Improve Your FileMaker Development with These Five Tips

FileMaker can be a powerful platform that if used wittingly, can help you build robust applications. Here are some of the valuable tools that can take your development to the next level:

  1. The Script Debugger

An outstanding standalone tool provided in FileMaker Pro Advanced that offers the capability of debugging scripts, which can be launched from the script workspace by pressing a button or even a script trigger.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

The script debugger gives you full control of stepping into each script step and provides full details in the call stack from script parameters to sub scripts. It even lets you know from which file the script is from. This can come in handy when working in multi-file solutions. For more information please visit FileMaker documentation on script debugger –

  • The Data Viewer

It goes hand in hand with the script debugger like peanut butter and jelly. It displays real time values for a currently running script’s variables and fields.

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

The “Watch” tab on the top right will give you the ability to specify fields or calculations to monitor whether during debugging or simply during general development and it works like a charm!

  • The Shape Tool

An often-underappreciated friend of mine which may seem like a graphical block to many; to me, it is a smart image resizing element of a layout that helps with proportioning and sizing of an image. In layout mode, you can create the shape you desire your image to be, in the appearance tab, change its fill to an image, and after selecting the image, the dropdown just below the image sample will give you the option to “Scale to fit” and voila! You can resize your image while not losing its original proportion.

A screenshot of a computer screen

Description automatically generated

On the right we can see the rectangle object with an image as the fill and to its right we can see the imported image with some proportion issues due to resizing, not to say it’s everyone’s preferred method of handling images in FileMaker, but it can prevent a lot of headaches.

  • JSON Script Parameters (JSONSetElement calc)

Surely many of you know or heard of JSON and some may or may not have used it in FileMaker. Let’s say you are used to making script parameters a straight forward text or number, or even a field, but how would you pass multiple parameters during a script trigger or when the user clicks a button?

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

With a few adjustments and a little bit of knowledge of JSON syntax, the sky is the limit! You can pass as many parameters as needed by adding multiple JSON elements to the JSONSetElement calculation in the script parameter. And from the script side, you can call the JSONGetElement calculation to grab the value of the element needed. For more information on JSON calculations you may visit:

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated
  • Claris Community

The FileMaker community, now known as the Claris community, may not be a standalone tool for FileMaker Pro Advanced, but it is the place where bright minds collaborate and help each other get through some of the most difficult obstacles that FileMaker can present. You may discuss FileMaker Server, FileMaker Go, FileMaker WebDirect, and the list goes on, if you don’t believe us just ask them yourself:

Balancing Productivity at Home

When you are working from home, it is fairly easy to wake up, reach for your laptop and get on with your workday from bed. But do you want your bed to be your office? We would rather not. If you played sports in school, you knew that you had to prepare before every game; by having your lucky socks on, taping your strong dominant wrist or ankle, or even having a team ritual for good luck. Some of us who are gym enthusiasts also know that to prepare for a trip to the gym you had to make sure you packed the protein bars, towels, headphones, and even an extra change of clothes. But as COVID-19 sent our daily routines into havoc, we, at Kyo Logic took the opportunity to adapt to the situation and make the best of it for the team. How do we make the best of the quarantine? We plan our day with purpose and take each stride with resolution.

  • Your Morning Routine Does Not Have to Change

Why break the morning routine to jump right into action? We find that it is so vital to continue a morning routine even during these unpredictable times. While we put on the first pot of java every morning, some of us walk our dogs as it brews to take in some fresh air and if the sun is out it gives us a chance to get some fresh vitamin D. As we walk in the door, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee welcomes us back home and urges us to get the first sip to get the day going, if not coffee, a delicious cup of English Breakfast will do, too. Since commuting is no longer part of the routine, before your shift, we highly recommend extra time to enjoy an activity that can improve your mood, whether it’s your favorite hobby, exercise, a conversation with a loved one, or a nice bubble bath to do the trick. Because nothing trumps a positive mood even at 8 a.m. on a Monday morning.

  • Stay Looking Good for Yourself & Those Lengthy Zoom Meetings

How can we work around no barbers and hairstylists to help us groom the infinite hair growth? For starters, it is a challenge for women to cut their own hair, so we won’t even get into that. But if you are a man brave enough to challenge your self-grooming skills, nothing a 20-dollar hair buzzer, a mirror, and steady hand cannot fix. You might be surprised how good it turns out.

Maintaining good hygiene habits and dressing appropriately for work is a way to demonstrate to yourself and your team that you value your job as much as you did three months ago. Now, we certainly do not expect anybody to walk around the house in a three-piece suit, but a pair of kakis and a polo seems most appropriate. Combine a free haircut with decent clothes and you would be surprised how good it can make you feel once you’re working a full day’s shift from home.   

  • Breaking Away for a Few Minutes Will Not Harm Your Productivity

Productivity is essential in the workplace, but how do we find a balance between productivity and emotional health? It is easy to get absorbed by a long task; however, those breaks you took at the office to grab a snack or another cup of joe can apply to working from home. Free up the overload of a lengthy task by reading up on the news, a topic of interest or simply kicking back for 5 minutes and enjoying your favorite song. Because reducing your daily stress can have a significant impact on how efficiently you will achieve your daily goals.

  • Staying Healthy is Key to Feeling Great

Now that many of us have cut back on take out for lunch, it is a great opportunity to implement a healthier diet. Your health is extremely dependent on your eating habits and now that your commute was cut to zero minutes, take the time to prepare healthy delicious meals by preparing them in larger quantities to reheat throughout the week. A delicious lean steak or pan seared chicken breast with sautéed kale or salad will go a long way, a turkey chili with vegetables can also pack a lot of flavor for a healthier option instead of the philly cheese steak from the deli by the office. No reason to not cheat here and there with two scoops of your favorite ice cream and homemade cookies for happy taste buds.

Many who would dedicate time at the gym after work, have been really affected by the quarantine. The opportunity to buy some workout equipment hasn’t been more convenient than now, without breaking the bank. Others prefer to go out for a run, a hike or riding a bike, all while maintaining social distance.

An absolutely valuable asset is to stay relatively active while consuming a healthy diet of lean proteins, vegetables and whole grains. Increasing your energy and improving your quality of sleep will prove that practicing these healthy habits will make a better version of yourself.

  • Add Value to Your Organizational Skills

According to our Senior Developer, Christian, a fantastic strategy that helps get your day going without mental interruptions, is creating a list of any non-work-related activities you would like to accomplish during the day. He explains that coming up with that list helps him focus on the work at hand, without getting distracted by the thought of those non-work-related tasks. Knowing early in the day that you can accomplish a specific task, will organize your planner and thoughts, so that you can make the construct of time work in your favor.

Creating a list of tasks not related to work is just one tool to maintain your focus, but how do you organize your day? How do you not deviate from your work plan? At Kyo Logic, we do not only focus on our pups, coffee and haircuts. We are also implementing strategies that will help us get through the day successfully and with the least amount of stress possible. Our Lead Developer, Justin, exercises a tool that many of us use partially and subconsciously, but he puts it into perspective for us. This method is called the Pomodoro Method, and it consists of drowning out the noise while working on a task and taking short breaks without interruptions. The interruptions meaning no phone, no email, and no Slack notifications.

Before you begin a Pomodoro in your schedule, you should “visualize how a problem will be solved before starting.” Breaking will enable you to reset your ideas with a clear head and prevent any cognitive overload. A valuable aspect of the Pomodoro Method, is not allowing yourself to get into quicksand, and essentially staying ahead of your workload to enable you to determine the urgency of the task at hand and to ask yourself: “Is it realistic for me to take on more tasks at the moment?” Successful Pomodoros must be organized in order of priority and what brings the most value to your work and to the company. It may sound “easier said than done,” but with the Pomodoro Method you will find yourself completing a task and moving onto the next one in an organized uninterrupted fashion. If you would like to test your Pomodoro skills, try a tool like “”

Pomodoro Steps:

  1. Set a Routine
  2. Create a List
  3. Plan your tasks into blocks (Pomodoro)
  • Moving to the Cloud

What happened since we went fully remote? Well, FileMaker has graced all users around the world with the ability to work with FileMaker Server and FileMaker Cloud, which provides the ability to maintain and manage all FileMaker solutions remotely. Without many setbacks, the Kyo Logic team has been able to maintain consistency in providing support for all of our clients while adjusting to the drastic changes of the quarantine.

  • Kyo Logic is Staying Strong

            At Kyo Logic we continue to maintain our team cohesion through daily communication amongst ourselves because we understand the work we do as a team is substantially more valuable than tackling tasks and issues individually. We also hold conversations about the foods we cooked, the independent projects and hobbies we work on outside of work, and we also enjoy bringing some spontaneity to our Zoom video meetings with the virtual background feature from Zoom. Which in case you did not know is in the video tab under the “virtual backgrounds…” option. We look forward to hearing about your Pomodoro skills and what new dishes you have cooked that have sparked fireworks for your taste buds, keep rocking and FileMaker on!

Scannability in Scripting

What is Scannability?

Scannability is an attribute of any written piece, including FileMaker scripts, that help the reader find pertinent information quickly.

Why is High-Scannability in scripting important?

  • Easier and faster way to understand the purpose and actions of the script
  • Reduced errors in comprehension of the code and recollection of the specifics
  • Reduced strain on developer’s focus

What does High-Scannability look like?

It is a clear naming convention for scripts, which looks like:

You will also find a detailed purpose/notes, clear sections of scripts, business logic details, and effective comments.

What does Low-Scannability look like?

Below is the same script without all of the above elements discussed. Consider the difference in time spent between the Low-Scannability version and the High-Scannability version. Try to imagine these different scenarios considering the difference in the two:

  1. Report to the user what the logic is for deleting time sheets.
  2. Re-enable this schedule on FileMaker Server after installing a new FMS version. Determine which day of the week to set it up for.
  3. As a developer seeing this for the first time, determine the purpose and expected result of this script.
  4. Debug an issue when creating time sheets (especially if they are not properly linked to an appointment).

What practices should developers employ to ensure their code has a High-Scannability level?

It all starts with this: Adopt the perspective of a future developer. Assume this future developer is lacking any knowledge of business logic or any other elements of the code base.

From here, make sure your code meets the following criteria:

  1. The script is easy to find within the workspace; follows clean naming convention.
  2. The purpose of the code is explicitly stated at the top.
  3. Any parameters for the script are explicitly stated.
  4. There are clear “Sections” of the script.
  5. Any calculations that are beyond the “basic” level have commenting, which can detail the expected result(s).
  6. All business logic should be commented throughout the script where applicable. The future developer should not draw questions or have to make assumptions.