10 Replies Latest reply on Apr 10, 2012 3:12 AM by AllegroDataSolutions

    Impossible to Print Continuous Form Labels in FM12?

    AllegroDataSolutions

      Less than one week after spending an entire day contacting all my current clients, telling them they should upgrade to ver 12, and answering their questions about it, I have to contact all of them again -- including two clients with new databases that I started building in 12 -- not to upgrade or start using it yet.

       

      The first reason is the performance and installation issues for those who are using OSX Lion (detailed in other posts in this forum). The second is the label probem, described below.

       

      For years, I have been developing solutions that, among other things, print to Dymo LabelWriter printers. The solution that I built for myself (which I use to run my development business) also does so. While the converstion reported no errors and I didn't see any obvious problems, when I tried to print labels for a found set of records in my solution this morning, I got a cryptic error message that there was a problem with my label layout (which I have used, unchanged, at least once or twice per week, for the entire lifespan of FM 11 without a problem).

       

      I gather FMP didn't like my margins. The dialog directed me to either change the size of the text field, the page margins or "turn off columns" on the layout. Unfortunately, none of these changes - individually or in any combination - would work. The label printer always does the same thing, cutting off text and skipping labels, in exactly the same way, regardless of the page setup parameters. When I look at the layout in preview mode, I see a shaded border on the top and on the right of the screen - which I cannot get rid of. (I don't use a header or footer on this layout.)

       

      In frustration, I built a new label layout. My first surprise was that FMP 12 does not appear to offer "labels" - continuous form or otherwise - as an option for layout setup. If I make a normal page and size it to the labels, using the length and width specified on the Dymo label box, it produces the exact same problems as my old layout. If I turn on the columns feature (1 column) I get the same error dialog mentioned above. It appears even though the script the prints my labels uses the error capture setting to supress stuff like this. It hardly seems to matter, as FMP won't print the labels properly, whether columns are on or off.

       

      You would think that, with all the time they took for this release, someone would have tested these features before they let the product out the door.

        • 1. Re: Impossible to Print Continuous Form Labels in FM12?

          You should be able to solve your problem via Page Setup (Print Setup script step):

           

          Go to File->Page Setup

          Format For: (select your Dymo printer)

          Paper Size: (Select your label type)

           

           

          Dymo had to change their OS X printer driver for Lion because Apple removed support for the type of driver Dymo has always used and now it is based on CUPS. So it's likely Dymo is to blame for the change in printing behavior, not FMI.

           

          Myself, I am having trouble printing from FileMaker to receipt paper in the Dymo LabelWriter Twin Turbo (paper size: Continuous Wide) on Lion and Dymo says, so far, that they don't plan to support printing to continuous paper from third-party apps on the Mac. But if you're printing to labels, hopefully that won't affect you.

          • 2. Re: Impossible to Print Continuous Form Labels in FM12?
            AllegroDataSolutions

            My script all ready has those steps and this is a PC, running Windows XP, so it isn't a driver issue. It only occurs in FileMaker 12, not any of the earlier versions.

             

            The only work around that I have been able to come up with is to export to an Excel or CSV file, import it into Dymo's Windows database app and print from there. A lot of extra steps, which my clients are not going to be happy about and which won't help Mac users.

            • 3. Re: Impossible to Print Continuous Form Labels in FM12?
              LSNOVER

              Allegro:

               

              I've seen a few posts from you, and I understand your frustration with FMP12. It is brand new, and it has some performance issues no doubt.  But, why on earth would you be pushing your clientst o upgrade to a product you have not fully vetted?  This is a big change in the underlying Filemaker DB engine.  I concur that the GUI enhancements seem to have overwhelmed the performance enhancements.  We will have to give FMI some time to deal with this.

               

              I am with you in being dismayed about the performance, but you are putting yourself in a negative position by pushing this version with your clients before fully evaluating it.  Let FMI know your issues in polite, detailed form and then wait a bit.  With a little luck, they will respond to these issues quickly, if possible.

               

              Cheers!

              Lee

              • 4. Re: Impossible to Print Continuous Form Labels in FM12?
                ericjungemann

                There can be a number of printing issues with Dymo labels.  They are not new.  Lots of threads out there which I would primarily put at the feet of Dymo.  We use very explicit scripts for Dymo printing, are careful about installing Dymo printers (FileMaker off, delete older printers on all machines, install and don't plug in printer until told to do so, then turn back on FileMaker . . . hygenic stuff).

                 

                Our experience with printing on FMP12 is no problems at all so far.  Databases that we have converted run just fine on installations of Dymo that were installed corrected.

                 

                Our experience on conversion to FMP12 was great too.  VetFM has 30,000 calcs, 300 layouts, hundreds of scripts, 7,000 fields etc.  All seem to work just fine after conversion.  We're still regression testing but we are very impressed with the conversion progress since ETS.

                 

                We can't comment on any performance issues yet but we generally wait for a point release anyway before starting a field rollout.  But, so far, an extremely impressive release from FileMaker will many many good features.

                 

                Eric Jungemann

                InfoMatrix, LLC.

                Home of VetFM

                • 5. Re: Impossible to Print Continuous Form Labels in FM12?
                  AllegroDataSolutions

                  Re: Dymo - I still have version 11 installed and no issues with printing labels from that solution. Same machine. Same data. No problems. Period. I have been developing solutions with the abilty to print to Dymo printers for years. I have never seen this problem. It is only happening on the copy of this solution that was converted to 12. Rebuilding the script didn't help. Nor did building a new layout for the labels and printing manually.

                   

                  Re: FileMaker. I am sorry, but I am not the one that told his developers that there would be no major conversion issues and that FMP was going to be a major improvement in performance and stability. Frankly, I thought the company did not want a repeate of all the animosity generated by the conversion problems going from 6 to 7, and all the performance issues with version 10. I'd have been happy if ver 12 was at least no worse than 11. But I am seeing things that just look like misplaced priorites and sloppy programing and it upsets me.

                   

                  I spent the better part of today dealing with disappointed clients who are on maintenance plans. They download the new versions almost immediately and then complain to me about all the problems. I have a queue of clients waiting for work that I can make money on and I am spending my time with people who have a heavey sense of buyers remorse, asking me for advice on porting their shops over to SQL and having to try to convince them, for the upteenth time, to stay with FileMaker. I don't enjoy it. Because, frankly, I agree with them. With the amount of time FMI spent on this version, and all  the assurances that we developers would not be on the front lines facing an army of disappointed customers again, I just expected better. Sure, I expect there will be patches. But what I have seen today makes me feel like there are some major problems and I know that some of my clients will not put up with it. I lost major sources of income from people who switched as the result of the two upgrades I mentioned above. What strikes me this time is that the ones who are griping the loudest are my Mac clients, who are normally the most loyal.

                   

                  Sure, FileMaker is getting some blowback about this. But I think they should. Because their the customers they disappointed are taking it out on me and just a few months ago they were giving us assurances that this kind of thing would not happen again.

                  • 6. Re: Impossible to Print Continuous Form Labels in FM12?
                    LSNOVER

                    Allegro:

                     

                    I hear you loud and clear.  Hopefully FMI does as well.  But you should always be temporing expectations of your clients on major new releases.  Even the biggest and best companies have a few stumbles now and then with major new releases.  Believe me, I'm not a happy camper either.  There are key features in ESS in FM12 that I would like to use, but the performance issues will most likely force me to wait until things can be improved.  In the mean time, I will be doing some heavy duty testing with FM12 to see what can be done and where the bottlenecks are.  I've done a fair amount already and provided feedback to FMI.  With a little luck and fortitude, these issues will get resolved.

                     

                    Hang in there and keep a stiff upper lip. ;-)

                     

                    Regards,

                    Lee

                    • 7. Re: Impossible to Print Continuous Form Labels in FM12?
                      tech_liaison

                      Hi All: Sorry to hear that some of you are having issues. Rest assured that Product Management, Engineering, and QA are reviewing all the new/unique reports we receive on these issues. That said, please remember that the Developer Community is not the correct venue to report product bugs/issues/feedback. Those types of reports should go to our .

                       

                      Our support organization monitors these reports and funnels those that have not already been reported to Product Management, Engineering, and QA. To create a report, just follow the bookmark above, and then from the FileMaker drop-down, select your preferred language. Once in the support forum, look for the Product Feedback & Bug Reports panel and click the link for the type of report you want to submit; either Product feedback (feature requests), or Report an issue (bug reports):

                           support_forums-1.png

                      Example files that can reproduce the problem you're reporting are always helpful too. Thanks for helping us isolate these issues.

                       

                      Best,

                      Dave

                      • 8. Re: Impossible to Print Continuous Form Labels in FM12?
                        Stephen Huston

                        Hi Dave,

                         

                        Is bug reporting not included in this forum to avoid a plethora of false bug reports by some people who would report everything they don't understand as bugs, or just to make it harder for us to report bugs -- or is that really the same reason?

                         

                         

                        TechNet seems such a logical place to report bugs....

                        • 9. Re: Impossible to Print Continuous Form Labels in FM12?
                          karendweaver

                          If we could have a specific format for reporting bugs on Technet (i.e., eliminate ranting, concise description of the bug only) and a way to see what has been reported already and how many people have reported a similar issue - that would really be helpful in keeping the discussions about how to deal with bugs (and avoid triggering them) immensely useful.  I think it would also be useful for FM - if I can search the bug reports and find a similar issue, then instead of posting a brand new bug that they then have to verify because I described it differently, I could just add my "vote" to the existing post and maybe add new info.

                           

                          I can appreciate that FM needs a way to track newly reported items that would be difficult to do just by monitoring posts in this forum.  Bugs and pseudo bugs are reported here on multiple threads.  I don't think Dave is telling us not to discuss on the forum - I have even seen people ask - is this a bug?  or am I doing something wrong.  The guidance and support of other developers in determining whether or not this is really a bug or a misunderstanding is indeed useful.  But we also have to remember to actually post a bug report.  So yes, I think a place for that on Technet would be a great idea.

                           

                          Of course, this is not a new idea and has been suggested more times than I can remember by people way more famous than me..

                           

                          Karen

                          • 10. Re: Impossible to Print Continuous Form Labels in FM12?
                            AllegroDataSolutions

                            My 2 cents:

                             

                            I think everybody knows how to report bugs and how frequently those reports are actually acted upon. I expect many of us would like to speak with other developers first to (a) confirm that what we have found actually is a bug and (b) find out if any other developer has a work around which could be applied immediately to solutions that we are building.

                             

                            I also think that a forum is needed to present a united front to FileMaker Inc about changes to the software that we depend on which adversely affects our businesses. The amount of time that I have to spend answering customer complaints and trying to convince them not to abandon FMP each time a release is issued that makes things worse for them amounts to a significant loss of income for me. I am a one-man operation. When I put in a 12 or a 16 hour day and spend 8 hours on the phone with angry clients, the whole company is tied up for those eight hours. No revenue is being generated.Deadlines for projects are slipping. Which means more angry customers and more losses.

                             

                            It would have been a different story if FMI had told us developers "Look, we're going in a different direction with ver 12. We're going to let you make fancy interfaces a little more easily, but there will be a performance hit and compatibility issues." We could have adapted, been prepared, and offered feedback. (Such as "Okay, if you really need to do that, at least keep selling ver 11 for clients who would rather have better performance" - which is what all my clients want.)

                             

                            But FMI didn't say that. It's big selling points was better graphics PLUS improved performance AND no significant conversion issues. I don't like being mislead. Especially when misrepresentations cost me time and money. If FMI doesn't want to hear that, pardon me, but that is exactly the problem. (And easily remedied if it would just be straight with us). I will respect the company's wishes if it really doesn't want that discussion here, but there are many other forums, user groups, etc. where developers and clients will have these discussions and my clients would be all too happy to take up the time of FMI's staff with their angry tirades if I am not given the tools to deal with them.

                             

                            As for those who are not having problems with ver 12, all I can say is good for you. But I don't think it is terribly usefull to compare your own environment (hardware, OS, etc.) and your own solutions to someone else's because they are all so different. Obviously, from the posts I've seen and what I am hearing round the clock from users who have converted solutions and are trying to work with ver 12, enough people are having issues that this matter is -- or should be -- of serious concern. I have seen enough personally, on just two converted solutions of drastically different size and complexity, to convince me that there are problems that need immediate attention. As previously stated, I am seeing the same performance lag on both solutions. The size and complexity of them doesn't seem to matter (unless we are talking about lots of records in portals). I am even seeing it when I am working in layout mode. All of this is simply not there in FMP 11. And not feeling like I can trust the "official word" about new releases any more doesn't help the situation.