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VES Camera Report Filemaker Developer Guide

This is a guide to developers converting their existing filemaker databases to export to the VES Camera Report Specification.

If the VES database does not immediately meet your needs, you should feel free to adapt and extend it (the license  is very permissive, even allowing modification and commercial redistribution). However, do please read through some of the notes below. If you already have your own database and would like to create a VES compatible output, here are the instructions.

File Format

The file format is CSV based with the first row containing the field names. The easiest approach to the export is to use the filemaker Mail-Merge format.

The major downside of this format is poor support for unicode. It does appear to support a minimal character set, but definitely not full unicode. In the VES database there is an experimental CSV export that actually uses the XML export with xsl. It has not been extensively tested, but could be used as a starting point. The good news is that once exported, filemaker appears to support importing unicode pretty well.

Field Naming

Please use the existing named fields as defined in the specification.

If you have additional fields that are not covered by the VES spec, the major convention we would like you to adopt is to prefix all “Take” fields with a “Tk” prefix. This will help automatic parsers identify the take fields from the slate fields.

The critical field to populate is the slatesUUID field. This must be unique, ideally per project. Our preferred way to make it unique is to use some form of UUID generator. For filemaker 12, this is trivial since there is a function to create them: Get(UUID) see here for more details. 

For filemaker 11, its a little more complex, you will need to add a function, which can only be done in filemaker 11-advanced, and example of the function is here. The VES example database is using this, so if you extend the database, you can carry on using the added function “UUID”.

Date/Time Exports

All date-time formats are in a computer friendly YYYY/MM/DD 24HH:MM:SS format. This means that if you have separate date/time fields for the shoot date/time, that you will need to merge them, which can be done with the timestamp function:

Timestamp(Slates::Shoot Date; Slates::Shoot Time)

Importing them is more complex, since filemaker doesn't really have decent ways to read these back in. Instead we are using the function:

GetAsTimestamp(GetAsNumber(Middle(Slates::Shoot Timestamp; Position(Slates::Shoot Timestamp; "/"; 0; 1)+1; 2))&"/"&GetAsNumber(Middle(Slates::Shoot Timestamp; Position(Slates::Shoot Timestamp; "/"; 0; 2)+1; 2))&"/"&Left(Slates::Shoot Timestamp; Position(Slates::Shoot Timestamp; "/"; 0; 1)-1) &" "&Right(Slates::Shoot Timestamp; 8))

Note, the VES database has its external format set to MM/DD/YYYY and changing it as a default is not recommended, since it will confuse functions like the one above. If you need to see it differently, change the field formatting within the layout instead.