FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Creating multi-line scripts


FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

with Cris Ippolite

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Video: Creating multi-line scripts

Earlier in this title we looked at assigning a single script step to a button on a layout. Although this technique is very effective for things like sort buttons or navigation buttons, you'll find that most scripts will have multiple lines of steps, just because it's much more useful to store a series of actions in a script than just one. Now, although it makes sense to create a single line script for use with Script Triggers, which we'll talk about later on in this title, this video will focus on creating a multiple line script. So let me show you an example of creating a script instead of just assigning a script step to a button.
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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

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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
FileMaker Pro
Cris Ippolite

Creating multi-line scripts

Earlier in this title we looked at assigning a single script step to a button on a layout. Although this technique is very effective for things like sort buttons or navigation buttons, you'll find that most scripts will have multiple lines of steps, just because it's much more useful to store a series of actions in a script than just one. Now, although it makes sense to create a single line script for use with Script Triggers, which we'll talk about later on in this title, this video will focus on creating a multiple line script. So let me show you an example of creating a script instead of just assigning a script step to a button.

We'll go into our Customer Detail and go into Layout mode and you'll notice in the upper right-hand corner we have this Printer icon. If we were to apply a single script step to that button, let's say apply the print action, then when you press the button it only prints the layout that you are currently on. However, this layout, as you can see, is not particularly print-friendly and therefore shouldn't be the one that prints; instead, let's say we have another layout, for example, we could use the Customer Welcome Letter we created, which is in fact print ready. So you already see, as we look at a certain action, that we've already got multiple actions that occur.

We would like to navigate the user to the appropriate layout, print that layout, and then move back to where they started, and that all takes multiple actions instead of just the one print action. So in this case, we would write a script with all those multiple steps and then have that assigned to the Print Run, and then we would have that script assigned to the Print button. So in our Exercise File, I am going to go ahead and create a new script that does those various different steps, like moving from the layout, to the Print Layout, printing, and then back to where you started. But remember, each time you create a script, you want to first start out and sketch out the steps that you want to perform.

So ideally you would do this on a piece of paper. Much like anything else, plan first and then execute in FileMaker after you have done the plan. So here is what our steps would be. First, navigate to the Custom Welcome Letter layout. Second, set the Page Setup to only Print the Current Record, then Print, and then Navigate Back to the Original Layout. Our goal will be to create a script that is a collection of script steps that perform these actions, in the same order that we listed them in our list, because remember, the order in which script steps execute is just as important as the steps. So let's create a new script by going under the Scripts menu, to Manage Scripts, and let's say New > Empty Script.

Let's name this script something that helps us remember what it does. How about Print Welcome Letter? And now we are going to browse through the different steps, showing all the client-compatible ones. We want to find one that will accomplish the task, which is the first one in our list, which is Navigate to the Custom Welcome Letter Layout. That step is the Go to Layout, so let's select Go to Layout and double-click on it, and now you see we've got that in our entry area. And also, once we have that selected, you see that we've also got some Script Step Options. We have to specify the layout that we want to navigate to. So let's choose Layout from the dropdown, and we'll choose Customer Welcome Letter, and then hit OK.

Now, remember, in our sketch we said that we want to take them to another layout, but then we want to allow them to set some Print Setup options and then eventually print the document. So step number one here was to Navigate to the Print Layout, which we already have. Next, we want to be able to print this item, but first we want to set some Print Setup options. So if we isolate the Files category, you'll see that we've got a Print Setup option. We'll double-click on that and move it into our window. Now, if you're on a Windows, this will say Page Setup, but they're the same script step.

First, we'll want to perform this without dialog, which means don't pop up the usual dialog you see to the user, because we're going to specify the settings ourselves. And then you'll notice when we hit the Specify button, and you'll see the Page Setup dialog, and we're going to make sure that its got the right Orientation and Scale, Paper Size, and such, and now we are going to add a Print step, and we are going to specify the Print options to print the Current record only, and we'll hit Print. We can even specify the printer that we want it to print towards. So you'll see that there's a printer selected, and if we want to choose a different printer, we can just simply click on the dropdown and choose a different printer.

Now, we've got all of our steps, except for returning the user to the layout where they started. Well, interestingly enough, if you look inside of the Navigation Set, you see Go to Layout, the one that we've already used has an option, by default, to return to the original layout. So we can just use Go to Layout step again and select original layout. So now we've got our New Script, but we see that it's unsaved because we have the asterisk, so let's go ahead and Save the script, and now return back to our Customer Detail Layout, and we are going to select the Layout object, and in this case we're going to right-click or Ctrl+click on Mac and choose Button Setup.

Now, anytime you have a multiline script that you want to run and assign that to a button, you're going to choose Perform Script, and in that case, you'll just hit the Specify button and choose the script. You'll also notice, if you get to the Specify Script window, you can create a script by hitting the Plus button, in case you don't already have one created. Hitting OK and hitting OK will take us back to the Customer Detail Lists, and we'll view this in Browse mode, Save our changes, and now let's hit our Print button.

And you see what its done is it's printed out a letter for us, in this case in Preview, but it's for the current record that we are on, not the Found Set and its taken us back to our original layout. One final step that I am going to put on the Script is to pop up a dialog to show the user that the letter has been printed. So we can go in and edit an existing script by double-clicking on it, and if you scroll all the way down to the bottom, you'll see that under Miscellaneous, there's something called Show Custom Dialog.

This is a way that you can interact with your user, even allow them to make choices, which we'll use later on, but in this case we're just going to show them a message by typing in the value that's going to show up in the Header here and then also the message that will appear. And you can just simply type some text in here, and you've got options for up to three buttons, but in this case we just want to say OK, so they can disregard. But you also notice you have Specify buttons. So you can use what you've learned with calculations to create a combination of text with an ampersand and add the CompanyName.

So you can say "The Letter Has Printed" for and then the CompanyName. So now let's hit OK. And if we try to close without saving, it prompts us to Save. Now we've saved. We go back into Browse mode, and let's try it again. Hit Preview, and now you see it has, our letter has printed, for the company, from the active record that appears in the Welcome Letter. Scripts can be useful either as a single step applied to a button or as multiline scripts, and you'll find that most of the scripts you create will be a combination of different steps, making them a lot more useful and dynamic.

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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