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The worldwide Solutions Consulting team at FileMaker, Inc. would like to share some of our favorite FileMaker 17 Platform features through a series of feature exploratory files. In this post, we’ll look at portals for master-detail layouts.

 

The master-detail interface is one of the most commonly used design patterns in today’s apps. In a master-detail interface, a list of records is displayed alongside the details of the currently selected record. We see this pattern in apps like Mail and Contacts.

 

Many of us know that it has been possible to do this in the FileMaker Platform, but it’s an advanced technique that even experienced developers struggle to set up.

 

New in the FileMaker 17 Platform, portals can now display records from the current found set, making it possible to create master-detail layouts in one step.

 

Please download the file and share your comments and questions here.

FileMaker Server is the true cornerstone of any app deployment. Big or small.

 

That has been the driving factor behind my desire to get very familiar with all of the FileMaker Server features, and it is a belief that I have been trying to convey while speaking at most of the DevCons over the past 17 years.

 

When I got started back with FileMaker Server 3, the Admin Console was almost non-existent, it was a plug-in that was used through a simple FileMaker file. Over the years, as the FileMaker Server feature set got deeper and wider it became a Microsoft Management Console snap-in on Windows and a standalone app on Mac. Later it became the Java-based unified Admin Console that functioned the same on both platforms (FileMaker Server 9) and then with FileMaker Server 13 we had the web-based Admin Console.

 

FileMaker Server 17 delivers the next iteration of the Admin Console, and no surprise, like with the other iterations in the past, it is different than its predecessors in many ways.

 

One of its stated design goals was to lower the barrier for installing FileMaker Server and be up and running quickly. That goal was achieved in spades. There are fewer decisions to make up-front and fewer steps to go through during the installation process.

 

Visually the Admin Console looks very different, closer to what the FileMaker Cloud Admin Console looks like. Under the hood it uses a completely different back end that promises to be more streamlined and lightweight. Under the hood it also uses the all-new FileMaker Admin API.

That Admin API is also exposed to us so that we now have three ways of interacting with our FileMaker Servers:

- the new Admin Console

- the new Admin API

- the updated Admin CLI

 

In fact, you will find yourself using the Admin API and/or the Admin CLI often; a number of configuration settings are only available through the API and CLI, such as:

- modifying the database cache

- modifying the progressive backup interval

- enabling the usage statistics log and the client stats log

- disabling the default midnight backup

 

No doubt some of these changes and the fact that adjusting those listed settings requires the use of the API and CLI will upset some people. The good news is that we are already seeing tools appear that fill those gaps. Tools built by community members that use those Admin APIs and CLIs exactly as they are meant to: to craft the tools that work best for you.

 

Together with another long-standing member of this community, Steven Blackwell, I have authored three extensive white papers to assist you through these changes:

FileMaker Server 17 Admin Console

They include a complete side-by-side of the old FileMaker 16 Admin Console and the new FileMaker 17 Admin Console, and also a full matrix of what settings are available across those three admin touch-points: the console, the API, and the CLI.

 

This year you will find me once again speaking at DevCon on the various features and changes in the FileMaker Server product, including a very cool demo of the FileMaker Data API, the newest member of the FileMaker Platform.

 

And as always, add your product feature requests and ideas: Product Ideas

so that they can be voted on by the community. Recent years have shown that ideas with lots of votes do get considered and implemented.

This is my first blog post in the community, so I thought I would just share how I became interested in the FileMaker platform. So, here goes...

 

I was working as the director of an it department. The company I worked for had locations in Oregon, Washington, and California. They were using an old 4D database to manage much of their day-to-day business operations. Every time we needed something updated, it was difficult to find a developer and the cost was at least $4000 for any small change. I hated it and wanted something similar that worked better, had a larger developer community, and would be more cost effective.

 

I worked with FileMaker in the late 90's on a job and recalled how much I liked it as an end user. So, I called up a developer in Portland, Oregon and the rest is history. The developer was Matt Navarre, who is well known in the FileMaker world. We talked for almost an hour and I threw many different scenarios at him.  I think what impressed me the most in my initial conversation with him was that his answer to all my questions was yes, it could be done with FileMaker.

 

After this, I was sold. We put together a proposal for me to pitch to the senior management at my company. I was very involved from start to finish on this complex database solution to replace our old 4d database. As a result, I became more interested in the FileMaker platform and began taking some classes through Lynda.com (Chris Ippolite's courses). I grew in confidence that I could use FileMaker to solve many other workflow problems in the company I worked for. I built 5 different FileMaker applications for this company.

 

I'm excited to find some work and begin doing FileMaker on a full-time basis. If you're looking for a thoughtful, organized, and hard working FileMaker developer, please send me a message! Below is a link to a YouTube video I made that showcases some of my work in layouts, scripting, and schema. I hope you'll check it out and tell me what you think. Thanks!

 

Filemaker Work Sample Screencast - YouTube