FileMaker 17 New Features From Around The Blogosphere

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FileMaker 17 New Features From Around The Blogosphere

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There’s a lot of buzz about the release of FileMaker 17 out and about, with lots of smart people providing their two cents as to what’s interesting and useful, and describing how to use these new features.  I compiled a list of some insightful articles that I have come across, that I think you will find helpful as a starting point for exploring these new features yourself.

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FileMaker 17: Data API Multi-File Upload

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The FileMaker 17 Data API, also known as fmrest, includes a new capability to upload data to a container field. Prior to 17 the Data API only allowed container data to be downloaded. Uploading data from a website to FileMaker had to be done using plugins, Base64 encoding, or by saving a temporary copy of the file in a spot where a FileMaker script could find it. Now we can upload to FileMaker container fields using only the Data API. This blog post describes how to use the new upload capability with HTML and JavaScript.

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FileMaker 17: Default Field Customization

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With the release of FileMaker 17 comes Default Fields, and thankfully they are customizable! This will be a time saver for all of us who copy and paste the same five (or more) fields into every table in every file, all the time. It may seem like a small savings at first, but will quickly amount to a lot of time and clicks. So let’s get started!

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FileMaker 17: Portal Excitement

Yeah, I know. How can you really be excited about something like FileMaker portals? And what is a portal anyways? Well, maybe YOU can’t get excited about them, but we at AppWorks can, and I’ll tell you why: Because portals are used all the time in FileMaker development, and there are two huge new time-saving options in the FileMaker 17 portal creation dialog box — “Show records from Current Table” and “Show records from New Add-on Table”. Each of these options on its own can save us an hour or more of development time, up front, which makes the initial setup of a new file much, much quicker, especially considering how frequently portals are used in FileMaker projects. Which means we can spend more time on the fun stuff, like improving the UI, adding features, and refining the user experience, and all for the same end cost.

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FileMaker 17: Admin API

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If you manage multiple instances of FileMaker Server, maintenance would typically be performed by logging in to each via a web browser or running fmsadmin CLI commands. These methods become unwieldy when you need to make the same change or gather the same bit of information across several servers. A seemingly simple task now takes 30 minutes or more with multiple servers. For example, ensuring that servers have enabled the security setting “Host password-protected databases only” is a quick task for the first few servers, but surprisingly time-consuming when checking twenty.

The time-saving solution to administering a fleet of Filemaker Server instances is the Admin API. Prior to 17, the Admin API was only available in FileMaker Cloud. Now, FileMaker Server 17 running on Windows or Mac OS can be administered from any tool capable of generating HTTP requests, including curl, PHP, and Filemaker Pro Advanced. Given a list of server addresses, we can programmatically log in to each server to gather configuration information, close database files, run schedules, and more.

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