Creating and managing layouts and reports > Working with add-ons

Working with add-ons

After you create a custom app, you can extend its capabilities with add-ons. Add-ons are predesigned sets of components that work together to provide additional features to your app. To use an add-on:

1. Install the add-on (see below). This makes the add-on available to use in your custom app. Depending on what the add-on does, installing it can automatically add predesigned:

tables and fields


value lists


2. If the add-on has layout objects, drag the add-on to your layout.

If needed, the add-on creates relationships between its new tables and the current table occurrence.

For example, when you install a simple phone numbers add-on, it adds a table with fields for a phone number and type, adds a value list for the type field, and adds a script for adding a phone number record in the related table. When you drag the add-on to your layout, it creates a relationship between the new table and the current table occurrence, then adds a portal to display the related phone numbers and buttons to add and delete phone numbers.

Add-ons can provide more advanced functionality. For details, see the description of the add-on before you install it.

You can easily try out an add-on and, if you don’t want the add-on anymore, remove it from your file in a single step. Uninstalling an add-on removes everything that it originally added and optionally removes any tables, fields, and record data used by the add-on.

To install an add-on:

1. In Layout mode, choose the layout to work on.

See Switching between layouts.

2. Click Objects pane button in the status toolbar, then click Add-ons.

3. Click Install add-on button, select an add-on, and click Choose.

The add-on appears in the add-ons list and is available to place on a layout.

To place an installed add-on on a layout:

In the Add-ons tab, drag an add-on from the list to the layout.

To uninstall an add-on:

In the Add-ons tab, right-click an add-on in the list and choose Uninstall Add-on.

About detectable primary key fields

Add-ons that create a relationship require that the current table has a detectable primary key field before you can place the add-on on the layout. If FileMaker Pro doesn’t allow you to place an add-on for this reason, create a detectable primary key field or modify an existing field so it can be detected.

To be detected, a primary key field must either be the default PrimaryKey field (or a copy of it) or meet one of the following criteria:

the field uses an auto-enter serial number and the following options are selected:

for auto-enter, Prohibit modification of value during data entry

for validation, Unique value

the field uses an auto-enter calculation that includes the Get(UUID) or Get(UUIDNumber) function and the auto-enter option Prohibit modification of value during data entry is selected

the field is a stored calculation field that includes the Get(UUID) or Get(UUIDNumber) function

the field uses an auto-enter serial number

See Defining automatic data entry, Defining field validation, and Defining field indexing options.

Related topics 

Creating a FileMaker Pro file