Does Claris ever listen developer feedback? And would it help if we got together and somehow presented them with the list of 4-5 OBVIOUS feature requests that *shouldn't* be too onerous to them. I'm thinking something like:

  • Portals - Putting the “add new item” on the top of the portal instead of the bottom, requires a second portal and EITHER a second join OR a bunch of hide statements to get the “add portal row” to not show up on the bottom. Couldn’t this just be an option on the portal where Devs can specify showing that field at the top, bottom, or not show it.
  • Pop-Up Menus - For long lists they're pretty unusable because you can't type in them and have it autofill like lists. Sure we can use lists, but in order to get them to use a primary-key join we need to do a bunch of backflips.
  • Pop-Up Menus - Checkbox to have a blank option at the top, so users can easily clear it without any developer backflips.
  • Frames or something for repeated navigation - Every time I make a change to my navigation bar I have to update it on 15-20 screens. It would be amazing if Filemaker let us "embed a layout" in another one.

IDK what else does every dev run into at some point? I'm not thinking about the things that are critical for power developers, or the magical things the computers do, but the little things that would help experts and novices from day one.

The things that you think "wow, do I still have to do this this way it seems like they would have made this optional by now" sort of things.

If we all got behind a few of these and asked a couple of Filemaker Dev Friends to add their name to the signature page or whatever do you think someone at Claris might listen?

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My very unofficial sense is that Claris chooses what they want to focus on, and then once they decide that, they work hard at listening in those areas.

As an example, last week I received a cold-call message on the old forum from someone who appears to be a Claris rep, who asked if I could spend a few minutes to offer some feedback on a couple of specific topics that, I gather, are of interest to Claris. Since I don't have any creds on that forum other than being a long-time contributor, I take that to mean that Claris does do outreach to listen to general FM devs, but that perhaps they are targeting feedback in areas that they have already decided are where they want to focus.

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Claris on its Community has a place to suggest modifications or new functionalities. Some make their way in the product, other not.

In the past, development was planned for three years, and sometimes feature X had to be implemented before feature Y because the latter need to use the former.

Since agile is now used, this may have changed. Claris does not discuss future plans, but sometimes it presents the roadmap. The last one was not very informative though, but since a lot changed during the last year and a half, that may explain why.

Looking at the latest feature addition, I guess that creating your custom portal with the new record be at the beginning could be easier by being able to reuse code.

What do you mean by latest feature addition? Is that something that's released or something you're seeing on a roadmap somewhere?

I was referring to add-ons.

The official portal for feature requests is at https://community.claris.com/en/s/ideas

well... That's the problem - for me, those 4 points are not so critical. Makes it really hard for Claris.

AFAIK, Claris does listen to customers - in a way a SW company does that. Does not mean that my wishes come true )-:

The 'ideas' - site is the place to start

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I like your suggestions but I also have differences with them.

  • Portals: However this is implemented, I'm sure everyone will want it done differently.
  • Value lists are not the right sort of tool for long lists. Don't give long lists to value lists.
  • Checkbox to have a blank option? It has a clear use case. I like it.
  • Frames for Navbars. You aren't the first to think of this. I don't know why its not available to us now.
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Claris has a long term strategy, which they implement.
They may not implement your wishes, but they look to implement the things supporting their plans, like when they started with Linux server and optimized for WAN performance, because later they made a Cloud offering.
Or the year before WebDirect where they implemented style sheets and we asked why.

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In the past we’ve had assurances from Claris (née FileMaker Inc) that the ideas section included by @Malcolm above is looked at very frequently (we were told daily). The problem is that everyone has their own priorities, hence what may be important to one person is irrelevant to another.

If you do have an idea, please carry out careful searches in the ideas section to ensure that someone hasn’t already put forward the idea, as you can then vote for it. It is the ideas with the highest number of votes that are likely to be included in future versions. Putting forward a duplicate or similar variation of an idea dilutes the voting.

Our highest priority remains the missing OnRecordUnload or OnRecordExit script trigger to pair with OnRecordLoad to complement our move away from using cross table calculations, abandonment of the slow backward compatible legacy features and to implement clients’ business rules. We lose hundreds of development hours working around this missing script trigger. However, there is no sign of this being a major priority for the majority of developers, although I see this now has 300 votes - Claris Community (English) (I’ve just commented as this post seems to have gained most traction).

Regards
Andy

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Would it help if we got together - maybe but who is "we"? I guess if you ask 100 developers you'll get 100 different top 4 priorities. For example horizontal scrolling portals would be nice :wink:
As stated above there is aleady an official way to let Claris know what you would like to see implemented as a developer, or user, and "we" all get to vote, so that is probably the best way for now. I assume that Claris do look at this list, and I assume they take into account the votes and I also assume that someone at Claris will look at new posts, so I do post there and I do vote there.

https://community.claris.com/en/s/ideas

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I think they listen, but there are many channels to feed requests

  • ideas section in community
  • own needs @ Claris or @ Apple
  • feedback from testers
  • feedback from partners
  • feedback from sales
  • long term plans at Claris.

And the next release is coming soon and I think a few things in there should link to entries in the ideas section.

PS: And not to forget they may look on what plugin developers do.

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Yeah I hear the "who is we", but the ideas section has ideas that are many years old with no actions but lots of votes, and other ideas that are old that don't have votes because many of us outgrew them are have become accustomed to the workaround, so we don't bother voting for them.

To answer @BenMiller's question I'm thinking "we" meaning FM Soup, a dedicated community of Filemaker Fans and users to basically sort through that mess and collectively decide "what would help Filemaker as a platform grow beyond where it is now". What are the recurring questions that come up that EVERYONE has to work around. What are the low hanging fruit that gets missed every year and maybe we all use plugins or have our standard workarounds, but which shouldn't still exist.

This was sparked because I've only been using FIlemaker for a year after taking a 6 year break form it and I'm like "shit, we still have to use the "hide and create duplicate portal" trick to make the "add new portal row" show up at the top?

I can work around it... it doesn't take long, but I instantly got half a dozen people on this forum to say "yeah this is the work around, still as crappy as Filemaker 12 (or whatever version)...

I feel like as a community we can identify a bunch of these "low hanging fruit" that Claris never gets to that are probably fairly easy to implement.

But it sounds like that's not something that would be helpful or listened to in that way, and sounds like it's probably more work than I imagined since most people here that contribute are more advanced and have a different set of priorities than newer developers.

If I remember well (think it was in a company communication), the vendor has a 'customer board', or kind of, for gathering feedback and inspiration. Has anyone heard of it lately?

That reminds me about something, but never heard about for a long time. I wonder if Claris has set this board or if it remains a project.

when I set up my macOS 12 beta for testing last week I was invited by Apple to install a feedback app on the system. I happily agreed and have since put findings about minor glitches in the beta into feedback items. A very simple idea but the data flow will have to be curated which I suppose is really time consuming on Apples side.

I know that XOJO also has a feedback app for developers to share findings with a) XOJO Inc. and b) the community - this in my opinion is an even better approach.

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9 posts were split to a new topic: Feature Requests and Bugs Lists

Replying to OP

The recent FileMaker Context Podcast by Jeremy Brown at Proof Geist with Andy LeCates as guest addresses many of the original questions. Does Claris Listen? He says they do. Do Claris read the "Ideas" forum: he says Rick Kalman reads every one.

Maybe worth a listen in the context of this thread? (pun intended)

WE can still ask do Claris react to what they read and hear? That you can decide for yourself.

But he sits on them, like he did say a long time ago he read tens of thousands user request (before the ideas section) and still sat on them.

Who cares if he reads them, he does nothing about them.

If so, we would at least had a feature for custom excel headers

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This is getting a little too personal and in many ways highlights how approachable Claris now are.

I can’t believe any such discussion would be had about the likes of Microsoft or Oracle. Equally, I cannot believe the personal feedback I have recently had from Microsoft within the IOS app for issues raised with Outlook. As a result we’ve received both the best and worst from them (the other is a long story).

We all work within limitations enforced upon us and Claris are no exception. None of us know what these limitations are, but overall things appear to be heading in a positive direction.

Let’s look forward and not backwards.

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