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An interesting perspective (having just spoken to the creator of FMXraySpecs at our usergroup last night), is that we could make such BETTER tools if filemaker gave us a true base level API, an "advanced clipboard" option, or a stately DDR report.
These utilities, for the most part, use either the clipboard contents, or the DDR report, to process a report for you. So imagine how much better things COULD be, for example:
1) A true base level API could allow FMXraySpecs to correct object positioning directly, or store subversioning of layouts, or remove "bad" objects directly.
2) an "advanced clipboard" could allow developers to generate layouts completely via dynamic XML syntax.
3) Imagine if FileMaker Server had a DDR folder in the hosted location, and every time you made a schema or layout change, the DDR would auto-update itself with that change, so that a utility like Inspector Pro could track (and possible reverse!) revisions to the schema or layout that "break" things. Or possibly allowing a developer to quickly search every script, button or trigger that references a named script.
I think those tools demonstrate that the industry will innovate very GOOD tools, but they could be so much better if FMI would open up just a little bit more.
Don't forget the Recover Log
It is a bit cryptic, but a surprisingly useful "tool" to know
> Some of those we know are
When talking tools, you have to include 2empowerFM Developer Assistant. Since it's a plugin, in works within FMP while you are programming. It does a lot of "stuff," but from an analysis point of view it almost instantly searches scripts and field defs for any text string. One example, you can search for all of the Window [Maximize] script steps in your solution.
I use Developer Assistant all the time, a great tool. Never thought of it as an analysis tool. Just one that makes things easier. Good point.
+1 on Developer Assistant.
Hope to hear mere specific descriptions from some of you: Which tool did you use in which situation ... and the result. Why do you choose exactly this tool?
developer's assistant is a must-have!
FOr analyzers, we use CrossCheck from Armin Egginger. The latest version of Inspector Pro seems to be very good as well. We run FMDiff/FMVis frequently. If we have to migrate .fp5 files, we still have MetaDataMagic (-:
THere are some (for me..) important things when it comes to analyzers:
- how long does it take to analyze one of our standard solutions
- how fast can we search (and FIND) the desired data
- how easy is the interface (in stressy situations..)
- how easy/fast are things like unreferenced objects, etc. to find
- FMDiff/FMVis are incredible fast! No other tool lets one check a solution within a coffee break!
- other things might be personal habit..
ClipManager from myFMButler is a useful tool if you need to study any of the CSS from a layout, especially so if you are needing to optimise object attributes for a Custom Theme.
Analyzer was the old name for InspectorPro. We just shipped version 5 and we have been getting some great feedback about it.
And I totally agree that having an API at that lower level to be able to, for example, pull a DDR when you need it ( in an automated way ). Would love to see an API at some point. Especially seeing as FileMaker refers to themselves as a platform these days. As a developer community and a platform we really need deeply integrated tools. Maybe one day.
Big +1 on Inspector Pro 5. We've used it to great effect with all versions. Exceptionally good the more complex the file. A couple of good video reviews out there by Richard Carlton and Matt Petrowski.
We also use Developer Assistant.
AppleScript. For example...
tell application "FileMaker Pro Advanced"
set the_layout_names to name of every layout
Or if you want to do something more useful, here is an idea from a while
...we are still using these techniques. Could be adapted for other tools.
The AppleScript API lets you do things that you can do with no other tool.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for that! Loved to work with MDM, btw.