FileMaker Extra: Creating a Custom Function Library

FileMaker Extra Creating a Custom Function Library

If you or your organization uses custom functions across several solutions, you'll likely want to develop some sort of centralized library of the functions you've developed. That way, when you find yourself in need of a particular function, you won't have to rack your brain remembering where it was used before. Also, centralizing the function library is a way of creating a knowledge base that can help your organization leverage its past work and can aid in the training of new developers.

Your library can take many forms. One option, of course, is to create a FileMaker Pro file for your function library. Minimally, you'll want to include fields for the function name, its parameters, its formula, and a brief description. You might also use a container field to store a sample file for a particular function. Another "nice to have" would be a related table for storing information about where you've used the function.

As of the time of this writing, there's no way to move custom functions from one file to another using tools in the FileMaker product line, although cutting and pasting formulas to and from the library isn't terribly time-consuming. Custom functions are, however, part of the Database Design Report (DDR) that can be produced by FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced. If you're handy with XML, or are looking for a fun first XML project, you might want to use the XML output of the DDR to create your function library.

You also might want to investigate FMRobot, a tool sold by New Millennium Communications that can automate many development tasks, and that includes the capability to move custom functions between files.

Finally, if you always want to have a particular set of custom functions in your files, create a sparse template file that has them in it. Then, rather than creating new files from scratch, you can just duplicate and develop on top of your template.


Part I: Getting Started with FileMaker 8

FileMaker Overview

Using FileMaker Pro

Defining and Working with Fields

Working with Layouts

Part II: Developing Solutions with FileMaker

Relational Database Design

Working with Multiple Tables

Working with Relationships

Getting Started with Calculations

Getting Started with Scripting

Getting Started with Reporting

Part III: Developer Techniques

Developing for Multiuser Deployment

Implementing Security

Advanced Interface Techniques

Advanced Calculation Techniques

Advanced Scripting Techniques

Advanced Portal Techniques

Debugging and Troubleshooting

Converting Systems from Previous Versions of FileMaker Pro

Part IV: Data Integration and Publishing

Importing Data into FileMaker Pro

Exporting Data from FileMaker

Instant Web Publishing

FileMaker and Web Services

Custom Web Publishing

Part V: Deploying a FileMaker Solution

Deploying and Extending FileMaker

FileMaker Server and Server Advanced

FileMaker Mobile

Documenting Your FileMaker Solutions





Using FileMaker 8
Special Edition Using FileMaker 8
ISBN: 0789735121
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 296
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