Technical Issues - Accessing the FilmStar Database

The FilmStar (Scantraq) Database includes FileMaker Pro examples and corresponding FilmStar BASIC macros to automate database operations by triggering FileMaker scripts.

FileMaker Pro supports up to 5 users without FileMaker Server. This utilizes FileMaker Sharing and requires that database(s) be open on a host computer (acting as server). For users with a file server, FileMaker Server adds further capabilities, supports more users, and is the robust FileMaker sharing solution. It is highly recommended.

While BASIC programming and FileMaker scripting skills are required to implement database solutions, end-users such as coating designers and QA technicians do not require those skills in everyday operation.

Users can assign BASIC programs to Macro Buttons 1-6, but that is only recommended during program development. Database macros should be assigned to menu commands in File and Spectra menus via the Database Configuration dialog.

Click for full size image
Spectra Database

The above screenshot shows how DB commands are added to FilmStar. Click File.. Configuration.. Directories followed by the Database Configuration button. If the button is missing, contact FTG Software about upgrading to a Facility License.

The screenshot at the right shows a DB Retrieve menu added in the Spectra menu. Typically there is no requirement for Save Spectrum in DESIGN unless one is producing a sales document.

FilmStar Database examples are intended as a starting point and need to be modified to meet particular requirements. With over 20 million users, FileMaker Pro consultants are readily available. When selecting a consultant, your want to hire someone familiar with ActiveX (as in Excel VBA).

You probably don't need a consultant. In fact, several FilmStar users assigned summer interns (physics or math majors) to the task, reporting that they 'figured it out' (with minimal support from FTG Software).

FileMaker 14-16 Installation Issues

1. FileMaker Pro 64-bit is compatible with FilmStar COM (ActiveX) even though it is listed as a Bad Reference. The reference is correctly listed in 32-bit FileMaker under C:\Program Files (x86). Our advice is to install the 32-bit version, just in case. Or at least download the 32-bit installer as well as the 64-bit.

2. A bug in FileMaker 14 results in incorrect PNG picture sizing when Format = Crop to frame. The workaround is to set Format = Reduce or enlarge image to fit as shown at the right.

3. Previous versions compatible with *.fp7 format have been deleted.

FileMaker 16 Security Issue

In FileMaker 16 ActiveX permission is required to utilize FilmStar commands. This has been implemented in our sample programs, but current users will need to update security settings: ActiveX access.