I have some product improvement ideas for the Data Viewer to help in solution development. Here are some of my ideas:
- The Data Viewer locks me up a lot doing calculations I don't need. I would like a button to tell it to stop calculating and return control to the user and it can just display uncalculated fields/variables as No Result or something like that. Maybe even just the Escape button would work. And then another button to turn it back on and start calculating again. That way I can stop it calculating and go several steps debugging and then tell it to start calculating when I need it and not before.
- I would like to be able to toggle fields in the "Current" tab to turn them off or on, particularly summary fields that are making the data viewer almost useless if calculated for every step while debugging.
- I would like the data viewer to give a choice to wrap text or not in the results box for creating a watch calc. Working with arrays and having it wrap makes them really hard to read. Sometimes wrapping is nice, but sometimes not. Having a choice would be nice.
- I would like to be able to display array results in a table or spreadsheet form. If the Results Display could toggle to a Table View like in layout mode with the option to choose the field and record separators. As we start using more JSON and RESTful API data, working with Arrays and making it easier will be needed. Right now I have to copy and paste it into Excel which is annoying.
- Find and Replace in the Expression area. When writing a formula and editing it, Find and Replace would be helpful for longer calculations.
I posted this in the regular community for feedback and a lot of people concurred.
There were other suggestions like Philmodjunk said it would be great to have a SQL development tool that is so common in other development. I personally use RazorSQL with FileMaker, but know many FileMaker developers do not even know such tools exist or their benefits. It sure would be helpful if it was built in.
Fmpdude has some good suggestions too:
1. Save SQL results as a layout for further processing
2. Add SQL Query Assist (SQL "intellisense" as you type)
3. Be able to export "data viewer" results directly - including to clipboard.
CSV, JSON, XLS, XLSX, TEXT (comma, tab, user-defined delimiter), DBF
4. Have all "data viewer" windows expandable by handles (aka window panes)
5. Be able to control fonts and font sizes.
6. Reduce modality. Let "data viewer" open when other windows are open.
7. Allow multiple "data viewer" windows to be open at once.
8. According to FMI support, they fixed this behavior in version 14, but just in case .... make sure watch expressions don't disappear when you have to force-quit FMP.
9. Have a table list in "data viewer" --> be able to double click a table name shown and have it open in browse mode.
You can see in the community the discussion about product improvements for the data viewer and that it is of interest to developers and we hope you will consider some of these ideas and maybe even more in the possible future improvements for FileMaker Pro Advanced.