Date values (and to a lesser extent, time values) are exceptionally common in database applications. And it isn’t at all unusual to want to ask you database interesting date-related questions, like “How many orders do we get on Tuesdays?” or “What was our total enrollment for the first quarter?” In fact, it is probably more common to look at ranges of dates than any particular date. Of course, if you’ve read our [previous articles](http://sixfriedrice.com/wp/the-secret-life-of-find-mode-requests/) on Find mode, you know how to find whole ranges of dates easily using find symbols. But FileMaker Pro’s Find mode has several date-specific tricks up its sleeve. Using some not-so-obvious syntax, you can easily search for *date slices* like every tuesday, or the 5th of every month, or every January. This short article will explain how.
We’re thrilled to let you know that FileMaker Pro 9: The Missing Manual is now available for sale. This sequel to the best selling FileMaker book out there was written by yours truly (Six Fried Rice co-owner Geoff Coffey), and the amazing Susan Prosser. You can read more about it [here](http://sixfriedrice.com/wp/products/filemaker-pro-missing-manual/) where you can also find a free sample chapter.
Once you’ve mastered [multiple requests](http://sixfriedrice.com/wp/the-secret-life-of-find-mode-requests/), you’re ready to move on to the next Find Mode gem: Find Symbols. Using these bits of punctuation, you can tell FileMaker, when it goes about matching records to your find criteria, to be a little more flexible, or a little more strict. In this article, you’ll learn about each one.
The show has officially started. I’m seeing faces I haven’t seen in ages and having a blast. Here’s a quick recap of the highlights of DevCon so far, from my perspective.
I’m excited to let you all know that Jesse and I will be participating in a cool new dealio at DevCon. If you haven’t heard about it, here’s the scoop: Chris Kubica ([author](http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/102-8153790-3308927?%5Fencoding=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books&field-author=Chris%20Kubica), [developer](http://www.applicationarch.com/), and all around FileMaker powerhouse), arranged for a special booth at DevCon to be staffed by reasonably good FileMaker folks like us. You can bring your problems, questions, and FileMaker challenges to the booth and get free advice. It’s called the FileMaker Genius Bar. I love the idea and hate the name.
Back in the late 19th century, when FileMaker Server 5.5 was released, one of its stellar new features was *AutoUpdate*. FileMaker Server can automatically install plug-ins on the connecting FileMaker Pro clients as needed. This is very cool, but there are a few gotchas, which are explained here.
FileMaker Server 9 represents a pretty significant redesign of the FileMaker Server product line. One consequence of all the changes is that things may not work properly without reconfiguring your *firewall(s)*. Improper firewall configuration can lead to all kinds of problems, some obvious (I can’t connect to my server) and some not-so-obvious (the Server Admin Console opens, and then hangs). This article attempts to explain in full detail exactly how each participant in the FileMaker ecosystem communicates, so you can jump right past these problems and get to developing awesome databases.
FileMaker’s *find mode* is a great feature. You can tell because, like all great technologies, it is easy to understand the first time you try it, and yet has a depth of capability that can be unlocked if you know a little more. Unfortunately, many FileMaker developers (and users) never venture beyond the simplest of finds. This series of articles aims to change that.
In [FileMaker 9 Tip #6] we explained how to use the new Append to PDF feature in FileMaker 9. With it, you can build up a PDF file over many steps in a script, to produce a much more complex and data-rich PDF than was ever possible before. One of our readers, Norman Foster, asked a very sensible question:
>This Append looks great but can it paginate across the entire set of PDF files. I want the page numbers in footers or headers, and I want them to be sequential. -Norman Foster
The Append to PDF Feature doesn’t do this automatically, but with a little calculation magic, it can be done.
On the off chance you’ve been hiding under an old Microsoft Access box for the last couple weeks, let me be the first to tell you that FileMaker now supports direct links to SQL databases. In other words, you can use table from a [MySql], [Oracle], or [Microsoft SQL Server] database right in FileMaker with no synchronization, no imports, and *no messy SQL programming*. This is A Big Dealâ„¢ and many of you are justifiably very excited about it.
And you probably have one burning question: “How the heck do I set this thing up?” The sad truth is that, for reasons well beyond FileMaker’s control, setting up a connection to a SQL database is the opposite of simple. Here’s the skinny on how to get your FileMaker database talking to a SQL database in as few steps as possible.