I had the privilege of attending my third FMDiSC (FileMaker Developers in Southern California) user group meeting today!  It was AWESOME!  Not only did I come home with some fantastic new tips I can start using right away (I will definitely share them as separate articles here for later recall), but I got to meet and hear from some brilliant minds in the FileMaker community.  We talked about profound new changes coming up soon as noted in the FileMaker Roadmap and saw some slick ways to improve upon value list usage, but I also have to comment on how cool the people at FMDiSC are.  From the group’s founder David Knight, who was totally willing to chat with little old me as if I were a friend or colleague, to each person I’ve had the opportunity to speak with, everyone has been very friendly and willing to share knowledge and wisdom from their experience.  Even the guest speakers have been incredibly generous with their time and the information they have shared.

Today we were fortunate to have Todd Geist of Geist Interactive as a guest speaker.  Todd guided us through FileMaker’s Roadmap 2017 and helped shed some light on some of the upcoming features and changes.  Some of the highlights for me were:

  • FileMaker Data API
 — FileMaker Server-based REST API allows data interchange with other apps and services via REST APIs and JSON.
  • JSON parsing — Provides a set of functions to parse and generate JSON data exchanged with other data sources, such as web services that have REST APIs.
  • Layout Objects window — View a hierarchical list of all objects that are on a layout; select, hide, and name objects; and change the stacking order.
  • Enhanced cURL options — Provides cURL options to configure HTTP/HTTPS calls that work with REST APIs.
  • Master/detail view creation
 — Enables a portal to display records from the current found set. This eliminates the need to create a self-join relationship and additional scripts.  (In  development)

There’s a lot more there, so if you’re a registered FileMaker Community member, you can view the whole FileMaker Product Roadmap 2017 for more details.  There were also some rumors that the XML and PHP APIs were eventually going to be deprecated.  I really hope that’s not true.  We shall see…

There were several other great speakers today, but a highlight for me was David Knight’s (of www.angelcitydata.com) smooth way to add and remove values to a value list on the fly while keeping some values “locked” and unremovable.  It basically just used a simple trigger to capture the input, call a script that opened a window off screen, and then added (or removed) the captured input into that table off screen.  It wasn’t all that tricky, but the result was very effective and smooth.  In any case, beyond the cool value list trick, I never knew you could open a window way off screen and interact with it before, so that all by itself was worth the “price of admission” for me!

Definitely looking forward to more FMDiSC meetings!