New in FMPA 18: Open Specific App at Launch

One of the new features in FileMaker Pro Advanced 18 is the ability to automatically open a specific app at launch. This feature is available for Windows and MacOS.

The My Apps window, which was released in FMPA 17, shows a list of favorite apps in one convenient window and you can select the app you want to open from that list.

My Apps window introduced in FileMaker Pro Advanced 17

The new “Open Specific App at Launch” feature adds additional simplicity to opening FileMaker apps. It can tell the FileMaker client to open a specific app when it’s launched. This is easier than having to manually find the right database file from a list and launching it. Users just need to open FMPA and they’re immediately taken to their app. This feature is most useful for network deployments.

This feature only works through assisted install. The assisted install template file is available in the disk image of the FileMaker installation file. This blog post will not go through how to silently install FileMaker Pro Advanced on the network, please contact us or check the documentation for more information on that.

Here’s how you can prepare a FileMaker installation package on MacOS that automatically opens a specific app at launch:

  1. Open the FileMaker Pro Advanced 18 installation disk image
  2. Copy all the contents of the disk image to a new folder, then open Assisted Install.txt with a text editor.
Default [i]Assisted Install.txt[/i] file

3. Insert the link to your hosted FileMaker database file next to AI_LAUNCH_CUSTOMAPP=.

  • To get the link, go to: File –> Hosts –> Show Hosts –> Choose the database file that you want to use –> Click the only icon on the upper right corner of the window –> Copy the shown link and paste it next to AI_LAUNCH_CUSTOMAPP=
Hosts Window
This is the network link to your hosted database file.

4. Save and close Assisted Install.txt. Don’t forget to update all the other fields in the file before saving and closing it.

5. Test the installation package by installing FileMaker using FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced.pkg that you copied in step 2. Once you open the newly installed FileMaker Pro Advanced 18, the custom app you specified in the assisted install file should open automatically.

This window was displayed immediately after opening FileMaker Pro Advanced 18
It’s working!

6. If all goes well, then you can go ahead and deploy this installation package to your network.

From the user’s perspective, this feature makes it much easier to get to the app they are looking for, as it eliminates the need to have custom launchers deployed to all users. This also works for multiple FileMaker apps if you launch FileMaker to a single central launcher app that displays a list (and possibly a description) of available FileMaker apps.

In conclusion, this new feature further streamlines the deployment of FileMaker apps for users and adds intuitiveness to the user’s experience.