Revolution11 developers were pleased to hear the announcement, made in January 2016, that FileMaker released a set of coding tools, the iOS App SDK, that offer developers the means to build native iPhone and iPad apps. From the perspective of a full-time iOS developer, the FileMaker iOS SDK is super simple. All the work is in the setup for the app. However, it is easy to see how this setup process could be daunting for a non-iOS developer.
The basic steps are:
- Set up an Apple Developer Account
- Download and work with Xcode, Apple’s developer environment
- Create signing identities and certificates
- Create App ID’s
- Deal with Provisioning Profiles
Even seasoned developers cringe at the potential headache of certificates and provisioning profiles when setting up a project. However, if you’ve been through this process MANY times, you’ve gone through your rite of passage and dealing with this hassle is no problem.
As a developer, if you’re over this hump, setting up the FileMaker iOS SDK will take you 20 to 30 minutes (if that). Speaking strictly from the iOS side, it’s just setting up your App IDs, certificate (which likely is already setup), and provisioning profile. After that, you just drag and drop the FileMaker solution into the Xcode project and update a config file with the solution filename. Once complete, you just setup an app icon and a launch screen if needed.
If your FileMaker solution was made specifically for mobile device usage, then you might want to go back and adjust your FileMaker solutions layout so that it is optimized for the device. If you import the typical desktop solution, there will be a lot of pinch/zooming going on when the user is using the device. Not the end of the world, but not the best user experience either.
Overall, if you’re experienced in setting up an app project with Apple, the FileMaker iOS SDK will be a breeze for you. The resulting app is native and therefore does not require FileMaker Go, FileMaker’s previous iOS solution, to run. Revolution11 has had great success with setting up client projects using this method – feel free to contact us to talk about the time and cost savings that we have experienced.
Get a PDF of this post here: FileMaker SDK