9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 13, 2013 10:23 AM by philmodjunk

    Time, Tasks, Management?



      Time, Tasks, Management?


           The moderator has some great reading and tutorials on things like Table Occurrences. I am curious to know if I can find any material or tutorials for working with Task and Time management. I was exploring the Starter Solution Tasks and it is pretty cool. I would like to start investigating if I can fit concepts like it in to my database. One thing it does not do is countdown to the hour, minute or second. I feel I would need this for daily tasks. Does anybody know of any info that can help with designing Timers, Dates, Scheduling, Task Management, etc.? I know that this is not a fundamental like Table Occurrences. However if something is available than I would like to know about it. Thanks

        • 1. Re: Time, Tasks, Management?

               Thanks, but modman is the name of the forum moderator. He's a manager that works at FileMaker Inc. I'm a volunteer "community leader"...


                    One thing it does not do is countdown to the hour, minute or second.

               Can you provide an example of what you mean by that?

               I do have a pair of demo files that touch on peripheral parts of this but not the main ones:

               A simple calendar demo: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e8d03xvwe8vtz85/Calendar.fp7

               A file to demo ways to work with many to many relationships and uses an "event manager" as the example, linking many contacts to many different events: https://www.dropbox.com/s/oyir7cs0yxmbn6i/ManyToManywDemoWExtras.fp7--a lot of people struggle to figure this file out so don't hesitate to ask questions about it.

               These are older format files. FileMaker 12 users can open them from FileMaker 12's File menu to get a copy converted to the latest file format.

               You may find it helpful to understand that Date fields are really number fields with a special format. They store an integer that records the number of days from 12/31/0000 to the date shown in the field. Thus, you can often use calculations that treat the field as a number to compute elapsed days or a new date.

               Datefield + 3 computes a day 3 days after the date shown in DateField

               Datefield 2 - Datefield 1 computes the number of days from the date in Datefield 1 to Datefield 2

               Time and timestamp fields are similar but measure time in numbers of seconds--the number of seconds since midnight or the number of seconds since Midnight 1/1/0001. Thus similar math can be done as long as you work with seconds instead of days.

          • 2. Re: Time, Tasks, Management?

                 As usual that is very helpful starting point! As usual your help is ON TIME! All I mean by count down to the hour, minute, second, is I would like to understand the concepts of a Timer in FileMaker. I think that the ability to put thing into a “you got 4 hours, 18 minutes, and 9 seconds to complete a task/job” is a powerful concept. What I mean is a timer like a chess timer or this


                 I have read a few places that FileMaker does not have the ability to count tenths of a second. Is that true even in version 12 of FileMaker?

            • 3. Re: Time, Tasks, Management?

                   A lot depends on how you need to use that timer and what else needs to take place while the timer is counting down. A looping script could count down the time, but it locks up your database while it does so.

                   Install OnTime, on the other hand can be set up to run a script on regular intervals such as once every 5 minutes or even less and that will reduce this issue.

                   You can enter time with 10ths of a second, but no offically, publically documented FileMaker function can capture the current time in units smaller than a second.

                   I seem to recall that there's an undocumented function call that can, (it "snuck in" with the release of FileMaker 12), but don't recall the exact name of the function call.

              • 4. Re: Time, Tasks, Management?

                     Is there any new updates in FileMaker 13 to the concept of time worth knowing about? Or do the same things above still apply exactly? Thanks

                • 5. Re: Time, Tasks, Management?

                       FileMaker 12 had an unsupported get function that could capture the UTC time in milliseconds from your system clock. FileMaker 13 renamed it and now supports it.

                       In FMP 13, it's called: Get(CurrentTimeUTCMilliseconds)

                       GetAsTimeStamp ( Get(CurrentTimeUTCMilliseconds) / 1000 )

                  will produce a timestamp (date and time) that includes a decimal for the thousands of a second.

                  • 6. Re: Time, Tasks, Management?

                         Does it still have to lock the application to run? Or am I not understanding how it could be used to add timer like application?

                    • 7. Re: Time, Tasks, Management?

                           "lock the application"?

                           Do you mean that you want a "live" time readout in fractions of a second that updates continuously?

                           If so, then no, that's not an option using just FileMaker features and I doubt that you'll find a plug in that can--though you never know what is out there until you do a web search...

                      • 8. Re: Time, Tasks, Management?

                             I have more been interested in a way to run a script that lets say... show a window after my countdown has expired. Is that possible?

                        • 9. Re: Time, Tasks, Management?

                               That's possible in multiple versions of FileMaker and does not "lock the application"--hence my confusion.

                               A simple way is to use Install OnTimerScript to perform a script ever x seconds. When x seconds elapses, the script pops up a message. If you don't want this to keep recurring the script that pops up the message can include an Install OnTimerScript step with no parameters specified to "clear the timer".