The latest release of FileMaker Pro, 19.2.2, includes a few new developer tools as well as a revised quick-start experience. The quick-start experience is still in preview on MacOS only, but I had a chance to give it a whirl and I found some interesting use cases.
The quick-start experience is a limited layout editing experience, aimed at simplifying the design process and speeding layout design. It’s useful if you want to start a new project from scratch designing the layouts and simple UI.
It does save time in a few useful ways. Dragging and dropping fields automatically snaps them to the grid, so you can quickly place fields on your layout and have them line up neatly. Swapping fields is the same. Just drag one on top of another and they switch places.
You can define field types such as phone number or currency, which automatically creates auto-enter calculations in those field definitions.
You can also define value lists while creating new fields such as drop-downs, pop-up menus or checkbox sets.
Some limitations are that you cannot add portals to the layouts, just fields from the same table. Also, Edit – Undo does not work. When using the quick-start experience a new custom menu set called “QAA Menus” is automatically installed. This custom menu set prevents you from accessing any of the File – Manage Menus but this can easily be changed by switching to the Standard FileMaker Menus.
Once you’ve done all you can do in quick-start mode, it’s time to move on to the full set of layout tools. This can be done by clicking the button to convert to the Pro Toolset. 📝⇢ It’s important to note that this cannot be reverted.
Instead, when the button is clicked, a copy of the file is saved with “_quick-start” appended to the file name and saved in the same location as the file. This copy can still be used in quick-start mode, but it’s important to note that now the two files are separate and no longer in sync. I can see this as useful if you want to save a template of a quick-start file that you’d like to use as a starter for other projects.
To see the quick-start experience in action, check out this video below.
Another useful feature is the new option to hide account name and password from the OAuth or Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services sign in options. The option is set to hide the account name and password by default, but can be changed via the File Options.
A few useful developer functions were also added in 19.2.2.
The Get(InstalledFMPluginsAsJSON) function will return all the information related to the installed plug-ins, similar to the Get(InstalledFMPlugins) function but formatted as JSON.
There are three new functions related to add-ons and they all work together. All of these functions are useful for add-on development.
The GetLayoutObjectOwnerInfo function takes a parameter of an ObjectID and returns information such as the UUID, and specific layout that object is on.
Then this UUID can be used with the GetAddonInfo function, which takes a parameter of the UUID of the add-on and returns information about the specified add-on, installed in the solution or packaged (ready to be installed).
The LayoutObjectUUID function is unique in that it can only be used in the calculation for a web address in a web viewer. It can be used to reference the object itself (the web viewer) and is useful to be able to define web viewer calculations used for add-ons in a more modular way.
To upgrade to 19.2.2 simply select “Go to Updates…” from the “Help” menu in FileMaker Pro, or visit the software updates page.
A number of bug fixes were also addressed in FileMaker Go, the iOS App SDK and FMP. See full release notes below for more details on those fixes.
FileMaker Go 19.2.2 Release Notes
FileMaker Cloud 18.104.22.168. Release Notes
FileMaker Pro 19.2.2 Release Notes
FileMaker Pro Help
If you’re interested in how these new features of 19.2.2 can improve your solution, or you’d like to explore building a custom FileMaker solution, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free 15 minute consultation. We’d love to hear from you.
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