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May 10th, 2016
With its newest release, FileMaker has made it easier than ever to share data with other apps on iOS. With the introduction of app extensions for FileMaker Go we now have the ability to download images, word documents, spreadsheets and even a FileMaker database itself. In short app extensions bring a bunch of great ways to share data with other iOS apps, and helps FileMaker Go integrate with multiple cloud storage providers, providing users a much easier method of transferring data with 3rd party apps and services.
Watch on Youtube: FileMaker Go 15 App Extensions
How it Works
Sharing files and docs with other apps is accomplished by giving the user access to the iOS share sheet. The share sheet is a context-aware popover that pulls in any other apps on the iOS device configured to take advantage of the app extension’s sharing features. This is especially useful for people that rely heavily on cloud storage like Dropbox, iCloud and OneDrive.
There are 2 different places you can take advantage of importing from external applications. The first is from the Device tab on the Launch Center. From here you’ll notice a new icon in the top left hand corner of the screen. This button will take you to your iCloud, where you can browse all your files and docs, allowing you to download a FileMaker file directly to your device. You also have the option to change the service from iCloud to Dropbox or any other 3rd party document cloud service by clicking the locations button. The second place you can import docs using the new app extension feature is with container fields. Alongside the familiar insert container options, there is a new locations option giving you direct access to all your cloud documents.
Exporting files and data from FileMaker Go is better than ever: you can now export any document stored in a container field, and FileMaker Go will tell you all the apps on your device capable of viewing the file. If you’re using FileMaker to store excel or word documents this will allow you to open your docs in Microsoft’s great Office products for iOS. Or you can just send these documents back up to the cloud service of your choice. Another cool thing you can do when exporting images is to post them directly to social media sites like Twitter or Facebook.
You can do more than just exporting data from your container fields, you can also export excel documents or reports generated from your own FileMaker database. This makes it easy to generate reports on the fly, and save them to a shared location without the need to email yourself the report, then share it manually. And finally, you can now export the entire database back to a cloud service from the launch center, providing a way to get the database on and off of a users device much more easily than the two previous methods of emailing the database, or transferring it using iTunes.
The addition of sharing via App Extensions is exciting news for both FileMaker developers and users, as it extends FileMakers capabilities to integrate with millions of other apps. It will be interesting to see the creative ways people put them to use.
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Mason is an experienced and Certified FileMaker developer motivated by creating innovative solutions for his clients. His interest and talent in the realm of art combine to form the foundation for his exceptional design skills, which helped him win the FileMaker Developer Cup at DevCon.