FileMaker 17 So Far
It has been roughly 3 months since the release of FileMaker 17, and there have been some big changes that came along with it. New features, functionalities, and improvements have been added to enhance both the user interface, and user experience. Let’s take a look back on some of those additions, and what our Senior Application Developer thinks of it so far.
Aimed at making FileMaker more accessible to novice users, and simpler for developers - new Starter Apps have been introduced to make basic application development simpler, and more straightforward. If you are looking to develop a basic application that helps streamline some of your work processes, this new feature will help you achieve that goal, without necessarily requiring years of development experience.
Script by Name
In the past, developers would have to come up with a variety of solutions to programmatically choose which script they were going to perform, making performing script by name a long sought-after feature by FileMaker developers. The new functionality allows users to choose from two options when using the Perform Script function: script by name, and script from list. If the latter is chosen, then choosing a script is done the traditional way. Selecting script by name however, results in the ability to set the script name by using the calculation dialog.
Our senior application developer had this to say about it:
“This is a big one. Since earlier releases of FileMaker Pro only let the developer pick which script to perform by explicitly selecting it from a list, this often led to huge "If" statements for me. Sometimes, an "If" statement wouldn't cut it either, so I ended up turning to using the FMP protocol which always seemed like a bit of a hack/workaround to me. Now that I can specify which script to perform by using a calculation that returns the name of the script, it's much more elegant”—Matt Leering, Senior Application Developer
Modifying Grouped Objects
With the dawn of FileMaker 16's object browser, it became possible to modify some aspects of an element within a group. Now with v17, we gain access to even more properties of that individual item within a group. Most notably are properties found on the "position" tab of the inspector. This means that individual elements can now be moved and sized without needing to ungroup/regroup—which is a major time saver!
There’s a new feature that lets you point a portal to the current table/found-set. When doing this, the user can select a row from the portal in order to make that the currently active row. We haven’t really used this feature much, but our senior developer says:
“If you were to start designing more of your layouts in this fashion, it could potentially save a significant amount of development time since you'd only need one layout instead of both a list and a details screen.”—Matt Leering, Senior Application Developer
With the launch of FileMaker 17, and this months FileMaker Developer Conference, it is becoming evident that FileMaker is making a push for simplicity, and by extension—accessibility. No longer are the benefits of FileMaker going to be limited to the coding or tech-savvy. With functionalities being continuously improved and simplified, it won’t be long before even the least tech-experienced business can reap the benefits of a Workplace Innovation Platform.
If you would like to become more familiar with FileMaker and how it can help your business, check out some of our FileMaker Training Sessions. If you want us to take your FileMaker solution beyond what you thought possible reach out to us today, and let’s discuss your system!
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Lorne Walton 03 September 2018 Report
Accessibility? I understand that the new pricing structure will make FileMaker much more expensive than it was in the past. At one time, I build FM databases for money. I'm retired now, and only wish to maintain my own databases. The next time there's a Mac OSX update that makes FM 16 incompatible (like what happened with FM 15) I'm going to have to dump FileMaker, and all my files will become useless.
Someone please tell me if I am misinformed.