Designing Smart Apps Geared to Work for You
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The ability to create add-ons is a new feature released in FileMaker 19.0.1. It allows users to quickly and easily add modules to FileMaker solutions. An add-on is a package containing the following:
These elements add functionality to a FileMaker solution with just a few clicks. What formerly took multiple copy and paste steps is now as easy as drag-and-drop.
Here is a video of this process:
Here is the official Claris documentation on add-ons. Claris also released a video on this subject. The remainder of this article assumes you are comfortable using the add-on feature in FileMaker Pro 19.
Using Save a Copy as Add-On Package will create an add-on with the default descriptive information, as you can see in the image below.
Here are three different methods that can be used to deploy an add-on to a new FileMaker installation:
Note that add-ons are installed per FileMaker installation in the following directories:
MacOS: Library/Application Support/FileMaker/Extensions/AddonModules
It’s important to know that the descriptive information about the add-on is stored as JSON files in “UTF-8 with BOM” file encoding. FileMaker does not support writing files in this format. My workaround is to download a UTF-8 with BOM file that I uploaded to S3 and use in a container field. This method keeps the file encoding of the JSON files as UTF-8 with BOM. This may sound complicated, but it’s actually fairly simple. Check out the script in fmLog (at the end of this article) for an example of this technique.
Set up the deployment script (done once per module):
Deploying the add-on on user machines:
Installing add-ons can break your solution. They can also contain malicious code that is capable of leaking data from a database. Please review the code in add-ons thoroughly before installing them. Steven Blackwell and Stephen Dolenski published a write-up on this subject.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance with the technique detailed above, and stay tuned for our upcoming tool to centralize add-ons across solutions!
The scripts mentioned in this blog post can be found in our awesome and free logging module, fmLog: https://app.works/product/fmlog-2-1-add-on/
Claris, Inc. announced FileMaker 19’s release today, May 20th, 2020. As a Claris Platinum Partner, AppWorks was able to experiment with FileMaker 19 prior to its release. We found the same great, reliable platform we’ve come to love enhanced with cool, modern functionality. Here are five new features we are excited to utilize:
Displaying frequently referenced PDF files in a web viewer is convenient for users and adds depth and interactivity to a layout. This article includes a simple step-by-step guide for displaying PDFs in FileMaker, as well as a backend look at why this works.
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