Top Hits of FM 15

Here’s a little update from my previous blog “Let’s Get Certified”… I passed! Now I am proudly a part of the certified developers of FileMaker.  Having achieved both version 13 and 14 certification it is now time to get ready for…. version 15!

Instead of going on about how to prepare for the next exam, I thought it would be helpful to look into the new features. Last rev we had the tick box (fist pump in the air!) and the revamp of the scripting engine. Two very helpful and welcome additions, but what can be said of this year? Read on to find  the top hits of FM15 along with a few tips or helpful hints on how to get them to work for you.

  • There’s a new script step called Truncate Table. Already we at Linear Blue have found a use for this step whilst investigating a previously written system.  Our teams reaction was… it works extremely quickly!  Deleting all records in a table ignores any found sets and works strictly on the entire data set of the defined table, whilst ignoring cascading delete. Note: There is not a lot of set up needed in order to perform this action. You simply pick your table and whether or not there is any dialogue confirming the process.  You cannot undo or revert this action so please make sure you want everything in that table to go because I assure you it will!
  • FM Go can be shared on the cloud and more!! Now there is the functionality allowing you to  share your file via iCloud and also through other sharing applications, such as Dropbox. Use the send to button and you can select your preferred method. Which leads nicely to the next bullet point.
  • You can now edit images and video via other apps using FM Go! Filemaker has focused a lot of time and energy on the user’s experience allowing integration and interaction with other customisation apps.  This requires the use of container fields and at the moment most of this functionality has to be initiated manually.  Really looking forward to seeing how others developers utilise this new feature. So please share if you have any examples.
  • FileMaker has incorporated iOS Touch ID into its security settings.  Not only is FileMaker staying inline with the upgrades found within other Apple products it also streamlines the log in process.  Note: To enable the TouchID feature this is found at the file options level not in the security module.  You must also “Allow Keychain Access” in order to have access to the TouchID functionality.  These settings do look slightly different in FM Go (Examples can be found below) and again you have to be sure to set both the Keychain and iOS passcode to active.

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  • Server security now protects against any files without secure passwords. You will notice that by default the server will not open any files that have a security failure. There’s a tick box to override if necessary (note this is not recommended) and if you open the FileMaker file and proceed to navigate to the security module there is detailed notification of which accounts failed the upload to server requirements.
  • With all the updates and changes that can be found within the server it may be helpful to know that there is also a the new error code to look out for…

ERROR 1634 – A certificate verification error occurred.

  • FileMaker Pro now has a new conceal and edit box.

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Not just useful for when you are entering in log in information but also adds another level of security when entering details like credit card information. Note: Using this method does not mean the data is encrypted as it is only being concealed in the current view.

  • My favourite new addition has got to be the undo capabilities added to the script master.  Using the familiar command-z (control-z on Windows) shortcuts or navigating to the edit menu you can revert back to the last change made to your script. The entire history is now tracked in the Script Workspace and even when you flick through various scripts all can be traced back to the last saved action. This is not just a time saver but a life saver that is allowing for more flexibility and usability because lets face it we have all had that moment when you deleted when you shouldn’t have.

Note: There are a few other rules to be aware of and the link below clarifies them well. Most notably is how the editing history is cleared.

  • Access to the data viewer has been tightened up too.  Previously, users without [Full Access] privileges could get into the data viewer and when they would attempt to view the current tab an access level prompt would appear.  However, this would not be the case if the user wanted to only utilise the watch tab.  This lack of restriction technically leaves a file vulnerable as ultimately one could follow processes in the watch tab.   What has changed is now in order to attain access  to the watch tab, valid login credentials are required. Selecting the lock icon in the top right hand corner of the data viewer now produces an authentication dialogue box where privilege details are then requested.
  • Progress bars are now available in portals. No longer are you forced to wait when loading a screen with portals that are filtering or sorting as there is now a visual notifier showing that a  delay is due to a portal.  An added bonus is that now whilst this portal is completing its task this process is now happening separately to the app which means that you can still continue on with other activities.
  • The Help guide is actually helpful!  Many times I would refer to the program help section which was painfully slow and could never quite quick find my queries accurately. It has now been redesigned and is definitely quicker.  Still using the (command -? or (control -? for Windows) short cuts a tab opens in your browser with the help guide ready and waiting. Over all its a lot quicker and the quick find key words have improved significantly.  Worry not,  there is a downloadable PDF for those times you find yourself without an internet connection.

Note: The contact sensitive boxes don’t work on the PDF.

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Hopefully that was helpful, interesting or at least clear.  Over all FM15 seems to be preforming quite well. A lot of the performance issues found in 14 regarding speed have improved significantly.  We are currently working on a WebDirect project and the enhancements made on in this area are definitely notable… We can look forward to more on WebDirect development on my next post.

For now happy exam prepping!


Simon Ward

Simon has been developing FileMaker databases since the late 90s and joined Linear Blue in 2006. Over this time he has developed database systems for clients in many different industries from Order Processing to Book Publishing. Simon’s BSc in Chemistry from Thames Valley University comes to the fore in his analytical skills and he is certified in FileMaker versions 7 through 12.

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