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MacRumors
Jul 10, 2007, 08:50 AM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

FileMaker has released (http://www.filemaker.com/) FileMaker Pro 9 and FileMaker Server 9.

FileMaker's site outlines the new features (http://www.filemaker.co.uk/products/fmp/features.html).
FileMaker Pro 9 includes many new features, for end users and developers, to simplify creating, automating, sharing and reporting from databases, including a new Quick Start screen for new users to be quickly productive; Conditional Formatting, which highlights data based on parameters the user sets; and the ability to email a link to other FileMaker users, which they can click to instantly access your database. - press release (http://www.filemaker.com/company/newsroom/releases/1303210.html)

All FileMaker 9 products are immediately available. New users may purchase FileMaker Pro 9 for $299 and FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced for $499. Existing users of FileMaker Pro 7, 8 and 8.5 may upgrade to FileMaker Pro 9 for $179. A 30 day trial (http://www.filemakertrial.com/nskto/form/entry.aspx) is available.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/07/10/filemaker-9-released/)



areyouwishing
Jul 10, 2007, 09:23 AM
The SQL connection options look interesting. I've always thought FileMaker added good features every upgrade. Personally I use Sharepoint for cross-platform databases, but I have wanted to maybe go a fat client route... just expensive.

eenu
Jul 10, 2007, 09:34 AM
can anyone post what they use this app for? ie what have you done with it. Just interested to see its real world uses.

Riot_Mac
Jul 10, 2007, 09:44 AM
can anyone post what they use this app for? ie what have you done with it. Just interested to see its real world uses.

I created a pretty big database that keeps track of all our jobs... time spent, notes, location, user, etc. I work in a prepress department for a commercial printer. I also created a ton of other layouts that keep track of our hardware and software, vacation time, reports, documentation, projects, etc. Basically anything that goes on in our department is in our FileMaker DB.

jeffEngland
Jul 10, 2007, 09:45 AM
First of all I think this update is great but is missing some functions I wished to see.

As for real world applications I have created a reservation book that runs our entire small business (approx 60 workers). I have also created a punch clock system using filemaker where each worker has a swipe card and can login to start a shift, read messages, etc.

The amount of uses is frankly just limited by your imagination. Right now im in the process of using filemaker to interact with a PLC so my program can interact with the real world.

PlaceofDis
Jul 10, 2007, 09:54 AM
can anyone post what they use this app for? ie what have you done with it. Just interested to see its real world uses.

i don't use it, but i know one of our printers does. they use it to file, keep track of and update all of their orders. it works pretty damned good for them considering their daily intake and output is huge. (printer as TShirt printer btw)

antdfsc
Jul 10, 2007, 10:05 AM
we use it to keep track of our video tape archives, its a good quick way to track down old projects and find where a single rouge tape is located. Its great if people input the data like they are supposed to....

mcarnes
Jul 10, 2007, 10:08 AM
About time they had conditional formatting.

Don't see anything new in the advanced version, other than the standard's improvements.

eenu
Jul 10, 2007, 10:11 AM
How easy are all these things you guys mention to create? Databases like these are one thing i have never ventured into but are something that interests me in learning.

ChrisA
Jul 10, 2007, 10:11 AM
can anyone post what they use this app for? ie what have you done with it. Just interested to see its real world uses.

I think this is a low-end database. For people who have out grown a spread sheet but are not able to justify a SQL database and all the investment that a SQL DBMS implies.

Also it looks like you could make a nice graphical front end to a SQL database with this.

jeffEngland
Jul 10, 2007, 10:17 AM
At first they can be a little difficult but once you can understand the basic concepts of relationships, it is relatively easy, and the programming language (scriptmaker) is very easy to use.

quigleybc
Jul 10, 2007, 10:19 AM
1 - How is this front page news?

2 - What does this have to do with the iPhone?

kwajo.com
Jul 10, 2007, 10:21 AM
1 - How is this front page news?





Apple owns Filemaker? ;)

pacohaas
Jul 10, 2007, 10:21 AM
2 - What does this have to do with the iPhone?
I think it's great how that joke's not getting old yet.

fuzzwud
Jul 10, 2007, 10:26 AM
We use Filemaker to keep customer contacts, create invoices, purchase orders, keep track of products, and create artwork proofs. It's fairly simple and user friendly to use. Good for small businesses. I'd like to know whether FM9 is suitable for e-Commerce website uses now that it has PHP support.

ChrisA
Jul 10, 2007, 10:30 AM
How easy are all these things you guys mention to create? Databases like these are one thing i have never ventured into but are something that interests me in learning.

Databases, especially ones with easy "point and click" user interfaces are deceptively simple. It's easy to create a table and other other table and link them to together. Even people who are completely ignorant of relational database theory can use it and they can create a huge mess and not even recognize they made a mess. Of course you can make the same errors with Oracle but typically people using Oracle are professionals who at least have heard about terms like "third normal form" and the like.

Kind of like wiring a house. It's easy to drill holes and pull
wires and put wires in terminals and tighten the screws. Anyone could do it. And connecting a light socket to a switch is trivial. But wiring a whole building offers many chances to make a big mess of it.

So is it easy to use? Just like wire, I'd say. Anyone who stops and thinks can use it for easy jobs.

But simple things are easy with something like this

hayesk
Jul 10, 2007, 10:37 AM
I think this is a low-end database. For people who have out grown a spread sheet but are not able to justify a SQL database and all the investment that a SQL DBMS implies.

That would be completely incorrect. SQL doesn't automatically mean "high-end database" - it's just a way of querying data.

FileMaker is perfectly capable of high-end solutions with hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of records per table. While it is not enterprise-class like Oracle, it's definitely capable for most database needs, and certainly more feature-rich than MySQL.

That said, it is missing some features such as automated (rather than GUI-based) scripting and a modern UI. Those two reasons are why I may hold off on this upgrade.

liberty4all
Jul 10, 2007, 10:42 AM
So it begs the question, will there be a FileMaker 9 Mobile for iPhone?! ;-)

SMM
Jul 10, 2007, 10:46 AM
How easy are all these things you guys mention to create? Databases like these are one thing i have never ventured into but are something that interests me in learning.

I have worked with relational (and non-relational) database for about as long as they have been around. Right now, our company is using MS Sqlserver and VB (small amount of C++).

In order to increase our Apple presence, it will be neccesary to have a robust development environment. Databases are essential for business applications. I have just purchased FileMaker and RealBasic to see what the low-end toolsets look like. It should not take me more than a month to throw a decent application together. I also have a few million rows of data for performance testing. That will give me a good opportunity to see what the limits of these two products are. If you send me a PM, I will keep you informed about how the project progresses.

brett_x
Jul 10, 2007, 10:52 AM
I'm getting pretty tired of Filemaker releasing new versions [practically] every year. No other major Apps have had so many releases. They could roll the new features into an update, but they'd rather take your money each year.
It's difficult for a small company to keep up with the funding, and even more difficult for a large company to keep up with the versioning (Most large companies require that you upgrade every machine in your company when you upgrade any of them).

settledown
Jul 10, 2007, 11:04 AM
jeffEngland, i sent you a private message. But basically I am interested in your employee punchin method.

I want to do this too, but havent tried it yet.

Can you help?

pimentoLoaf
Jul 10, 2007, 11:06 AM
I was wondering when v9 was coming out -- and almost bought 8.5 upgrade yesterday when purchasing an iPod.

Too bad Apple Stores can't wink-wink-nudge-nudge slide the new version into the bag a day or two before official release. :D

gjwfoasfsaevg
Jul 10, 2007, 11:06 AM
Finally they support external SQL servers. Can't wait to try this out on my MySQL database, the web interface is getting very ugly to maintain.

Does anybody know the direct download URL for the trial? I haven't received a reply to my request yet.

pimentoLoaf
Jul 10, 2007, 11:18 AM
...Does anybody know the direct download URL for the trial? I haven't received a reply to my request yet.

Go here (http://www.filemaker.com/products/fmp/features.html) and click the grey panel below the Buy Now blue panel.

gjwfoasfsaevg
Jul 10, 2007, 11:19 AM
That's what I did, but I didn't receive anything after sending this form.

inkswamp
Jul 10, 2007, 11:40 AM
It's funny that every time I look at the Filemaker site, I think "Oh god, another site copying Apple's look!" And then I remember... :rolleyes:

mfethers
Jul 10, 2007, 11:40 AM
I work at a small college and have used Filemaker to build a Registration System, Admissions System, and Development System. The advantages are, in my opinion, that someone like me (a Director of Admissions with a full-time other job) can learn how to develop and deploy complex relational systems for small to medium-sized use. It's actually amazing. In my industry, there's either home-grown or behemoth, multi-million dollar systems. I've figured using Filemaker has saved our institution between 3 - 5 million dollars. While there are shortcomings, I'll take them.

However, Filemaker 9 may not be worth the upgrade, unless plugging into SQL databases is needed. Very interesting and long overdue, but otherwise, a minor upgrade in my opinion. I'll be buying my copy now...

jmorrison0722
Jul 10, 2007, 11:48 AM
I used FileMaker to build my own employee time clock solution. It worked out so well, I made it configurable and now sell it on my Web site. URL removed

hayesk
Jul 10, 2007, 01:21 PM
I'm getting pretty tired of Filemaker releasing new versions [practically] every year. No other major Apps have had so many releases. They could roll the new features into an update, but they'd rather take your money each year.
It's difficult for a small company to keep up with the funding, and even more difficult for a large company to keep up with the versioning (Most large companies require that you upgrade every machine in your company when you upgrade any of them).

It's probably also difficult to pay your developers if your customers expect free software for years at a time.

And large companies have multi-seat licensing with subscription services too.

If you didn't buy every upgrade, it would essentially be the same as FM waiting several years between versions. FM usually offers "amnesty" for previous version upgrade pricing for a couple of months following each release. Nobody is forcing you to upgrade every year.

inkswamp
Jul 10, 2007, 02:36 PM
I used FileMaker to build my own employee time clock solution. It worked out so well, I made it configurable and now sell it on my Web site. URL removed

Good work with that. That's actually pretty impressive. I had no idea that Filemaker was capable of that level of UI design. I'll have to check it out in my spare time. I can think of many uses for that both at home and at work.

How much actual coding went into creating that or is it all just form-based?

japanime
Jul 10, 2007, 02:47 PM
I used Filemaker 5 (old, old school!) to build an inventory and invoice system for my company's online store. Seven years later, the system is still going strong.

If anyone here is a manga (Japanese comics) fan and wants to see the pretty sales invoices Filemaker can generate, you can place an order here :D

URL removed

marco114
Jul 10, 2007, 04:05 PM
I figured that I'd post a real world example of FileMaker can do if you put your mind to it. I worked for a company that ran their ENITRE business on Filemaker. They sold Nutritional Supplements in the millions. Over 1,000 orders a day processed using Filemaker, credit card processing in real-time, shipping, inventory. A web based store was built in Lasso & MySQL and then synched to the Filemaker solution. The Filemaker databases were huge. Some totaling over 10GB in size. They had about 150 clients connected to 4 Filemaker servers. The clients ran both Windows and Mac, and worked cross platform perfectly. I am not exaggerating these numbers at all. The company was featured on Filemaker's WebSite for many years as a success story. We had 4 XServes running Filemaker 6 and later Filemaker 8.

It was fast and worked really well. Competitors came in and tried to reproduce the system and failed, several times over. Even Oracle had come in and tried to do a presentation and the cost was $5 million +++.

FileMaker is a very capable system and can handle nearly and small to medium sized business with development costs that are a fraction of what larger comparable systems are.

With the edition of MySQL, I am very excited to see this and can make use f it almost immediately. Think of building a small/quick solution for controlling parts of a website. It will be easy to build.

I'm excited for this release and have been waiting for it ever since FM Dev Con last year.

Dimwhit
Jul 10, 2007, 04:31 PM
Sweet! I just got an email from FileMaker. Apparently, I have a maintenance license, so I get version 9 for free. Yay me!

FileMaker Pro, by the way, is a fantastic program.

Cepe Indicum
Jul 10, 2007, 04:42 PM
So it begs the question, will there be a FileMaker 9 Mobile for iPhone?! ;-)

I know you're joking, but actually I was thinking this might not be the worst idea in the world.

I (along with many others here, by the looks of things) like and use FileMaker software. If FileMaker were to bring out a mobile version that worked flawlessly on the iPhone - by which I mean have the cross-functionality between an FM database and phone / Internet / Google Maps - it would make the fairly-hefty price tag all the more bearable!

Really don't want to turn this thread into another iPhone discussion; just a thought... :o

ATG
Jul 10, 2007, 04:45 PM
Is it just me or do the upgrades get smaller and smaller with each release?

Doctor Q
Jul 10, 2007, 05:38 PM
FileMaker's "External Data Source" feature lets you make one-way or two-way connections to MS SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, and maybe others in the future.

Does this let me build an application that relies only on relational databases elsewhere, and not use FileMaker to store the data at all?

brewser
Jul 10, 2007, 05:40 PM
I used FileMaker to build my own employee time clock solution. It worked out so well, I made it configurable and now sell it on my Web site. URL removed
I use it also for a card collecting database for Wacky Packages (anyone remember those?). You can see it at URL removed - Now this gets to be fun software!
Take a look at the menu structure and also I built in a protection scheme for 15 day trial. It's pretty powerful software. The only thing I wish it had was a print preview button. I had to create a navigator to preview reports.

Doctor Q
Jul 10, 2007, 06:00 PM
A general reminder:

Please don't post links to products at commercial sites you are associated with, since we disallow advertising in the forums. We know that people are interested in discussing their uses of FileMaker, and you are are welcome to discuss how you used FileMaker (or why you didn't use it) for a commercial site, without the links.

People are also welcome to PM each other to ask for links.

Thank you.

twoodcc
Jul 10, 2007, 06:43 PM
cool. Always good to see new software released

brewser
Jul 10, 2007, 07:12 PM
A general reminder:

Please don't post links to products at commercial sites you are associated with, since we disallow advertising in the forums. We know that people are interested in discussing their uses of FileMaker, and you are are welcome to discuss how you used FileMaker (or why you didn't use it) for a commercial site, without the links.

People are also welcome to PM each other to ask for links.

Thank you.
Maybe we should start another thread about commercial sites using Filemaker software. I am always interested in how other people create databases and how they create their layouts. I do sell the program but it's a very niche market and I sell one about every month or so, basically a hobby.

Doctor Q
Jul 10, 2007, 07:59 PM
Maybe we should start another thread about commercial sites using Filemaker software. I am always interested in how other people create databases and how they create their layouts.I'm interested too, as a matter of fact, but another thread would be subject to the same rules. If people post links to business sites, the moderators can't read minds to know if somebody is promoting a product vs. talking about the technology behind the website. So I suggest that we do what marco114 did above - talk about using FileMaker without publicly linking people to commercial sites.

Links to FileMaker-run sites of very well-known companies would be OK, as would links to educational or non-profit sites that use FileMaker. If there are any such sites!

jsalzer
Jul 10, 2007, 08:49 PM
I love FileMaker as much as the next guy, but let's put our energies in the right place. We don't need new features as much as we need the old ones fixed up. If ClarisWorks could have a true, wrapping, formatted, page-breaking word processor that merged data flawlessly, why can't FileMaker? And, no, a tall layout with a big text box isn't good enough.

And an option to exit the current script before running a script from the menu like you can for buttons.

And printing that doesn't muck up in Windows.

These things are much more important. Maybe not as easy to hype as you market, but definitely important.

:)

As for real-world application - my organization (a continuing education provider) is marketing a database suite for other continuing education providers with a full user interface, soft-coding of most features (allowing clients to tweak it to meet their needs), and online participant registration. [Referring now to FileMaker] Very powerful, yet pretty lame at the basic things that should already be a part of the original Claris code.

Like gradients!

;)

damacus
Jul 10, 2007, 09:11 PM
can anyone post what they use this app for? ie what have you done with it. Just interested to see its real world uses.

I've used it, and seen it used, quite a bit in the education industry. Filemaker is very powerful when it comes to the presentation of data, ie reports. A person can gank an export from whatever system they're on, import it, and tweak it without end, sort it as needed, filter, summarize, generate labels, generate invoices/reports, etc. I personally think its a bit easier to use than MS Office in this regard.

Also, it's very useful as a data entry tool. Give someone a layout with fields you want entered, put the proper validation on the fields, and let noobs have at it. Much, much better than having people send you spreadsheets that have inconsistent data. In all of this, you can have multiple people doing data entry into one database with as many layouts as you need.

As others have said here, you can go much farther and build whole applications around it, although I don't trust it that much, and find it to be a rather limiting platform for large processes. (I feel the same way about Access.) Anyway, though, it's a great tool for one-off databases and data manipulation... which really is fairly common in business and education.

japanime
Jul 11, 2007, 12:30 AM
A general reminder:

Please don't post links to products at commercial sites you are associated with, since we disallow advertising in the forums. We know that people are interested in discussing their uses of FileMaker, and you are are welcome to discuss how you used FileMaker (or why you didn't use it) for a commercial site, without the links.

People are also welcome to PM each other to ask for links.

Thank you.

Sorry about that! My apologies...

doemel
Jul 11, 2007, 02:12 AM
I'd like to know whether FM9 is suitable for e-Commerce website uses now that it has PHP support.

I'd tend to say yes. Up until now FM only provided it's own stinking, short sighted and rather limited web integration with some sort of proprietary ML. Now that they've finally realized that there is (and has been for years now, ever since OS X was introduced) already an industry standard web server on Mac OS (Apache) with very versatile server side scripting capabilities (PHP, actually not just limited to web scripting) it's perfectly possible to build some serious web apps with FM as a database.

hms
Jul 11, 2007, 07:52 AM
Not being an expert in either, could someone tell me why they would choose Filemaker over Access, or vice-versa?

I work at a Help Desk, in a predominantly Windows environment, and someone is bound to ask me this... :apple::)

doemel
Jul 11, 2007, 08:28 AM
Not being an expert in either, could someone tell me why they would choose Filemaker over Access, or vice-versa?

I work at a Help Desk, in a predominantly Windows environment, and someone is bound to ask me this... :apple::)

FileMaker all the way! Here's why:

- FM is available on both the Mac and Win platform. Access is Windows only
- Access is a Microsoft product. As such it does not excel (no pun intended..) in areas like ease of use and standards.
- Many access "developers" still heavily use VBA because they don't know better. I rejoiced when I learned it is on the way out. Even though FM uses it's own proprietary scripting language it's still far better than VBA. (Oh, and did I mention that I despise VBA?)

I'm sure there are more good reasons.

I'm sure there's many people who would disagree with me (not on this board, though). Don't listen to them. They don't know better. I have hacked together DB/frontend solutions in both FM and Access and I sure know what to choose if the choice is mine.

hayesk
Jul 11, 2007, 09:23 AM
Is it just me or do the upgrades get smaller and smaller with each release?

I don't think they are. 7-8 was smaller. 4-5 was small, 5-6 was small. The two huge upgrades were 2-3 (relational capabilities), and 6-7 (multi-table, new engine).

It could be they're focusing on features you don't care about. I for one, have no need for SQL integration. I'm more interested in UI developments such as dynamic tab views and modern UI elements.

vaal
Jul 11, 2007, 03:44 PM
We use Filemaker to keep customer contacts, create invoices, purchase orders, keep track of products, and create artwork proofs. It's fairly simple and user friendly to use. Good for small businesses. I'd like to know whether FM9 is suitable for e-Commerce website uses now that it has PHP support.


Our company has already built just that!

SHAMELESS PLUG: URL removed (see Doctor Q's posts above)

8thunder8
Jul 13, 2007, 02:40 AM
I was a Filemaker developer for 10 years from v. 2.1 onwards. It was a great experience.

I have now been a Servoy developer for about 6 and would NEVER consider building a new solution in Filemaker. All of the things that Filemaker got wrong over the years were solved at a stroke with the first version of Servoy - which has gone through 3 iterations since that.

For anyone considering what Filemaker might do for development, Servoy is truly king and has none of the compromises that Filemaker has had to make.

I'm not bashing Filemaker per se, I am just someone who was pressed against a glass ceiling with the limitations of Filemaker, and have found myself at the bottom with a big open sky ahead with Servoy. Servoy is quite Filemaker like in its approach, but has javascript methods, can use ANY (*this is important*) SQL back end - think being able to relate the default Sybase IAnywhere database (which has all sorts of enterprise class features just by its-self) to a MySQL database which drives your web content, while also relating to an existing Oracle system which handles your accounting, with all three databases in different locations, and being able to make it available (*this is also important*) OVER THE INTERNET to 50,000 clients (clients, records and database file size are limited by the hardware, not the software. Servoy has a concurrency based licensing system. You apply 10 licenses to the server software and 10 clients can connect, whichever machines, locally or over the internet... No CDs in boxes, or serial numbers to manage, or licenses being tied to specific computers etc.

Servoy does have a bit of a learning curve - but is very familiar to Filemaker developers, it is cheaper than Filemaker (no Servoy server costs and a cheaper client), has a Java smart client mode, a headless client mode (clients are spawned on the server), has an Ajax webclient mode, (see the Servoy forums to note how quickly they implement changes, and how quickly the Servoy community helps to solve problems.)

Filemaker was a great product but has been scuppered by architectural programming issues which were never solved. They're trying to dig themselves out of a hole but must rely exclusively on existing business re-buying their software so every couple of revisions they change the file format to force an upgrade on everyone... Awful practice...

No, I don't work for Servoy, I'm just a developer and cannot find faults with their product, where I could find almost nothing but faults (or at least serious limitations) with Filemaker. Probably 50% of my development work now is converting Filemaker solutions (some of which I built myself, years ago) into Servoy ones.. I'd never look back.

Tomvbva
Jul 13, 2007, 05:59 PM
I have just joined and have never seen anyone ask or talk about if Filemaker and now Filemaker 9 can use barcode reading equipment for inventory entry and if there is software to match? Anybody know?

iGazer
Jul 14, 2007, 01:07 AM
8.5 is awesome. just ordered 9. can't wait! if only it could deal with access files directly