The FileMaker 16 Platform

The FileMaker 16 Platform has launched and it’s packed with great new features for both developers and users. We’re excited about significant new features such as server-side PDF creation, card windows, the new Windows UI, enhanced data viewer, and native JSON functions. The platform also introduces several innovative features such as the FileMaker Data API, external script steps, OAuth 2 support, and region monitoring.

The new FileMaker 16 Platform is stronger than ever and we can’t wait to start building with this great new feature set. Our team has written a series of blog posts to introduce some of our favorite new features. Check back soon for more posts.

FileMaker 16: Card Window by Jay Sayers
FileMaker 16: Layout Objects Window by Alan Kirtlink
FileMaker 16: New Windows Interface by Calvin Cooper
FileMaker 16: Data API by Todd Stark
FileMaker 16: Enhanced Data Viewer by Jay Sayers
FileMaker 16: Animations and Transitions by Chad Adams
FileMaker 16: New JSON Functions by Jeremy Upton

FileMaker 16: New JSON Functions

One of the highest community voted features making its way into the release of FileMaker 16 is a new set of functions dedicated to the parsing of JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) text strings. These come in conjunction with the introduction of REST API into the FileMaker Server software, and serve as a new valuable tool for developers to communicate with third party data sources. JSON holds a demanding position as an industry standard in web services. Now, where FileMaker developers used to have to turn to custom functions and/or third party plugins to interact with these services, they will have use of standard built-in functions that will ship with FileMaker 16.

FileMaker 16: Card Window

Card-Gallery-Sample

The FileMaker 16 Card Window is a new user interface tool which will not only make your application look better, it will help you reuse your layouts. Using the Card Window Style you will be able to display unrelated record data, related record data, and transform the look of currently viewed records. At the same time, it just might make window management easier.

FileMaker 16: Layout Objects Window

Once upon a time FileMaker layouts were simple. Everything was visible all of the time and unless it was done by mistake, we never stacked objects on top of one another. Over the years however, a lot of features have been added to FileMaker to help us get the most out of small screens. These days we have tools such as tab controls, slide controls, pop-overs and object hiding that allow us to cram lots of objects into a small amount of space and show the users just those that we want them to see.

These features allow us to do things that used to be impossible, but with so many objects on a layout it can be difficult to find the one you are looking for. To help us with this, FileMaker 16 adds a feature called the Layout Objects window (LOW). Here’s how it works.

FileMaker 16: New Windows Interface

With the release of FileMaker Pro 16 a great new feature has been introduced for those of us who use the Windows operating system. The FileMaker Pro 16 Windows interface has been redesigned to work more like the Mac OS version by now allowing multiple and separate windows! No longer will Windows users be limited to keeping all their layout windows within the FileMaker Pro application window.

Separate Windows

Individual windows can now be resized independently. Each window also contains its own menu bar and status toolbar.

FM16 Windows - New Windows

Window Snapping

Windows natively has a window snapping feature when dragging windows to the sides of the screen. You can now effectively leverage this snapping feature with the changes to the FileMaker Pro 16 Windows interface.

FileMaker 16: The FileMaker Data API

REST comes to FileMaker

While we have been able to use plugins and the Insert from URL script step to consume data from other web-based systems using either SOAP or REST services, FileMaker did not have a native way to easily serve its data to other sites. There is custom web publishing, and ODBC connections, but that was still somewhat limiting when it came to serving data to other web-based systems from anywhere in the world. That all changes in FileMaker 16 with the introduction of the REST based Data API. Now your FileMaker solution can behave like any number of other databases from around the globe who have distinct APIs written for external users to consume the data.

FileMaker 16: Enhanced Data Viewer

FileMaker 16 Advanced Data Viewer Animation

The Data Viewer in FileMaker Pro 16 Advanced got some much needed attention with this release which can best be described as FAST! Its improved interface will have you working, testing and troubleshooting faster and easier thanks to the Auto-Complete, Search and Automatically Evaluate tools.

FileMaker 16: Animations and Transitions

Since the addition of the Set Layout Object Animation script step and slide panels you have been able to mimic a slide transition while navigating from layout to layout. The cost of implementing this simple UI experience is a complication of your layouts that may be unacceptable.

FileMaker 16 vastly simplifies the process and at the same time adds many more transition options.

A Simple Browser-Like Back Button in FileMaker

I recently tackled a request from a client to implement a back button that functioned similar in nature to the back button in a web browser. This is certainly not an uncommon request and a simple explanation as to why this isn’t practical normally results in the client withdrawing their request. However, the customer was adamant that they wanted this functionality. So, I set out to design a solution for them and came up with a solution using snapshot links.

Snapshot History Demo

2017 FileMaker Training: Developer Essentials

ChalkboardSK
Our 2017 FileMaker training series class, Developer Essentials is scheduled!

Our trainers are Certified FileMaker Developers, who have been developing custom solutions at Skeleton Key for many years.  Please visit our webpage for information, dates, and to register.