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Tips, news, advice, ideas, and thoughts (not only) related to FileMaker development…



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Plug-In Dreams Come True post image Plug-In Dreams Come True thumbnail

Plug-In Dreams Come True

As time passes by it’s often hard to notice what changes it brings and fairly judge what wishes are being listened to and fulfilled. We FileMaker developers often tend to complain about FileMaker ignoring our feature requests but let’s be honest and admit that’s often just an oversight. Learn more…

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FileMaker Platform is ideal match for startups post image FileMaker Platform is ideal match for startups thumbnail

FileMaker Platform is ideal match for startups

Everyone knows or feels that starting a new business is not easy. There are many startups in these days. Every new company looks for the best possible systems to support their new ideas. We found out that our favourite FileMaker platform is an ideal match for these startups. Get more details…

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Sheep Sorting Is No Longer a Nightmare with 24U Phidgets Plug-In post image Sheep Sorting Is No Longer a Nightmare with 24U Phidgets Plug-In thumbnail

Sheep Sorting Is No Longer a Nightmare with 24U Phidgets Plug-In

Counting sheeps may put anyone asleep but for a sheep farmer sorting sheep a real madness and commercial solutions are too expensive. Therefore one developed a new solution powered by the FileMaker® platform and 24U Phidgets Plug-In!! Learn about sheep sorter…

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Become a Troubleshooting Hero! post image Become a Troubleshooting Hero! thumbnail

Become a Troubleshooting Hero!

You know what it feels like to be the hero who has just fixed “the thing”. Imagine you have spent hundreds or thousands of hours developing your solution, and now you’re ready to deploy it. Is your work done? The truth is that until now you have been playing your favorite game. Now the real life begins. Learn how to become the hero…

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App Helps with School Grades post image App Helps with School Grades thumbnail

App Helps with School Grades

My son Štěpán recently surprised me by bringing an insufficient grade from a math exam. He needed to improve quickly, so I launched FileMaker Pro Advanced and decided to create an app to help him. The next day he got the best grade for a followup exam, not making a single error… Read details →

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Life before and after Xgode post image Life before and after Xgode thumbnail

Life before and after Xgode

We can build native iOS apps with the FileMaker platform for over two years, but until we had Xgode, we struggled doing that too often. Xgode, however, has changed everything for us, and now it is not an exception when we build a FileMaker based native app more than five times on the same day. Why is the life after Xgode so different from the life before it? Find out →

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Google Maps become affordable post image Google Maps become affordable thumbnail

Google Maps become affordable

Since the introduction of WebViewer, Google Maps were quite popular in FileMaker solutions. What many FileMaker developers may have missed though is that in most cases they were using Google Maps API illegally and Google could ban their API key or IP address from accessing the feature at any time. What many FileMaker developers have missed though is that in most cases they were using Google Maps API illegally and Google could ban their API key or IP address from accessing the feature at any time. That all may belongs to the past now. Learn what’s changing →

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Echoes of the Past post image Echoes of the Past thumbnail

Echoes of the Past

As time passes by, we quickly and easily get used to new technologies and new versions of all the apps we use. FileMaker Pro is not an exception. Occasionally, the history decently knocks on the door, checking if we remember. Just like recently, when a customer contacted us, asking for help with converting his invoicing solution, made in FileMaker Pro 1.0, to the current version. It was a slight challenge as FileMaker Pro 16 can no longer directly import FMP 1.0 databases… Read how we did it →

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Product Testing for Constant Improvements post image Product Testing for Constant Improvements thumbnail

Product Testing for Constant Improvements

We’ve been developing FileMaker plug-ins since the release of FileMaker Pro 4, so some of our products have been there for our users for over a decade. We would like to share with you a few notes on how to make a product successful. An ideal version of our product would contain all the features our clients ask for, would contain no bugs and we would make the product compatible with current and future environments and systems. But that is hard to achieve and often not economically viable. So we are pushing our products closer to this ideal with this motto: “Every new version of a product has to be better than the previous one.” Learn more →

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Compression vs Encryption

Many years ago, we decided to take advantage of one typical aspect of FileMaker databases. By using a simple bash script, we could easily keep a history of 4 times more backups than without compression. This worked very well for a long time, until we recently decided to increase our level of security by using the encryption at rest. It took just a few days before the backup disk got full and our backup script started failing… Learn more →

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Perform Script On Server

The idea of being able to off-load time consuming tasks from FileMaker Pro to FileMaker Server is as old as the scripting abilities of FileMaker Pro, which were introduced with the FileMaker Pro 3 release. But it was the FileMaker Server 13 that finally made this idea easy to implement. With FileMaker Pro 13 or later you can perform a script on FileMaker Server 13 or later on demand, and you can do it as easily as performing a script in FileMaker Pro. If you don’t use Perform Script on Server and server-side plug-ins, you will most likely be missing more than half of the potential of FileMaker Server these days. Learn more →

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Walter Pro

Save the Planet Through Automated Planting

This year 24U had a chance to participate in a project of two brothers from Netherlands, utilizing the FileMaker platform. These brothers created the first mobile system for automated planting and we are really proud that we can the part of it. This system will not only make planting easy but it can really help us to save our planet.

You can plant anything, anywhere in the world. Tomatoes in a desert, strawberries in a cellar, in a few years maybe on Mars as well. Learn more →

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Text or Numbers – What’s Faster post image Text or Numbers – What’s Faster thumbnail

Text or Numbers – What’s Faster

One of the questions I am getting from time to time since I started testing FileMaker performance is whether there is any significant difference between performance of text and number fields, how indexing affects speed, and what’s the impact of uniqueness of the existing values. So I tested it and discovered that there is even a case when indexed field can be slower than an undindexed one. Learn more →

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Safe Housekeeping post image Safe Housekeeping thumbnail

Safe Housekeeping

When you have a FileMaker solution that you have developed and used over a long time, you are likely to have objects like scripts, table occurrences, value lists, custom functions or layouts, that you don’t use any more. Once in a while you probably want to delete some of them to remove their impact on your solution’s size and performance. But how to be sure you really delete only unused stuff? Learn more →

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How and why I won the FileMaker DevCon Developer Cup thumbnail

How and why I won the FileMaker DevCon Developer Cup

When the first FileMaker DevCon Developer Cup took place at FileMaker DevCon 2014 many people asked me why I was not participating. So I applied for the next one in 2015. I was selected out of the over 1500 attendees to be one of 12 actually competing, and I won both the separately evaluated design challenge and the whole contest as well, to become a proud FileMaker DevCon 2015 Developer Cup Champion.

Now, 3 weeks before the next DevCon 2016, when people are thinking of participating in the new FileMaker Developer Challenge, I am going to reveal, why I decided to participate in the Developer Cup last year, what I did to win it, and what it has given me in the end. Learn more →

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Team Development

The good thing about growth is that you’re getting stronger. You can deliver more work in less time and provide more unique values to your clients, such as stability, reliability, or variability. The difficult part is to make the team work together like clockwork. Learn more →

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Client Offload

In the last article I mentioned I attended Pause[x]Berlin 2013 with my team and gave you the video recording of my session Optimization Madness. I’m glad to tell you that I have one more recording from this event for you. We also recorded Fabrice Nordmann’s session Client Offload. 

You can watch the whole Fabrice’s session below: Learn more →

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Optimization Madness

In May, I participated in Pause[x]Berlin 2013, a European format of the popular unconference Pause On Error, organized for FileMaker developers by FileMaker developers.. There I presented a session called Optimization Madness focused on optimizing performance of FileMaker solutions. The good news for you if you missed the event is that the whole session was recorded and so now you can watch it belowLearn more →

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Tamagotchi – Ready for the Future thumbnail

Tamagotchi – Ready for the Future

Several years ago, when Tamagotchi became popular, I thought it was a good way to teach a kid how to take care of a pet without an actual risk of hurting or killing one. Back at that time I had no idea that the meaning of this toy was much deeper…Learn more →

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Why is FileMaker 12 slow? thumbnail

Why is FileMaker 12 slow?

A lot has been written and said since FileMaker 12 was released about its speed, compared to FileMaker 11. Emotions left aside, if I was supposed to compile all the recent findings into a single brief message, I would say that some people find FileMaker 12 slower than FileMaker 11 while others experience improved performance after upgrading to FileMaker 12. Check it out yourself in my LinkedIn poll. Learn more →

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Marvelous Optimization #4 – Optimized Again thumbnail

Marvelous Optimization #4 – Optimized Again

Last September I wrote an article about a custom function that I optimized to evaluate hundreds times faster. At the end of the article, I challenged my readers and myself by claiming that the already optimized custom function can be optimized even further. Do you remember?

Later on I actually really optimized it again, and talked about this optimization during my session at Pause On Error [x] London 2011. Now you can watch the video of this part of my session below: Learn more →

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Marvelous Optimization #3 – Faster Imports thumbnail

Marvelous Optimization #3 – Faster Imports

This example demonstrates that even a single-step script can be optimized. You just have to think a little bit out of the box…

I was showing this as a surprise in my session Marvelous Optimizations at Pause On Error [x] London 2011. I used a sample file with 25 fields and 5,000 records and imported these records 5 times in a row in just 13 seconds. OK, 13 seconds is not bad but what if you need to import data into FileMaker Go  over network? If you want to know how I imported the same data in less than 3 seconds, watch the following video from my Pause On Error session. Learn more →

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Marvelous Optimization #2 thumbnail

Marvelous Optimization #2

The second example I was showing in my session Marvelous Optimizations at Pause On Error [x] London 2011 was the script for selecting Random Set of Records. I found this example in the FileMaker Knowledge Base and optimized it to run at least 158 times faster when selecting 10 random records out of 50,000.

This version of the example has FM Bench Detective script steps included to measure the original and the optimized script more precisely. Watch the video recorded at Pause On Error below to learn more details about this optimization. Learn more →

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Marvelous Optimization #1 thumbnail

Marvelous Optimization #1

This is the first example I was showing in my session Marvelous Optimizations at Pause On Error [x] London 2011. I already wrote about this optimization some time ago. It’s the one that led me to unveil the Marvelous Optimization Formula. You can find the original article here: FileMaker Script Execution Time Cut From 5 Hours To 6 Seconds.I simply took the example and added FM Bench Detective into it to be able to exactly measure and examine what happens in the slow and the optimized script. Now you can watch the result in this video recorded at Pause On Error. Learn more →

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Debugging Scripts by Writing to Event.log thumbnail

Debugging Scripts by Writing to Event.log

This is a fresh story of me spending hours trying to fix a technical issue and accidentally revealing a gold nugget. A few days ago one of my nightly server-side scripts stopped working without any apparent reason. But when I tried to run the script in FileMaker Pro it worked just fine. I really needed a way to debug the script on the server. Learn more →

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Random Set of Records (optimized) thumbnail

Random Set of Records (optimized)

I noticed that one of the articles updated in the official FileMaker Knowledge Base on September 23, 2011 was explaining how to select a random set of records in a FileMaker database. I was wondering how fast the currently recommended technique is and whether I can make it faster with the help of FM Bench. I tried to apply it to a set of 50,000 records of randomly generated data. Then I made it much fasterLearn more →

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Custom Function Optimized to Evaluate Hundreds Times Faster thumbnail

Custom Function Optimized to Evaluate Hundreds Times Faster

Two weeks ago I wrote an article about a FileMaker custom function I needed to preprocess some data imported from the web. I used this custom function in an auto-enter calculation to immediately preprocess the data while being imported. I created a server-side script that does the import every morning. But when I discovered that the import was taking over an hour every day, I saw it deserves some optimization. I used FM Bench Detective and optimized the custom function to evaluate up to several hundreds times faster… Learn more →

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FileMaker Custom Function for HTML Entities thumbnail

FileMaker Custom Function for HTML Entities

Just today I needed to decode HTML encoded text in FileMaker. I thought this must have been done many times before, so I tried to search for a suitable custom function at BrianDunning.com and FMFunctions.com. After checking few functions I found one that seemed pretty good. Learn more →

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5 reasons for not attending FileMaker DevCon thumbnail

5 reasons for not attending FileMaker DevCon

To attend or not to attend? That’s the question I am asking myself every year since 2002 when I attended my first FileMaker DevCon. I have attended 8 DevCons so far, and skipped one. I have identified the following 5 possible reasons for not attending: Learn more →

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Mac OS X 10.7 Lion – Upgrade or Wait? thumbnail

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion – Upgrade or Wait?

Everyone is excited about Lion. Even though many new features on Mac OS  X 10.7 are giving us improvements we kept asking for since 10.1, Apple has again succeeded in giving all the new features the strong essence of innovation that makes us unable to hesitate to install and try Lion out as soon as we are able to.

But we are also afraid. What if some important apps stop working? Learn more →

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PHP Debugging & FileMaker Custom Functions Do Exist thumbnail

PHP Debugging & FileMaker Custom Functions Do Exist

I have just read Anders Monsen’s post A Simple Debug Function for PHP at the Mightydata’s blog. My first thought was this is similar to what I have been doing since I learned PHP a few years ago. But then I discovered something very bad about myself… Learn more →

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Blog Moved post image

Blog Moved

I have just finished switching my blog from Posterous to a self-hosted WordPress.org based site.

You may have noticed I mentioned this idea on Twitter some time ago. I had mainly three reasons for this change: Learn more →

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Infinite Hierarchy

Last week Hal Gumbert mentioned on Twitter that he was “working on a FileMaker quote to display and edit a BOM ( Build of Materials ) that can go 9 levels deep.” Learn more →

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FileMaker Script Execution Time Cut From 5 Hours To 6 Seconds

Sometimes, not often, I accidentally achieve results that look too marvelous to be real. But they are. Just like in this case. Learn more →

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Per-Database FileMaker Plug-Ins

Hal Gumbert (@campsoftware) has started an interesting topic on Twitter today: “I would love to include FileMaker plugins IN the FileMaker file within the ‘File Options’ dialog. Should have ‘File Plugins’, ‘App Plugins’, and ‘Computer Plugins’. ‘File Plugins’ would be stored IN db.” This topic quickly turned to be full of ideas and opinions. Way more than can reasonably fit in Twitter’s message length limit. Learn more →

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FileMaker PHP Error 7 (Running Out Of Memory) resolved

Yesterday I got so stuck with an issue that I wanted to send a question to a mailing list. But (un)fortunately I sent it from a wrong e-mail address so it did not reach the list. Learn more →

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Designing Buttons in Pages [updated]

When developing a software (FileMaker solutions, iOS apps in my case) we often need nice looking user interface elements such as buttons. Learn more →

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24U Net Remote Demo video

I have recently uploaded a new demo video of 24U Net Remote to the Net Remote’s website. It’s the best video I have ever created, so I wanted to show off ;-) Learn more →

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First Lessons from Developing for FileMaker Go

In the old times before FileMaker Go, before tab control, before anchors, before multiple windows per file, in the age of 13-inch CRT monitors, the most frequent challenges I was facing when developing FileMaker solutions were:

How to fit all the necessary information into such small space What the hack to put in that weird empty area on the layout

These days we have so many convenient ways to manage the real estate of FileMaker layouts that I often almost forget all the knowledg I gained at those old times.

Until last year… Learn more →

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Indicate Progress in FileMaker Go and 11

When I was preparing a sample file for the How To Prevent Support Calls video I wanted to make it as cool as possible, so I decided to optimize it for FileMaker Go. I quickly discovered that I need a plug-in free alternative for the progress dialog. Learn more →

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24U SimpleDialog Plug-In 4.0 Special Offer [updated Jul 24, 2010]

The crushing offer is over

OK, I had a crushing offer for you but it has already expired.

But the new SimpleDialog 4 is worth the money even without discount, isn’t it? Learn more →

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Stay Independent

Do you use FileMaker plug-in? Why? Let’s try something. Stop reading now, scroll down to the Comments section and answer these two questions. I am seriously curious about your answers. Then scroll back up and read the rest of this article. Learn more →

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Prevent Support Calls [updated July 29, 2010]

After being silent for a while, busy preparing a new product launch, I am now back and cannot wait to tell you what you all probably guessed already. Pssst, rumors have that an all new SimpleDialog is rolling out. But before I confirm or deny the rumors, I have a story for you. Learn more →

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Top 10 things I like about #FileMaker 10

Over a year has passed since the FileMaker 10 family of products was released. Do you still hesitate to upgrade? I am constantly meeting customers who have not yet upgraded to the latest version of FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server, so I have decided to share my top ten reasons why “ten” is so great Learn more →

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GetAsDate(x) GetAsDate( x & “”)

Ever had a trouble getting FileMaker Pro convert text to date reliably? Learn more →

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Top 10 things I hate about #FileMaker Pro 10

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The best 10minute workflow to demo #FileMaker at a press conference

I am preparing a 10minute demo for a press conference where I will be showing FileMaker to journalists who have never seen it and have no idea what it is about. Learn more →

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I have got my #FileMaker branded flash drive

512 MB is not much but it is nice… Thanks #FileMaker TechNet ;-) Learn more →

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