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FileMaker How-To: The DayName Function

In today's FileMaker how-to, I will explain how the DayName function works and how it can be used.

In FileMaker's help documentation, DayName's functionality is described as follows, "Returns a text string that is the full name of the weekday for date."

So what exactly does that mean?

DayName is a date function. It's sole purpose is to derive the name of the day from a supplied date.

So, you give it a date and it'll tell you what day of the week it is! For instance, if you ask the DayName function what today is, it'll tell you!

DayName ( "7/24/2013" ) = Wednesday

DayName ( $Date ) = Friday when $Date is 1/4/2013

Thankfully, because the DayName function only accepts a single parameter it's quite simple to use. Give it a date, and it'll tell you what day it is.

One way to use the DayName function is to create a calculation that tells you what day of the week any given date is.

What are some of the ways the DayName function can be used? DayName is one those functions that always seems to surprise me with how useful it is!

A friend of mine runs his own company. To make scheduling his service calls simple, he always services each client on the same day of the week.

Using the DayName function, his scheduling software could automatically create his service schedule. All he'd have to do is tell FileMaker to create an appointment record for each of his customers with a specified regularity, let's say every 4 weeks, and then mark each customer record with either a particular day of the week.

Jane on Tuesdays. Dave on Wednesday. Ed on Thursday. Push the button to create the appointment records and voila!

Here's another example. To keep things simple, a client of mine creates weekly sales report records every Friday. She wanted to make sure that every sales report record was imputed with a date that corresponded with Friday. So, to make her life easier, I created a simple calculation that would indicate with big bold letters and bright colors if she accidentally entered a date that wasn't a Friday. Problem solved!

Here's a fun idea. Do you know what day of the week you were born? If not, DayName could reveal that little bit of trivia!

As I've mentioned before, a great way to become familiar with a function is to open the Data Viewer and experiment with it.
Screenshot of the DayName function in the Data Viewer

So what are you waiting for? Open up the Data Viewer and get acquainted with FileMaker's DayName function.

I've created an example file for the DayName function, which in the future will only be available to Grasp students. For a limited time only, however, we are offering these files free to our newsletter subscribers. So sign up today using the form to the right.

Please let me know if you found this FileMaker how-to useful. Feel free to send me an email with any thoughts or suggestions that you may have.

So, did you figure out what day of the week were you born? Tell me in the comments below!

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