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Analyse your Systems quickly with the XML DDR Query tool for FileMaker Pro Databases

What does the XML DDR Query tool do?

Answer questions, locate internal errors, trace object dependencies within your databases, and more

Delve into your FileMaker databases using a web based application interface to explore the inner workings of your databases. Get answers that can't be answered using FileMaker's built in functions. Trace the history of development in your system. The XML DDR Query tool will answer your questions in less than the time it takes to load a DDR into competing tools.

The XML DDR Query tool answers questions more quickly than other DDR tools because it works directly on the XML output by the FileMaker Pro database design report. There is no pre-processing required. You simply move the DDR into place and begin.

The XML DDR Query tool is Focused on Productivity

I began writing this tool to allow me to explore the XML DDR produced by FileMaker Pro Advanced. My primary requirement for a DDR tool in my day-to-day work is to help me locate object dependencies. I wanted to know if, when and where an object is used. This tool does that more quickly than any of the competition. Starting at the system summary, it takes only three or four mouse clicks to reveal the full list of dependencies for most system objects.

The XML DDR tool is a dynamic, searchable web app

Search for tables, fields, functions, layouts, merge text, graphics, charts, etc. The search tool allows you to search for all the elements in the DDR. Search within layout text or field calculations for text or system functions to find merged fields. Search within layouts for web viewers, charts, graphics and drawing objects.

Discover more about your system by intelligent browsing

Browsing allows you to discover objects when you are unfamiliar with a system. Drill down into the tables, layouts, value lists, relationships. Each page is designed to provide you with the clearest information. Intelligent linking enables you to move quickly in and out, revealing more information at every step. You'll begin to discover more about the system than you ever have before.

What doesn't the XML DDR Query tool do?

The XML DDR Query tool focuses on productivity for FileMaker Pro developers. It does not focus on completeness for XML geeks. For completeness, I recommend BaseX. It provides XPath/XQuery search, text search and an array of visualisations for the data. It isn't a specialised tool for FileMaker Pro DDR. It is a generalised XML tool, it is complete, it is free and it is updated regularly.

How is the XML DDR Query tool used?

Tracing Object Dependencies in your Systems

The analysis provides links between objects that reference or depend upon the other. The dependency function searches the DDR for all items throughout the system which use the object. That includes layout level text and layout object calculations. The results are displayed in a hierarchical view for ease of recognition.

Example Usage: You need to know if you can safely change a script. Will other elements will be affected if you modify its behaviour?

Locate the script using search by name or by browsing the catalogs. Select the "used by" link and you have a full description of all objects that reference the script.

Errors

One of the most common forms of damage to a solution is caused by deleting an object. When this occurs, the elements which referenced that object will be reported as "missing", "unknown" or have empty attribute values. These objects are identified by the error report on the file summary page.

Follow the links to obtain list of the errors, in a hierarchical view of the object tree. The object tree leads you directly to the affected object. The path/tree of objects on layouts can be large. Walk your way through the tree, identifying each object as you go, until you arrive at the object you want to investigate.

Locating Objects on Layouts

Which layouts carry Web Viewers? Charts? Graphics? Layout Text?

Never lose a layout again. The search tool allows you to search for any objects that appear on layouts. You can search within text objects. You can even search for lines, circles and rectangles!

Table Sorting

Sorting information makes it meaningful and allows you to synthesise information more easily. The tables and lists are generated directly from the DDR without changing their sequence. That's important information because it describes the state of the database. However, it doesn’t have to stay that way. The sort order of the data in most of the tables can be changed by clicking on the header. Click once to sort A-Z, click a second time to reverse the sort.

Need more functionality?

Tables are formatted according to web standards. They can be copied directly from the page and pasted cleanly into a blank spreadsheet. Not only is the data formatting preserved, so are the web links. You are able to interact with the XML query tool directly from your spreadsheet.

Bugs / Complaints?

You can contact me via the web site www.notyourhomework.net.

Need Help?

You can contact me via the web site www.notyourhomework.net.