Version 2.0 now available
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Over your head?
Are you working on an in-house FileMaker project that has you pulling your hair out?

 Is your budget too small for an outside developer?

 Is your credibility, or even your job on the line?

 We have the solution!
    (Just click the SOS button.)


“I really owe you. These papers have given me badly needed direction. Because of them, I've been able to stop spinning my wheels so much about 'what should I be doing', and move forward to DOING it!”

Wendy J. Sieja
Presto Products Company

“Great document!
More genuinely useful information than many
$59.95 tomes.”

Chris L. Baumbach

“One word David - Brilliant!
I learned something useful on nearly every page and have already gone to solutions I've built and "fixed" things per your advice. This white paper should certainly be required reading for anyone developing solutions in FMP. You've done a great service for the FMP community and I do hope you're recognized for it! Thanks again!”

Steve van Ness

“Hi Ho Fellow FileMaker-ins.
Most of us have heard the expression 'Pearls of Wisdom' right. Well I have a 'Full Oyster' for you… this is a great read.
What I am referring to is 'White Paper for FMP Novices'.. by David Kachel. And if you think Oh, Ok, it’s just for novices! You will be making a mistake...
You check it out for yourself and tell me if I’m wrong.”

Harry Glosenger
FileMaker and the World of Harry Glos

...I really appreciate your generosity in making 'White Paper For FMP Novices' available. Even after ~20 years working with FileMaker I found it useful in reminding me of things I had forgotten and showing me things I hadn't thought of. It has been distributed to our developer team as recommended reading.

Peter Trist
Lending Technology Services Pty Ltd


CAUTION: All content is provided absolutely without warranty or guarantee of any kind. Download, install and run/use items on this page entirely at your own risk. Foundation Database Systems and its functionaries accept absolutely no responsibility for any damages resulting from the use or transmission of any of the software packages or other content made available.

*** Some of the items on this page may still carry the old Codemasters Workshop logo or copyright. We're working to change everything over, but of course this takes time.Codemasters Workshop and Foundation Database Systems are the same company, same people, same products and services. The only thing that has changed is the name. ***

All items on this page are FREE to download and use (some have minor restrictions). However, you may not redistribute or reproduce any items, or altered versions of items, on this page in any way. Anyone desiring one of the items below must come to this web site to download it.

White Paper for FMP Novices (version 2.01; released 10/17/2011)

WhitePaperForFMPNovices.pdf    1.3MB (If on Windows: right-click, select "Save Target As...": Adobe PDF format)

A compilation of important advice on how to design a database, and what mistakes not to make. This document contains much-needed advice not available elsewhere that the FileMaker Pro newcomer must have to do a proper job. Currently covering over 100 important topics in as many pages, this is a must-have for any FileMaker novice or intermediate.

Comments are welcome, send us an email with the subject heading "White Paper for FMP Novices Updates".

Universal Time Formatter (version 1.01)

UniversalTimeFormatter.fp7    21KB (If on Windows: right-click, select "Save Target As...")

FileMaker time fields have always been too restrictive in some ways and too flexible in others. You cannot enter 723p and have it correctly interpreted as the obvious "7:23 PM". Neither can you enter "7.23.00" or "7 23 00" and have it interpreted correctly as "7:23:00". In fact, FMP will throw an error if a time field contains anything but numbers, colons (mandatory) and "AM" or "PM"; not even a simple "A" or "P" will work. On the other hand, FMP time fields will accept 36:00:00 (that's 36 o'clock folks!), displaying "12:00:00" but storing "36:00:00" for your bug hunting pleasure.

Some Europeans like to enter times with periods instead of colons, and who knows what separators are preferred elsewhere, but you can't use any of them.

Universal Time Formatter will let you enter anything, no matter how ridiculous, and correctly extract and format a valid time if the entered text contains one... anywhere. The following text:


is correctly interpreted by the Universal Time Formatter custom function as 7:23 PM !

Never use the colon again, use any separator you like, or use none at all:

72356p is interpreted by Universal Time Formatter as 7:23:56 PM.

No more error dialogs, no more frustration. Enter times any way you like and get back a correct and logical time.

This custom function is free to download and use in your solutions, with minor restrictions detailed in the text of the custom function itself.

Universal Capitalizer (version 1.04)



UniversalCapitalizer1.0v4.fp7    48KB (If on Windows: right-click, select "Save Target As...")

FileMaker developers have wanted a tool like this for years. Now you can have it. The Title Case and Proper () functions built into FMP are virtually useless because names like "vanAtter", "O'Shay" and "MacArthur" will always come out "Vanatter", O'shay and "Macarthur". In the past, if you wanted text automatically capitalized in FileMaker (and other automatic formatting done) there was just no way to have it without an extra table of lookups that could only do the job if it contained the particular name or word you needed. Now you can have things formatted correctly and your users can stop relying on the Shift key. Just type in "dr af macnally, md" and get back "Dr. A.F. McNally, M.D." ! And if we missed something... you can add it yourself. The calcs are completely open. Formatting is easily overridden with entry of a simple tilde (~) character.

This custom function set is free to download and use in your solutions, with minor restrictions detailed in the text of the custom functions themselves.

Developer Storage (version 1.02)

DeveloperStorage.fp7     836KB (If on Windows: right-click, select "Save Target As...")

In response to requests from readers of White Paper for FMP Novices, this completely open database will allow you to keep all of your tips, techniques, demos, graphics and other commonly used FMP related items in one place. Just put all those items scattered all over your hard drive into this FileMaker database and you'll never have to hunt for them again. Plus, this file also serves as a practical tutorial for FMP newcomers. It is completely open. Take it apart, learn how it works, apply the concepts in your own datbases.

Database Design for FMP (version 1.01)

DatabaseDesignForFMP.pdf     1.0MB (If on Windows: right-click, select "Save Target As...": Adobe PDF format)

Every FileMaker book tells you to design your solution before you start to build it, but newcomers never follow this advice because no one tells you how to design your solution. Here's how. This is a free step-by-step procedure to follow that will get you through the entire design phase quickly, easily and correctly.  Now you can actually follow that sound advice.

Viewer Table Demo (version 1.0)

ViewerTableDemo.fp7     56KB (If on Windows: right-click, select "Save Target As...")

In response to requests from readers of our White Paper for FMP Novices, this is an open demo of a viewer table solution. It is multi-user ready.

If you have any questions, email us
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