Feature Requests and Bugs Lists

I was contacted by someone at Claris recently to give my thoughts on things. They were a bit overwhelmed by my response, haha (most of my comments below plus attachment) ...

... I’m attaching our list of bugs and requests for the time being, which we would sincerely appreciate Claris taking some time to review. We understand that there’s no guarantee of action on anything, but I am more than happy to provide additional details if there are any questions.

... putting this document together overall took longer than expected because I cross-referenced our list against Claris’ Community and Ideas posts, which meant reading hundreds of topics and thousands of comments, and which confirmed that we’re not alone.

The ideas board is a fantastic place to gather feedback directly from users, but it's a passive forum, too unorganized, and not functional to be useful in its current state, which is leading people to not take it seriously. There are also too many (over 3,000), and so many duplicates, that it's hard for great ideas to gain traction and stand out, meaning that the point totals fail to accurately represent the true interest in any idea.

Specifically, while scouring the ideas page, I observed the following:

  • Many ideas that are now existing features are not marked as “delivered.” Likewise, countless “duplicate” ideas are not denoted as such.
  • Users are frustrated that longstanding requests have been ignored with no acknowledgement from Claris and suggest that the ideas board is the place "where ideas go to die."
  • Monkeybread Software appears to be actively monitoring ideas more than Claris, as evidenced by their comments touting new plugin features based on them.
  • Navigating ideas is not easy, which further discourages its use:
    • There is no “found" count, only a “page" count, and it’s only at the bottom of the list. This means you have no idea (no pun intended) how many results were produced from a search.
    • After filtering the ideas and clicking to read one, the browser’s back button completely resets the options, so there’s no way to return to your filtered set.
    • Once you’ve scrolled down to the bottom and clicked the next page button, the results update, but you are not returned to the top, so you must scroll back up.
    • If you choose to read the ideas in reverse order as you scroll up, there’s no next page button at the top, so you must scroll back to the bottom again.
    • Likewise, jumping to another page leaves you stuck at the bottom.
    • If you type too quickly in the filter, it shows all results. You must delete a few characters and slowly retype them for it to correctly update.
    • You can’t maintain your search results in one browser tab and then navigate to other areas of Claris’ site (e.g., Community, Discussions, Engage, etc) because the menus are built using JavaScript, which prevents opening them in another tab by right-clicking.

Reading through so many comments, I found a common sentiment of, "everything seems so opaque" and "it feels like our reports go into a black hole." If there are design limitations that make a change impossible, users want to know, but many threads simply end with: "Design and testing are aware of this issue, and we will report back when we know more, but feel free to post it to the product ideas board." If Claris has no intention of implementing a feature, users appreciate some reason; otherwise, they'll keep expecting it.

Everyone understands that Claris has a broader, more long-term vision for the future of the FileMaker platform, but it would be awesome if they directly "engaged" with the community more and perhaps took a handful of user-submitted ideas, posted them in a narrowly focused list, hyped them to solicit feedback on what's most important, and interacted with users for clarification, all with the intent of integrating a few into the product.

... to meet the needs of our users, we wish Claris focussed more attention on fixing bugs and adding functionality that customers, developers, and users have been pleading to see for over 10 years versus building new features that no one has yet requested.

Needing to buy plugins, use clunky workarounds, or hire JavaScript developers (the antithesis of low-code) should not preclude native functionality within FileMaker, so we respectfully submit our top priorities, which admittedly only represent a handful of the amazing ideas in the FileMaker community.

Thank you so much for your time.

I don't foresee anything coming from this, but I've at least done as much as I can ...

Bugs and Features for Claris.pdf (357.1 KB)

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Wow. Assembling that list must have taken hours!

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A warm welcome to the fmsoup, @DSRF! - and chapeau for the work you have done on the missing features list.
I share your observation on almost every point of your list and usability of the ‘ideas’ interface. Having a look at the ‘ideas’ frequently, it seems like the flow of new ideas has become a trickle and people are loosing interest.

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That’s a great list. It’s frustrating that FMP has so many unheeded and, in many cases, common sense feature requests. It all comes down to a severe lack of resources at Claris combined with some worrying conflicts of opinions by their leaders in the direction the company should be headed.

When you look at the features that the competition pumps out quarter after quarter, it’s no wonder some parts of FMP appear antiquated. I wish Apple had sold FileMaker 5-10 years ago and it was given the love by a VC company it rightfully deserves. It’s shuddering to think where it might be by now.

I still add the occasional feature request, but I’ve given up any kind of expectations that it will ever be done or that I’ll get any kind of reply. It appears to me that Claris, in its smaller, consolidated form just doesn’t have the resources to modernize and compete. Very sad.

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I'm a glued-on FileMaker fanboy and I felt my shoulders sinking as I read through your list. I've bumped into a lot of those bugs and spent a lot of time imagining how to work around the missing features.

The longest standing missing feature that I can think of is that the Layouts Manager does not allow you to sort by column. The header is clickable and responds to mouse-clicks but there is no action. I'm still trying to sort by associated table.

Well, I never noticed that. It's the same under Windows. My guess is that the control used to implement the lists in FMP implements the Click event on the headers, but Claris does not use that.

I wonder if @MonkeybreadSoftware implemented that in his plug-in ?

What exactly?
A screenshot may help....

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The Layouts manager does not allow us to sort by column, in particular, we cannot sort by table.

We already have context menu to sort there:

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