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FMPug Meeting Feb 11, 2009 – LIVE(ish)

Getting ready for the meeting today with Rosemary Tietge and Ernest Koe. Also pleased to say Corn Walker of Proof is going to be present as well.

Watch this space for updates throughout the day and hopefully will blog live from the meeting tonight (depends on internet availability). Worst case will be mini iPhone updates as the night progresses.

Meeting starts at 6pm EST

@2pm – room is ready for the presentations. Audio and video are ready for recording the meeting.

@6:30pm Ernest introduced himself and talks about MVC

Demonstration of NinjaCal

Due to “technical dificulties” we could not live blog this event but will be posting details shortly. Seems typing, moving the camera to track your presenter (who is quite animated) and taking photos all at the same time is a tad difficult!

FMPug Orlando Meeting Notes

Many thanks to Rich Willis for taking the time to take notes and fill in some of the areas I missed!

Speakers for the night:

Rosemary Tietge from Filemaker to tell us about FileMaker 10

Ernest Koe from Proof , FM Spark -a bolt-on mail merge solution, sends data driven and HTML emails.

NinjaCal – A persistent mini-calendar, for your personal and professional use.

Corn Walker is Ernest’s assistant for the evening.

Ernest Koe introduces himself. Corn is in attendance with him.

Work for proof, a virtual company focused in Education

Talking today about fmSpark and NinjaCal. More focus today on under the hood.

Want to talk today about the MVC methodology.

Model <-> View <> Controller

MVC is the BIG Idea – MVC is geek for Model, View, Controller. A process format for software development and developers. Based on engineering process thinking.

How to modularize design.

Ernest very passionate that FileMaker developers are developers. If you write a script you are a developer.

MVC is about imposing modular design.

3 connected ideas. Based around modular design. Having separate delegations for scripts. Modular design gives you the ability to compartmentalize your design


Not separate files, but having separate delegated roles for scripts is Ernests idea of modularity.


You should be able to open the Manage scripts window and you should not “freak out” when you view.


Do not repeat yourself

such as not rewriting scripts or code. Re-use scripts or design components over and over again.

MVC & DRY are related.

Ernest begins to show NinjaCal

NinjaCal – NinjaCal is a toolkit for filemaker which allows you to select ranges of dates and copy and paste them into your solution. How does it work? They wanted a tool which could be quickly deployed. NinjaCal is essentially a controller script. It’s capturing actions and setting parameters.

  • One Script To Control Them All
  • The Ninja Cal script can call itself
  • The View is the layout and what you display.
  • The model is your data (not necessarily the tables)

Action variables are set, and then the script runs through a process until it finds the specific action required by the variable. The reason for using one script is to limit the necessity of using lots of little subscripts. The script is written more like lines of a  program than like a specific function or calculation.

Advantages are that the script is compact. Diagnosis of problems (debugging) can be easier than working through many smaller scripts. Every action runs through the same script. This is an example of the “Controller”

“View” – The things that display. The “Model” is the data that is displayed, not the database itself.

fmSpark – This is a BIG application. Manages many different document types. The goal is that the user gets a process flow that is manageable, and usable. With complexity comes headaches…how do you write scripts and where do you put them, how do you deal with change control.

The model is complex, multiple tables etc.

How do you deal with patches, updates etc. A lot of problems contended while building fmSpark. Building applications is very different to consulting.


Do you have a little captain in you?

Do you have a little captain in you?



Under the hood – fmSpark is 3 files (technically two as one is used to lock down the plugins used for distribution), Interface file and application file. Based on separation model. Separaction is good because it follows the philosophy of MVC

fmSpark is “simple” separation. Not preaching the separation idiology. Proof practices the church of logic when it comes to the relationship graph

What is a model. It is an abstract relationship of what is real

In FMPro you use the relationship graph to create the model.

In MVC the model is also the scripts that are used.

In the data file are examples of object models. Similar to tables or table occurrences, but based on the MVC concept. Attributes are all contained in one file.

New record, in an object model, is not sufficient to describe the model. The table or tables contain the components.

Practice the church of logic when it comes to the relationship graph — fun quote regarding the Rel Graph in fmSpark data file)

Corn Walker takes the floor to discuss

The new model is to create a script to handle the attributes of the car, not to create the records containing the attributes of the car.

Examples: messages are broken into three related tables. Scripts handle the work of creating things like batches, adding attachments, etc.

The core idea behind the single script is the ability to easily debug, since the single script handles all the applicable functions. MVC!


Thanks to both Corn & Ernest for a top-notch presentation. Sorry we lost the screen capture but the video of Ernest & Corn is available at for FMPug members to watch


Rosemary Tietge presents FileMaker 10

Rosemary has been on a whirlwind tour of FMPug chapters. Dallas last week, then Atlanta, here tonight, then Charolette on Feb 16th.

New Quick Start menu.


New links, video and tutorial content in the resource center.



Create new database from an existing… now includes multiple versions of excel and also Bento

Starter Solutions revamped to take advantage of new features in FileMaker 10

Content Management (based on new template)

New Toolbar

New toolbar – record slider, there’s a new pie chart, tied to find record. Quickly invert/revert found set by clicking on the pie!


Toolbar is customizable

One thing, the toolbar is set in the application only. No developer control)

If you set privileges the button stays but will be greyed out (like Delete records)   

Adding developer tools to toolbar is great (such as DataViewer or Script Debugger). Also if you add New Layout/Report to the toolbar when in Layout mode it will stay visible when in Browse mode and save a click or ten during the day!

Find mode shows mag glass in fields (as long as field borders are turned on

Find toolbar includes New Request. Operators replace symbol.

Saved Finds

Saved finds are account specific, so a user can move to different workstations and their saved finds will be available.

External Authenticated users can benefit from this feature.

Save current find from last find

Question asked by Hal of CampSoftware . If you duplicate an account do the saved finds travel with it?

The answer is yes, duplicated accounts keep the saved finds

Table View

Users can now modify the table view layout and turn on or off fields, reorder them

Security cautions here 

Can add fields from related tables

You cannot turn off modify button, only way is to turn off table view.

Live Reporting

You should never (maybe) see the unsorted option. Things will be Semi Sorted or Sorted

Live sorting will not happen while in a script

Sorting on fly is now more standard with interfaces like iTunes.

Summaries now in table view as well

Multiple summary options on layout can be displayed on the fly (but how you ask?)

Now lets talk about exciting developer features

In layout mode Layout properties button is now available.

Fourth tab on Layout Setup showing Script Triggers

Biggest most requested feature from developers EVER!

White paper written by Steve Romig available to TechNet members ($99)

Rosemary shows script trigger OnLayoutLoad

Second group of triggers are object based

Script triggers on object can be seen via “firecracker” icon when in layout mode (similar to the tooltip note icon)

Insert into Tab Order!


Now onto something a little different

Showing on keystroke triggers in a date to use up or down arrow to change the date

Set Field By Name

Set field by indirection

How about Server Side changes in FileMaker 10

Schedules for backups can now be reduced. No longer need 7 daily backup scripts, can use just one and keep backups for 7 days. Applies to hourly as well

Logs now visible from the admin console

Eruptions of spontaneous applause for Rosemary, Ernest & Corn.
Rosemary and Darrin Quick provide a copy of FileMaker Pro 10 Advanced for giveaway to an FMPug member. An impressive bout of “Heads n Tails” sorted out our winner Gerard Beutler. Congrats Gerard.
Thanks to all who turned out for this meeting. Looking forward to the next meeting with Jesse Barnum  of 360Works on March 11th


Professional FileMaker Training Coming To FL in March 2009

FileMaker Training Series Discounts for San Jose, Ft. Lauderdale and DC

Chino Hills, Calif., January 19th, 2009 — Well known FileMaker authors John Mark Osborne and Steven Blackwell are teaching the new FileMaker Training Series for FileMaker Pro 10 in San Jose, CA, Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Washington DC.

- Ft. Lauderdale, FL (March 2009)
- Washington DC (April 2009)
- San Jose, CA (June 2009)

The FileMaker Training Series is the official training curriculum from FileMaker, Inc. It offers a series of 12 training modules that cover a comprehensive set of topics designed to help you master the essentials of FileMaker solution development. This new series incorporates the many new features of the FileMaker 10 product line throughout the modules but stresses good programming skills for FileMaker 7, 8, 8.5 and 9.

- Planning a FileMaker 10 Solution
- Developer Skills
- Advanced Developer Skills
- FileMaker Server
- Security

Each day of the U.S. classes are $495.00. Take all five days and save $500.00!

To find out more information or register for a class, visit the Database Pros web site:

These courses are also offered privately. Just contact the phone number below for more information.

In challenging economic times, now more than ever before, it is very important to have confidence in the reliability of FileMaker Pro databases. That’s why Database Pros is proud to say we have not increased our training prices in the past 10 years.

In an effort to assist additional FileMaker Pro users and customers, Osborne and Blackwell will be offering multi-student discounts for multiple students from the same organizations.  “We know organizations are carefully watching budgets,” said Blackwell, “and we want to do our part to help FileMaker customers afford the training that will help them to be successful with their database design and deployment.”

“We have included additional examples, points and concepts from our own experiences as trainers and developers to help students meet the challenges of reliability in hard times,” says John Mark Osborne. 

“We feel the additional material will assist students in grasping the core elements necessary to build and maintain reliably functioning FileMaker Pro databases. In addition, Steven Blackwell will focus on how FileMaker Server and FileMaker Security contribute to reliably functioning systems that avoid the adverse consequences of systems that fail,” Osborne also noted.

John Mark Osborne has been working with FileMaker Pro for the last 18 years and has become one of the leading industry experts. John Mark is co-author of the wildly popular Scriptology book and CD ROM which has become the standard for FileMaker Pro developers. Recently, he received a prestigious award from FileMaker, Inc. for developing outstanding technical resources for his popular FileMaker Pro web site, Database Pros <>. John Mark is also a regular speaker and trainer at MacWorld Expos and the FileMaker Developer Conference. Database Pros works closely with FileMaker, Inc. as one of 25 Platinum level FBA (FileMaker Business Alliance) members and 1 of 12 trainers authorized to teach the Professional Training Series from FileMaker, Inc. John Mark is a certified FileMaker 7, 8 and 9 developer having passed all three certification exams.

Steven Blackwell is president and founder of Management Counseling Services. Steven has written a multitude of articles for FileMaker Advisor Magazine, white papers for FileMaker, Inc., a video on FileMaker security and the only book on FileMaker security ever written. Steven is a FileMaker 7, 8 and 9 certified developer and one of 25 platinum level FBA (FileMaker Business Alliance) members. With 20 years experience in the FileMaker market, he is a legendary developer known by all.

To find out more information or register for a class:


February 11th: FileMaker 10, fmSpark & NinjaCal

RSVP For This Meeting

Ernest Koe will be presenting an under-the-hood session on Proof’s mail-merge solution, fmSpark and their latest must-have for FileMaker developers, NinjaCal, a super-easy-to-integrate native FileMaker calendar widget. The session will cover a range of topics including scripting practices, quasi-MVC design, and the object-model architecture.

We are also pleased to announce that Rosemary Tietge, Systems Engineer for FileMaker, Inc. will be joining us to present some of the new FileMaker 10 features. More to follow on this soon.

About Proof

Proof is a full service database and web software company. We design, develop, manage, deploy and support mission critical software systems for organizations of all types and sizes. We are always interested in undertaking challenging projects, but we are proudest of our deep experience serving clients in the education and non-profit sectors.

Visit Proof


Have a question for Ernest or Rosemary, something you’d like to see covered? Leave a comment below and we’ll ask it during the meeting…