Code reuse is the practice of using existing code in a new application, and can noticeably improve both the quality and speed of development. Reusing code can also allow a novice developer to push the boundaries of what they’re capable of. FileMaker developers have reused code for years, but the practice has been largely limited to copy paste operations involving a carefully orchestrated series of steps to move code from one FileMaker file to another. Todd Geist and others have championed modular development, but those efforts focused on changing the way that we develop solutions to achieve easier and more compartmentalized copy/paste operations with our code. Add-ons are here to streamline the code reuse process, and lower the barrier to sharing code.
What are add-ons?
While the add-ons are already available in FileMaker 19, the add-on development is still in preview so you won’t find a lot of documentation on the Claris official website. Instead, you can find all information and a guide that explains how to build an add-on at Geist Interactive:
Execute FileMaker Data API
- You don’t need a server in order for it to work
- These requests don’t count toward your Data API quota
- The requests don’t go through the HTTP Server
- No additional login is required
- This script step returns a response in JSON format
- Handles its own context
- Returns metadata about the FileMaker file not available with other methods
Now you might agree with us that the name of this new script step is misleading. Execute FileMaker Data API doesn’t actually have not much to do with API requests to the FileMaker database. This is an entirely new way to access a file’s metadata. If you’re curious to learn more, we recommend checking out this link.