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In May, we asked all of you what works and what does not in the online FileMaker Community. Thank you again to everyone who participated in the survey. That survey was one part of a larger Community project we've been working on throughout 2018. First, we assessed the current state of the Community; that work included the survey, member interviews, and an assessment by an outside online community expert. Next, we developed a strategic plan based on the audit findings and FileMaker, Inc.'s larger strategic goals. Finally, we used that strategy to create a roadmap of improvements and changes we will implement over the next year.

 

Nearly 900 members completed the survey. Your candid feedback led us to a several key insights to guide our strategy. Here's what we learned through the survey:

 

1. There are three distinct groups of members in the FileMaker Community.

  • Veterans have been using FileMaker for more than 15 years and are, for the most part, full time FileMaker developers.
  • Newcomers have been using FileMaker for fewer than 3 years and their primary job is not building FileMaker apps.
  • Everyone else has been using FileMaker for 3-15 years. This group is evenly split between full time developers and others.

 

2. The current architecture of the FileMaker Community site does not work.

  • Newcomers are overwhelmed.
  • Veterans find the signal to noise ratio to be too low.
  • Everyone complains that they cannot find what they are looking for.

 

3. There are serious user experience problems with our current community and forum platform. I have been reading and making notes of everything shared in What don't you like about navigating the FileMaker Community? If you have not yet shared your feedback there, please do.

 

Current_features.png

Weighted ranking of current FileMaker Community features

 

4. The tone of discourse in the Community is not always friendly and helpful. Veterans are not always tolerant of or helpful to newcomers, and as a result newcomers do not feel welcomed into the Community. Many members view frequent complaints about FileMaker, Inc. and the FileMaker Platform are unproductive.

 

5. Everyone wants more technical content from both FileMaker engineers and community members. This could include featuring the best answers to frequent questions, breakdowns of other member’s custom apps, and Q&A with FileMaker staff and community members.

 

New_features.pngWeighted ranking of potential new FileMaker Community features

 

We plan to address all of these issues and implement a few of the potential new features, but it will take time. And your help.

 

Our goal is for the FileMaker Community the best place on the internet to the best place on the internet 
to find answers to FileMaker development questions. We do not want to squash healthy discussion or discourage contributions. We, like many of you, want to cut down on the unproductive noise. Please take a few minutes to review section 2 of the Community Use Agreement. If you see a post that may violate it, please escalate it to our moderation team by using Report Abuse from the Actions menu (upper right for the first post in a thread and lower left on each reply).

RosemaryTietge

New and Retiring MVPs

Posted by RosemaryTietge Oct 25, 2018

I am happy to announce that we have several new MVPs joining the team. Our MVPs are valued contributors to the FileMaker Community who have demonstrated leadership in our  FileMaker Community, social media, and by speaking at events and user groups. Thank you to everyone who applied or who nominated a community member. We had many outstanding candidates to choose from.

 

Before I announce the new MVPs, please join me in thanking wimdecorte. He is retiring from the MVP team—but not from the FileMaker Community.

 

Personally, I've admired and respected Wim's expertise in enterprise deployments and best practices for many years. I enjoyed working with him when he was a customer and I was his systems engineer. His disciplined approach to troubleshooting helps FileMaker release better products and helped me be a better systems engineer. His leadership in the FileMaker Community as an MVP, contributor, speaker, and author has helped many become better developers and advocates for the FileMaker Platform. He will always be a valued member of the FileMaker Community.

 

From eric_evers: I would also like to convey my thanks to Wim. When we started the MVP program we did not have any rules or guidance. Wim helped us set the foundation for what we hope is going to be a very successful program in the future. His hard work and dedication will be missed. Thanks Wim!

 

Today, we're announcing 7 new MVPs. We will announce a few more next month. I'm also planning a few get to know you posts to introduce the full group.

 

The expanded MVP team covers the globe. Every member exemplifies the traits of expertise, generosity, leadership, and advocacy we are looking for.

 

Without further ado, welcome and congratulations to our new FileMaker Community MVPs:

CamelCase_data

davidhead

DavidJondreau

FabriceNordmann

jrenfrew

koenvanhulle

KojiTakeuchi

 

Who join our continuing MVPs:

beverly

BeatriceBeaubien

jbrown

jormond

mikebeargie

Mike_Mitchell

 

All community members are welcome to bring questions or concerns directly to any MVP or to eric_evers, steveromig, TSGal, tsplatypus, or me.

We are expanding the FileMaker Community MVP program this year. We have a group of 7 amazing MVPs right now, but to make the community even better we need many more.

 

About the program

FileMaker MVPs help customers succeed by sharing their knowledge, leadership, and creativity within the FileMaker Community. FileMaker MVP status is awarded for a one-year period. Each following year, MVP status will be reviewed and extended based on current contributions. New MVP classes will be welcomed once per year, and anyone can nominate an MVP during the once-yearly nomination period.

 

MVP Characteristics

Expertise maintains a strong, current understanding of the FileMaker Platform

Generosity contributes openly and actively to help others in the FileMaker Community succeed both online and offline

Leadership consistently innovates and shares their insights with the FileMaker Community

Advocacy advocates for FileMaker, Inc., and when they disagree with FileMaker, Inc. it is done respectfully.

 

There are a few principles that determine eligibility

We award MVPs for their individual contributions, completely independent of where they work. Nominees must have been active in the community for at least a year to be considered for MVP status.

 

Benefits

  • Special privileges in the online FileMaker Community (for example, being able to mark correct answers)
  • MVP training
  • Monthly calls with FileMaker staff
  • Early insight into initiatives in progress

 

FileMaker MVPs are nominated by the FileMaker Community and members of the FileMaker team. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else, please complete this form. We are accepting nominations through August 31, 2018.

Last week has suddenly turned into last month. Where does the time go? In my case, June went to DevCon preparations and planning the future of the FileMaker Community. Thank you again to everyone who responded to the survey in early May and everyone who participated in Should the Community have a Document Repository and What don't you like about navigating the FileMaker Community? If you have any other ideas or suggestions on things that would improve the FileMaker Community, please share them in Community Feedback and Information. I promise that we are listening and building a sustainable plan for the future. I will share the roadmap as soon as I can.

 

My mid-year resolution is to reserve time every Monday morning to write a Last Week post. This week, I have a few announcements, and then I'll share the best things I've seen about portals for master-detail layouts in FileMaker 17 (the first in a series of posts about the new features in FileMaker 17).

 

FileMaker Certification update

The Developer Essentials for FileMaker 17 exam will be available soon. Once we announce that it is available, you will not  be able to schedule an appointment to take the FileMaker 15 exam. This is your last chance to take the Developer Essentials for FileMaker 15 exam. If you have an appointment to take the 15 exam already scheduled, you will be able keep it, but you will not be able to reschedule it after we announce the FileMaker 17 exam.

 

FileMaker Developer Conference 2018 update

The conference rate at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center expires on Saturday, June 30. If you plan to attend the conference, book your room today to get the conference rate. Read DevCon DevCon DEVCON! for more updates about the conference.

 

Portals for master-detail layouts

This new feature has generated quite a bit of discussion in the Community and quite a few great resources from Community members.

 

FileMaker Community content that caught my eye

Blog posts by FileMaker partners and experts from around the web

 

Videos by FileMaker partners and experts from around the web

 

If you published original content about portals for master-detail layouts, please add a link in the comments.

 

To submit about other FileMaker 17 features for a future post, please send me a direct message.

In all the excitement last week about the FileMaker 17 launch, you may have missed a few other things FileMaker updated last week.

 

First, our team redesigned our website. We added new pages aimed at developers and IT professionals. Both of these pages answer the questions we hear most often from those audiences like "Is the FileMaker Platform robust enough for me?" "Does the FileMaker Platform meet my security requirements?" and many others.

 

Second, we updated all the Custom App Academy tutorials (aimed at developers building their first app with the FileMaker Platform) and a new tutorial about what's New in FileMaker 17 that goes into a little bit of detail about 5 new features.

 

Third, we updated our Events page to include the meetups, group meetings, and special events showcasing the FileMaker 17 Platform the community is presenting around the world during the next 2 months. If your event is not listed, please submit it here.

 

Finally, we announced some Meet FileMaker 17 webinars.

These English sessions are all on Tuesday, June 5:

• 8:00 am PDT, 11:00 am EDT, 3:00 pm GMT Learn more

• 11:00 am PDT, 2:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm GMT Learn more

• 4:00pm PDT, 7:00pm EDT, (June 6) 10:00AM AEDT Learn more

I'll share details for webinars in other languages as they become available.

 

Last week in the Community was incredibly busy. You all made 500 posts (new discussions/questions or responses) every day last week; January to April 2018 averaged about 300 posts per day. Please keep that in mind if your question wasn't immediately addressed. If you're waiting for an answer, try replying to yourself with a bit more context or details to bump your question to the top of the list.

 

There was a lot posted about the FileMaker 17 release last week. I'm not going to highlight the things that already caught everyone's attention. Instead, here are three things you may have missed:

 

Insert From URL, FMA 17 Issue - highlights a change in the cURL libraries used on macOS and iOS.

Where to install FMS 17 license certificate - what to do with the license certificate file when installing FileMaker Server 17

Any good tutorials & tips for v17 Data API? - answers still needed here

 

Here are a two other discussions that caught my eye last week:

Record Locking Via Privilege Sets - Watch a group of experienced developers troubleshoot and resolve a complex scripting problem. It's a good read to see how to step through a problem and figure out why your code isn't doing what you expect it to.

Manually changing layout returns first record. Why? How to fix? - an explanation of a sometimes confusing behavior when using the Manage Layouts window to switch layouts

 

For everyone with a Monday holiday next week, enjoy your long weekend! I'm looking forward to mine.

First, thank you to everyone who took a few minutes to complete the FileMaker Community Survey. We were flooded with responses. You shared thoughtful and helpful insights. Once we've analyzed the data, I'll share what we learned. As we develop our long term plan for the future of the FileMaker Community site, I will share that as well. We will be closing the survey on Tuesday, May 15, so if you haven't completed it yet please do.

 

Second, this post is a bit of an experiment.

 

Have you ever wondered what topics were hot recently in the FileMaker Community?

Does the automatic digest leave you wondering why certain topics showed up?

Would a weekly greatest hits column be helpful to you?

 

To answer those questions, I've started looking more closely at some of the data the FileMaker Community generates every week. One thing I'm looking at are what threads have the most replies and what threads are most viewed every week.

 

For the next month or so I'll publish a roundup highlighting a handful interesting threads from the previous week. If there's a good response over the next several weeks, this will become a regular feature.

 

Here are a few things that caught my eye during the past two weeks.

 

Learning the FileMaker Platform

Checking a check box based on whether or not a field has data in it.

Totals by month by department

 

Exploring best practices

Which font is best for Mac/Windows compatibility? This is an old thread with a bunch of helpful new material (link is directly to the new material).

How do you name key fields? And why? davidhead is looking for insights to bring to his session at DevCon in August.

 

Intersting discussions

The Extinction of IT I admit that this discussion caught my eye thanks to my 10 years as a Consulting Engineer working with FileMaker's biggest US customers.

Re: Should FM Become a Framework?

Wordpress to FM16  Since this is a frequent question, is anyone interested in writing blog post that pulls together the best tips and examples from within the FileMaker Community and outside of it? If you are, please send me a message.

 

Most viewed correct answer

SQL: How to GROUP BY one column when multiple are selected? This was one of the most viewed threads during the last 2 weeks. When you click "Mark as Correct" button on a response to questions you ask, then that question and answer are more easily found by the next person with the same question.

RosemaryTietge

What else changed?

Posted by RosemaryTietge Sep 16, 2017

Menus

You may have noticed that the menus in the FileMaker Community changed a bit.

 

new_menu.png

 

Platform replaced Resources and contains links to everything related to giving feedback on and learning about the FileMaker Platform -- it's the fastest way to get to the Ideas and Report an Issue spaces; App Innovations; the FileMaker Product Roadmap; and the Video, Tech Brief, and Training, Examples, and Tools collections. I'm still working on the final layout for that area; please pardon the dust while I complete it.

 

We moved DevCon up to the top menu to make it really easy to jump to the session materials and information about next year once it's available.

 

Finally, we combined the old Community Feedback and Community Information into one space. There's now one place to go to give feedback on and learn how to effectively use the Community and to get information about FileMaker's Developer Programs.

 

Content Streamlined

We also retired many unused spaces and out of date and duplicate content. If you have trouble finding anything, or I removed a still useful resource, please comment on this post and I will find it and pull it out of the archive.

The default page for discussions is now an activity page that shows a synopsis of recent and trending discussions and questions. If you want to see just the subjects for everything that is happening, click content in the banner.

 

select_content.png

To return to the Content list, click Discussions in the breadcrumbs.

breadcrumbs.png

On change in the new Community is that Questions and Discussions are two different content types. Clicking Discussions to get back to the content list, selects just the Discussions content type which is a little confusing since most of the content in the main Discussions space is questions.

 

To see Discussions and Questions, click on All Content.

 

selected_content.png

My two favorite workarounds for this are to either

  1. Open a bunch of threads in new tabs and then close each tab after I've finished reading. Then I'm back on the Content list and can select additional threads to read.
  2. Use the back button (or the back keyboard shortcut) to return to the content list instead of the Discussions breadcrumb.

 

If you have any other questions about changes in the FileMaker Community, ask a question in Community Feedback and Information. Someone from the team will jump in and answer.

"News" is the new "Home"

To streamline your experience, we have eliminated the static Home page and replaced it with the News page. The "News" link in the navigation bar and the FileMaker Community logo in the header now take you to the News page. All of the links that were available on the previous home page are be available in the "Explore the Community" section on the right. If you have a News stream or custom stream pinned, you will bypass the banner on the news page and be taken straight to the stream you've selected as your default view.

 

old_home.pngnew_home.png

 

New Content Format

To provide a simplified and mobile-friendly user experience, all content is now in a responsive design format. The Actions menu, Edit, and Share links have been rolled up into a menu just below the main navigation, and the Like and Comment buttons are now just below the title. See below for examples of what each content type looks like now.

Discussions and Questions

Questions are now a separate content type than Discussions. Choose the type that best fits your post. On questions, you select "I have the same question." to be alerted when answers are posted.

old_discussion.png  new_question.png

Documents

old_document.png   new_document.png

Blogs

You'll start to see FileMaker, Inc. publishing product news articles and other content using the new Blog content type. To start with, there are blogs associated with FileMaker, Inc. news and the Community Information and Feedback space.

 

New Place (Space or Group) Format

We've moved the most used Spaces and Groups to the new mobile-friendly Activity page layout. The biggest user experience change to note is that the Actions menu has moved from the right column to the upper right corner of the banner.

 

old_place.png  new_place.png

 

New Profile Design

We've made some improvements to user profiles as well and transitioned them to a responsive design format. The updated profiles

  • Provide the personal details you share in the left column
  • Highlight your top contributions and most popular content
  • Provide quicker access to other links within your profile, such as Rewards (badges/points)
  • Allow you to personalize with a banner image
  • Show your company name (if you have chosen to display it to other members) instead of department.

 

old_profile.png new_profile.png

 

Other changes

In addition, the updated FileMaker Community no longer requires Flash to play videos or preview other documents.

The points system is also changing. All your points and certification badges will move, and you will continue to accrue points for posting, replying, marking answers helpful and correct. We'll share more information about the new points system next week.