Blog By Night

The official blog of Fly By Night Graphics, Ltd.          Serving the Twin Cities since Tuesday!

FileMaker’s Let function

If you hang out on the the FileMaker forums (like TechNet), and pay attention to the advice given by those developers in the know, you will no doubt see heavy use of the Let function. I have to admit that at one point, I just didn’t get it. As a novice developer, it seemed like using Let was redundant and unnecessary in many of the example calculations. The official help documentation on Let can be found here.
However, it’s usually not until you see a great example, that it really “clicks” in your head. I don’t remember when that particular example was for me, but I recently came across another one that you may find helpful. Stuart Gripman of FullCity Consulting, Inc. had this informative and concise blog post as part of their “Function of the Week” series. You can read it here.
Another thing to keep in mind with the Let function is that it gets even more useful as your calculations grow in complexity. I cringe when I go back into some of my early FileMaker solutions and try to decipher some of the massively complex calculations I created, often with little to no white space formatting to improve readability or commenting (bad developer!). I had some that I had broken out into multiple fields, just to keep them organized. So I would have fields called something like Xcalc1 and Xcalc2, that would then be used in XcalcFinal to reach the total. All of this would be done very differently, knowing what I know today… especially the use of Let. The Let function will let you reduce the number of times a chunk of code needs to be calculated, and can reduce multi-field dependencies. These things may not matter much at first, but they can become major performance drains as your solution scales up, and as you expand to WAN clients and FileMaker Go clients.
Hopefully after reading Stuart’s post, you will “get it” much earlier than I did!

Published by Shawn A. Krueger, on September 4th, 2014 at 11:24 pm. Filled under: FileMaker,Geek. Tags: | No Comments |

FileMaker 13!

This week, FileMaker released version 13 of its database platform. We are really excited about the new capabilities it brings and how it will help our clients.
Image courtesy of FileMaker, Inc.
The big push here is getting your data mobile. Anyone who thought that FileMaker Pro was “just a database” (or worse yet, a glorified spreadsheet *gasp!*), has been wrong for a long time… but now they are completely off base. FileMaker is moving more and more to a custom app development tool, with a big focus on iOS. New tools like popovers (sorry, no honey butter!), slide controls, and swipe gestures make a FileMaker Go solution feel closer to a native iOS app. The new WebDirect feature is intriguing… it feels like this is finally what IWP should have been all along. But the way that the Server concurrent connections are priced might find itself shutting out some soho clients that would have used IWP in the past. Time will tell.
But we are very excited to put the new features to good use, be it for iOS or desktop… or both. Contact us today to chat about how your operation could be made more efficient with a custom solution built on the FileMaker platform!

Published by Shawn A. Krueger, on December 4th, 2013 at 11:25 pm. Filled under: FileMaker,Geek. Tags: | No Comments |

Johnson Family Portraits at Minnehaha Park

Tonight, as the snow flies, I look back at a fun photo shoot I did for the Johnson family in Minnehaha Park back in September. It was a fun, relaxing shoot with some really nice people who were kind enough to bid on a package I donated to SonShine Learning Center’s annual gala fundraiser. Here are a couple of samples from the afternoon:

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Published by Shawn A. Krueger, on November 5th, 2013 at 11:10 pm. Filled under: Photography. | No Comments |

Oh, the Thinks you can THINK!


I couldn’t decide on a color… so I didn’t!

What a fun show! The kids are doing a great job. Sorry for the short post, but have to get back to work on the programs!

Published by Shawn A. Krueger, on October 25th, 2013 at 10:19 pm. Filled under: Photography,Theatre. | No Comments |

It’s Possible…

…to catch up on another blog post! Here is the art from HHS’ Cinderella from 2012.


Published by Shawn A. Krueger, on October 21st, 2013 at 10:54 pm. Filled under: Photography,Theatre. | No Comments |

You’ll Never Stop The Terror!

Just realized that it has been… ahem… quite a while since I have posted here. There are a few updates from the past that I will try to post.

Here is the poster artwork for HHS’ Little Shop of Horrors from 2011. I have a soft spot for this show. It was my first community theatre show. I’ve done it a couple of times now, and have done publicity for it twice for HHS. How can you not love a show with lines like: “You ate the only thing I ever loved!”

HHS Little Shop of Horrors 2011

Published by Shawn A. Krueger, on October 21st, 2013 at 7:02 pm. Filled under: Photography,Theatre. | No Comments |

Freedom Rocks!

Shot another event for CCHF on Friday night. They are group dedicated to protecting your freedoms and rights in all matters health care. This event was a little different. First of all, I got the call the morning of the event asking if I was available. It’s nice to be wanted, but advanced warning is always nice. This meant running home on my lunch break to get batteries charging, and delaying our trip up north by a few hours. Last minute planning aside, this was more of a party than a typical political fundraiser. The venue was crazy: “Retro Tonic” was the name given to this space that used to be six apartments. The building owner has converted it to an interconnected collection of party rooms, all with different themes. Everything from giant chess pieces, tiki huts and an up-north cabin room to a replica of the inside of the I Dream of Jeannie bottle. Every room was small and very dimly lit… and I was told that they wanted a bright look to the photos. So lots of flash, but we kept if off the camera and bounced it all around the room to keep it from being too harsh.
There was the obligatory speech block with Twila Brase (the force behind CCHF); radio personalities Sue Jeffers and Jason Lewis; MN State Senators David Hann and Gretchen Hoffman; and MN State Representatives Mary Liz Holberg, Mary Franson and Kathy Lohmer. They kept the speeches short, and then got back to the party, which featured Beatles tribute band Rubber Soul. Those lads rocked the house, er, apartments.
The highlight of the night was when Jason Lewis got up on stage and sang lead for the lads from Liverpool the Twin Cities to dedicate a song to our own Governor Dayton: “Back in the U.S.S.R.” After that, the band convinced Jason to do one more number and he sang again on “Get Back.”
The photos are now online. You can find them in our photo gallery under events.

Published by Shawn A. Krueger, on April 5th, 2011 at 11:28 pm. Filled under: Photography,Politics,Random. | No Comments |

Hello, Dolly!

The 2010 Hutch project.

Published by Shawn A. Krueger, on October 26th, 2010 at 11:52 pm. Filled under: Photography,Theatre. | No Comments |

Reclaiming America Event

Another event for AM 1280 The Patriot. The photos are now online. You can find them in our photo gallery under events. This one featured Hugh Hewitt, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Dennis Prager. Appearances were also made by MN gubernatorial hopeful Tom Emmer as well as several other state and local candidates.

Published by Shawn A. Krueger, on October 26th, 2010 at 11:42 pm. Filled under: Photography,Politics. | No Comments |

AM 1280 “Undoing ObamaCare” Event

MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt

Photos from Wednesday night’s AM 1280 The Patriot event are now online. You can find them in our photo gallery under events. It was a great night for conservative thought. One message was clear from Mr. Medved: we must stay focused on the message of small government and personal freedom and not get distracted by fringe issues. MN Governor Tim Pawlenty made a great point that very soon, it will not be a matter of liberal vs. conservative — it will simply be an issue of elementary school math. Our nation is spending more than we are taking in, and increasing taxes on the working class (and those who employ them) is not the answer to that problem. Hugh weighed in with his usual witty and concise legal knowledge, framing many of the current issues and pointing out what we can expect from the courts in the future.

Published by Shawn A. Krueger, on May 1st, 2010 at 3:21 pm. Filled under: Photography,Politics. | No Comments |