Built-In Plugin support that works in iOS

Idea created by BowdenData on Nov 17, 2015


    A) My ultimate idea would be to have the ability to extend FileMaker functionality like we can today with plugins, but have it work in FMGo. Without knowing if this is truly feasible, I envision changing plugins to be encapsulated/embedded within the FileMaker application. My assumption is that if they are embedded, they would work on iOS.


    Maybe it would not be realistic to have full parity with the desktop plugins, but at the very least, we should have a sub-set of functions that work on mobile.


    Note: There have been other ideas presented in this area about having built-in JSON functions, better XML support, email support for HTML/Rich Text, access to Calendar and Reminder data, and so on. If some of these ideas are implemented, then it might lessen the desire for iOS plugin support. I think the FileMaker engineers would need to get pretty aggressive with cannibalizing features that plugin vendors offer today in order for this to happen.


    B) Part two of this idea would be to change plugins from being managed by the developer using containers to being embedded in the file. I envision that they would be managed in the "File Options..." area. Today, this is where we set things like the custom icon for a solution, auto-login prefs, etc. Add a section here to embed plugins right in the dB file. I think you would still want some scripting control with options like "disable plugins" and so forth.




    To me, this is pretty self-evident. As mobile becomes the predominate platform, I think that FMGo will have to become more powerful and flexible to keep up with the demands and expectations of customers. Plugin vendors have consistently shown that they can provide extended functionality much quicker and with greater flexibility than we get from FileMaker Inc.


    This would also provide plugin vendors with new opportunities to expand their business.



    As mentioned above, perhaps this would be the route to go that would let us have access to JSON functions, access to the iOS calendar and reminders, add scanning with OCR functionality, have FMGo participate in Workflows, etc. Imagine a plugin that would allow FMGo to tap into Dropbox like so many other iOS apps can.