FileMaker can be a powerful platform that if used wittingly, can help you build robust applications. Here are some of the valuable tools that can take your development to the next level:
- The Script Debugger
An outstanding standalone tool provided in FileMaker Pro Advanced that offers the capability of debugging scripts, which can be launched from the script workspace by pressing a button or even a script trigger.
The script debugger gives you full control of stepping into each script step and provides full details in the call stack from script parameters to sub scripts. It even lets you know from which file the script is from. This can come in handy when working in multi-file solutions. For more information please visit FileMaker documentation on script debugger – https://fmhelp.filemaker.com/help/16/fmp/en/index.html#page/FMP_Help/debugging-scripts.html
- The Data Viewer
It goes hand in hand with the script debugger like peanut butter and jelly. It displays real time values for a currently running script’s variables and fields.
The “Watch” tab on the top right will give you the ability to specify fields or calculations to monitor whether during debugging or simply during general development and it works like a charm!
- The Shape Tool
An often-underappreciated friend of mine which may seem like a graphical block to many; to me, it is a smart image resizing element of a layout that helps with proportioning and sizing of an image. In layout mode, you can create the shape you desire your image to be, in the appearance tab, change its fill to an image, and after selecting the image, the dropdown just below the image sample will give you the option to “Scale to fit” and voila! You can resize your image while not losing its original proportion.
On the right we can see the rectangle object with an image as the fill and to its right we can see the imported image with some proportion issues due to resizing, not to say it’s everyone’s preferred method of handling images in FileMaker, but it can prevent a lot of headaches.
- JSON Script Parameters (JSONSetElement calc)
Surely many of you know or heard of JSON and some may or may not have used it in FileMaker. Let’s say you are used to making script parameters a straight forward text or number, or even a field, but how would you pass multiple parameters during a script trigger or when the user clicks a button?
With a few adjustments and a little bit of knowledge of JSON syntax, the sky is the limit! You can pass as many parameters as needed by adding multiple JSON elements to the JSONSetElement calculation in the script parameter. And from the script side, you can call the JSONGetElement calculation to grab the value of the element needed. For more information on JSON calculations you may visit: https://fmhelp.filemaker.com/help/16/fmp/en/index.html#page/FMP_Help/json-functions.html
- Claris Community
The FileMaker community, now known as the Claris community, may not be a standalone tool for FileMaker Pro Advanced, but it is the place where bright minds collaborate and help each other get through some of the most difficult obstacles that FileMaker can present. You may discuss FileMaker Server, FileMaker Go, FileMaker WebDirect, and the list goes on, if you don’t believe us just ask them yourself: https://community.claris.com/en/s/