When I was first introduced to FileMaker there were many things I needed to pick up on; however, coming from a position that dealt mostly with SQL and data mining, my main focus was trying to compare it to what I already knew. It’s a couple years later, and I still find things that are new to me. I think, every developer experiences that.
ExecuteSQL, a FileMaker function (not the script step), is likely the most differing concept I had to wrap my head around, not because of its language but because of the formatting (Or lack there of). That may seem odd but when you are used to writing and reading queries a certain way and now have to factor in escaped characters, no special text color for key words, and less query testing it throws a wrench into the operation. The way I deal with this hurdle, is that I write my query in an environment I am used to then just escape everything out in my executeSQL calculations in FileMaker, which seems like more work sometimes but I’ve adjusted.
If FileMaker added in a more elaborate SQL editor, it would probably help with writing more complex queries as well as keeping the block easier to read. Nested queries are hard to follow in the calculation window with no colored keywords. Working with SQL management studio has a nice feature where it will color format certain words such as “Select”, “From”, and” Where”. This allows for an easier way to break out formatting based on the keywords ultimately making looking at large or nested queries with less straining to follow the lineup of each nest.