Developer Assistant is a plug-in for the FileMaker® Pro database that helps FileMaker developers save time and be more productive. Developer Assistant Standard Edition lets you search in scripts, the Tables, Fields, and Relationships tabs of Manage Database, and in any multi-line text box or multi-line list in any FileMaker dialog. You can also highlight and instantly evaluate calculations in running scripts, and more.
Developer Assistant Advanced Edition is an optional upgrade that adds the ability to replace text in scripts and multi-line text boxes, get a list of all matches, and replace chosen matches in that list.
Find every function call.
Say you need to add a parameter to every ImportantFunction() call in all your scripts. How can you be sure you find every single call? Developer Assistant's Toolbox will find every call to your ImportantFunction() and it even opens the script and highlights the script step containing the match:
Find in text boxes.
So you found a script step with your ImportantFunction(), but now you're staring at a ten-page calculation that uses ImportantFunction() in there somewhere. Luckily the new Developer Assistant v3.0 lets you search for text in any multi-line editable text box in any FileMaker dialog:
New stuff in v3.0.
Find tables in a maze of relationships.
When you have a lot of tables in the graphic view of table relationships, it can be hard to find the one you're looking for. Developer Assistant lets you find individual tables by name and highlights them in the relationships graph:
Search almost anywhere.
A search option lets you search with Perl-compatible regular expressions. These expressions can be used like wildcards, so searching for the regular expression "Make.*" would find "MakeWidget()", "MakeGadget()", and so on.
Developer Assistant Advanced Edition is an optional upgrade to Developer Assistant Standard Edition that lets you, for the first time in FileMaker history, replace text in scripts:
Okay, so you can only replace text in the XML representation of script steps (the text in the blue box above), and that makes things more tricky, but if you're up for the challenge, the manual will walk you through the process.
And c'mon, replace in scripts!
Replacements let you quickly refactor your database by renaming $variables, SQL references, text-based parameters, product names, and anything else FileMaker can't rename for you. Paste script steps or calculations from another DB, then rename all the broken references so they work in the current DB. You can even add or remove a parameter in all calls to a function or swap day and month in all dates. Use your imagination! Replacements are powerful and will save the advanced developer a lot of time.
Replace in text boxes.
Developer Assistant Advanced also lets you replace text in multi-line text boxes in any FileMaker dialog:
Yes, we know all too well that you can cut your text out of FileMaker and run replacements in an external text editor, but it's time to stop wasting time with that and time to stop risking the loss of your work when you copy the wrong piece of the calculation back or edit the wrong buffer.
Find all matches.
Developer Assistant Advanced Edition also adds the ability to find all matches in any type of search:
Double click any match to bring it up. Matches can be brought up even if you move the thing they refer to.
Replace chosen matches.
Developer Assistant Advanced also lets you replace chosen matches in Find All results:
Yes, Developer Assistant Advanced turns FileMaker into a refactoring paradise.
Evaluate selected text in place.Getting back to the features found in Developer Assistant Standard, say you can't remember what the value of Get(SystemPlatform) is on your system. Instead of searching through the help file, drag over the expression to highlight it, then click Developer Assistant's Evaluate button, and find its value instantly:
Or, say a script isn't working. You might turn on FileMaker's Script Debugger and run the script line by line, but how do you tell when a calculation on a line isn't evaluating correctly? If you're stuck with only FileMaker's Data Viewer, it's a real pain to copy a part of the calculation, close the Specify Calculation dialog, possibly close the parent of the Specify Calculation dialog to unlock the Data Viewer, then add a new expression to the Watch tab of Data Viewer, paste what you copied, then finally click Evaluate Now.
Then you have to open your original calculation again and find where you were, possibly copying another piece of the calculation and doing the whole thing again. Madness!
Instead, just highlight the part of the calculation you want to evaluate and click Developer Assistant's Evaluate button. That's it. It saves a ton of time. We know - we used it constantly back before we got all plug-in focused.
Move multiple lines.
FileMaker uses lists of fields, script steps, and so on where each line is prefixed by a double arrow (at least in some dialogs and in older FileMaker versions) indicating the line can be dragged up and down. Macintosh FileMaker allows you to select more than one line and drag them up or down together. Newer Windows versions of FileMaker allow the same thing, but only in some places.
Developer Assistant Standard lets you move lines as a group in any Windows FileMaker dialog. Simply highlight a group of lines, then use the Mark Selected List Lines menu item:
Click another list line, such as "Countries", then click Move Marked Lines After Selection:
The marked group is moved below the "Countries" line you selected:
Moving groups of lines can save a lot of time in larger databases when you want to organize many fields or change the order they are exported in.
Windows or Mac-like keys.
It can be exceptionally frustrating for those used to Windows keys to reflexively hit the Home key on a Macintosh and have the text view scroll all the way to the top instead of moving the text-entry cursor to the start of the current line. The same goes for those used to Mac keys who sometimes use Windows.
Developer Assistant Standard fixes these problems by allowing you to remap the Home, End, Shift-Home, and Shift-End keyboard combinations on Macintosh to work like they do on Windows, or to remap the same keys on Windows to work like they do on Macintosh.
Used by FileMaker, Inc.
Even FileMaker, Inc. has purchased multiple licenses of this tool. Now you can try Developer Assistant and Developer Assistant Advanced free for 30 days. Simply click the Macintosh or Windows download link below to get a trial of both plug-ins in one download.
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