Did you see the webinars for the roadmap and the updated website?
You can check it here: FileMaker Roadmap and the Video
To give a few comments for the questions I got immediately from a few FileMaker developers:
MBS Plugin 9.x will be available at launch next year when the next FileMaker version ships. We will use the new plugin SDK and make a few changes to get the plugin working well in the new version. To ensure the plugin works well, we'll test the beta version of FileMaker. If you see an issue, please report it soon to us.
As FileMaker will probably ship again in mid May, we may have our March release ready for the new version and fix any outstanding problems with our May release a week after FileMaker's release.
MBS Plugin is code signed for a few years now for MacOS and Windows. Occasionally there may have been a beta version without signature, but the release versions should all be signed.
The new data file functions are certainly welcome in the community, especially as you will be able to use them in FileMaker Go. Still the plugin provides an alternative for reading and writing files with more options and outside a script as the plugin can be used in all calculations.
FileMaker Cloud 2
The new version 2 of FileMaker Cloud may ship with or without plugin support. Not sure if a new plugin SDK will be ready for the release or whether existing plugins can be used there. Once we get a newer SDK, we'll look into how to make plugins there and see what will be possible.
While vs. FM.Loop function
It looks like the product idea for a loop function was welcome both to FMI and to us. We implemented in March 2018 our FM.Loop function. It allows you to have a loop in a calculation counting a variable up or down. The FileMaker version can do a bit more as you can include several commands directly in the function call with square brackets like in a Let function. The plugin interface doesn't allow us to do the same. But we do have a second expression to evaluate which lets you define an exit conditions independent of the counting up or down the variable. While MBS Plugin function returns a list of all the results from the various expression, in FileMaker you collect the values yourself and return them in the result expression. If needed
We look forward to add our plugin to the marketplace and encourage our users to add solutions there, which use our plugin. Some clients have integrations ready using MBS Plugin, e.g. for receiving emails in FileMaker and showing them like a mail application.
Thanks FileMaker Inc. for their ongoing investments into FileMaker and the impressive features coming to the platform. Having modules as XML files ready to integrate in solutions with a market place to get them, will bring the platform to a new level. Imaging a world, where a consultant can build a solution for a client by combining several modules from Marketplace and have something ready to use within minutes.