If you have a relational database (one with several connected tables) and you do any scripting at all, you’ll almost certainly ask yourself a question at some point: How can I tell if the record I’m on has related records? This article explains the scenarios you may run in to, and how *best* to deal with them.
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.
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.
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.
Creating a random number with FileMaker is a seemingly impossible task. Fortunately for us, FileMaker provides us with a very useful calculation function to help us along the way: `Random`. Alas, this function isn’t quite what you think.
This question came up on [Macintouch](http://www.macintouch.com/readerreports/filemaker9/index.html):
>Can you import an ASCII (.txt) file into Filemaker Pro 9 that uses a dollar sign ($) as a field delimiter within a record? The file is too big to bring into Excel first (on the way to filemaker).
Unfortunately, FileMaker 9 does not change the supported import formats, and $ delimited is *not* on the list. On the bright side, there are several ways to deal with this sort of thing in FileMaker.
Script debugging has received an overhaul in FileMaker 9. FileMaker 8 launched a great feature with the data viewer but FileMaker 9 has made it an indispensable tool. Not to be outdone, the debugger also received some updates that make it a much more powerful tool. All in all, I’m sure you will be happy with your new debugging tools.
One of the most annoying parts of FileMaker development is when I look on my screen and see: *”Some Guy” is modifying these items. You cannot use these items until “Some Guy” is finished.* I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about… You need to make a couple of little tweaks to your not-quite-finished script and FileMaker gives you that annoying little pop-up. Fortunately, FileMaker has finally gotten rid of this productivity killing problem and added a couple other gems to ScriptMaker with their newest release, FileMaker Pro 9.
One of the least talked about features of FileMaker 9 is a new calculation called `Self`. Although the primary purpose of this function is to facilitate the Conditional Formatting feature (which can perform calculations on such unnamed items as text objects and buttons), `Self` comes in handy in lots of common situations.