FileMaker 19 Calendar Add-On

We’ve packaged up DayBack Calendar as an add-on: and if you watch the video below, I think you’ll agree that FileMaker 19 add-ons are a game-changer for developers.

What Are FileMaker 19 Add-Ons?

“Add-on” can refer to both the new objects being inserted into your file–a chart widget, for example, could be called an add-on. And “add-on” can refer to the way those objects are added to your file. This new way of installing things is what’s so revolutionary about add-ons. We’ve had chart widgets for years, but installing them could be tricky. The add-on tech introduced in FM19 makes installation much, much simpler.

You can download an app as a .fmp12 file, or download the same file packaged up as an add-on. One, you’ll add to your file the old copy-and-paste way, and one you’ll add to your file using the new add-on process. The end result is the same. However, installing as an add-on is crazy fast. Check this out…

Download & Get Started

Please play with DayBack and see what it feels like to use a new FileMaker 19 add-on: download the DayBack add-on here and then follow along in the video above. When it comes to placing the DayBack_Calendar folder in FileMaker’s extensions folder, here’s where it goes:

Mac: HD/Users/YOU/Library/Application Support/FileMaker/Extensions/AddonModules
Windows: %LocalAppData%\FileMaker\Extensions\AddonModules

Note: You may not see the FileMaker, Extensions, or AddonModules folders. In this case, you’ll just need to create them manually.

Note for Mac: Some users may have the Library folder hidden. This article has some suggestions for navigating to the Library folder.

If you want to continue after that and begin using DayBack with your own records, check out this overview, then follow our instructions here for creating your first calendar.

The add-on package for DayBack is really just a bunch of JSON, not a FileMaker file you can open and use. If you want to download a copy of DayBack you can play with before installing it into your file, download a copy here: DayBack Calendar for FileMaker 19.

Learn How to Make FileMaker 19 Add-Ons

We expect that Claris will eventually publish some documentation to go with the new “Save a Copy as Add-on Package” script step in FileMaker 19. But I doubt they’ll improve on the level of detail Jeremy Brown has provided in his overview. Those are the best instructions currently available: Creating FileMaker Add-Ons.

Add-On Tech is Here, but New Add-Ons Are Not

If FileMaker 19 add-ons are so cool, why hasn’t Claris shipped their own add-ons yet? That’s a good question and probably points to the fact that the add-on tech isn’t completely finished. There are a few rough edges:

  • You can see things that still need to be polished in the way add-on leave comments behind on the relationship when the add-on is uninstalled
  • Some aspects of the add-on’s info.json file don’t appear to be respected, or maybe they’re just not in use yet.
  • You may find your object names prefaced with “com.fmi” if you install add-ons using a system language other than English. For example, you may see layout names like “com.fmi.DayBack Calendar Layout.” That’s not great, but add-ons are easy to uninstall.

Remember that the core add-on tech has been in FileMaker since version 17, where it was used to deliver “add-on tables” like notes and attachments. Those original add-ons are still here in 19, and you can add them to your file just like you add DayBack.

FileMaker 19 Add-Ons

Given all that, should I use add-ons? It seems to us that the newest and most fragile part of the add-on tech is the object you’re supposed to drag on to your layouts, and how that object is uniquely named and referenced in your scripts. DayBack’s add-on doesn’t use that at all. So, providing that you switch your machine to English before installing, we don’t think there will be any problems using DayBack’s add-on.

We expect Claris to include a number of refinements to add-on tech in the next release of FileMaker 19. If you’d like to hold off on using add-ons, you can still install DayBack by hand. Either link DayBack to your file (very quick) or embed it manually (kind of tedious, but not hard). Instructions for both methods are available here.

Coding is Sharing

FileMaker developers have been looking forward to this tech for a long time. Enhancements like this make code more portable and more encapsulated. They are accelerants for the community of 3rd party apps and developers and, in our opinion, are some of the most effective enhancements Claris can make to the platform. Very psyched to see this coming to life: cheers to the product team. And cheers to Todd and Jeremy for publishing their instructions on how to package add-ons!

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  • luk

    is there a connection possible with google calendar

    • seedcode

      Yes. DayBack shows your Google Calendar items and your FileMaker items in the same view so that you have one place from which to make your scheduling decisions. You can create and edit both Google and FileMaker items from within DayBack and you can do this with not only your Google calendars but any that have been shared with you.

      DayBack doesn’t have a two-way sync with Google. But it does offer a few options for pushing select events to Google and for sharing your schedule with folks who don’t have access to your FileMaker solution. You’ll find details on these options here: Sync With Google Calendar.

  • Nice John!! DayBack in add-on format is really super exciting!!

    • seedcode

      Thanks, Chiyoko!

  • So my client has an office with a single FileMaker solution and 10 user, 3 of which would use the calendar module.

    Would that be 1, 3, or 10 DayBack users at $8/mo?

    • seedcode

      Good question. That would be 3 at $8/mo when billed yearly.

  • john r

    Game changer!!!
    You win.

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