My FileMaker Wish List

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Christmas or birthday presentFileMaker has always been great at consistently developing and delivering new features to their platform and it’s allowed us to create some awesome solutions for our customers. Even so, there are still some items that I’d love to see included in the program.

In the spirit of the holidays, here are a few of my wish list items:

Programmatic object style control

This feature is something that we have some functionality now with conditional formatting, but it’s not optimal.

The premise is pretty simple. From a script, I’d like to be able to control all of the attributes of an object that could be controlled through the appearance tab of the inspector. In the same vein, it would also be amazing to be able to set an object’s style programmatically. This functionality could really help clean up those last remaining areas where we have to rely on duplicate objects to get the look and feel of a system.

Specific instances that come to mind include buttons that could either be inactive or active at any given time. If inactive and active include different styling, we’d have to use two separate objects to get that look.

Slide controls that act independently of each other in list view

If you have a slide control on a layout that’s viewed in list view, activating that slide control on one record will activate the slide control on every other record at the same time. There’s some really cool stuff that we could do on the mobile side if activating the slide control only affected things on one record.

What comes to mind immediately is the swipe to mark as read functionality you’ll see in the iOS mail app. We could pretty easily recreate that sort of swipe for more options functionality with this proposed change and it could make our mobile solutions even cooler!

Template system

Although certainly not specific to it, this feature is something I really liked about the Python framework, Django. A template system would allow us to define parts ahead of time and then include them in a layout later.

This would include objects, styling and positioning. A template system feature would really help ensure consistency across a solution and cut down the time it takes to make simple changes to parts that get reused frequently. It also fits pretty well with the don’t repeat yourself (DRY) principle.

Now that I’ve shared my wish list items for FileMaker, what would you like to see in future versions?