Regardless of how far the FileMaker Platform evolves, there are always specific things we want, or want to tweak so they work in a way we think. Fortunately, we have custom functions.  It’s a wide open toolbox for developers to create calculations that can take in parameters, munge them up and push out a result that we need when no other function exists. This is incredibly powerful.

Today I am looking at the 2 simplest functions that I cannot live without, they are in all of our solutions now.

The first is “null”, yes really  null

Why you ask? Because null simply resolves faster in the calculation engine than saying Set Field

[Table::FieldName;  “”].  It most importantly also prevents accidentally adding a space within “” when we want to set a field to no value and eliminating intent in a script if someone really wanted to enter a space.

And there is also “isset”, this I borrowed from PHP, because not IsEmpty requires negative thinking and it is a few less characters to type.  In all seriousness though, it is much easier to read isset(value) than not IsEmpty(value). In my opinion someone reading the code at a later date will acquire the intended meaning much faster.


Just a couple of tricks we use to keep things simple. Sometimes the simplest things are the best ones to make your code more readable, which is very important to me.

What are your favorite functions?

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– Joe