IsEmpty I have seen many people, even expert FileMaker developers, check for an empty field by comparing it to to double quotes (""). While this method may work some of the time, it can fail in some situations. Always use the IsEmpty function.
Level: Intermediate Version: FileMaker 17 Category: General Tuesday, May 29, 2018
There's a lot of FileMaker 17 content on YouTube. It's hard to tell which material is the best so you can optimize your learning. You could spend hours trying to find the right video to answer all your questions about FileMaker 17. I've gone through a lot of the videos on YouTube and here are my favorites. Hopefully this will save you a ton of time. Let me know in the comments area below if I've forgotten an incredible video.
FileMaker, Inc. If you are completely unaware of the new features in FileMaker 17 and want a glitzy marketing message with cool graphics and a catchy toe-tapping song, watch this short one minute video. It's mostly just a slide show listing the new features but the screen shots do demonstrate the features in action. It's just hard to tell what part of the screen shot represents the new features sometimes. But, that's what a marketing video is supposed to do (get you excited) and FMI has done it well. It's a lot more fun than reading a specifications sheet and gets you a basic idea of the new features in sixty seconds.
Richard Carlton Consulting Richard Carlton Consulting has a great overview of the most important new FileMaker 17 features. I'd probably start here to get familiar with the new features and then move on to some of the more detailed videos listed below. The video is wrapped around the "top ten things you need to know about FileMaker 17". There's not a lot of detail about how to actually use the features. Instead, there's a great discussion about how the new features will change "how" you develop in FileMaker. Not every new feature is covered but after watching the video, I felt like I really knew which features I wanted to find out more about.
The top ten features discussed are:
Server Client Compatibility
FileMaker Pro and Advanced Merger
Data Migration Tool
Layout Mode Changes
FileMaker Data API
FileMaker Go Type Ahead & Background Mode
FileMaker Server Differences
ISO FileMaker Magazine Matt always does a great job with his videos and this overview is no exception. He has the same flashy post production modifications as Richard Carlton so they are about the same in the area of showmanship. But, I think Matt uses post production edits in a more meaningful way to draw your attention to actual features rather than just for eye candy. Just like Carlton, though, Petrowsky also focuses more on an overview than actual video of working in FileMaker and building solutions in FileMaker with the new features.
Matt's video is about twice as long as Carlton's and cover more features, twenty-two in all, but some of them are things like the change in the appearance of the application icon. All in all, it's at the same level of quality as the Carlton videos. I guess when you are deciding between Carlton and Petrowsky, it comes down to whose style you like best. Or, watch them both to reinforce concepts and pick up different tips.
Database Pros The Get(ActiveRecordNumber) function is one of my favorite new FileMaker 17 features. Not only do I define it's abilities, I offer several examples of how to implement it including showing a button on the active row and changing the text color on the active row. I take it a couple steps further by demonstrating how to make this feature work in a list view and then discussing how it's not possible to work in a standard portal, only Master-Detail Layout. I even provide the example file used in the video for download at my Database Pros web site.
Productive Computing Productive Computing covers quite a few video on the new FileMaker 17 features so you should check all of them out. However, I was extremely impressed with his treatment of the Master-Detail Layout feature. Not only does he show how to use the new feature but also how you could accomplish it in FileMaker 16 or earlier. I think that really gives the best perspective on the new feature. In addition, Marc actually builds the feature right in front of your eyes, rather than just showing a finished solution. To me, that's the only way to learn!
Soliant Consulting Soliant only has a few FileMaker 17 videos but I really liked Dawn Heady's discussion of the Default Fields feature. She does it in two parts, starting with the basics of how it works, how to turn it off and then delves into how to modify the field names and other options by breaking down the XML file. Her approach is very measured and leaves no stone untouched so you really feel like you can do it yourself.
Mainspring, Inc. If you haven't heard yet, the FileMaker 17 Admin Console is significantly different from previous versions. Mike Bergie takes you through every tab and highlights the differences. His cool and calm demeanor makes you feel at ease watching this video, backing up his solid knowledge of the product. If you administer FileMaker Server then this is a must-see video!
Mainspring is new to the YouTube community with only four videos (two of which are covering FileMaker 17) but I think they are going to make a big impact given the quality so far:
FileMaker Server Admin Console
FileMaker 17 Portal Features
Final Thoughts There's a lot of good information about FileMaker on YouTube but you often have to wade through a lot mediocre offerings before you find that gem. Hopefully my list has made it easier to find what you are looking for. If I've forgotten some fantastic video, please mention it in the comments. However, don't include a URL or my system will automatically delete it. Just tell me who produces the videos and include the name. I'll be able to find it! Thanks.
FYI: Please don't include a URL in the comments or my site will automatically delete your comment. Sad but a sign of the times with so many robots posting stuff on my web site (I despise human tests). Just specify where I can find it on YouTube using a search!