FileMaker 12 In Depth


FileMaker® 12 In Depth

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FileMaker 12 In Depth is the most comprehensive, coherent, and practical guide to creating professional-quality solutions with the newest versions of FileMaker! Drawing on his unsurpassed real-world experience as a FileMaker user, consultant, and developer, Jesse Feiler helps you gain practical mastery of today’s newest, most advanced FileMaker tools and features.

• Use themes to build solutions for ...

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FileMaker® 12 In Depth

Do more in less time!

FileMaker 12 In Depth is the most comprehensive, coherent, and practical guide to creating professional-quality solutions with the newest versions of FileMaker! Drawing on his unsurpassed real-world experience as a FileMaker user, consultant, and developer, Jesse Feiler helps you gain practical mastery of today’s newest, most advanced FileMaker tools and features.

• Use themes to build solutions for FileMaker Pro on Windows and OS X, FileMaker Go on iOS, and Instant Web Publishing

• Get the most out of new container field technology

• Quickly become a FileMaker 12 power user

• Make the most of FileMaker fields, tables, layouts, and parts

• Iteratively design reliable, high-performance FileMaker relational databases

• Work with relationships, including self-joins and cross-product relationships

• Write calculation formulas and use functions

• Use event-driven scripts to make databases more interactive

• Build clear and usable reports, publish them, and incorporate them into workflows

• Secure applications with user accounts, privileges, file-level access, network security,
and authentication

• Use FileMaker’s Web Viewer to access live web-based data

• Convert systems from older versions of FileMaker, and troubleshoot successfully

• Share, exchange, export, and publish data via SQL and XML

• Instantly publish databases on the web, and use advanced Custom Web Publishing techniques

• Trigger automated behaviors whenever specific events occur

• Extend FileMaker’s functionality with plug-ins

• Set up, configure, tune, and secure FileMaker Server

All In Depth books offer

• Comprehensive coverage with detailed solutions

• Troubleshooting help for tough problems you can’t fix on your own

• Outstanding authors recognized worldwide for their expertise and teaching style

Learning, reference, problem-solving... the only FileMaker 12 book you need!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789748461
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 6/14/2012
  • Series: In Depth Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 720
  • Sales rank: 1,457,682
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jesse Feiler has worked with FileMaker since its beginnings. He has written a number of books about FileMaker as well as OS X, iOS, iWork, Core Data, Objective-C, and other new technologies. His books have been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Polish, German, Spanish, French, Arabic, Hungarian, and other languages. As software director of North Country Consulting, he has designed and implemented a variety of FileMaker solutions for small businesses and nonprofits in fields such as production, marketing, the arts, printing and publishing, food service, and construction. His meeting management software for iOS devices, MinutesMachine, is published by Champlain Arts Corp (

His website is . You can find updates and file downloads there.

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Table of Contents


Part I Getting Started with FileMaker 12

Chapter 1 FileMaker Overview

FileMaker and Its Marketplace


Rapid Application Development

Low Total Cost of Ownership

FileMaker Is a Seasoned Platform

You’re Not Alone

Introduction to Database Software

Database Software

What Database Software Does

Overview of the FileMaker Product Line

FileMaker Deployment Options

Single User

Peer-to-Peer Hosting

FileMaker Server Hosting

FileMaker Server Advanced Hosting

Kiosk Mode

FileMaker Single-User Runtime

Extending the Functionality of FileMaker Pro

Technical Specifications

Chapter 2 Using FileMaker Pro

Getting Started


Software Updates

Using the Quick Start Screen

Getting Help

Understanding FileMaker Pro Features

Understanding FileMaker Databases

Understanding Tables

Understanding Records and Fields

The FileMaker Pro User Interface

Using the Status Toolbar

Customizing the Status Toolbar (OS X)

Customizing the Status Toolbar (Windows)

Working in FileMaker Pro

Opening a Database

Working with Records

Working with Fields

Data in Formatted Fields

Modifying Value Lists

Field Types

Data Validation

Working with Related Data

Understanding the Mechanics of a Portal

Finding Data with FileMaker

Using Quick Find

Using Find Mode to Perform a Find Request

Omitting and Showing All Records

Saving Find Requests



Presenting Data with Summary and Subsummary Reports

Importing and Exporting Data

Saving PDF and Excel Documents

Using the Web Viewer


FileMaker Extra: Becoming a FileMaker Pro Power User

Technique 1: Using Your Keyboard for More Speed

Technique 2: Working with Table View

Technique 3: Replacing Data

Technique 4: Inserting Specific Information

Technique 5: Getting to Know Your Entire Database

Technique 6: Using Multitiered Sorts

Technique 7: Using Multiple Windows

Technique 8: Applying Text Styling and Tabs

Chapter 3 Defining and Working with Fields and Tables

Working Under the Hood

Creating New Databases

Using the Manage Database Dialog

Working with Tables

Table Naming Conventions

Creating New Tables

Working with Fields

Field Naming Conventions

Adding Field Comments

Creating New Fields

Working with Field Types








Summary Fields

Working with Field Options

Auto-Entry Field Options

Field Validation

Storage and Indexing



FileMaker Extra: Indexing in FileMaker

Chapter 4 Working with Layouts

What’s a Layout?

Using Multiple Layouts Automatically

Creating and Managing Layouts

Creating a New Layout

Layout Context

Layout Setup

Hiding and Reordering Layouts

Layout Naming Conventions

Working with Parts

Adding and Ordering Parts

Formatting a Part

Part Definition

Working with the Layout Status Toolbar

Using the Layout Bar

Using the Customizable Status Toolbar Tool Groups

Using the Status Toolbar Items

Using the Inspector

Inspecting Data Settings

Inspecting Appearance Settings

Inspecting Position Settings

Working with Objects on a Layout

Adding Objects to a Layout

Positioning Objects on a Layout

Working with the Tab Control Object

Adding a Tab Control Object to a Layout

Working with Fields

Adding Fields to Layouts

Setting the Tab Order

Merge Fields


Part II Developing Solutions with FileMaker

Chapter 5 Relational Database Design

Understanding Database Design

Database Analysis

Working with Entities and Attributes

Entities Versus Attributes: A Case Study

Design as an Iterative Process

Understanding Relationships

Representing Relationships in a Diagram

Relationship Types

Understanding the Role of Keys in Database Design

Keys That Determine Uniqueness

Keys That Refer to Other Tables

Many-to-Many Relationships

Using Join Tables

Using Checkboxes and Multiple Values

Attributes in a Join Entity

Normalizing Data: What Goes Where

First Normal Form: Eliminate Repeating Groups

Second Normal Form: Eliminate Redundant Data

Third Normal Form: Eliminate Fields Not Dependent on the Key

FileMaker Extra: Complex Many-to-Many Relationships

Chapter 6 Working with Multiple Tables

Multitable Systems in FileMaker Pro

Creating a One-to-Many Relationship in FileMaker

Creating the First Table in a Multitable System

Adding a Table to a Multitable System

Adding a Relationship

Working with Keys and Match Fields

The Database So Far

Working with Related Data

Using a Portal to View Related Child Data

Using a Portal to Add Related Records

Working with Related Parent Data in a Child File

Creating a Many-to-Many Relationship

Building the Structure

Creating Value Lists

Designing the Interface

Rapid Multitable Development


Chapter 7 Working with Relationships

Relationships Graphs and ERDs

Relationships as Queries


Adding a Table Occurrence to the Relationships Graph

Defining a Relationship with Multiple Match Criteria

Creating Self-Relationships

Creating a Relationship with a Global Value

Creating Cross-Product Relationships

Working with Multiple Files

Creating an External Data Source

Adding an External Table to the Relationships Graph


FileMaker Extra: Managing the Relationships Graph

Using Formatting Tools to Manage the Relationships Graph

Using Table Occurrences to Manage the Relationships Graph

Chapter 8 Getting Started with Calculations

Understanding How and Where

Calculations Are Used

Writing Calculation Formulas

Uses for Calculation Formulas

Exploring the Specify Calculation Dialog

Writing the Formula


Specifying Context

Essential Functions

Parts of a Function

Text Operations

Nested Functions

Number Functions

Character Functions

Working with Dates and Times

Using Conditional Functions

Aggregate Functions

Learning About the Environment: Introspective Functions

Get Function

Design Functions

Device Identification Functions

Mobile Functions


FileMaker Extra: Tips for Becoming a Calculation Master

Chapter 9 Getting Started with Scripting

Scripts in FileMaker Pro

Creating Scripts

The Scripting Interface

Script Editing

Full Access Privileges

Commenting Scripts

Exiting a Script

Using a Script Template

Using Subscripts

Importing Scripts

Managing the Scripts Menu

Common Scripting Topics

Error Management

Setting and Controlling Data

Providing User Navigation

Saved Script Options

Using Conditional Logic

Using Loops

Working with Custom Dialogs

Starting and Triggering Scripts

Starting Scripts

Triggering Scripts

Working with Buttons on Layouts

Naming Scripts


FileMaker Extra: Creating a Script Library

Chapter 10 Getting Started with Reporting and Charting

Reporting in FileMaker Pro

Deriving Meaning from Data

Begin with the End in Mind

Determine Report Requirements

Generic Versus Specific Report Structures

Working with Reports, Layouts, View As Options, and Modes

Working with Lists of Data

Using the New Layout/Report Assistant

Using Summarized Reports

Creating a Summary Field

Working with Subsummary Parts

Calculations Involving Summary Fields

Modifying Table Views

Customizing Layouts and Reports

Alternating Row Color

Sorting Data in a Table

Sliding Objects

Delivering Reports

Save/Send as PDF

Save/Send as Excel

Send Mail

Scripting Send Mail

Introducing Charting


FileMaker Extra: Incorporating Reports into the Workflow

Part III Developer Techniques

Chapter 11 Developing for Multiuser Deployment

Developing for Multiple Users

Sessions in FileMaker Pro

Session-Specific Elements

Global Behavior

User Accounts and Session Data


The ACID Test

Script Log

Commit Versus Create and Serial IDs

Record Locking

Launch Files


FileMaker Extra: Development with a Team

Chapter 12 Implementing Security

Approaching Security

Identifying Risks

Planning Security

Maintaining Security

User-Level Internal Security

User Accounts

Privilege Sets

Extended Privileges

File Access

File-Level Access Security

Server Administration Security

Security over the Network

User Authentication

External Authentication

File List Filtering


FileMaker Extra: Working with Multiple Files

Chapter 13 Using the Web Viewer

Introducing the Web Viewer

Exploring the Web Viewer in Contacts

Creating and Editing a Web Viewer

Creating a Web Viewer

Setting a Web Viewer to a Constant URL

Constructing a URL Dynamically Based on a Search

Setting Up a Web Viewer with the Templates

Setting Web Viewer Options

Controlling the Web Viewer with the Set Web Viewer Script Step

FileMaker Extra: Using the Web Viewer for Files

Chapter 14 Advanced Interface Techniques

What’s New in the Interface World

Working with Themes

Changing a Theme

Exploring Themes

Using Styles and States

Using Styles

Using States

Copying Styles

Using FileMaker Formatting Tools

Conditional Formatting

Setting the Layout Width

Using Grids

Using Guides

Using Dynamic Guides

Using Screen Stencils

Using GetLayoutObjectAttribute

Working with Custom Menus

Specifying Custom Menu Elements

Using the Menu Sets Interface

Providing Accessibility

Set Up Accessibility Attributes in Layout Mode

Turn On Accessibility Features

Use Accessibility Features

FileMaker Extra: User Interface Heuristics

Chapter 15 Advanced Calculation Techniques

Logical Functions

The Let Function

The Choose Function

The GetField Function

The Evaluate Function

Lookup Functions

Text Formatting Functions

Text Color, Font, and Size

Text Style

Removing Text Formatting

Array Functions

Working with Return-Delimited Data Arrays

Stepping Through an Array

The “Filter”-ing Functions

The Filter Function

The FilterValues Function

Custom Functions

Uses of Custom Functions

Creating Custom Functions

Examples of Custom Functions



FileMaker Extra: Creating a Custom Function Library

Matching Multiple Values

Chapter 16 Advanced Scripting Techniques

What Is Advanced Scripting?

Script Parameters

Script Parameters

Specifying Script Parameters

Retrieving a Script Parameter

Passing Multivalued Parameters

Strategies for Using Script Parameters

Script Results

Final Thoughts on Script Input/Output

Script Variables

About Local Variables

About Global Variables

Other Ways to Work with Variables

About Dynamic File Paths

Viewing Your Variables

FileMaker Extra: Recursive Scripts

Chapter 17 Working with FileMaker Triggers

Introducing FileMaker Triggers

FileMaker Triggers Before FileMaker Pro 10

Triggers in FileMaker Pro Today

Trigger Targets

Trigger Events

Triggers and Underlying Data

Triggers and Web Publishing

Attaching Triggers

Layout Triggers

Object Triggers

Window Triggers

Using a Timer

Trigger Functions

The Self Function

Char and Code Functions

The GetFieldName Function

The Get (TriggerKeystroke) and Get (TriggerModifierKeys) Functions

FileMaker Extra: Using Triggers for an Interactive Interface

Chapter 18 Advanced FileMaker Solution Architecture

Window Management Techniques

Multiwindow Interfaces

Using Window Styles

Working with Document Windows

Creating a Modal Dialog with a Window Style

Creating a Modal Dialog Using a Script Pause State

Adding a Pause State

Go to Related Record

GTRR Basics

Predicting the Found Set

Jumping to Disconnected Table Occurrences

Dedicated Find Layouts

Dedicated Find Mode Layouts

Script-Driven Finds


Chapter 19 Debugging and Troubleshooting

What Is Troubleshooting?

Staying Out of Trouble

Understand Software Requirements

Avoid Unclear Code

Planning for Trouble

Troubleshooting Scripts and Calculations

Handling Errors in Scripts

Tracking Down Errors

Troubleshooting in Specific Areas: Performance, Context, Connectivity, and Globals


Connectivity and Related Issues

Context Dependencies


File Maintenance and Recovery

Using the Database Design Report

Creating a DDR

Using the Script Debugger

About the Script Debugger

Placing Breakpoints

Using the Data Viewer

Chapter 20 Converting Systems from Previous Versions of FileMaker Pro

Updating and Upgrading FileMaker Software

Migrating to New FileMaker File Formats

Planning the Conversion

Preconversion Tasks

Document Your Solution

Do Some Housekeeping

Converting Files

Post-Conversion Tasks

Part IV Data Integration and Publishing

Chapter 21 Connecting to External SQL Data Sources

ODBC Basics


FileMaker Architecture

ODBC Architecture

Setting Up FileMaker Databases for ODBC

Setting Up and Administering ODBC

Installing Drivers

Administering ODBC

Example: Setting Up a DSN on OS X to Connect to MySQL

Example: Setting Up a DSN on Windows to Connect to FileMaker

Importing ODBC Data into FileMaker

Using External ODBC Data Sources with the Relationships Graph

Specifying the Data Source

Adding the External Data Source to theRelationships Graph

Using Supplemental Fields


Chapter 22 Importing Data into FileMaker Pro

Working with External Data

Flat-File Data Sources

Choosing the Target Table

Initiating the Import

The Import Field Mapping Dialog

Updating Records with Imported Data

Updating Records Without Using Match Fields

Importing from Another FileMaker Pro File

Using an Import to Create a New Table

Importing from a Microsoft Excel File

Setting Import Options and Reviewing Status

Importing Multiple Files from a Folder

Importing Text Files

Importing Image Files

Scripting Imports with FileMaker

Creating Automatic Recurring Imports

Using a Script to Import Data

Using Bento Data Sources


FileMaker Extra: Exploiting the FileMaker-to-FileMaker Import

Duplicating a Found Set

Duplicating Between Tables

Chapter 23 Exporting Data from FileMaker

Getting Out What You Put In

The Basic Mechanics of Exporting

Choosing a Source Table

Choosing an Output File Format

Selecting Fields to Export

Exporting Issues to Consider

Export File Formats

Character Transformations

Formatting Exported Data

Exporting Related Fields

Exporting Grouped Data

Exporting to Fixed-Width Formats

Working with Large Fields and Container


Scripted Exports

Chapter 24 Instant Web Publishing

Overview of Instant Web Publishing

Getting Started with IWP

Enabling and Configuring IWP

Configuring FileMaker Pro for IWP

Configuring FileMaker Server Advanced for IWP

Sharing and Securing Files via IWP

Designing for IWP Deployment

Constraints of IWP

Scripting for IWP

Layout Design

Container Fields

Application Flow


Chapter 25 Custom Web Publishing with PHP and XML

About Custom Web Publishing

Understanding the Three Parts of FileMaker Web Publishing

Custom Web Publishing Versus Instant Web Publishing

Preparing for Custom Web Publishing

Getting Your Databases Ready for CWP

Getting FileMaker Server Ready for Custom Web Publishing

Choosing a Custom Web Publishing Technology

Using Custom Web Publishing with PHP

Getting Your Databases Ready for Custom Web Publishing with PHP

Getting FileMaker Server Ready for Custom Web Publishing with PHP

Placing Files on the Web Server

Writing the PHP code for the FileMaker PHP API

Using Custom Web Publishing with XML

Preparing for XML Publishing

Introduction to XML Publishing

Understanding Query Strings

Performing Specific Searches with CWP URLs

Applications of Custom Web Publishing with XML

Other Query Parameters

About Sessions

Managing Sessions


Part V Deploying a FileMaker Solution

Chapter 26 Deploying and Extending FileMaker

FileMaker Deployment Options

Renaming Files

Runtime Solutions

Solution Options

Removing Admin Access

Polishing Your Custom Solution

Error Log

Developing Kiosk Solutions

Preparing a Kiosk Interface

Maintaining a Kiosk Solution


Understanding Plug-ins

Installing Plug-Ins

Configuring and Enabling Plug-Ins


Chapter 27 FileMaker Server and Server Advanced

About FileMaker Server

The FileMaker Server Product Line

FileMaker Server Versus Peer-to-Peer Database Hosting

FileMaker Server Capabilities

FileMaker Server Requirements

Installing and Deploying FileMaker Server

The Installation Process

The Deployment Process

Running FileMaker Server

Starting and Stopping FileMaker Server

Hosting Databases

Using Admin Console

FileMaker Server Overview



FileMaker Extra: Best Practices Checklist

Determine Network Infrastructure

Purchase Hardware

Install Software

Configure FileMaker Server

Deploy Databases and Schedule Backups

Monitor Usage Statistics

Recheck Performance

Stay on Top of Java

Monitor Log Viewer

Keep Current with Software Updates

9780789748461 TOC 5/8/2012

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