It’s a very rare thing that you build something perfect the first time. In software with its ever evolving requirements and constantly changing environment, there is no such thing as perfect. You need to keep working on your products indefinitely.
RefreshFM has been an interesting story in it’s search for perfection. In this case the question has always been about how much work that the product can do for you, and how much you have to do yourself. With every iteration of RefreshFM, even back to when it was called UpdateManager back in 2006, we thought that we had improved on the last version and reduced more than one of the areas of work or confusion for the users.
RefreshFM 2.0 was a great step up in the automation of building an update process. But it almost required that you understood what the product was doing in order to understand the setup process. If you didn’t ( and you shouldn’t have to ), things could easily go awry. But it still required knowledge of the process and the nice automation parts were Mac only.
So each time we worked on a new version of RefreshFM, we spent time thinking about what the user “needed” to do and what the software could do for you. Each time we’d find new things that we thought it would help to have automated, and try to figure out ways to make it happen.
The issue being that in FileMaker, there is no way to control FileMaker. I can’t write out a FileMaker file to disk, or generate a new script, or automatically add tables to an existing file. Each small thing that needs to be done needs it’s own unique solution.
RefreshFM 3.0 takes the automation idea to it’s completion. This is the first release where there are no longer any manual processes required, and so the setup process for a new solution is really only a matter of a few clicks.
- Choose your files.
- Click a button to run the setup.
- Choose your tables.
- Click a button to create the import script.
- Update your solution.
If you haven’t seen before how easy it can be to create automated updates for your FileMaker solution, then you should give RefreshFM 3 a try.