FileMaker Extra: Selection Portal

Back by popular request is an example of selection portals. This topic was covered in Special Edition Using FileMaker 9 but it had to be cut out to make room for the new FileMaker Pro 10 features. Now here's an example database that illustrates the technique.

FileMaker Extra: Importing from a Spreadsheet Simplified

In FileMaker Pro 10 in Depth I described how you can use XML-like structures to pass multiple values into a script parameter ("Passing Structured Data Elements", pp 392-393). Here's a real-life example of how you can use that technique to import a spreadsheet. Now FileMaker already has an import command (File->Import) that can handle spreadsheets, but you have to provide a mapping of the spreadsheet columns to FileMaker fields at import time or at least in a mapping that will be valid at import time. A number of people have pointed out that this can be a serious limitation in solutions for users who aren't used to the FileMaker Pro import dialog (it's not complicated, but can be daunting with its list of all the columns in the spreadsheet and all the fields in the layout. This is a general-purpose solution that lets you import data from a spreadsheet where the first row consists of column names (a common situation). You then can import them into a FileMaker database based on those names. In only one place in your FileMaker script do you need to reference the column names which can make for easy maintenance and reuse. Read on for the details.

Data-Driven iOS Apps for iPad and iPhone with FileMaker Pro, Bento by FileMaker, and FileMaker Go

Jesse's latest book is on its way to your local bookstore or online book dealer. You can order it now from Amazon.


Use FileMaker® technologies to create powerful mobile data apps for iPhone®, iPod® touch, and iPad™


Apple’s FileMaker technologies make it easy to create powerful, data-driven apps for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and any mobile device’s web browser. In this book, leading FileMaker and iOS expert Jesse Feiler teaches you all the skills and techniques you’ll need, whether you’re a developer, knowledge worker, or manager.


Feiler thoroughly reviews each strategy for delivering mobile data using FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Server, FileMaker Go, and Bento. You’ll learn how mobile data-driven apps are different from traditional desktop-driven apps, and how to create highly usable interfaces for them. Step by step, Feiler demonstrates how to extend existing databases to mobile devices and the web, and how to create and optimize brand-new databases for iPad and iPhone.


This book brings together core principles, practical development techniques, and proven tips and shortcuts. You’ll discover the best ways to incorporate printing, touch interface elements, and location-based features into your apps; integrate data from multiple FileMaker and non-FileMaker sources; and much more.


  •    •        Use FileMaker Go apps to access FileMaker databases hosted on FileMaker Server or FileMaker Pro, or databases resident on a mobile device
  •    •        Move FileMaker Pro databases, scripts, and layouts to mobile environments
  •    •        Develop easy-to-use interfaces for mobile data apps
  •    •        Design FileMaker Go solutions for iPhone, iPad, or both
  •    •        Optimize FileMaker databases for FileMaker Go
  •    •        Integrate printing and charting features into your mobile database apps
  •    •        Use Bento to share data and synchronize libraries
  •    •        Work effectively with Bento records, fields, forms, and tables
  •    •        Build location-aware database apps for iOS mobile devices
  •    •        Import/export data from Bento, FileMaker, spreadsheets, and other sources
  •    •        Move FileMaker databases to the web with IWP, CWP, and FileMaker Server


Jesse Feiler is a developer, web designer, trainer, and author. He has worked with Apple mobile devices from Newton through iPad and has worked with FileMaker technologies since 1984. Feiler created’s powerful iPad meeting management app MinutesMachine. His books include Using FileMaker Bento, Sams Teach Yourself Drupal in 24 Hours, The Bento Book, and FileMaker Pro 10 in Depth.