Ahhh, the panacea of being able to improve my FileMaker database offline, then simply applying all the dev changes to the live production file. This is the great promise of the new FMUpgradeTool. It was released along with FileMaker 19 and it's a bit hard to dig into. Unless, you have the time like I did.
Fortunately, I'm going to save you the many hours of slogging through the documentation and the trial-n-error which comes with learning any new tech.
In this video, I spend an ample amount of time covering the FMUpgradeTool and how it might impact us in the future. I'd gather that, like Add-ons, the "preview" nature of this tool means that Claris hasn't been able to complete out their vision - at least not when it comes to documentation. The good thing, however, is we get to see what's coming and the tool can currently be used for small micro changes and the like. It certainly will need to be put through its paces and we'll have a lot of opportunity to do that when the time comes.
For right now, the process of making a FileMaker patch is pretty manual and will need to be automated by either Claris or a third party. Claris has seen what's been done with their XML in the past, primarily by companies who choose to make analytical tools, so, it makes sense that they'd love to see something which automates the creation of a complete FileMaker patch.
If learning about FileMaker's guts is something you're into, or checking out what the future might be like, then give this video your undivided attention. You'll gain a lot of insight about what these new tools will be doing behind the scenes!
Click the title or link to this article to view the video.