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    Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.

    CekariYH

      Title

      Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.

      Post

      Hi all!

      I have many years of experince creating databasapplications with Clarion for Windows but are now trying Filemaker Pro mainly because I switched to Mac.

            

      After been using Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced for a week now there are some pros and cons listed here.

      Please remember I'm very new to FMP so some pros and cons might change :)

            

      Clarion:

      Pros:

      +4GL language that realy shines.

      +Template driven Code Generator. Templates can be changed or added to suit our needs. (lot of thirdparty ones to get for free or paid).

      +Lot of insert-points to add code of your own to add / change behavior.

      +Creates small (relative), fast and efficent programs compareable to C++ coded programs and royalty-free.

      ++Network ready for unlimeted numbers of users royalty-free.

      +Very fast to create an upp and working app to test out and then custumize/finetune.

      ++Every design object as buttons etc can be changed in design / code vith events and properties, like hide, disable etc etc.

      ++Input masks on entry fields, ie format a field to "PV.####.###.##.##" and you can only put in numbers 0-9 and will look like this when filled in as an example PV.01234.567.89.01 at the # etc, or only text-letters etc

      +Input-fields for screens not belonging to a table/file.

      +Quicksearch dropdown-lists/lists (start type and the list updates.

      Cons:

      -Only in english, and making a runtime in native language isn't as easy as it should even tho you can create conversion files, but some needs to be found in templates and changed there whitch will be lost next uppdate.

      -Takes some time to get used to and understan templates but it 's worth it in the long run.

        

      FileMaker Pro 12 Advanced:

      Pros:

      +Fast tablemaking and test runs.

      ++In many languages and you can change languge "on the fly" with Language Swither or OSx language (Mac) (Windows?).

      +Relative easy to understan and use scriptlanguage and funktions.

      +++Both Mac and Windows versions and both can use the same FMP-file 

      Cons:

      -Way to few object properties that can be changed in code. (just search and read this forum ie hide or disable objects)

      -Hard to manipulate objects in code. see above.

      -Not Network ready for unlimeted numbers of users royalty-free (they need Filemaker as well)

      -No input masks on entry fields.

      -No Input-fields for screens not belonging to a table/file. Solved below.

      -Quicksearch dropdown-lists/lists (start type and the list updates).(can be wrong here)

            

      Haven't had the time to test kiosk-mode yet so will return for that later.

       Solved below

      My Wishlist for Filemaker Pro:

      Urgent:

      Many more properties for layout objects that can be changed in scripts/funktions.

      Input-fields that belongs to the layout (not in table) like a local variable. Can be text or numeric fields, checkboxes and optionbuttons. Solved below.

            

      Nice to have:

      Input masks on entry fields (timesaver)

      Quicksearch dropdown-lists/lists (start type and the list updates)

        

      More to come as time goes by.

      No pune intended cheeky

      /Cekari

        • 1. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
          philmodjunk
               

          -No Forrmated input-fields.

               It depends on what you mean by "formatted". If you mean input masks, no FileMaker doesn't have them and as far as my own work with FileMaker is concerned, I rarely if ever feel the lack. There are many other options available and for most purposes, they serve the same need and more flexibly.

               

          -No Input-fields for screens not belonging to a table/file.

          In FileMaker, you can use a field with global storage specified. Yes, it still "belongs to a file", but it is not part of any one record and a value in a global field is accessible from any layout, script or calculation in the file. On hosted databasese, values in global fields are also specific to each user. When I set up global fields, I put them all in one unrelated table set aside soley for global fields to better be able to manage them unless I need to use that field as a match field in a relationship.

               

          -Quicksearch dropdown-lists/lists (start type and the list updates).(can be wrong here)

               Drop down lists can be set up to "auto-complete" so that typing a few letters causes FileMaker to both prune the list of values down to just the few values that start with that letter and to also auto-complete the value in the field with the first such matching value. This field can be set up with a script trigger to perform a find or to control what records are listed in a portal.

               There are however, limitations as to what kind of value lists will auto-complete that can be frustrating though there are alternative approaches that can be set up to get back the auto-complete capability.

               You can also set up portals where the contents of the portal filter down with each keystroke to just the records that start with or contain the text in a search field located just above the portal. Clicking the portal row can then be set up to perform a script that selects that specific value.

               

          -Not Network ready for unlimeted numbers of users roylaty-free (they need Filemaker as well)

               Dream on. I don't work for FileMaker but must recognize that they are in business to make a profit. Releasing a version of FileMaker that can generate network capable run times would represent a sizeable loss of revenue for them.

               However, your comments are very welcome! You may also want to use FileMaker's Feature Suggestiong form to get a wider audience of FileMaker Inc personnel for your comments: http://www.filemaker.com/company/contact/feature_request.html

          • 2. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
            CekariYH

                  

                 @Phil:
                  
                 1. -No Forrmated input-fields.
                  
                 Yes, I meant  input masks and I need them "always" for the work I do. 
                  
                 From the example above: "PV.01234.567.89.01". Allowed is also "PV.01234.567.89" and "PV.01234.567" . Took me a days work to achieve due to a lot of code to control and formate.
                 20 minutes to achieve the same thing with input mask and coding…
                  
                  
                 2. -No Input-fields for screens not belonging to a table/file.
                 Then I badly missed something smiley
                 How do I do that???
                  
                  
                 3. -Quicksearch dropdown-lists/lists (start type and the list updates).(can be wrong here)
                  
                 Then i missed something again blush
                 How to?
                 And where do I type in to search?
                  
                  
                 4. -Not Network ready for unlimited  numbers of users royalty-free (they need Filemaker as well)
                  
                 Dreaming is allowed wink
                  
                 Well, I just read that Runtime kiosk mode doesn't work on network anyway sorry to say. 
                  
                 Perhaps unlimited was to much to ask for. But if a "small" company that makes Clarion can perhaps FilMaker could too. Frankly Clarion is about 3 time as expensive I think but I'm willing to pay for some kind of licencing.
                 I could easy pay some sort of fee for like say 9 users per runtime instead of reqire that they should buy 9 FMP12A.  
                  
                 Anyway, the way FMP stores tables and all in one file wouldn't work as I'm used to with only the data-files (tables) on a server and just the application on the workstations… 
                  
                  
                 Last, how do you format the answer as nice as you did above?
                  
            • 3. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
              philmodjunk

                   1. Yes, I've experimented with an auto-entered mask, the OnObjectKeystroke trigger and a very complex script to implement a data mask, but in my solutions, it's almost never worth the trouble. Instead of a data input mask, either/or a self correcting auto-enter calculation or a script performed via on Object Validate can be implemented. The look and feel IS different, but often can be set up to achieve much the same results.

                   Note that there is also a very old and much simpler approach that you can find in the Knowledge Base. (See link to this source at top of screen.)

                   2. Global storage is a field option. Double click a field in Manage | Database | Fields and check out the options on the Storage tab.

                   3. Usually, not always, you set up a global field for searches. How you intend to design the rest of your layout then drives which of several options you might take. A scripted find can use the data in the global field to query your database and return a found set of records. See this link for examples of scripted finds: Scripted Find Examples And the OnObjectSave trigger can be configured for that field to perform such a script.

                   Or the global field can be used as a match field in a relationship. Then a portal can be set up to list the matching values.

                   And here's the example of am auto-complete enabled drop down list that assigns a unique ID (Primary key) to the current record:

                   FileMaker 12 users: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/78737945/SimpleNameLookupDemo.fmp12
                   Pre FileMaker 12 Users: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/78737945/SimpleNameLookupDemo.fp7

                   And here are some more examples plus some "search portals" that update keystroke by keystroke: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0pm1gdqcfi2ndpv/EnhancedValueSelection.fp7

                   (.fp7 files can be opened from FileMaker 12's File menu to produce a new copy of the file converted to the newer .fmp12 format.)

                   4. Runtime solutions--whether Kiosk or not, don't permit hosting nor connecting as clients over a network. They have other limitations as well.

                   

                        Last, how do you format the answer as nice as you did above?

                   The main thing that I did in my previous answer was to click the block quote icon in the Post A Answer (yes grammar is wrong) tool bar. I also hold down the shift key when pressing return when I need single spacing and use the link button (far left Icon with globe and chain icon) to make my links left button clickable unless I am pasting HTML tagged text--in which case I click Source before pasting.

              • 4. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
                CekariYH

                      

                      

                      

                     1. Yea, it was troublesome, I had to make 5 input fields, one for each number-serie to minimize the code in my example above, and sorry to say before I knew the answer of "2." so they all exist in the same table as the calculated result... no biggie anyway...

                     2. Doh... well you can tell I'm a swede from Sweden ha ha... so simple, just a table with one post and some global fields in it, wish I had known that before, would have save me a lot of time figuring out "how to". Was wondering why one would like a field with the same data in every post when I first read about it... 

                3. Yes, now that you solved "2." for me it's obvious how to do things the easy way smiley Always great to get links for more info as well.

                     4. I know that now :-/

                      

                     Ah, was looking for a quote button or something in your / previous post.

                • 5. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
                  CekariYH

                       Another question if you don't mind an OT one.

                       How do I copy one complete post from one table to another table with the same fields without  do it field by field?

                       I know there is a Copy Post script but I cant find a paste post so to speak.

                        

                  • 6. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
                    philmodjunk

                         Copy and paste manually or via a script?

                         In a script, import records can do that, and looked up value field options on the individual fields plus a relationship can produce that same result as well, but if you have two tables with identical sets of fields, odds are about 90% that you shouldn't have two different tables in your FileMaker dtabase in the first place. The alternative, to keep all the data in the same table, but then add one for field to identify the category so that you can identify which records would have gone to table 1 and which to table 2 generally works better in FileMaker by using finds/sorts/scripts/relationships (there are multiple methods for different situations) to bring up the desired group of records but from the same table.

                         A manual block copy and paste capability does not exist in FileMaker, though such could be scripted if it were truly necessary to do so.

                    • 7. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
                      CekariYH

                           Via script.

                           It's only one record at the time to be "moved"

                           It's by order from the users that when you delete a record from the main table it has to be copied to an "archives" table first. In this case I think they are right as the record will have some container fields with big PDFs, images and blue-print drawings in a suitable format, so instead of "hiding" the record I think it's the best way to keep the main-table as short and small as possible for performance gaining. The "archive" table will not be "worked" on but used for just that, "archive" and reference work.

                           Thinking of using some freeze? window and do it all without the user sees the shifting of layouts and stuff but not sure how to do it in the best way.

                      • 8. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
                        philmodjunk

                             Import records can move one or one million records. You control that by controlling what records are in the source table occurrence's found set at time of import. But I would just change a status field in the record to "mark" it as deleted and set up scripts/relationships that automatically omit the "deleted" records. Then, when they wan't to "undelete" it's simply a matter of changing the field's value to "unmark" it as "deleted".

                             

                                  the record will have some container fields with big PDFs, images and blue-print drawings in a suitable format,

                             Sounds like data that should be stored in a related table (To support a flexible number of images/files) and either inserted "by reference" or in a container field with external storage specified.

                             The main "hit" that is encountered with working with tables that contain large numbers of records is from non-container data where either the field is unindexed and you are searching or sorting on that field or you have a summary or calculation field with an aggregate function such as Sum or Average. So I wouldn't expect container fields to have a significant performance cost as the number of records go up as they can't be indexed, sorted or searched nor used to compute an aggregate value.

                             But if you find that the number of records present in the table is having a significant impact, import records is one of several ways that you can copy the data from multiple fields in one table to multiple fields in another. The other options are to link the tables in a relationship and use auto-enter field options to copy over the data after you set the match field to the correct matching value or you can use a series of Set variable/Set field steps to move the data one field at a time. But note that the other two options are simply variations on moving the data one field at a time.

                        • 9. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
                          CekariYH
                                    .Import records can move one or one million records. You control that by controlling what records are in the source table occurrence's found set at time of import. But I would just change a status field in the record to "mark" it as deleted and set up scripts/relationships that automatically omit the "deleted" records. Then, when they wan't to "undelete" it's simply a matter of changing the field's value to "unmark" it as "deleted".


                               -Since the Workorder-number is unike and never used again there is no need to "put it back".

                               


                                    Sounds like data that should be stored in a related table (To support a flexible number of images/files) and either inserted "by reference" or in a container field with external storage specified.


                               -I been thinking of that too and migt be that I revamp the main table into two tables.

                               


                                    The main "hit" that is encountered with working with tables that contain large numbers of records is from non-container data where either the field is unindexed and you are searching or sorting on that field or you have a summary or calculation field with an aggregate function such as Sum or Average. So I wouldn't expect container fields to have a significant performance cost as the number of records go up as they can't be indexed, sorted or searched nor used to compute an aggregate value.


                               -Yes, that I know.

                               


                                    But if you find that the number of records present in the table is having a significant impact, import records is one of several ways that you can copy the data from multiple fields in one table to multiple fields in another. The other options are to link the tables in a relationship and use auto-enter field options to copy over the data after you set the match field to the correct matching value or you can use a series of Set variable/Set field steps to move the data one field at a time. But note that the other two options are simply variations on moving the data one field at a time.


                               -Think I will set upp some global fields for those needed to be copied as a lot of the IDxx fileds does not have to be transferd after some thinking.

                                

                          • 10. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
                            philmodjunk
                                 

                                      -Since the Workorder-number is unike and never used again there is no need to "put it back".

                                 That has nothing to do with it. People delete records by mistake all the time. What I am talking about is how to undo the delete when there is a need to correct such a user error. Presumably, that is one of the reasons why your client wants to "archive" a deleted record in the first place. (The other would be to maintain a "history" of the data.)

                                 

                                      -Think I will set upp some global fields

                                 You don't need global fields to do that. Use variables instead and you won't have to define as many fields in a globals table.

                            • 11. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
                              CekariYH
                                   

                                        That has nothing to do with it. People delete records by mistake all the time. What I am talking about is how to undo the delete when there is a need to correct such a user error. Presumably, that is one of the reasons why your client wants to "archive" a deleted record in the first place. (The other would be to maintain a "history" of the data.)

                                    

                                   -Well I have a protection 3 step dialog layer to prevent that and even that you have to add your username and date to sign that you deleted it...

                                   ...and as admin you can revert it if you would.

                                    

                                   

                                        You don't need global fields to do that. Use variables instead and you won't have to define as many fields in a globals table.

                                   -True :-)

                                    

                              • 12. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
                                philmodjunk
                                     

                                          -Well I have a protection 3 step dialog layer to prevent that

                                     Sorry, but you cannot prevent mistakes on the part of the user. You can only make them less likely.

                                • 13. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
                                  CekariYH

                                       As an Admin I have a big hammer and bad temper devil

                                       and as I said, that can bee restored, and that's actually the only table that delete is allowed by users.

                                       If it becomes a big problem with the few that will work on the main-table I might prevent deletions as well and just mark them and delete/move them myself.

                                        

                                       Thanks for all your inputs as I value good suggestion high. smiley

                                  • 14. Re: Clarion for Windows vs Filemaker Pro 12 Advanced and wishlist.
                                    philmodjunk
                                         

                                              and as I said, that can bee restored,

                                         But of course, the point that I am trying to make is that restoring the record is simpler if you do not delete it from the table but just mark it.

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