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FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
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Adding find criteria to a script


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FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

with Cris Ippolite

Video: Adding find criteria to a script

Finding records is one most common task that users perform in FileMaker Pro databases. As a result, finding records are also a common action that Scripts are called to perform. Scripts can be set up to perform any search that a user can perform manually, and even some that they cannot perform manually. Because you can control a scripted search as a developer more easily than you can a manual search, scripted searches are often more efficient and reliable, mainly because they'll always have the same outcome, because you don't have to worry about users messing up the criteria. This can also help with system performance. There are actually several scripts steps involved in the finding records activities within your scripts, and we'll take a look at those here.
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  1. 7m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 8s
    2. Understanding the FileMaker family
      2m 15s
    3. Using the FileMaker Quick Start screen
      2m 52s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 7s
  2. 21m 9s
    1. What is a database?
      2m 26s
    2. Flat vs. relational databases
      2m 29s
    3. How FileMaker works
      4m 48s
    4. Understanding the essential preferences
      3m 13s
    5. Touring the interface
      8m 13s
  3. 11m 44s
    1. Creating databases from templates
      2m 29s
    2. Creating new databases in the spreadsheet-like format
      5m 35s
    3. Importing tables
      3m 40s
  4. 9m 9s
    1. Determining which tables you will need
      5m 10s
    2. Creating tables in the Managing Tables window
      3m 59s
  5. 34m 47s
    1. Understanding relationship types
      6m 58s
    2. Diagramming relationships (with ER diagrams)
      8m 50s
    3. Determining which key fields you need
      5m 18s
    4. Defining primary and foreign keys
      7m 56s
    5. Creating relationships using the relationships graph and table occurrences
      5m 45s
  6. 50m 34s
    1. Deciding what fields you will need
      5m 34s
    2. Understanding field types
      7m 54s
    3. Defining fields
      9m 56s
    4. Using Auto Enter options in fields
      9m 33s
    5. Reviewing field validation options
      8m 16s
    6. Building with container fields
      9m 21s
  7. 14m 8s
    1. Creating and duplicating records
      5m 40s
    2. Editing and locking records
      4m 42s
    3. Deleting records and backing up files
      3m 46s
  8. 21m 6s
    1. Importing data
      9m 57s
    2. Importing records to refresh data
      7m 2s
    3. Exporting data
      4m 7s
  9. 18m 30s
    1. Understanding layouts
      4m 15s
    2. Using the Layout Assistant to create List views
      7m 59s
    3. Using the Layout Assistant to create labels and envelopes
      6m 16s
  10. 27m 11s
    1. Using the Layout Setup dialog box
      4m 54s
    2. Understanding layout parts
      4m 40s
    3. Understanding the new Inspector
      2m 26s
    4. Exploring the Status Area in Layout mode
      6m 46s
    5. Managing layouts and layout folders
      8m 25s
  11. 41m 9s
    1. Arranging, aligning, grouping, and locking layout objects
      11m 5s
    2. Placing and formatting objects, parts, and graphics
      4m 10s
    3. Formatting fields and applying field attributes
      8m 26s
    4. Setting field behaviors
      4m 4s
    5. Using the Tab Control feature
      9m 8s
    6. Setting tab order
      4m 16s
  12. 36m 48s
    1. Using the basic find functions
      7m 31s
    2. Reviewing new requests in the Find mode
      5m 54s
    3. Establishing search operators
      6m 43s
    4. Constraining or extending found sets
      3m 24s
    5. Finding records using date, time, or timestamp criteria
      5m 18s
    6. Using Fast Match and Quick Find
      4m 41s
    7. Working with saved finds
      3m 17s
  13. 17m 28s
    1. Sorting with one criterion
      6m 4s
    2. Sorting with related fields
      2m 18s
    3. Sorting with multiple criteria
      1m 36s
    4. Sorting using custom values
      3m 14s
    5. Sorting using buttons
      4m 16s
  14. 17m 14s
    1. Reviewing Field/Control styles
      5m 43s
    2. Creating and applying static value lists
      5m 20s
    3. Creating and applying dynamic value lists
      6m 11s
  15. 23m 52s
    1. Previewing pages and print options
      6m 20s
    2. Printing in different views
      2m 54s
    3. Sliding objects
      3m 26s
    4. Printing merge letters
      4m 53s
    5. Saving as a PDF or Excel file
      6m 19s
  16. 15m 1s
    1. Building simple reports with summary fields
      4m 36s
    2. Creating subsummary reports
      6m 51s
    3. Creating subsummary reports in Table view
      3m 34s
  17. 52m 19s
    1. Defining calculations
      2m 31s
    2. Exploring the Calculation dialog box
      5m 8s
    3. Using number functions
      12m 41s
    4. Using date and time functions
      4m 58s
    5. Using text functions
      11m 43s
    6. Using get functions
      4m 0s
    7. Using logic functions
      11m 18s
  18. 46m 56s
    1. Understanding scripts and script steps
      2m 23s
    2. Assigning script steps to buttons
      3m 54s
    3. Understanding the ScriptMaker dialog box
      8m 28s
    4. Creating multi-line scripts
      6m 44s
    5. Adding find criteria to a script
      4m 58s
    6. Understanding the If script step
      8m 36s
    7. Using script parameters
      4m 42s
    8. Reviewing the Send Mail option
      7m 11s
  19. 28m 0s
    1. Understanding script triggers
      2m 41s
    2. Using object-based triggers
      11m 58s
    3. Using layout-based triggers
      7m 51s
    4. Using file-based triggers (Open and Close scripts)
      5m 30s
  20. 56m 42s
    1. Using related fields
      7m 18s
    2. Creating portals and using portal filtering
      10m 38s
    3. Using related fields in calculations
      7m 6s
    4. Understanding multi-predicate relationships
      11m 11s
    5. Using the Go to Related Record script step
      7m 26s
    6. Creating a chart
      13m 3s
  21. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
9h 11m Beginner Jun 25, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training, Cris Ippolite demonstrates the principal features and functions of this popular database software, including creating tables and relationships, managing fields and records, and working with layouts. The course shows FileMaker developers how to find, sort, and share data as well as how to create reports, calculations, and scripts. It also covers brand new features in FileMaker Pro 11 such as the Inspector tool, charting, and portal filtering. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating databases from templates
  • Creating fields in spreadsheet format
  • Creating tables and relationships
  • Defining key fields
  • Adding validation and auto-enter values to fields
  • Managing records, including duplicating, locking, and deleting records
  • Creating and managing layouts
  • Formatting layout objects
  • Finding and sorting data
  • Creating calculation fields
  • Building reports
  • Printing and saving as PDF or Excel
  • Writing and triggering scripts
  • Using relationships throughout a database
Subjects:
Business Databases
Software:
FileMaker Pro
Author:
Cris Ippolite

Adding find criteria to a script

Finding records is one most common task that users perform in FileMaker Pro databases. As a result, finding records are also a common action that Scripts are called to perform. Scripts can be set up to perform any search that a user can perform manually, and even some that they cannot perform manually. Because you can control a scripted search as a developer more easily than you can a manual search, scripted searches are often more efficient and reliable, mainly because they'll always have the same outcome, because you don't have to worry about users messing up the criteria. This can also help with system performance. There are actually several scripts steps involved in the finding records activities within your scripts, and we'll take a look at those here.

If we go to Scripts > Manage Scripts, and let's double-click on Print Welcome Letter. You'll notice under Found Sets, we've got the ability to Perform a Find, Perform a Quick Find, Constraining Found Sets, Extending Found Sets, and even Modify Last Find, which is somewhat integrated into constraining and extending, and then some of the reset options, like Showing All Records and Show Omitted Only. So, all of these really speak to creating a Found Set, and then manipulating the Found Set, of course. Most of them are pretty self-explanatory. So let's say, in our Print Welcome Letter script, that what we would like to do, instead of just running the report and printing off a letter, that we want to isolate the customers in the database that have a pending status, and then print a welcome letter for each one of them.

So in our case, before we can get to the point where we want to print, which is right about at the Go to Layout step, actually, we're going to want to instead perform a find. This way we're only printing a Found Set instead of all the Records. So really, we could add a Perform Find either before or after we're going to the Layout, but since it really won't matter with this technique that we're going to work with, we're going to click on Perform Find. And you see that it added itself in the second line. If it didn't, you can just click on it and use the handles to move it up or down. But now under Perform Find, you see that we've got a Script Step Option for Specifying find requests. We'll hit Specify.

You'll see it's the same window used in Saved Finds, and here I've already got some Criteria saved. If you don't have any Criteria saved, it's going to look something like this. That's okay. We'll just start from scratch. So first, when you hit a Find Request, you'll notice that everything that we put inside this window represents one find request. And you'll see that you can have multiple Find Requests, just like you're searching in the database through FileMaker Pro; you can have as many Find Requests as you want, but they all make up one search. So in our case, we just have one find request, and we'll create that.

So back in the Edit Find Request window, we can either choose to Find Records, which would be the Include button when we're searching, or Omit the Records, all based on the Criteria we're about to add to this request. So in this request, we want to find a field which mimics the same behavior as clicking into a field while in Find mode. In this case, we want to go to the Status. Once selected, now we put the Criteria. So this is what we would actually type into the field while we're in Find mode. And in this case, we want to say, Pending.

We can also use any operators that we might be used to using when in our normal finding procedures. But here we're just going to say anywhere where Status equals Pending. Now we have to hit the Add button, which adds it to our list of Actions. Now after we hit OK, we see Find Records with the Criteria, the term Pending inside of the Customer Status field, and we'll hit OK, and we see now the word Restore shows up inside of our Script. That's because we've told the Script what to do. If you recall in our previous exercise, in our Print Setup, we had saved some settings in here to make sure we have certain Paper Sizes and Page Setup.

Then also in Print, we want to make sure that it prints All the Pages, and all the Records being browsed as well, because now we have a Found Set. So after we update this script, we can close it, which of course will prompt us to Save, if we haven't already. And go into Layout mode and right-click on the Printer. We see that there is no Script assigned to it. So we're going to have to go in and say Print Welcome Letter. If you already have the Script assigned to it, of course we don't need to do this, because we just modified an existing Script. Go into Browse mode, Save our work.

And now let's go ahead and hit the button, and see what happens. We're going to print it to Preview, so we can see them onscreen. You see now that we're printing several pages. If we look in our Found Set, you see we've got a message that pops up, and we could probably eliminate this from our script moving forward. But we'll look, and we see I have a Found Set created of 1,221 records. And when we look at these in Customer List view, we can see that the Status of all these is Pending. So our Find performed properly, and the script generated the print of the correct letter, just like we had asked it to.

And all of that was done by adding a Print step inside of our script. Since finding records is one of the common tasks that your users can perform in FileMaker, it's a good idea to get familiar with the different Find Script Options when you're authoring scripts, since creating scripts is really just emulating the work that users do by hand anyways.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training.


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Q: In the Chapter 16 tutorial, “Using Text Functions,” the instructor discusses how to calculate the First Name and Last Name from the Full Name. However, the method does not account for names ending with  “Jr.” or “Sr.” or “III,” etc.  How can I account for added suffixes in names?
A: For cases like this, you can create a third "Suffix" field. Then change the FullName calculation to:

NameFirst&" "&NameLast&" "&Suffix 

This way, nothing will appear if the Suffix has no value, but if it does have a value the suffix will appear.
Q: What information is actually on the “Invoice Line Item” table in the examples, and how does it actually connect to the tables that it comes from?
A: The information in each line item is native to the "Invoice Line Item" table. The fields are defined in that table and each record represents "A Product appearing on an Invoice."
Each time a product is used on an invoice, a record in the line item table is created. Many of the fields, for example "Quantity," are native to that table because those values only exists when a Product is used in an Invoice, and not as attributes of a Product itself.
 
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