NightWing Enterprises - FileMaker Pro Custom Development

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As a free service to fellow developers and potential clients, sample
and demonstration files are periodically made available for download
from this site. A selection of current offerings is listed below:

Calculations, Logs and Extended Functionality

  MacOS
Windows
 
  * The Rolling Log
This file illustrates a technique which has numerous applications in ensuring the safety of data. It automatically stores a predetermined number of previous field values (in this case the current, plus the previous four entries are stored in the 'history' field). As new entries are added, older ones are automatically discarded, so that the impact on storage is contained. The demo is simple, but the technique has many possible applications!

The file is in fp5 format. This demo is password free, so that you can pull it to bits and see what makes it 'tick'. Click on the MacOS icon at right to download a Mac archive in Stuffit format, or on the Windows icon for a download in PKzip format.


MacOS
Windows
 
  * 'Multiple Undo' in FileMaker!
This demo has been developed to show how it is possible to provide a 'Multiple Undo' feature within FileMaker® Pro applications. The stored history would normally not be seen by the user, but in this example, it is displayed on the layout so that you can see the process working. Like the much discussed 'Rolling Log' example (see above), this technique stores a recent history of field contents (in this case the previous ten field updates are recorded). As new update entries are added, old ones are automatically discarded from the bottom of the list, so that at any point, the user can go back ten steps, reinstating previous field contents - even after the file has been closed and opened again!!

The file is in fp5 format. This demo is password free, so that you can see what's 'on the inside' if you're so inclined. Click on the MacOS icon at right to download a Mac archive in Stuffit format, or on the Windows icon for a download in PKzip format.


MacOS
Windows
 
  * Copy Forward/Copy Down (within a record)
Here is a demo of a technique which is a little like an automated 'fill down' feature such as you find in spreadsheet programs. It works between multiple fields within a record in FileMaker® Pro. You type in a number and it automatically copies to all the remaining fields. Type in a number part way through the list and it copies forward from that point only. Although originally requested for a system used for keeping attendance and class size records, the basic technique has many other applications.

The demo is an fp5 format file. There are no passwords to stop you playing around with it. Click on the MacOS icon at right to download a Mac archive in Stuffit format, or on the Windows icon for a download in PKzip format.


MacOS
Windows
 
  * Carry/Calculate Down (across multiple records)
This demo show how you can dynamically pass a value from one record to the next throughout a file, performing calculations on it as it goes (if you wish). A new value entered at any point in the file (by hand or by calculation) will be automatically carried forward throughout the rest of the file.

The basis of the technique demonstrated here operates like a spreadsheet automatic 'fill-down' or 'calculate down' - flowing from one record to the next throughout the whole or part of the data set. Calculation of the dynamic (carry-forward) value works with found sets and is readily updatable with the deletion, insertion or sorting of records.

This demo file draws together a number of techniques to provide an integrated solution for managing dynamic carry forward calculations in FileMaker Pro®. It is not for the faint hearted!

The demo is an fp5 format file. There are no passwords, so you are free to take a look behind the scenes if you wish. Click on the MacOS icon at right to download a Mac archive in Stuffit format, or on the Windows icon for a download in PKzip format.


MacOS
Windows
 
  * Accessing Values from Adjacent Records
When the 'value from a previous record' auto-entry option is not sufficient, you may find that you need an altogether more comprehensive and reliable method by which to access values from the previous record. This technique harnesses FileMaker's indexing system and relational capabilities to provide a robust method for accessing data from the adjacent record.

The technique is such that it 'self-heals' over the gap where a record is deleted, and is constant in operation (ie records are accessed in creation order, regardless of the file state, the found set or the sort order). As an accompaniment or an alternative to the 'Carry/Calculate Down' demo, this technique is definitely one to keep in your carpetbag of advanced FileMaker tricks!

The demo is an fp5 format file. There are no passwords, so your curiosity will be satisfied. Click on the MacOS icon at right to download a Mac archive in Stuffit format, or on the Windows icon for a download in PKzip format.


MacOS
Windows
 
  * Convert characters to/from ASCII character numbers
Although FileMaker Provides options to sort and index according to the ASCII character set, no mechanism is provided for translation of charaters to or from their ASCII numeric equivalents. If you've never thought of a reason to do this, then this demo is not for you. But would-be designers of html generators, encryption engines and various other systems will recognise a familiar problem here.

This demo provides a versatile and effective method fo dynamically translating text characters to and from ascii numeric equivalent values. It deals with the first 255 characters, though the principle could be extended beyond that if desired. This implementation targets only those characters which can be entered into a field, so contol, escape and some other 'special' characters are omitted (though this too can be addressed using the same mechanism if required.

This demo file is disarmingly simple. It has two layouts, one which provides dynamic conversion of the characters you enter into their equivalent ascii character code numbers - and the other which permite you to enter asci code numbers, and returns the corresponding characters

The demo is an fp5 format file. There are no passwords, so you are free to take a tour of the code if you wish. Click on the MacOS icon at right to download a Mac archive in Stuffit format, or on the Windows icon for a download in PKzip format.


MacOS
Windows
 
  * Dynamic Check Digits - Modulus 10 and Modulus 11!
Industry standards for preservation of data integrity often require that check digits be appended to data, or that they be verified when supplied with data from another source. Although FileMaker Pro does not provide an automatic check digit calculation function, this demo shows how they can be created and verified.

This example file demonstrates FileMaker Pro calculations which provide matching check-digit generation and validation systems for the two of the most widely accepted industry standards: Modulus 10 and Modulus 11 check digit formulations.

The demo is an fp5 format file. There are no passwords, so there is open access to the calculation formulae for those with a nose for code. Click on the MacOS icon at right to download a Mac archive in Stuffit format, or on the Windows icon for a download in PKzip format.


MacOS
Windows
 
  * Custom Date Validation Techniques
There are numerous cases when data must be validated by calculation, to check for formats that are not automatically provided for by FileMaker. One of the most challenging is user input of dates via custom dialogs (which bypass FileMaker's native field validation). A related problem - and no less 'thorny' is the provision of options to enter dates in formats that are not normally supported by FileMaker, yet have them validated and converted to the appropriate date format.

The first file in this demo shows a method of accepting user-entered dates via FMPv6 custom dialogs in a variety of formats, validating them before proceeding, then converting them to the accepted FileMaker date format.

The second file shows a comparable technique, however in this case, dates are entered directly into a field on a layout.

Both methods provide support for the entry of dates in a range of formats. For example dates may be entered as: mm/dd, mm-dd, mm.dd, mm/dd/yy, mm/dd/yy, mm.dd.yyyy, mm/dd/yyyy, mm/dd/yyyy, mm.dd.yyyy or mmddyyyy. All these formats are then validated and automatically converted to FileMaker date format, including Y2K conversion for two-digit years.

Note that the latter implements the principle of a ‘rolling century’, whereby two digit years are always converted to the year which is closest to the current date (so for example, in 2003, years of 53 (or less) will be interpreted as 21st century, years of 54 or greater will be interpreted as 20th century, and this will roll forward with the system date year). When the year is omitted altogether, the date is placed in the current calendar year. However when the date is entered as mmddyyyy (ie without slashes, dashes or dots between the day, month and year), four digit years are required.

Both files are in fp5 format and are open for inspection. To download a Mac archive in Stuffit format click on the MacOS icon at right, or for a download in PKzip format, click the Windows icon.


MacOS
Windows
 
  * The Value Tracker - Calculating a cumulative history of values in a field!!
The technique shown in this demo is simple, yet startlingly effective. It's perfoect for those occasions when you need to keep a running total of values on each record but don't want a scripted solution, nor the overhead of a related file to collect a history of values. Think small!

This example file shows how it is possible for a calculation field to accumulate a numerical value history, like a miniature adding machine doing its stuff right there on your layout.

The technique requires version 5.5 or greater of FileMaker® Pro, as it harnewwes the power of the GetField( ) function to perform a little behind-the-scenes wizardry - and thereby pull off a little trick that was once thought impossible.

The demo is an fp5 format file. The key is under the mat, so just let yourself in :). Click on the MacOS icon at right to download a Mac archive in Stuffit format, or on the Windows icon for a download in PKzip format.


MacOS
Windows
 




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NWE

NightWing Enterprises Pty Ltd
ABN 11 091 607 591
www.nightwing.com.au/FileMaker
PO Box 20, Dallas, Victoria, Australia 3047
Ph +61 3 9016 3347  •   Fax +61 3 9309 8273  •   Mobile 0409 309 143
Email: admin@nightwingenterprises.com


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