Thursday, May 10, 2012

CHARTS! (FileMaker)

Charting was one of the things that was tough to deal with in FileMaker Pro.

It used to be set up the data base, get all your finds and sorts worked out, then graphically display your findings in another program.  There were some solutions out there.  Some involved third party software.  But the most frequent solution involved exporting your data to Excel for charting.  Not good if you were trying to script some processes to help people understand the data.  Two programs to do the one thing is too complicated for most end users if you are trying to make things easy.

Then FileMaker added charting.  This was a big help, but still had some limits.  I  was frequently wishing for more options on the charts.  And I was frequently hoping, as I went to meetings, that I thought of all the questions that my end users could think of and had created the proper finds, sorts and charts for them.

FileMaker must have heard me.

There are several new formats for charts.  My favorite is the scatter graph.  But the really neat thing about the charting tool is that now the end user can specify what he wants in his graph.  For those of us who sometimes make FileMaker templates for others, clairvoyance about the end user's charting desires is no longer a necessary skill.  Pretty cool.

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