5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 28, 2015 1:17 AM by Markus Schneider

    Good nuts-and-bolts how-to tutorial on client-side FM Go app deployment?


      My first entry into the mobile market is a single-screen, calculator-like app that is now ready to deploy for both iOS (as a Filemaker Go database file) and Android (as a native Android app).  Users will download the database file to their mobile device, then it opens up as a standalone app in Go (on iOS devices).  No internet access is required except to download it the first time.


      From what I've read it looks like the Android deployment is going to be a breeze.  Testing it wasn't very easy since there are so many devices out there, but the rest looks pretty straightforward.

      Learning Android lulled me into thinking I could learn Swift and Cocoa Touch in a similar amount of time.  Such was not the case.

      So my iOS users will have to jump through hoops to get the app as a FileMaker database file after downloading FileMaker Go (or, depending on cost, I might also consider hiring an iOS developer to build an App Store version).  Again, the app is extremely basic...it doesn't even function as a database - all it is is a specialized calculator with many buttons and a few popups.

      After unsuccessfully doing a fair bit of Googling and going through a book called "Easy Apps!" in search of a good, step-by-step, how-to tutorial on all aspects of uploading a FileMaker database file for mobile users to purchase online, I decided to post this here.  Any suggestions?

      I have plenty of web programming experience, FileMaker experience, etc., but the only places I've ever posted anything for sale are Amazon and Smashwords.

        • 1. Re: Good nuts-and-bolts how-to tutorial on client-side FM Go app deployment?
          Markus Schneider

          NOt sure if I got it correct...


          There are ~2 ways - in principal


          a) go through 'App Store' (I believe, that's not possible for FMGo, there were some tutorials around for runtimes (Desktop))

          b) offer/sell the databaes-file through other channels

          - sending them (ie via mail) to the customer, protected via 'kiosk mode' etc.

          - the user can do a long-tap on the file in the mail to have it openened by FM

          - there are other methods for delivering. The sale-process is done by a web shop or whatever


          method b) won't have a copy protection like the App Store, You have to build that by Your own in FileMaker


          Since my own FMGo examples are freeware, I just sent the files via mail - no purchase/registration process. People need to have FMGo on their device, that's it


          Just in case: The FileMaker App...

          - define the screen size for the device (device screen...)

          - create a FileMaker 'App' with functionality, layouts, etc.

          - adjust the layouts so there is no scrolling (the interface is 'glued' to the screen size), use the 'orientation lock' of F14

          - create a 'kiosk' version using FM Pro Advanced (get rid of FM menus, etc, don't forget the 'exit' button...)

          - test...

          - last but not least... create a 'profile' -> the user will get an icon to to tap on for starting the app

          - keep in mind that FMGo App's are somewhat slow...

          (there are some sessions on the 'FileMaker converences' concerning this)

          • 2. Re: Good nuts-and-bolts how-to tutorial on client-side FM Go app deployment?

            "NOt sure if I got it correct..."

            Thanks for answering.  Your shotgun approach contains some nuggets and gets close, but it isn't quite there (but then, neither was my question...).

            Here's one specific thing I'm looking for: guidance on how you set up the FileMaker database to receive an access key that you sell to the user.  Could probably figure out a way to do this on my own, but it's the kind of thing I'd rather read how some expert suggests doing it.

            The author of "Easy Apps!" says his purchasers get a pdf that supplies the access key when they pay.  That's well and good, but he doesn't go into any further detail.  ("Easy Apps!" is a lot more inspirational than it is technical...not surprising perhaps, since the author is a clergyman.  It's still useful though.)

            It's easy to upload the database file to my website and provide a link.  Will also provide a link to FM Go.  Things like this are second nature to me.  I have lots of web programming experience (HTML, Javascript, PHP) making fun websites that don't involve any commerce.  It's just the money part that I'm seeking guidance on.

            I decided to skip trying to market a runtime (kiosk) version.  I could, and it would work, but this app is really best suited for mobile.

            Here was the main "nugget" (to me) in your reply:

            "use the 'orientation lock' of F14"

            You just sold me on getting FPA 14 since my app is only meant for portrait.  It needs to scroll vertically, so I can't lock the scrolling, but I definitely want to lock the orientation.

            • 3. Re: Good nuts-and-bolts how-to tutorial on client-side FM Go app deployment?
              Markus Schneider

              The problem with FMGo14 is, that there are some bugs in the first release )-:

              Orientation lock is a killer feature, but...

              • 4. Re: Good nuts-and-bolts how-to tutorial on client-side FM Go app deployment?

                Thanks for the heads up.  It'll take me some time to figure out how to post my app for sale.  Hopefully it'll be fixed by then.


                Re access keys, it just occurred to me after some more Googling, that the main reason I don't immediately know how to set them up is probably because I know very little about FM accounts and privileges.  Never needed to bother with them for any of my numerous FM projects, ever since beginning with v2 22 years ago.

                • 5. Re: Good nuts-and-bolts how-to tutorial on client-side FM Go app deployment?
                  Markus Schneider

                  I started developing in V2 as well (-:

                  We've had solutions with access-key that was sent to the customers by snail mail after receiving the registration, with a deadline of 30 or 60 days (a second key  in case the customer did not pay). We (well, it was just me - I had the complaing customers on the phone - in those days, we've had no remote access) were not so happy with this and stopped that method after 2001.

                  We still have user controll, but the system locks only if there are more users logged in as predefined. Since not two of our solutions are identical, we're quite happy with this..


                  Concerning FMGo14: There are some issues with the keyboard (among others). You might check out forums.filemaker.com (although it's somewhat difficult because of the spamming over there, I'm afraid that people stop posting there because during european day-times, we find several hundreds of korean soam postings)

                  I *believe* that there are patches on the way for the 14 (server is already shipped)