Last week the download for a final version of BaseElements 4.0 was made available. This is a big update, mostly because of the new file format in FileMaker 12, but we’ve also spent some time adding some cool new features, so if you’re using version 3 or even an older one, we hope that you consider upgrading.

New File Format

First on the list is the change to the fmp12 file format. This is a one way thing, so there’s no going back. BaseElements 4.0 and any newer versions will only run in FileMaker Pro 12 or later. We know that a file format change is a big issue for some developers, so there is also an update to BaseElements 3.5.0 which will import the DDR from Pro 12 and still runs in Pro 11.

Of course all of the new functionality like conditional menu items, new container fields etc are all referenced in both 3.5 and 4.0 so you won’t miss a thing. We also include the actual CSS code used by layout objects so you can see what’s going on behind the scenes.

Copy from BaseElements into FileMaker

One of my favourite features in BaseElements 3 was the copy to clipboard of Custom Functions. We’re actually converting the details in BE back into XML and then setting the clipboard in the format that FileMaker expects for a copied Custom Function.

This is really neat for moving Custom Functions around from file to file, as you can search through old solutions for just the right CF, compare changes to versions in different solutions and then copy the one you want. And copy multiple CFs too, just by moving to list view.

BaseElements 4 takes this and runs with it, and now you can also copy Tables, TOs, Fields, Scripts and Steps out of BaseElements and paste them straight into FileMaker. This works great with ClipManager too as it’s all the same clipboard format.

Mark Errors as Fixed

BaseElements is great as a tool for finding out where there are errors in your solution. Of course the very next step is to go through your error list and fix those things and mark them as done. Previously you’d need to either make notes or keep track of what was fixed and what wasn’t.

Version 4.0 adds the ability to mark errors as fixed. Next to each error count field is a small checkbox which is red when there are errors and turns green when clicked to indicate a fixed error. This also reduces your total count back at the file level and means the name of this items is no longer red bold.

This is a feature that’s been asked for many times before, and I’m glad that the implementation filled my need to have something simple and self contained that didn’t get in the way of other features.


This one is a request of mine, but is related to other feature requests we’ve had before. Quite often when you’re working on an item or altering some aspect of the system, you really want to mark those items in some way so that when you encounter them elsewhere they show up and remind you of what you’re working on.

This highlight feature is just for that, it marks the name of items in yellow highlight and is great for finding this item everywhere else it’s used.


And for those doing SQL in FileMaker we’ve got an extra tab on the Table layout that automatically calculates the SQL required to replicate a FileMaker table in MySQL. You can review the default choices and then just copy the text into the SQL editor directly.

Of course there’s more

There’s lots of little things in the full list of changes, my favourite is the highlighting of text in the quickfind field is now much more extensive and case insensitive.

Upgrades and Availability

BaseElements 4.0 is available now for $499 for new users. This is a paid upgrade from previous versions, the upgrade price is the same as previous versions : $249.

For the first time, we’re offering upgrade pricing from a competitors product. So if you own any of other full DDR Analysis tools, going right back to MetaDataMagic, you can get BaseElements for just $249. This offer won’t be around for ever though. Send us a copy of a receipt of purchase or email ( with private details removed ) and we’ll unlock the upgrade pricing.