FileMaker import dialogue - a nightmare for 90% of our customers ...

Discussion created by intex on Dec 17, 2012
Latest reply on Dec 17, 2012 by LSNOVER

Hi at all,


does anybody else have the same problem ? We sell runtime based solutions mainly and with them the standard FM import function and dialogue is a general nightmare for our customers. Nothing else needs that much support.


What makes problems and could be improved (please FileMaker):


  • People may know Text or CSV as a file format, but they don´t know the funny FileMaker terminology of "serial letter" and "basic". Why is there no general text format where you can choose whether the delimiter is comma, semikolon or tab ? Why can´t you change that later, if you see, that you were wrong ?
  • Why is FileMaker so stubborn with the file extensions ? - seldomly a tab-delimited file is named *.tab
  • Why can a FileMaker 12 runtime not import any FM 7 based file directly ? Even the conversion isn´t possible. Why is this standalone converter FM7->FM12 not available to the general public ?
  • People don´t see and recognize the very small icons between source fields and target fields. They don´t recognize, that these are clickable and that different icons mean different behaviour.
  • People have difficulties recognizing that fields have to match - why is matching field names not the given standard, at least if nothing else is chosen by script.
  • In tables with many fields it gets difficult to find matching fields - why is there no instant search for fields ?
  • People don´t understand, that they are shown fields to which they can´t import (formula fields). Why are they shown at all, why not only on demand, why can´t we as developers define "visible" and "not visible" fields ? This would help very much for export and sort dialogues too. We have so many "internal" fields no user ever will need.
  • Why are there no warnings, if import field contents and target field definition don´t match at all ? People can import dates to number fields and do any nonsense they like.
  • Most people don´t understand the import options in the last small dialogue of the import procedure. Should I or should I not opt-in for automatic input ? Why is there no scriptable option not to show this dialogue at all ?
  • The import preview is mostly unrecognized - why is no example import directly shown ?
  • Over all the import dialogue has the look and feel of the 90ies.


For the export dialogue we have realized our own "export assistent" (see screen attached) - something similar for the import would be much more complicated.


Any workarounds ? Any thoughts or addendums ?