One of the most exciting new features in FileMaker 9 is *Conditional Formatting*. I think this is awesome because now you can apply dynamic custom styles to layout elements without adding dozens of crufty unstored calcs to your table. When I first started playing with conditional formatting, though, I felt a little let down by one thing: There’s apparently no way to make something *disappear* using conditional formatting. I often have the need to show something to my user — an informational message, indicator icon, or even a button — only under certain conditions. It turns out that with some creative thinking, **you can show and hide layout elements with conditional formatting**. (Some restrictions apply.)
Announcing the Ruby API for FileMaker
We just rolled out 1.0 of Rfm It’s an awesome object-oriented API for Ruby. With it, you can talk to FileMaker server.
In the past you had to have FileMaker Server Advanced to do anything like this, but with today’s announcement of FileMaker Server 9, that is no longer the case. Now the regular $999 server has full XML publishing capabilities. This is huge.
So if you use Ruby or Ruby on Rails, or you’ve always wondered what it’s all about, have a peek.
FileMaker – Passing Multiple Script Parameters
I can think of hundreds of times when I found myself pounding my head against the desk because I had to define yet another global field just to pass a simple value from one script to another. Like you, I myself hate to have lots of cruft clogging up my databases. Luckily, FileMaker 7+ gave us the wonderful addition of script parameters to help relieve this plight. Sometimes, even this isn’t enough and that’s where passing multiple parameters takes over.
Filemaker Error 401
No this is not an AP class on FileMaker Errors. FileMaker Error 401 refers to the dreaded, script killing, FileMaker Error 401. Many of us have encountered an annoying pop-up stating “No records match this set of find requests” in the middle of our carefully crafted scripts and don’t really know where it comes from. The error message FileMaker’s way of saying that your script just performed a find, and it couldn’t find any records. But in practice, you often don’t want to tell your _users_ no records were found. Instead, you just want you script to note this fact, adjust its behavior accordingly, and keep on trucking. More often than not, when this error message pops up, the poor user can’t figure out what to do: “Should I Cancel? or should I Modify Find?” Perhaps he just pounds the escape key until something happens. All three choices seem like perfectly rational responses to me, but are probably not what the programmer intended.
Scaling Images in a Web Viewer
A recent post on the [TechNet][technet] mailing list posed an interesting question:
>When displaying an image in a web viewer, is there any way to scale the image to fit?
Of course container fields have this ability built right in (by way of the Format -> Graphic command). But there are several reasons you might want to show pictures in a web viewer instead. Most notably, the images might already be on a web site. There’s no reason to copy them into the FileMaker database too, wasting space and adding more to your already busy schedule. Is there any way to give web viewers container-like scaling ability?
Announcing FREE FileMaker to JSON Converter
If you do any so-called AJAX development, you may be familiar with [JSON]. This terse “object notation” lets you turn just about any set of data into a compact plain-text string that can easlily be shuttled across the network or from one program to another. Most AJAX libraries have built in support for JSON. We’ve just posted the [FileMaker to JSON Converter], an XSLT template that adds direct-to-JSON support to FileMaker Server Advanced. With this little beauty installed, dynamic web applications, ruby scripts, dashboard widgets, and gadgets can talk direclty to FileMaker with ease.
Up to Speed with the FileMaker PHP API
So you’ve heard about the new FileMaker PHP API. You want to put FileMaker data on the web, but you’re not sure where to start. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, but using PHP to publish FileMaker to the web is *easy*, *fun*, and *totally awesome*. This (admittedly lengthy) article tells you everything you need to know to get started.