The Idea is that
- copy + paste is the most widely used + important function in FileMaker and
- it should just work and not be full of pot-holes and exceptions, and thus
- all the deficiencies in the copy+paste functionality in FileMaker should be straightened out.
Similarly the import.log file, which logs errors and warnings during some but not all paste and import operations, should also be extended to cover all paste operations equally and effectively
If you do not know the problems, here is a little appetizer:
- First up the good news
- DELIVERED in FM16 :-) copy + paste value lists
- DELIVERED in FM16 :-) You CAN now copy + paste an import records script step without the match fields option being reset
- DELIVERED in FM17 :-) copy + paste custom menus/menu items
- DELIVERED in FM17 :-) Perform Script [ by Name: ... ] - immediately + natively (Modular-FileMaker) - which means you can paste scripts into a solution in any order without worrying about their internal ID (intra-file 'public api' script calls by name are no longer dependent on the internal ID ... now you just have to not rename your scripts!)
- (RE-)DELIVERED in FM17 (?) :-) You CAN now Copy + Paste Import Records steps without Import Record missing its Profile Element in FM15 - <Field Missing> missing! <= confirmation required!
- incomplete functionality
- you cannot copy + paste (or even import) tables + fields that reference related data without breaking calculations or changing the internal IDs of the pasted objects (For this you would need to be able to copy + paste Tables AND TOs together in one step)
- you cannot even copy + paste a calculated field without the calculation context (base TO) being reset (and you cannot change which TO is the PTO)
- when you copy + paste layout objects or custom functions you cannot catch any errors because no import.log is written :-(
- there is NO information in the clipboard - nor in the DDR - about the tab-order in a layout - so there is no way of transferring (or analyzing) that
- you can copy a button segment out of a button bar, but you can’t paste it back in
- having copy + pasted some objects you cannot SEE their internal IDs to check if they are the same in Database X and Y, (and before you paste objects you cannot see the next internal object-ID that will be given) -> Make all internal object IDs available <-- This, however, has been widely delivered by the MBS plugin
- broken, removed and undesirable functionality
- Copying Layout Objects to containers does not render rotated objects since fm12
- if you copy + paste a theme from file X to file Y it gets a new internal ID, crippling it so that it may never be updated from file X. -> Paste Theme without breaking updatability
- if you copy + paste text objects which contain field place-holders and paragraph formatting, the paragraph formatting gets screwed up
- in FileMaker 11 after pasting script steps and then not saving a script added an “Import operations canceled” line to the import.log which made it possible to ignore irrelevant errors in the import.log. Since fm12 this is no longer the case which devalues the use ion the import.log file.
- Bug: Copy & Paste Bug (Spreadsheet to FileMaker)
- Broken: Script Step # renamed “comment” in fm14: Ugly + Paste to fm11 broken
- missing functionality
- you cannot copy + paste anything in the relationship graph
- you cannot copy + paste privilege sets
- you cannot copy + paste layouts or layout parts
- you cannot copy layout objects and Paste in Place
- you cannot copy and paste conditional formatting
- and finally - you cannot undo a deleted object (the internal ID is gone forever)
- ...and new ideas
- Copy & Paste fmxmlsnippet (e.g. for easy deployment) <-- Partially delivered in FM17 = Custom Menus are XML *text*!
- FMPA: Copy to XML & Paste from XML (e.g. for easy deployment)
In summary, FileMaker today only supports a fraction of the objects that we wish to transfer, and even then does not transfer those objects 100% correctly!
This idea is a kind of pot where we can discuss the clipboard + show how important it is to us.
- Hundreds of thousands of copy paste actions which today cause thousands of errors will in the future cause exactly zero errors.
- Hundreds of thousands of hours manual work reentering layouts + layout parts + custom menus, etc. (and the % errors that come with it) will be saved
- Young developers can just use copy + paste without having to go through the (painful) learning curve of pasting errors into many (customers) databases.
- Less errors
- Happier developers
- Happier customers
- More people using FileMaker happily
The specific aims
- Daily our developers need to copy functionality between master version and customers databases. We would like this to be more efficient and error free.
- Daily we have to copy fields & functionality between files of our master database. The shortcomings particularly of copying+pasting field calculation context, import script step + layout tab order frequently lead to errors, which often go overlooked for some time before being noticed.
- We love custom menus - they are great, they are necessary, they are unavoidable - and they are evil! I cannot count the unnecessary time + errors we spend for this on each new module.
- etc. etc. etc.
Thanks + happy pasting!