. This iPhone screenshot is an iPhone layout in the toolkit. You get lots of great graphic parts too. You can peruse some scripts. This free toolkit will help you build your first FileMaker Go layouts and look good while doing it!

There are other blog posts and resources out there. These are the top four. As I discover other essential resources, I will post them on FileMaker Fever.

Updated: November 24

VTC’s Video FileMaker Tutorials Are Great and whole bunch are Free

I heard about this but never got around to checking it out till today. Somehow or other I landed on John Mark Osborne's FileMaker Pro Beginner Tutorials page today. It lists about 40 free training segments of about 5 minutes each. Some of these are featured at the FileMaker.com site.

No matter. The point is John Mark Osborne does a great job and a lot of this beginner tutorial applies whether you are a beginner or not. It features a top FileMaker  guru and master teacher talking about the new Features in FileMaker Pro 10.

That's not all. There are other topics like FileMaker Pro 10 Intermediate and another for Advanced. Again there are large numbers of free segments. The Intermediate and Advanced trainings are also taught by John Mark.

This is a try it and we think you will like it way of selling the VTC training. It's a gift. I don't know about you, but I'm watching these videos – the free ones at least. And, I'm telling my customers about them.

 John Mark starts teaching FileMaker Pro 10 certification this Spring, so he knows the latest in a very thorough way. Even advanced developers will benefit from listening and watching John Mark teach the beginner, intermediate and advanced tutorial. He talks about a lot of fundamentals and expresses his opinions on best practices such as field naming.

FMTouch: FileMaker in your Pocket on your iPhone

Fmtouch_smallUpdate Aug 8: FMWebschool has just lowered the price of FMTouch to $69.99 from $99.99. They are offering $50 FMWebschool store credits to buyers who paid the full $99.99 amount.

I didn’t see this one coming. FMWebschool is rocking hard. Their new FMTouch iPhone app shows true promise.

FMTouch provides a way to migrate a relational FileMaker database to reside locally on your iPhone or iPod touch. You can enter and edit data from your phone.

Even better, you can wirelessly sync your changes both ways back to a local or hosted FileMaker database. Realistically, you have to expect all sorts of constraints in these early days. But, watching the video, this mobile FileMaker app is already pretty darned amazing.

Today’s press release provides you some of the details, but there’s also a quick Intro Video and a detailed nuts and bolts tutorial video for your viewing pleasure. There is a downloadable list of features.

You get native performance, syncing and you are untethered. You don’t have to have wi-fi while you are out away from your computer the way you would with a web app. This is truly fascinating.

FMWebschool uses a current DDR of your database to create a native iPhone version of the database. That’s a pretty good trick in itself. Keep an eye on FMTouch. It is worth seeing how things go.

Hardcore FileMaker iPhone enthusiasts (especially those with bucks up clients who want to be first on their block with a FileMaker database running on their iPhones) should dive in now. It will cost you $100.

FMtouch was released on the Apple App store on August 5. You can buy FMTouch on the App store. A newer version (1.6) has already been submitted and is awaiting Apple approval.

FMTouch Youtube Video

FMCode: new FileMaker resources site

Hey FileMaker developers and advanced users. Someone in the FileMaker community is helping us out. Next time you say to yourself, “someone else must have figured out this FileMaker need before”, head over to FMCode and have a look see. I’m grateful for the efforts. I could not find an About screen and it looks like the site is just now coming online. Bookmark it and keep an eye on this timely resource.

Getting Your Mac Disk Catalog into a FileMaker Database

Diskcatalogmaker

I don’t know about you, but as a FileMaker developer, I have about 12 usable hard drives in my house. I don’t seem to ever get around to reconciling them so that I can stop buying hard drives for a while.

I was getting into the project last night because I have a misbehaving 1 terabyte drive I need to exchange. That means I need to move a terabyte somewhere else temporarily. To do this, I need to eliminate 1 terabyte worth of redundancy in a hurry.

So, I figured, I’ll create a FileMaker database: a table called hard drives and a table called folders. I looked in Automator to see if it would take a folder and give me a list of its contents as text. Let me know if I missed this. I can’t imagine someone hasn’t added this to an automator script but I couldn’t find one on short notice. That lead to me typing in about 50 folders and a couple drives. NOT!

Today is a new day, and I wanted a utility to give me the contents of a drive as a text file. Voilà, I found one called DiskCatalogMaker and it works great. Prints catalogs. It’s fast too.

You get 60 days to try this out with full functionality so that’s where I am with it for now. MacDiskCatalog is a nice little Cocoa app. VERY straightforward. You select Scan and it gives you an open dialog. You select a hard drive and it scans that sucker into its own catalog in 3 minutes or so for maybe 300 gigs of files.

Then you have a nice and handy export to text button. It creates a tab-delimited (I think) file with 5 fields: Name, Size, Type, Creator, Date Modified. I just dragged and dropped the exported text file onto FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced and it gave me the option to use the first row as field names – choose yes.

I wound up with a 179 mb file after I had done some Finds and Replace commands on it. Name is the full file path with the file name at the right of that path. I got rid of the hard drive as part of the path for my current purposes and put that name into its own hard drive field. I can always create a calculation to get that drive name back into the path if I need it.

From here, I’ll do a bit more cleaning and perhaps export summary data cause I don’t really want to know all the files on here or at least want to work with less than about 500,000 files for most purposes. If you want to be able to use filemaker to see how many copies of things you have, give DiskCatalogMaker a try!

For me this is fun and is a great relief. I might learn something about FileMaker 9’s capabilities when handling a 1/2 million records at a time along the way. Remember, I got a lot more hard drives left to do but it is going to be very fast to get them in here.

Now that I have my hard drive files and directories safely in FileMaker, I’m still playing around with DiskCatalogMaker to see what all it can do. If it was smart enough to tell me what to delete without my searching on big folders, I’d be totally sold. As it is though, I’ve got a terabyte I need getting rid of and I think I can use it to guide me to some quick scores.

Make Sure You Know About AdminAnywhere

Admin_anywhere_large_2Wow! I was browsing 3rd party apps over at the FileMaker site and they are featuring AdminAnywhere from 360Works. Looks like a great little helper app for anyone who needs to administer a FileMaker Server and can carry an iPhone or Treo.

See my more detailed write-up over on Studio Manager Bulletin. I want my customers to take advantage of this awesome tool. I can especially imagine all my IT guys and gals using this. They like to do IT things by mobile. Click to see the photo full-size.

I know for a fact that no card-carrying iPhone or Treo owner is going to pass this opportunity up. Did I mention that it’s only $49? Have fun!

FileMaker Development Tip: Going Mobile

Iphone_script_pdf

Yesterday when I was away from my Mac(s), I had an idea for something I wanted to do in FileMaker. All I had was my iPhone. I wished for a Back-to-My-Mac for iPhone so I could run FileMaker, but that’s not here yet. Will it be announced tomorrow?

Meanwhile, I decided to print my field definitions and key scripts to PDFs and make them available to me for reference from my iPhone and iPod touch via Evernote. I did say Evernote rocks as I recall.

It is working like a charm. Here I am the next day solving probems at my local coffee (with free wi-fi) hang out (Caffe Acri). I’m able to look at a script as a PDF on my iPod touch. I can see exactly what to do to offer a new Studio Manager feature.

My apologies for this photo. I tried grabbing a screenshot using Capture on my iPod touch. Had trouble syncing that screenshot to my Mac. So we have here a photo of my iPhone. Take my word for it, the screen is pristine, extremely bright and absolutely crystal clear.

The biggest win I’m going to get is probably when doing email and phone tech support. I can just look at scripts and field definitions as PDFs and a few entry screen screenshots for reference.

I already have Evernote notebooks for Studio Manager and FileMaker. You can find inside your notes in a single notebook or all notebooks. Tagging helps too.

Even when Back-to-My-Mac becomes available, it will often be much faster to refer to PDFs in Evernote. By the way, it is quite possible Evernote is working on a native iPhone version of Evernote. It might even be announced tomorrow! Dare we hope?

FileMaker Addict website is really good

After blogging about the new Ray Cologon FileMaker book a few minutes ago, I realized that I didn’t have FileMaker Addict on my list of blogs. A big mistake.

Very sorry I did not give Tim Dietrich his due. And worse, that I failed to let my FileMaker-interested readers know about the site.

One of the main features of Tim’s site is that he writes up online interviews with FileMaker developers. Recently he interviewed Susan Prosser and Cris Ippolite. He goes into a lot of depth. This is a great community building contribution.

Tim has also posted about Ray’s new book in more depth than covered here and he has written a couple times about the SmartPill PHP Edition that sounds really cool. I gotta read his site more myself. Its grown into an important site for the FileMaker community.

Thanks Tim. And sorry it took me so long to put you in my FileMaker blogroll!

I’m on Twitter now looking for some FileMaker developers to join me

I am very enthused and interested in the recent developments on the social web. Recently I blogged here suggesting FileMaker developers start contributing links they run across to share with other developers on Ma.gnolia.com.

Twitter is a way of posting short text messages to the web and subscribing to people’s posts of their text messages. If you join Twitter (at Twitter.com), you can get your own *page* and account for free. All you need to provide is an email address. Don’t quibble, you can always get a new free email account from gmail, yahoo or whatever if you want to keep your privacy.

My Twitter *name* is tokerud. No surprise there. My domain on the web is tokerud.com, so I thought I would stick with my last name. Come-on FileMaker friends out there, get an account and follow me or not or somehow let me know your Twitter name so I can follow you.

The idea with Twitter is that you permit people to see what you have to say — I mostly talk about my ideas and discoveries when they are short snippets. I think of it as microblogging. But the norm on Twitter is simply to say what you are doing right now. Since I have a web presence and a business, I want to provide a little value to people in most of my Twitter posts so I would not post 10 times a day when I do some routine thing. Instead, I would post something major like I’m flying to the FileMaker Developer’s conference right now. Something more than what I ate for breakfast.

There is such a thing as the FileMaker community all around us and extended out over the globe but much of it is latent. There are many more FileMaker users at all levels than you know. There are answers to questions, interesting ideas and knowledge, FileMaker tricks and friends out there that you don’t know yet. In Here Comes Everybody, a good new book about the social web, Clay Shirky talks about latent groups. Groups and communities waiting to happen.

Because the cost of communication is dramatically reduced by web tools of various kinds, latent groups start emerging. We have a FileMaker community, but I suggest it is a lot more latent than it needs to be. I want a vibrant and visible and available FileMaker community around me. All sorts of free sharing is possible. I’m not saying professional filemaker developers will take lots of time to give away their knowledge, but if each gives away a small bit and receives even more in return we all benefit.

FileMaker VOIP Phone – Make and Receive Calls

Geist Interactive is pushing the envelope once again. Todd Geist has a video up on Blip.tv demonstrating a product he is working on called FMRibbit. He’s developed the demo with Ribbit’s developer tools.

The video shows Todd receiving a call right on his computer into his Filemaker database and then making a call to an iPhone from the Filemaker database.

If you are a developer and think using a FileMaker database as a phone, you’ll want to keep FMRibbit on your radar. Looks like a nearterm thing. Ribbit is still in beta. You can sign up now to be notified when Ribbit is available. Geist is on the case! You can subscribe to Geist Interactive’s fmtv in iTunes.