Build a FileMaker Portal in a Portal
Kudos to Brian Ouimette of nedbs.com for creating a solution to a problem that has flummoxed FileMaker and FileMaker developers for years: building a portal in a portal. Brian combined the power of JSON (a FileMaker 16 addition) with ExecuteSQL and one of the least used but very powerful features of FileMaker since the earliest versions: Repeating fields.
Check out the Portal in a Portal video below:
While this solution isn’t technically a portal in a portal, it does duplicate the functionality and isn’t too complex to implement:
In the following demo file, you’ll see a customer layout with an invoice portal. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “it would be nice to see what was on the invoice within the same portal.” With this example, this is finally something achievable.
There is an internal “portal” that has a set of buttons to allow scrolling one record up or down, and another set of buttons that will allow you to page up or down on the internal portal. The portal is setup in a way that allows clean and easy editing of these records. In addition to those features, this approach is modular and is as light weight as possible from a performance perspective. The JSON is built using a recursive custom function and the script can be run server side (PSOS).
I just gave it a test drive and it works great!
Bonus: There is a free downloadable FileMaker example file at the link just below.
4D Printing: What the heck is that?
There are visionaries in our world who think and do things that make life so much better, and I for one am glad they exist and do what they do. Skylar Tibbets is one such guy, and his vision of manufacturing parts that self assemble is as cutting edge as it gets:
Back in February, Skylar Tibbits revealed that he was working on a project called 4D printing. In essence, the technology would allow for 3D printed parts to assemble themselves into usable objects. It’s a concept straight out of futurism fiction, but various research facilities are making it into a reality.
I had to watch the TED video to figure out what he was talking about, and it is an eye opener. The applications for what he is proposing are truly mind boggling:
This presentation dates back to 2013, and much has been done since then. Get an update on what Tibbets is doing now in self assembly here.