ReleaseDebugOn & Feature Flags

FileMaker 20.3 introduced a change that affects those of us who are using the undocumented ReleaseDebugOn feature flags.

Before we outline the change, a word of caution: any of these feature flags are subject to change without notice; it’s why they are undocumented. Mostly, they are there for short-term testing before a feature makes it into the mainstream of documented functionality; others are there for troubleshooting and debugging.

We have blogged about how to use these effectively for those efforts, specifically to overcome issues with FileMaker’s temp files and to get detailed logging of all operations that happen at a client’s machine or at the server. You can find the blog post from version 19.1 here, and from 19.5 here. While we are entirely comfortable using this for troubleshooting and tweaking performance. When you use this to enable nested PSoS, for instance, then you need to be aware that you are enabling an unsupported feature, so don’t do this lightly. Also, know that this feature flag may disappear without notice – consider these experimental features.

When you run a version of FileMaker Pro or Server that is at version 20.2 or below, then the ReleaseDebugOn.txt file will work as explained.

When you have FileMaker Pro or Server version 20.3 or later, then it won’t; there is a new format for the features flag file. That file is now a JSON file named ClarisConfig.json, and inside that file, you add the flags you need and set them to true or false:

{
"some_feature_flag": true,
"some_other_feature_flag": false
}

You can leave the file in the same location as where you had the ReleaseDebugOn.txt file: where the FileMaker Pro or Server executable is. You can also now put it in the client’s Documents or Server’s document folder.

Navigating Changes in FileMaker

FileMaker is evolving at a quick pace, and there are many new tools, features, and resources to navigate. If you’d like some technical support in implementing them into your FileMaker application or would like help customizing your solution, contact our team to speak with a consultant.

4 thoughts on “ReleaseDebugOn & Feature Flags”

  1. Thanks Wim. Previously our Windows users used the flag, extraflags:no_portal_drs to deal with disappearing portal data. We’ve tried {“extraflags:no_portal_drs”: true} and {“no_portal_drs”: true} in the ClarisConfig file but neither seems to solve the issue.

  2. HOnza Koudelka

    Weirdly, it seems that even FM Pro 20.2.1 is already ignoring ReleaseDebugOn.txt and only reflects ClarisConfig.json

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