Improve Import/Export Field Picker + Info + Sort + Search

Idea created by mrwatson-gbs on Feb 8, 2016
    Active
    Score18

    Context

     

    When working with large tables it is sometimes extremely difficult to find the fields you wish to import or export.


    This is especially the case if the developer does not use prefix or suffix in the field name to identify calculated fields etc.

     

    Particularly being able to select only the ’standard’ data fields (=normal fields, no calculated fields, no summary fields, no global fields - and, when exporting xml, no container fields)

     

    Idea

    ExportDialogFieldPicker.png

     

    Idea I

     

    The field list on the left (for example in the import/export dialog) should be improved to make it easier to find + add fields:

     

    1. A search field to find fields by name
    2. A column showing field / data type (preferably for a small column the new icon visible in calculation editor)
    3. A column showing storage type: Global / Unstored / Stored / 1/2 indexed (‘i’) / Indexed (could be abbreviated, see pic - with * meaning Automatically create indexes as needed)
    4. Sortable Columns (as in calculation editor)
    5. The field comment should be visible - probably best as a tooltip

     

    Idea II

     

    The field list on the right (for example in the import/export dialog) should also be improved to make it easier to find + remove fields in exactly the same way.

     

    If BOTH field lists are extended in this way, then selecting the required set of fields becomes both possible and easy!

     

    For example, to select all 'data fields’ for export:

     

    1. Sort the left list by type and select all the normal fields
    2. Add all selected fields to the export
    3. Sort the right list by storage type
    4. Select all the global and unstored fields
    5. Remove all selected fields
    6. Sort the right list by name

     

    => You now have all 'data fields' (=normal fields, no calculated fields, no summary fields, no global fields) sorted by name.

     

     

    Note: If Idea II is NOT implemented, then it is extremely important that

     

    • The current selection must be kept, when the field sort order is changed

     

    => this makes it possible to select fields by type, but insert them sorted by name.

     

     

    Benefits

     

    • Helps Improve FileMaker’s Integration Technologies
    • Makes it possible to reorder the already selected export fields (i.e. export order is independent of selection order)
    • Makes it as easy to remove fields from a selected field list than to add them
    • Saves time when selecting fields in import/export dialogs
    • Less bugs in import export steps due to no overseen fields
    • Greater productivity
    • Easier to write FileMaker Update/Deployment scripts
    • Better UX when end users import/export data manually

     

     

    Use Cases

     

    • Updating FileMaker Solutions
    • Exporting + Importing data between FileMaker tables
      • client side using FileMaker format to maintain text formatting - see example above
      • server side using XML - since FileMaker format is unavailable
    • Exporting FileMaker data fields to interfaces
    • Exporting FileMaker data fields to XML interfaces
    • In Scripts
    • Manually
    • elc.