FMPerception, the only Realtime Developer Intelligence Tool in the Claris Community, is ready for FileMaker Pro 19’s new and changed features. Dave Ramsey, the creator of the tool, has ensured that FMPerception will help you as you begin to use FileMaker 19 to create apps for your clients. FMPerception features, of course, change to reflect the new version of FileMaker, and we will go into details about each of them below. We recommend you use FMPerception to help you transition to using FileMaker Pro 19, as there are some important things to consider.

And if you’re not using FMPerception, download the 14-day trial and give it a try. You won’t regret it.

Updates for FMPerception 19

FMPerception 19 gives you better tools to learn about your custom app as you develop on your custom app. Below is the list, and below that we’ll go into detail about specific ones.

  • Added support for FileMaker 19’s new standard functions.
  • Added support for FileMaker 19’s new script steps.
  • Included in the Indirection Sources results are two of the new script steps, Execute FileMaker Data API and Perform JavaScript in Web Viewer.
  • There’s a column in the Scripts section to indicate scripts that run from a Siri Shortcut.
  • The Privilege Sets section includes a column indicating when a privilege set allows management of accounts.
  • The Standards Functions section includes a column indicating when the functionality of a function in FileMaker Pro 19 has changed.
  • In the Top-Call Stats report, the IP Address and User Name columns have been placed correctly on Windows (thanks to Jonn Howell).
  • FMPerception will not crash while processing the Top-Call Stats by FileMaker Element on macOS (thanks to Tom Oathoudt)

The benefits of these new features

Let’s point out the details on some of the features listed above.

Indirection Sources

First, FMPerception includes Execute FileMaker Data API and Perform JavaScript in Web Viewer as indirection sources. As you go about your work and update names of fields or scripts or tables or layouts, FMPerception will remind you that you are using these steps (among others) in your scripting. So you should check each step to make sure you’re not breaking those when you rename these objects. FMPerception doesn’t tell you the exact layout name you used in in the Data API script step, but FMPerception does indicate you’ve used that step in your app.

The Perform JavaScript in Web Viewer script step as an indirection source simply alerts you to the fact you’ve used the step in your solution. Since the names of any fields and scripts you might send into the JavaScript using this step are hard-coded, it’s worth knowing where you’re using this step.

Changed Functions

FileMaker Pro 19 includes Get(ApplicationVersion) which changes its behavior. In previous versions of FileMaker, this function returned “FileMaker Pro Advanced” when using that product. There is no “FileMaker Pro Advanced” anymore starting with version 19, so this step only returns “Pro”.

This function is used by many folks to manage some level of compatibility. Often it is used to show objects or conditionally format an object when the advanced version of FileMaker is used. The opposite is true: FileMaker developers also hide (or show) or conditionally format an object when FileMaker Pro Advanced is NOT being used.

From now on, “FileMaker Pro” is the name of the client version, even when the Advanced tools are used. So we as developers need to review our use of this function and update it appropriately.

FMPerception helps with this: the Standard Functions report indicates which functions have been changed (there are a few others), and the report shows you where you’re using those functions.

We strongly recommend you check for functions marked as changed before using FileMaker Pro 19. Export your DDR in FileMaker 18 and open it in FMPerception 19. You’ll see all the instances of these functions.

Use the GUIDs

I sat with Dave and recorded a podcast about these changes. We’ll get that out very soon. In the episode, he mentioned that everyone should activate the use of the GUIDs as we start to use FileMaker 19.

This new feature of FileMaker Pro 19 gives every FileMaker object a unique ID. This is part of the new XML structure of FileMaker. The XML describes each object and it describes the last time each object has been modified from the first time the XML was created. FileMaker developers may want that in some future version of the product. For now, Dave Ramsey recommends we do this:

Run the “Save a Copy as XML” command in the Tools section of FileMaker Pro 19. This generates, for each object, including scripts, tables, fields, layouts, a unique object ID. From that point on, FileMaker Pro keeps track of the number of times that object has been modified.

Once you have the XML copy, just discard it. The whole purpose of this process was to get the GUIDs created for each object.

FMPerception is here and ready for your needs in FileMaker Pro 19. Use this intelligence tool to learn all about your system while you’re developing in your system.

And join us for Office Hours each Thursday at 4pm EDT. Dave Ramsey and the Geist Interactive team will demo features of the tool and answer your questions.