A new FileMaker release packed with exciting new features.
Claris have just announced a new release of FileMaker, which includes major enhancements to both FileMaker Pro 2023 and FileMaker Server 2023.
Although there are a whole host of welcome changes to FileMaker Server, I’m just going to be focusing on FileMaker Pro for now, and the first thing that grabs your attention is a shiny new logo – a welcome replacement for the previous one, which was essentially a version of the Claris logo, spray painted with a different colour scheme. The smart new branding is just the tip of the iceberg however, as the product itself is packed with loads of exciting new extras. If you’re anything like me, these new additions will have you itching to test drive new features such as:
- Generate PDF thumbnails for Windows
- Send mail via OAuth 2.0
- Read QR codes from container fields
- New “onWindowTransaction” script trigger
- New script step to trigger a Claris Connect flow
However, nestled in amongst of these new features is one that I was particularly drawn to: the new “Perform Script On Server with Callback” script step.
Watch Claris FileMaker 2023 Demo
I’ve recorded a Claris FileMaker 2023 demo video to showcase a real-life implementation of Perform Script On Server With Callback on a test system, which you can see here
My favourite new feature: Perform Script On Server With Callback
Obviously, the Perform Script on Server (PSOS) script step has been around for years now. In fact, it celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year (which also, weirdly coincides with We Know Data’s own “Tenniversary”) and it’s been an absolute game changer since its inception. No longer did end users have to sit around waiting for a processor-intensive operation to complete before they could carry on using their computers. Gone were the days of setting a process running at the start of lunch, only to return an hour later to find that it was only a fraction of the way through and having to fire up FileMaker on a spare desk, so you could continue doing some actual work. Instead, users had the power to push the process to the server. Now, not only did the process run significantly more quickly, as it could run locally, unfettered by the constraints of the network, but it also freed up the end user to continue using their own computer while it was running.
However, there was always one major drawback to PSOS. Once the process was sent to the server, you didn’t actually know what was happening over there. You just had to cross your fingers and hope that whatever script was running was robust enough to not encounter any flaws in the script logic, or – god forbid – any pesky record locking errors. You also didn’t have any in-built way of telling when the process was finished. Sure, you could create a workaround by adding a script step to send an email to the end user or create an audit log record, or something equally creative, but it wasn’t very… native.
All that has changed with the release of Claris FileMaker 2023 and the creation of the new Perform Script On Server With Callback (PSOSWC???) script step. It’s one of those features that FileMaker introduces every now and then, where you wonder why the heck it wasn’t introduced before. But that’s not important right now. What is important is that it’s here and I know a whole lot of clients who are going to be delighted by it.
Perform Script On Server With Callback is the ability to send a script to run on the server. Then, when the server-side script is finished, you can trigger a second script (the callback script) to run locally on the end user’s computer. So, with a cheeky bit of additional scripting, you can now send labour-intensive processor to the server. Then trigger a custom dialogue box to appear on the local machine to let the user know it’s finished. Or you could return an error notification to let the user know if it something hasn’t gone to plan. Or you can set off a cavalcade of beeps to celebrate the successful completion of another process. I’m sure there are loads of other practical uses you can think of – these are just the ones that immediately spring to mind. If you team it with some of the script steps we’ve previously been unable to run via PSOS because they’re not compatible with the server, a whole host of new possibilities open up.
And now, I’ll leave it to the wider FileMaker development community to start dreaming up new and inventive ways to make the most of the newest script step we have at our fingertips. I just wanted to share my excitement with some people who will actually get it, as my partner, my kids and my cat are, so far, unmoved.
We Know Data is a Claris Business Alliance Platinum Partner
We Know Data is a Claris Business Alliance Platinum Partner with a team of Certified FileMaker Developers. If you need help with an existing FileMaker System or you are looking at a new digital solution for your organisation get in touch. We offer a Free 1 Hour Consultation.