FileMaker for Research

Recent update from FileMaker:

Custom apps built on the FileMaker Platform are serving research teams around the globe every day. From aquatic laboratories in the Arctic to cancer research centers in the United Kingdom, researchers are using the FileMaker Platform to modernize record keeping, analyze complex data sets, centralize scattered information, and produce and store sophisticated results. We invite you to see what's possible.

FileMaker 16 - New Features

Almost all the new features in the newly released FileMaker version 16 are focussed on the developer. End users will benefit though, as developers implement new powerful features in current and new systems. 

Layout Objects window Get a hierarchical list of all objects on your layout. Select an object and instantly make a change without having to ungroup the set. Plus, easily find stacked or hidden objects on your layout.
Cards In one easy step, create windows that are automatically sized and placed appropriately on the main screen. Users can open other windows or files without having to first close the card.
New FileMaker Pro interface on Windows OS Get a more native Windows OS experience on FileMaker Pro with the brand-new user interface.
Copy and paste value lists Save valuable development time with the ability to copy and paste value lists in FileMaker Pro.
Variables in FileMaker data source references Dynamically open hosted FileMaker files by specifying a variable when choosing a file path.
Enhanced cURL options With more than 90 cURL options to choose from, easily create detailed HTTP/HTTPS network calls to request JSON data from other applications via REST APIs.
JSON functions Use predefined functions to simplify parsing and generating JSON data requested from other data sources.
External script steps Extend the capabilities of third-party plug-ins with support for external script steps in the FileMaker Plug-in SDK and the iOS App SDK.
Clickable security lock icons Get more details about the security of your network connection, such as information about SSL certificates, related details, and certificate validity.
OAuth 2.0 support for accounts Use your existing Amazon, Google, or Microsoft Azure account credentials to log in to your FileMaker-based custom apps.
Field-level text encryption Ability to encrypt text in a field.

The Best Time to Build a Solution

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
— Chinese Proverb

Today I noticed an ad on Seek: an expanding company was looking for a "Skilled Filemaker Developer to enhance and maintain our current database."

I realized that exactly the same ad was placed by the same company 2 years ago.

Who knows what happened the first time they tried to find a developer. Whatever the case, I know it's easy to put off developing a solution because of cost, inconvenience or perhaps not being able to find the right developer. 

Not putting the right solution in place can seriously limit an otherwise healthy business.

If your business has the potential to grow, don't delay, make the investment and reap the benefits.

FileMaker Business Alliance

Cognitive is proud to have recently achieved FileMaker Business Alliance (FBA) status.

From the FileMaker FBA site:

The FileMaker Business Alliance (FBA) is worldwide and designed for organisations that deliver solutions to enhance workflow and productivity of business customers, whether they use iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac or the Web to get their work done. FBA members include FileMaker consultants, trainers, publishers, solution providers, plug-in providers, resellers, and hosting companies. Companies looking to increase their business opportunities through exclusive sales and marketing support from FileMaker, Inc. benefit from FBA membership. The FBA provides a host of resources including training, promotional benefits, sales resources, co-marketing opportunities and product discounts to help you grow your business.

Don't let your project end up in flames

Where's my hoverboard? smh.com.au

Where's my hoverboard? smh.com.au

IT projects can quickly turn from exciting new development to ill-thought-out disaster if you're not careful.

Some questions to ask before embarking on your IT software development project:

  • Does your project have realistic objectives?
  • Do you have a plan with achievable milestones?
  • Are the development team members suitable?
  • What would happen if a team member became unavailable part-way through the project?
  • How is data backed up during development and when the system is operational?

Ask Cognitive how we can assist with analysis, design, planning and development to ensure a seamless development without costly surprises.

FileMaker 15 released

This is an incremental release that includes a wide range of small improvements.

The 'marketing' view of the new features is found here: http://www.filemaker.com/products/whats-new.html

The details of the changes can be found within the online help here: http://www.filemaker.com/help/15/fmp/en/#page/FMP_Help%2Fnew-features.html%23

FileMaker Sync with MirrorSync

Synchronisation is important for remote users who do not have constant connectivity.

There are several FileMaker 'Add-ons' that provide automatic sync of filemaker records. One such solution is MirrorSync.

In this YouTube video Jesse Barnum, of 360 Works, and Richard Carlton discuss and demo the new MirrorSync 2 FileMaker extension.

Starting with a single user is free. For more users there are incremental licensing costs.

 

Create a Mobile App — Webinar

Recent Webinar Promo from FileMaker Inc:

Get started with mobile app development.

If you are looking at creating a mobile app, where do you start? This webinar will lead you through the steps for planning, creating and deploying a mobile app for your business. We will use an example business use case to illustrate the process and what is possible with the FileMaker platform. From identifying the pain points through to the vision of what success looks like, we will show you the steps to building a mobile app and give you the confidence to get going right away. You will see demonstrations building a proof of concept and prototyping. Finally, you will discover a range of resources to get you started on your journey.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015
75 minutes
2.00pm - 3.15pm AEST

 

Some Version Info

While version have changed over time all the way up to the current v14, the FileMaker file format has also changed a couple of times.

From fp4, fp5, a major change to multi-table with relationship graph in fp7 and most recently to fmp12 (the current format). Format fp5 will work with v5, 5.5 and 6. Format fp7 will work with v7, 8, 8.5, 9, 10 and 11. Format fmp12 will work with v12, 13 and 14.

FileMaker Developers provides some FileMaker version history info here.  

FileMaker Conversion (Upgrading in a Nutshell)

To convert (multiple) fp5 files to the latest version follow these steps*

1. Run DDR in v5.5 or 6
2. Make sure all file have same full access password
3. Run MetadataMagic on solution if possible
4. Purge unused elements
5. Make sure unique names for relationships/layouts/valuelists/scripts before conversion
6. Name relationships like this: client_INVOICE_st_cre_det
7.  Record all layouts visible to user
8. Record scripts visible to user
9. Some scripts will need a Goto Layout added to the start to work properly in consolidated solution
10. Manage moving to layouts and back to original when running External scripts
11. Consolidate Value Lists
12. Change field names to standard
13. Use FMv11 to convert files from fp5 to fp7
14. Convert to fmp12 using FM12/13/14
15. Copy and paste TABLES into single main file (review import.log created after this)
16. Add relationships
17. Fix field errors (auto-enter/calculations/lookups)
18. Add layouts with exactly the same names as used in original individual files and set form or list / print margins
19. Add value lists (consolidate where possible)
20. Import scripts from files (errors in import.log)
21. Copy and paste layout elements into new layouts
22. Set tab orders
23. Change any external script references to internal (consolidate)
24. Set up custom menus if required
25. Also check the following:

  • Review Go to Related Record calls to ensure you are in the correct context/layout. Once consolidated the Go to Related Record may incorrectly state ‘current layout’ to the related table.
  • Review all New Record, Duplicate Record, and Set Field calls to ensure a commit record request is present to prevent record locking.
  • Check Import Records script steps
  • Export Records where a Group By is checked
  • Custom Functions, if going from FileMaker 8 or higher
  • Adjust Window Hide, remove them from the files that have been consolidated or the main window will hide
  • Close File, remove them from the scripts or the main file will close.
  • Any field validation may need to be reviewed as in .fp7 field validation occurs when any field is modified and the field may not be present on the layout.

* Based on a USA-based dbservices article.