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Portage Bay

May/June 2011

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May / June 2011                                                             Volume:  2   Issue:  3

Complex Reporting with FileMaker at the Washington Department of Transportation

wsdotFileMaker has always been good at creating printed reports, but in a recent project we're working on at the Washington State Department of Transportation, we've been getting a chance to test the limits.

This project involves enhancements and additions to environmental reports for transportation projects. One of the existing reports was already right at FileMaker's maximum page length for a layout of about 13 pages, so we had to break that layout up into two layouts, each about 10 pages long.

This introduced a problem with page numbering, since FileMaker's normal behavior is to start page numbering at page one for each layout printed. By using FileMaker's Get(Pagenumber) function in combination with a global field, we were able to calculate a correct page number for each page of the second layout. Interestingly, using a global variable on the layout (a new feature in FileMaker 11) did not work, a global field was required.

The resulting layouts are about 20 pages long when combined. Extensive use of FileMaker's ability to collapse fields during printing to print just the actual text in the field typically results in much shorter printed documents for this report.

Using these same techniques, you would be able to create much longer reports in FileMaker as well.
~John Newhoff

In This Issue

Current Projects

Nike+GPS App

Keep Up to Date with FM and 4D

Who We Are


FileMaker Server 11.0v3 Update

An updater to bring FileMaker Server or FileMaker Server Advanced 11.0v1 and 11.0v2 up to 11.0v3 is now available. The updater provides various Windows and Macintosh fixes and performance optimizations, as well as correcting the recent issue with Java 6.24. Read the full details and download the installer from FileMaker.


FileMaker Tip

menuThis month’s FileMaker tip is on creating summarized spreadsheet reports directly in browse mode in FileMaker. New in FileMaker 11, this feature allows you to easily set up a report similar to Microsoft Excel, where you can group and summarize information in table view simply by right-clicking on any column header.

For example, to group a list of clients by state, simply right-click on the State column header and select “Add Leading Group by State”. This will automatically sort and group the list by state. You can also add total counts at the beginning or end of each separated group as well as grand summaries.

This feature gives you the capability to create new reports on the fly, with a good deal of flexibility.


NikeGPSNike + GPS App

Are you a runner/walker looking to track your distance or time? If so, check out the Nike + GPS app for the iPhone. When training for a marathon this year, I found this app very useful in tracking the mileage for my long distance training runs. Working off the GPS from the iPhone, it records your route and time for your run or walk. When starting a workout, you can choose a particular distance, a set time or simply an open-ended option, and select a music playlist. The app will then record your progress.

There are options to allow voice feedback at varying intervals, or link a live feed of your workout to Facebook or Twitter. The app even tracks your progress on a map, with visual indicators of your speed.

The best part is the motivational feedback the program gives you after you have reached goals or completed personal best times for yourself. I know I’ll be using this app to train for my next race!
~Kate Wheeler


Keep Up to Date with FileMaker and 4th Dimension


Who We Are

Portage Bay Solutions is a database development firm in Seattle and Austin, where we've been working with organizations of all sizes for almost 20 years. We specialize in answering and returning calls promptly, staying within budget, and providing top notch support to our clients during all phases of the development process.
  • FileMaker Pro & 4th Dimension upgrade and development
  • MS Access to FileMaker conversions
  • FileMaker Pro & 4th Dimension integration with other data environments
  • Web/Database integrations
  • FileMaker Instant Web Publishing

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