FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Assigning script steps to buttons


From:

FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

with Cris Ippolite

Video: Assigning script steps to buttons

If you are just getting familiar with scripting in FileMaker, one of the easiest ways to do this is to assign just a single Script step to one of the layout objects on your layouts, and then in turn, those objects will act as buttons, that when executed, will perform an action. Let me show you what I mean in our Exercise File on the Customer Detail Layout in Layout mode. Let's say, for example, I've got a Layout Object, in this case, let's just say it's a Text Object. I am going to type the word New, and we will make it kind of big, so users can see it, and give it a little color. How is that? So now here is a Text Layout Object. Of course, anything I can select in Layout mode, I can assign an action to.
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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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Watch the Online Video Course 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
Subject:
Business
Software:
FileMaker Pro
Author:
Cris Ippolite

Assigning script steps to buttons

If you are just getting familiar with scripting in FileMaker, one of the easiest ways to do this is to assign just a single Script step to one of the layout objects on your layouts, and then in turn, those objects will act as buttons, that when executed, will perform an action. Let me show you what I mean in our Exercise File on the Customer Detail Layout in Layout mode. Let's say, for example, I've got a Layout Object, in this case, let's just say it's a Text Object. I am going to type the word New, and we will make it kind of big, so users can see it, and give it a little color. How is that? So now here is a Text Layout Object. Of course, anything I can select in Layout mode, I can assign an action to.

We did something similar to this back when we were talking about Sorting, but when I have selected a layout object, I can go under the Format menu, and choose Button Setup, and of course this is also available to us if we right-click, or on Mac, Ctrl+Click. You can also choose Button Setup. And in the Button Setup window, you will see on the left-hand side, here is a list of all of the Script Steps available in FileMaker Pro. So it's a ton of different stuff that you can do, so anytime a user clicks on this Layout Object in Browse mode, then one of these actions will occur.

So let's say we pick New Record Request, which means when the user selects the button that says New, it will create a new record. Let's hit OK, and now go back into Browse mode. Save our changes. So now this layout object becomes a button, and the users can tell it's a button, because as you see, when I hover over the button, a little finger-pointing icon appears on our Cursor, and note now, because we are in Browse mode when I hit this button, a new record is created. And I'll show you another example, back in Layout mode. You will notice that in your Layout toolbar, you've got a Layout tool called the Button tool.

Now, when you select this button, you can see that your Cursor changes to a crosshair that allows you to draw an area. That will become a button, and once you release that after drawing that, again you get the Button Setup dialog. And you see all the different actions that you can assign to the button, but let's go under the Navigation and say, Go To Layout. So now you see, in the case of Go To Layout, we've got additional options to choose from, in this case which layout we want to navigate to. So clicking the dropdown menu allows me to select layout, and then up pops the Specify Layout button.

So, let's say in this task, when a user is on the Detail View for customer, we want to allow them to hit a button to go to the List View for customers, without having to use the Layout dropdown navigation. So, here I am going to choose Customer List, and I'll hit OK, and you see there is a couple of default ones that are on almost every one of the Script Steps, and that's whether or not the button you just drew is going to have rectangular edges or rounded edges. And of course you saw that Hand Icon appear on the Cursor when I rolled over the button. That's optional. You could turn that off here, if you'd like to. Now, you see we are back on the button, and my Cursor is inside the button, asking us to put some text on there.

So we can identify the button for users. So I am going to say, Go To List, and I'll click outside to commit it, and I can make any kind of changes that I'd like here, just because the text that I just typed in is in fact text. And I can have Drop Shadow effects, all that kind of stuff you can do with your buttons. We are back in Browse mode. After we save our changes, we will see now that when we are in Browse mode a user can click on this button, and it takes us over to the Customer List. Now, back in our Customer Detail, if you are in Layout mode and you want to Disable, or even Temporarily Disable the button, you can select the button, and you could go in and say, Do Nothing.

That way it allows you to come back and reactivate this in the future. Then of course, you could just select the button and delete them off your layout, as well. So your best bet, if you are new to Scripts, is either open up this dialog or ScriptMaker dialog and then get familiar with each one of this Script Steps, and if you want to know more information about ever step, you can find some good documentation in the FileMaker Help window. So getting familiar with Scripts and Script Steps is really the best way to start assigning these actions to buttons on your layout, and also having an understanding of what scripts can do for you.

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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