LiveCode for FM Guide Ben Lui

Running the tool

Updated Apr 20, 2021

For your first run through with a trial of LCFM, you will be using the Fast Start option. Regular Start is not available in the trial. Fast Start has a number of default options set, and does not require you to install any SDKs to deploy your app. You can deploy to Android or Mac using Fast Start. iOS deployment and syncing can be added to a Fast Start project later, or set up using Regular Start, after you have purchased LCFM Native.

Click on the "New Project" button in the top right corner to get started:

If this is the very first time you have run LCFM Native, you should automatically open on the screen below:

Click on Go under the Fast Start heading.

Add your solution

On the next screen either drag/drop your solution into the window or locate it on your computer using the "Browse" button (1). You can add more solution files to the project here. If you want to remove a solution, click on its filename in the field to select it, and then click on the trash icon.

Enter the username (2) and password (3) for the solution. Note this must be a full administrative account. If this is not already set, you can set this in FileMaker. LCFM Native will not work if your file does not have a password.  Name the project (4) and click "Continue" (5).

Extracting

LCFM Native will now take control of your computer to extract your file. For this to work, you must first have added it to your Accessibility settings, and ensure that your keyboard is either US or UK qwerty. You must also have turned on Advanced Tools in FileMaker.

You will see a little grey box in the top right corner that says "LCFM Native at work". Don't touch anything on your computer until this has disappeared. The only exception is if your OS asks you to authorize access eg to your downloads folder. Don't fill in passwords, don't click on dialogs, just let LCFM do its thing.

The Implementation Report

LCFM Native currently supports around 87% of the entire Filemaker feature set. During compile, it analyses your solution and reports back to you on what features, if any, might not yet be fully implemented or could impact the working of your compiled app. It is often possible to work around any missing or partially implemented features, so this report can be extremely useful.

Click on Save Report, and then Continue. If you forget to save this report at this stage, you will still be able to save it later.

Choose your platform

LCFM will complete building your app and you will land on this page:

If you want a really quick test of your app, you can choose to build for Mac. This will simply build and you'll be able to see it running on your Mac without any further selections.

We're going to build for Android, so click on the Android icon if it is not already blue, and click Next.

Choose whether you have a phone or a tablet. Blue indicates your selection, black is unselected.

Choose any features that your app will need to run. So if you have a barcode scanning app for example you will need camera and barcode. If you are using maps you'll probably want location. These selections set the permissions required on the device. If your app needs to use the camera, but you don't have this permission set, instead of seeing a request to use the camera, your end user may experience a crash or freeze. Additional options can be set in the detailed profile for your app, as described in this lesson. I've selected Camera and Location. Click next.

My selections above will make my app open initially in portrait mode, and it will support displaying in landscape whichever way you hold the phone. It will not flip to display in upside down mode. Click next.

When you have a purchased license you will be able to choose to test or build for distribution from this screen. In the Trial version you will only see the Test option. Click "Test on your Android Device". Note, you need to have already set up your phone to receive unknown apps as described in the previous section. Before you click Test, plug your Android device into your computer using a USB lead. If this is the first time you have done this you should get a dialog box on your phone asking if you trust this computer. Click ok.

You should now get the above dialog asking you to select your device. You should see it appear in the drop down list. Select it and you will land on the supported devices list:

If your device is in the list, great. Tick the checkbox and press Continue. If it isn't, this doesn't necessarily mean your app won't run on your device. Provided you are running Android 7 or above, it will probably run, but it may be slow. If your Android OS is 6 or less, then you will not be able to deploy. I have an unsupported device, but I know its running Android 9, and it should work reasonably well. I'm selecting "Continue with unsupported device".

You should see a screen like the above, followed by the screen below:

There are three possible items you can click on in this screen.

1. If your app has missing features and you'd like us to address this, or if you would like us to build your Android app for you, click on Learn more to go to the Android Build Service page.

2. If you didn't save out your feature report earlier, you can do this now.

3. If you are all done, click Finish. We suggest you don't click this until you have looked at the app on your device, as it will bring up a very short survey on how well your app is running.

If you now go and check on your phone, you should see your app is open and running:

If you close the app, you can find it again by looking for the LCFM Native icon on your phone screen. Because this app is running as a test only, it runs via the LCFM Native player, it does not show its own icon.

The Survey

If you've now looked at your app and tried out its features on the device, we'd hugely appreciate if you go back to LCFM native and click Finish. This will bring up the survey screen, above. It takes seconds to give us a star rating for your app, and we'd also love to get your comments. Your feedback is used to improve LCFM Native. Mouse over the stars to select a star rating (1), select an option that best describes your experience (2) and leave a comment (3). It's all optional, if you wish you can just click on skip (4).

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