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Understanding the ScriptMaker dialog box


FileMaker Pro 11 Essential Training

with Cris Ippolite

Video: Understanding the ScriptMaker dialog box

When you're getting familiar with scripts, another good thing to do is get familiar with the Manage Scripts window. All of the scripts created for a given database files are stored in the Manage Scripts window, and you can find that under the Scripts menu, and by choosing Manage Scripts. You can also access it under the File > Manage option and choose Scripts. Either way it will take you to the same window. The first thing that you'll notice on new files is that you don't have any scripts created. It's your job as a developer to add the scripts necessary to automate repetitive tasks and provide controls for users to manipulate the system.
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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

Understanding the ScriptMaker dialog box

When you're getting familiar with scripts, another good thing to do is get familiar with the Manage Scripts window. All of the scripts created for a given database files are stored in the Manage Scripts window, and you can find that under the Scripts menu, and by choosing Manage Scripts. You can also access it under the File > Manage option and choose Scripts. Either way it will take you to the same window. The first thing that you'll notice on new files is that you don't have any scripts created. It's your job as a developer to add the scripts necessary to automate repetitive tasks and provide controls for users to manipulate the system.

But when you first open up your file, you won't see any there. So once you have scripts in your database, you'll be able to see them listed in this window. Now if you look on the bottom of the window, we've got a couple of controls. For example, if we hit the New button, in the bottom left-hand corner, it will automatically create a New Edit Script window for us. Closing that window will now show the new script we've just created in the list, with its default name. If you have more than one script in your window, you can use these handles, after selecting the script, to move them up or down in your lists. You might be familiar with this interface from working with the Manage Layouts window.

FileMaker has adopted the same window for Managing Layouts and Managing Scripts, so that you can use that familiarity to your advantage. Now there's a check box that you see in the left-hand side indicates whether or not a script should be viewed in the Scripts menu. For example, you can see, since both of them are checked, now I see both of the new script, scripts, listed here. If I uncheck one of them, now only one of them is listed. You'll also notice that when a script is listed under the Scripts menu, it also has a corresponding quick key next to it. It will have the Command+1 all the way through 9 options available in Mac, and Ctrl+1 through Ctrl+9 available in Windows.

Then after that it won't have script keys available. So basically up to nine different scripts all get a corresponding Quick Key. You'll also see, back in our Manage Scripts, that I can change the name of the script inside the Edit Script window, and now whenever I make a change inside a window you'll notice this asterisk here next to the name of script in the title bar, which means that it's unsaved. I can save my script by going back under the Scripts menu and choosing Save Scripts, or I can just use the Command+S on Mac or Ctrl+S on Windows option.

But also you notice that I can save All Scripts, which means that all unsaved script windows will all be saved in one shot. So if you're about to shut down FileMaker and you want to save your work, this is a good way to do so. You can also revert any of the changes you made by hitting Revert Script. But if you choose not to save your changes, you'll be prompted with this window here, which allows you to say, Don't Save. So there's a couple of ways to either revert or don't save if you don't want your changes to be applied. Here we'll hit Save, and now we see our name change applied. Now you may have noticed that our first two scripts are both called New Script.

FileMaker does not require unique names for scripting, but it's probably in your best interest to make sure that every one of your scripts does have a unique, easy-identifiable name. The other thing that's worthy of note is that if you open up multiple scripts at a time, you'll notice that you can have as many script windows opened at a given time and that you can still toggle back to the original window of your file. This helps you if you've got a couple of scripts that are both talking to each other, and you still need to see what's going on onscreen. That way you can toggle between everything in your Windows menu. Back in our Edit Scripts window, you can see that the window is made up of three parts.

The Script Step List is on the left- hand side and shows a list of every script step available in FileMaker. You'll see that these are also the same script steps that we saw in the assigning a script step to a button window. The Script Authoring area is in the middle here, and it's clearly blank at this point. But every time that you select a script step or double-click on one, it'll appear in a top-down list inside your authoring area. And then for each script step that you choose, after double-clicking or hitting Move, you'll notice that the third area, the Script Step Options area below it, will be populated with whatever options are specific to that step that you've chosen.

In most cases your scripts will contain more than one script step, and it's important to take into account the order that those script steps will execute. You can get familiar with the different categories of script steps, much like your calculation functions, by looking at them within the context of their own category. Or if you've familiarized yourself with the names of the steps, you can just choose all by name and find them alphabetically. You can even click inside the list and then of course double-click on the script step to edit your authoring area. In the upcoming movies, we'll work with many of these steps and create scripts using these within a window, just like this.

You'll also notice a pretty important dropdown in the bottom left-hand corner of the Manage Scripts window. And it's labeled Show Compatibility. You see that you've got four different options here. You should be aware that not all script steps will work in all environments. For example, if you're working in the FileMaker Pro client, all of your scripts will run. However, if you choose to use the option to have a FileMaker Server run a script for you in an automated schedule, then only some of the scripts are available to you. You'll see the ones that are not compatible all grayed out.

Some of them make sense, because there is no client interface for them to be able to communicate with, so a lot of these just don't make sense for you to run. But if you want more information on running scripts in a schedule back up off of your server, see the documentation for FileMaker server. Also, you can share your FileMaker database via a technology that's called Instant Web Publishing, which allows users to access your database via a Web browser. If you choose to do that, you should know that a majority of your scripts will work because there is script compatibility from a browser.

You'll see here that there are series of grayed out ones that will not work, and those are very similar to the ones that are inactive for server. You'll also notice that within your chosen steps, any incompatible script step for the technology that you've chosen in the dropdown will also gray out. Back in the Manage Scripts window, you'll notice there's some navigation you want to be familiar with, pretty self-explanatory for the most part. But here you see you can create a New Empty Script, which is what we've done before, or you can create something called a New Default Script. The New Default Script functionality is a feature that was actually brought back from very old versions of FileMaker.

In this case a new script is created for you that already has some script steps on there. And the script steps are the most recent actions that you've performed. So, for example, if you navigate to a layout or perform a search in a layout, then sort, and you'll see all of those script steps listed here. So here you can see that what we've just recently done is entered Browse mode, navigated to the Customer Detail, and then at some point performed a Find. So all of that information is stored in there for us, so if you really want some help learning scripts, then just perform a couple of functions in Browse mode, or whatever modes you want to work with, then go into Script Maker and hit New > Default Script.

It will give you some good practice at understanding what different actions are called when they are labeled as Script Steps. Then finally, you can choose Script Folders. Much like in your Manage Layouts, you can grab different scripts and drag and drop them into Folders, which then help you organize and view these folders a little bit easier. Finally, you can edit a script by selecting when you hit Edit, or of course, delete a folder or a script, and when you delete a folder, it deletes all of the script within it, and you can duplicate a script. If you have the script that's going to be very similar, you can just hit the Duplicate button and then make modifications as necessary.

It's always a good idea to print your scripts as well, so that you have backups, in case something happens with your file. And finally the last feature I want to show you is the ability to import a script from another file. So let's say you've got a script that's working in another file and you want to bring in that similar functionality, pretty easy couple of steps here. Hit the Import button. Find the file that you want to import from, in this case we'll choose Invoices. And you see a list of all of the scripts there. We'll pick one of them, or you can pick as many as you like. Hit OK, and then you see a message pop up that gives you a summary of basically what happened during the import.

If you do notice any errors, you can get more details on those errors by choosing the Open Log File. Here you can get details on exactly what errors you might have found. A lot of times what they're going to be are things like fields are missing, and you got to make sure that you are defining those fields in the new database. Otherwise, you can just hit OK and double-click on your New Script and update some of the missing values. And then finally, if you select a script on the list, you can hit the button in the far right-hand corner to perform the script. This will go and run all the different actions, so you can test your script out before you deploy it. Once you've gotten familiar with the Manage Scripts dialog and the Edit Script window, it's time to move on to understanding how to edit a script.

In upcoming movies in this chapter, we're going to take a closer look at building some sample scripts.

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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