Finally FileMaker on Android - An FMT rerun must read! FileMaker now supports Android, with the release of FileMaker 14 WebDirect. This update provides users with Android devices access to your database without the need of a FileMaker app. Users will only need to log in through the WebDirect Launch Center on a supported browser.
Setting Up a Database for Android
In order to enable a FileMaker database for Android, you will need FileMaker Server 14, and follow the steps on the FileMaker Knowledge Base to deploy WebDirect. Please also keep in mind the FileMaker Technical Specifications required for FileMaker Server 14 and WebDirect. Once the database has been enabled, pull out your Android phone and go to http://<host>/fmi/webd, where <host> is the IP address or domain name of the FileMaker Server. Your Android phone is now able to connect to your database!
Optimizing FileMaker for Android
Before you let all your Android friends finally experience the glory of FileMaker on their phone, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to give users the best experience possible.
- Design the WebDirect layouts to be easy to use from a mobile phone.
- Only use features compatible with WebDirect. Certain features that are compatible in FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Go are not compatible on WebDirect. For example, some script steps will not work on WebDirect, like Save as PDF and Enter Preview Mode. There are some layout design functions that are not compatible as well, including the ability to click a button that is below another object.
- Test, test, test, and then test again. You will want to test your final product on Android devices thoroughly before releasing it to the public.
For more tips on creating a better WebDirect user experience, take a look at our FileMaker WebDirect article.
New to WebDirect in 14
Android support is not the only update to WebDirect. Here are a few key new features for WebDirect in FileMaker 14:
- Support for mobile browsers on the latest devices.
- Redesigned Menubar and Toolbar.
- Redesigned WebDirect launch page.
- Toolbar has been built with a responsive design.
- Up to 25% faster when opening web-optimized layouts.
FileMaker on Android devices has been a long awaited feature. Just like creating a database for FileMaker Go, you will want to make sure you create the database to provide a good user experience from the web as well. I am excited to see what new solutions the FileMaker community can create for FileMaker on Androids.
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