In order to extend FileMaker's limited scope regarding possible meta information about fields and their use and or history, the use of the Comment area associated to each field should leverage a parseable format which contains respective meta information.


The proposed implementation for a parseable format within the comments area for each field is to use a CSS-like syntax. This would allow us to take advantage of existing parsers.

Defined attributes have not yet been determined and will need to be discussed. The following is a starting point for discussion and is an example of text within the Comment section for a field.

type:key; table:ForeignTable; description:This is the foreign key for some table; created:2013-08-21; author:matt;
type:data; description:Some normal data field;
type:ui; description:A field used to display something in the UI;

Real world use

In order to take advantage of field meta information, the Design function FieldComment ( fileName ; fieldName ) would be used to provide internal database documentation. For external processing, the FileMaker clipboard object and DDR would provide parseable implementations. The following is an example of the fmxmlsnippet clipboard data.

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<fmxmlsnippet type="FMObjectList">
	<Field id="1" dataType="Text" fieldType="Normal" name="someField">
		<Comment>type:key; table:ForeignTable; description:This is the foreign key for some table; created:2013-08-21; author:matt;</Comment>
		<AutoEnter allowEditing="True" constant="False" furigana="False" lookup="False" calculation="False">
		<Validation message="False" maxLength="False" valuelist="False" calculation="False" alwaysValidateCalculation="False" type="OnlyDuringDataEntry">
			<NotEmpty value="False"/>
			<Unique value="False"/>
			<Existing value="False"/>
			<StrictValidation value="False"/>
		<Storage autoIndex="True" index="None" indexLanguage="English" global="False" maxRepetition="1"/>
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