8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 25, 2014 2:36 PM by gdurniak

    New FileMaker Product line focused towards developers

    worldcloud

      One of the most popular posts on Technet right now is discussing what people would like to see in the next version of FileMaker. I certainly have my 'wish list', but the reaility is that many of us on this site are more 'technical' than the average FileMaker user. FileMaker, Inc. appears to walk a tigh rope between creating a product which is easy for new users to get started with and a tool which give developers the power that they desire. Generally, I think that FileMaker has done a pretty good job with this balance in recent years; however, my question to the group is what if FileMaker, Inc. created a new product line which was more developer-centric.

       

      If this new FileMaker prodcut was a separate product line, then FileMaker would be 'free' to explore new features and codebases without the 'backwards' compatibility issues. They could start with the resources that they already have in place and build out a 'FileMaker Platinum based product line.

       

      If FIleMaker where to create such a product line, what direction/ features do you think they should go?

       

      On my list would be:

       

      >> iOS FileMaker runtime solutions (I'm even okay with no networking)

      >> Runtime engine for FileMaker Pro which included networking (and required concurrent licensing)

      >> New plug-in API which did more than simply extend the calculation engine

      >> Increased SQL support

      >> More access to CSS

      >> libraries- packages of tables, functions, scripts, etc which could be refenced by multiple solutions

       

       

       

      Actually, my list is much larger than this but I feel that FileMaker is already working on many of my other requests and/or many of my other request start to get too specific to have a large likely client base.

       

      What would you like to see? How should it be licensed?

        • 1. Re: New FileMaker Product line focused towards developers
          DavidJondreau

          I'd say the opposite is most needed...the fabled "thin client".

           

          I don't see how an iOS runtime could be implemented...it's just FM Go without the FM Go? That would have to get past Apple and I don't see that happening. Runtime for FM Pro with licensing? Thin client!

           

          For the additional development features...I don't think FileMaker has a sufficiently sophisticated developer base to be much of a market for an "Advanced Advanced" version. One indication is how many developers are already doing what you're asking for (ie using SQL plugins to extend SQL; hacking the CSS files; publishing libraries ). I'd say very few. Dozens. And how much would people pay? It isn't enough to justify the development time compared to the SQL plugins, for example.

          • 2. Re: New FileMaker Product line focused towards developers
            monkeybreadsoftware

            Technically the FM Runtime would be possible.

            FMI would create an app and allow you to download it.

            You drop your database files into app bundle.

            You sign app and upload to app store.

             

            Of course you need to know some steps for Xcode and be a registered apple developer.

            But technically it could be possible.

            • 3. Re: New FileMaker Product line focused towards developers
              mikebeargie

              I think an improvement could be made to FMPA to give us developers a bit more tools.

               

              Such as:

              • Error Reporting Advanced (some real debugging info on the error cause)
              • Searching all over schema/scripts/functions (EG what 2empowerFM developers assistant does now)
              • inline script step editing (rather than needing to pop open the calc engine window)
              • unit test style debugging (EG highlighting errors such as endless loops, missing references or broken functions, such as "go to layout 46" when there are only 10 layouts)
              • More schema details from the ExecuteSQL() (currently on "Filemaker_Tables" and "Filemaker_Fields", adding Filemaker_Relationships, Filemaker_Customfunctions, Filemaker_Externalfunctions, Filemaker_plugins, Filemaker_Datasources, etc..)
              • Option to view relationships as a text based editor, rather than an ERD
              • Ability to use INSERT/UPDATE on schema via ExecuteSQL()

               

              I can probably think of a few more, but if they added a bunch of developer features and raised the price to $1500, I'm sure a lot of us would pay for the ability to have new tools for faster development.

              • 4. Re: New FileMaker Product line focused towards developers
                jbante

                Mike Beargie wrote:

                 

                • EG highlighting errors such as endless loops

                 

                That would be a most impressive accomplishment, demonstrating that Alan Turing's answer to the Halting Problem was incorrect!

                 

                Mike Beargie wrote:

                 

                • More schema details from the ExecuteSQL() (currently on "Filemaker_Tables" and "Filemaker_Fields", adding Filemaker_Relationships, Filemaker_Customfunctions, Filemaker_Externalfunctions, Filemaker_plugins, Filemaker_Datasources, etc..)

                 

                Well, we do have the RelationInfo and Get ( InstalledFMPlugins ) functions already.

                • 5. Re: New FileMaker Product line focused towards developers
                  mikebeargie

                  Lol, has anyone ever run FMP through a halt test?

                   

                  Loop

                     Set Variable

                  End Loop

                   

                  assumably it would just eventually crash your system, or there’s a hardcoded iteration limit that filemaker recognizes as with recursion in custom functions. Maybe I’ll leave it running on my home computer while I’m at pause and try to answer that.

                   

                  I was more referring to a loop without an exit if or exit after last condition. Something that would highlight the outer loop/endloop steps in yellow for novice (or forgetful) developers. We all have our moments I’m sure…

                  • 6. Re: New FileMaker Product line focused towards developers
                    Vincent_L

                    • Major, Major, Major speed up both client and server

                    • Complete SQL everywhere : read and write, structure. Foundset from selects, relationship declaration from selects, export from select…

                    • True data / structure separation. And possibility to re-create from scratch solutions from a more complete DDR exports (this wll cure us one for all from silent coruption, And will make use able to automate solution creation).

                    • Functions called from whichever files (having duplicates of function when you have several files is nonsense). "Worlcloud" aformentionned librairies are even better

                    • Perform script by name (and by id)

                    • All steps completly settable via calcs. No steps hardcoded only (so programable imports, exports, sorts etc)

                    • Access to all UI elements like custom contextual hierchical menus, menus "replacing" Values list, toolbar eventually..

                    • Horizontal, and nested portal without limitation like no pop-ups / no webviewer

                    • Embed parts of layout, in other layouts, Think sub-layout as objects : I want to design one navigation bar, edit it in one place, and have it displayed on n layouts

                    • Scriptable and server side compatible DDR export (also even included in backups).

                    • Every non interactive scripts (and I mean really interactive, like modal dialog) steps server side scripting compatible

                    • search boxes, sorting ascending / descending,  everywhere : in every object choosing by dev (relationship graph, fields, import matchin, sorts etc, like developper assistat)

                     

                    More big picture stuff :

                    I secretly wish that 2 big brain at FMI are in their forth year of recreating the databse from scracth in a SQL fundation, an re-emplementing the filemaker stuff on top of it. That would be so awesome, this will open much broader market for FMI, will scale much much better perfotrmance wise

                    and in their next office 3 guys redoing the whole UI in webkit. Webbroser are so much more effecient at diplaying things, the FM dipslay engine is a turtle next to them

                    • 8. Re: New FileMaker Product line focused towards developers
                      gdurniak

                      I've used both Servoy and FileMaker for many years,  and watch as Servoy gets easier,  and FileMaker gets harder.  I imagine they will eventually meet in the middle

                       

                      Not sure about this list,  but it seems most at DevCon are still not "programmers" ( we probably have more trained in music )

                       

                      We don't really need a new version,  just make Developer more detailed ( e.g. edit hidden ID's, as Servoy allows )

                       

                      I also see it the other way around.  Bring back the easier FileMaker 6 as "Classic",  and allow it to open the current format  :-)

                       

                      greg

                       

                      > the reaility is that many of us on this site are more 'technical' than the average FileMaker user