The last chapter introduced the terminology and concepts behind FileMaker’s calculations. You learned how to create them using the Specify Calculation dialog box’s tools. The sheer length of the functions list shows how big a role functions play in good calculation construction. FileMaker divides that long list into types so you can more easily find the one you need, and because the types usually share some common traits that that make using them easier. In this chapter, you’ll learn about the most common functions for the various data types—text, number, date, time, timestamp, and container—and when to use them. To test a calculation, just create a brand new calculation field, and then start building it using the techniques you’ve learned so far. If it doesn’t work the way you expect, or if you don’t need it after your experiment is done, then just delete the field.
Download a copy of the database used in this chapter from the Missing CD page at http://missingmanuals.com/.
Although they don’t come first in the function list, number functions are the most obvious application of calculations, so they’re a logical place to start. Plus, many concepts you’ll learn for number functions apply to other functions as well.
Operators, along with fields, constants, and functions, are one of the basic building blocks of a calculation. FileMaker has five operators that specifically apply to numerical calculations, ...