FileMaker 15 Debuts With Focus on Mobility, Ease of Use, and Security

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple's FileMaker subsidiary today announced the launch of FileMaker 15, the latest version of the company's database platform for easily building customized apps. FileMaker's emphasis is on bridging the gap between generic apps and custom coding to allow teams with limited IT resources to efficiently build custom apps for a variety of platforms.


Mobility is a key focus of FileMaker 15, with the FileMaker Go iOS app gaining support for Touch ID and 3D Touch Quick Actions, improving security and ease of access for custom apps within FileMaker Go. New support for app extensions in FileMaker Go also makes it easy to move files within projects to other apps for editing.

Support for iBeacons also allows proximity-based data to be collected and displayed within apps built using FileMaker. And finally, FileMaker's WebDirect technology with new support for mobile phone browsers makes it easy to access web-based apps automatically optimized for a variety of screen resolutions and sizes.

FileMaker has also focused on automation and integration in FileMaker 15, with new highlighting of script errors and undo scripting functionality, as well as a new ESS Adapter feature to allow external SQL sources to be embedded like native databases.


Ease of use is another focus area, with a refreshed user interface offering a more modern look for toolbars, and new starter solutions offering more relevant examples such as contacts management and asset/inventory management that can be easily tailored for a specific project.

FileMaker 14 toolbar on top, FileMaker 15 toolbar on bottom

Finally, security and performance are also addressed in FileMaker 15, with new concealed edit boxes to hide sensitive information, and a number of security upgrades including proactive security warnings and support for new SSL certificate types. On the performance side, new stats logging and an in-line progress bar make it easier to diagnose and address slowdowns.

With the debut of FileMaker 15, there is a new subscription licensing structure for teams, which includes FileMaker Server and the ability for teams of five or more users to access systems via desktop, mobile, or web. Annual subscription pricing comes in at $108 per user for FileMaker Pro, $180 per user for FileMaker Pro Advanced, and $348 for FileMaker Server. For those who prefer perpetual licenses, one-time pricing comes in at $329, $549, and $1044 for the respective versions. FileMaker Go 15 is a free download from the App Store that allows users to remotely access solutions created using FileMaker Pro. [Direct Link]

Article Link: FileMaker 15 Debuts With Focus on Mobility, Ease of Use, and Security
 

Mac21ND

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2007
724
167
Can't see a future for desktop clients like this. Everything is moving to the cloud.
 

MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,473
1,100
Can't see a future for desktop clients like this. Everything is moving to the cloud.
They're not mutually exclusive, desktop apps can access your cloud data. You'd want the desktop clients for local quick cache anyway. Web browsers are not there yet where it can replace these desktop apps and properly handle offline mode.

Many of these web apps are unfortunately just not usable on mobile devices, the native apps will provide better experience with better integration with the hardware.

In addition, FileMaker has support for WebDirect, to enable web apps that can be access with any web browsers.
 

simonmet

macrumors 68030
Sep 9, 2012
2,625
3,577
Sydney
I have mixed feelings about Filemaker. On the one hand it's got such a legacy and I'd hate to see it killed off, but on the other I wish it had a different (more scientific) focus. These new versions seem fairly lacklustre to me as it's obviously viewed as just a business tool. Perhaps it always was.

Yes there are more science-oriented database and analysis platforms but they're either very expensive or clunky open source attempts with terrible Java interfaces. I wish someone could build what I want in Swift with a native interface. I dislike Access like the plague (i.e. a lot!).

It's kind of strange in this era of the mobile/iOS-focussed Apple to still have FileMaker (and not Aperture). There must still be enough active users to warrant its continued development but I thought that was the case for Aperture too.

Maybe Apple got burnt by its own App Store policies regarding Aperture, or they did a deal with Adobe. I guess we'll never know.
 

SMGreenfield

macrumors member
Nov 27, 2008
51
33
Ellensburg, CA
We've been using FileMaker Pro for over 20 years. It was great for quickly putting together small but powerful custom databases to run all aspects of our company.

Recently, we've used it as a development tool for quickly developing UI-rich frobt-end apps to access SQL databases on Amazon's AWS cloud.

While we have also used FileMaker for cross-platform app development, it really requires a series of plug-ins (such as Christian Schmitz's brilliant MonkeyBread plug-ins) to support critical missing features. This has presented a dilemma for FileMaker's recent native IOS app initiative: while true plug-ins aren't supported for IOS, it would be possible to support the equivalent capability by publishing an SDK API for creating LINKABLE functions that take the place of plug-ins. However, as of FileMaker 14, the company hadn't done that. Hopefully, FileMaker 15 will bring that capability.
 

xxnemoxx

macrumors member
Oct 5, 2011
67
42
I miss Bento. Too bad they discontinued it. ... FileMaker is overkill for my private needs.
I still use Bento for the store I have to keep records and everything works great still, what software do you use now? I think I would need to finally update soon.
 

Crispinhodges

macrumors newbie
Mar 29, 2013
8
1
This version is a case of one step forward and many back. Hidden in the Eula are expensive restrictions on use including a ban on shared hosting and in the FAQs this spectacular price hike.
'After May 9, 2018, the price for concurrent connections will be 3 times the price...'
So for many it will be much more expensive and the upgrade which brings very little will be impossible to justify.
 
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Mac21ND

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2007
724
167
They're not mutually exclusive, desktop apps can access your cloud data. You'd want the desktop clients for local quick cache anyway. Web browsers are not there yet where it can replace these desktop apps and properly handle offline mode.

Many of these web apps are unfortunately just not usable on mobile devices, the native apps will provide better experience with better integration with the hardware.

In addition, FileMaker has support for WebDirect, to enable web apps that can be access with any web browsers.
I understand, but when you're into tens of millions (if not hundreds of millions) of records, a desktop client is nothing more than a gateway to the real data in the cloud - especially if that data is being updated in real time across many different end points (websites, sales staff, call centers, etc;).
 

CmdrLaForge

macrumors 601
Feb 26, 2003
4,417
2,559
around the world
I still use Bento for the store I have to keep records and everything works great still, what software do you use now? I think I would need to finally update soon.
I still have my old databases in Bento but I am not creating new ones. For new ones - well guess what - I am using Numbers or Excel sheets.
 

petsounds

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
1,483
497
This could be the best database in the world, but I've learned I can't count on Apple to keep any piece of software going. Much as I love my Macs, there's no way I'd put anything as critical as a database onto an Apple platform.
What are you talking about, FileMaker has been going since the '80s! It hasn't really been "Apple software" in a long time, it's really a separate company that's owned by Apple. It's bizarre that FileMaker continues to survive; maybe Apple execs feel like they might curse the company if they shut it down, or there's an internal nostalgia at keeping it around.
 

simonmet

macrumors 68030
Sep 9, 2012
2,625
3,577
Sydney
Bizarre indeed considering Apple isn't a nostalgic company, you can't afford to be in the tech world. They even routinely dump and remake their own software, for better or worse.

I think they simply have limited control over what FileMaker does and as long as it stays solvent they're happy to ignore it and let them do what they want. I've half expected FileMaker to be shut down for many years, even though I think that'd be a shame.
 

drumcat

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2008
709
1,986
Otautahi, Aotearoa
I miss Bento. Too bad they discontinued it. ... FileMaker is overkill for my private needs.
Bento was a nasty mess. I wish they'd have allowed Bento to just be a single-table version of FM instead of a weird offshoot.
[doublepost=1462938849][/doublepost]To me, it's really hard to believe they haven't started supporting sqlite. It could be spun as a dev tool, and yet...
[doublepost=1462938928][/doublepost]
Bizarre indeed considering Apple isn't a nostalgic company, you can't afford to be in the tech world. They even routinely dump and remake their own software, for better or worse.

I think they simply have limited control over what FileMaker does and as long as it stays solvent they're happy to ignore it and let them do what they want. I've half expected FileMaker to be shut down for many years, even though I think that'd be a shame.
The moment they lose money, they're toast.
 

Glassed Silver

macrumors 68020
Mar 10, 2007
2,096
2,559
Kassel, Germany
This could be the best database in the world, but I've learned I can't count on Apple to keep any piece of software going. Much as I love my Macs, there's no way I'd put anything as critical as a database onto an Apple platform.
Bingo.

When they axed Aperture I suddenly became aware of how terrible their approach to customer retention really is.

At least with Filemaker you can get it on Windows, too.
Then again it's an Apple subsidiary, so if Apple really felt like it, they could mess with Filemaker.

I just can't trust Apple for **** anymore.

Glassed Silver:ios
 

Precision Gem

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2015
330
525
USA
I still have my old databases in Bento but I am not creating new ones. For new ones - well guess what - I am using Numbers or Excel sheets.
Have a look at TapForm. There is a version for MAC, iPhone and iPad. When Bento got dumped I switched to TapForm for a year of so. Eventually I did buy FileMaker. With FileMaker I was able to build a more elegant looking and functioning database. A bit expensive, but I really am glad I bought FileMaker. I use my Database on the iPad and Mac for my gemstone business.
 

MacBH928

macrumors 601
May 17, 2008
4,559
1,693
I have a couple of questions:

1- I know this is a database, but what are the real world uses of it? Is this the kind of software where a delivery restaurant will enter your phone number and get your address and order history and how libraries index books or what? Who really uses it?

2-What are alternatives for this software, even on Windows. Is there like a standard DB software like Microsoft Office for Office suites?
The only 2 types I know are Filemaker and Microsoft Access (Which everyone seems to hate on), and then there is the higher advanced stuff that I don't understand like MySQL which needs a programmer I think.

3-If I enter my info into a database, is it easy to transfer to another database software? Does it have like an export function or do i have to re-enter all the entries again?
 

mfethers

macrumors newbie
Aug 15, 2003
16
0
I have a couple of questions:

1- I know this is a database, but what are the real world uses of it? Is this the kind of software where a delivery restaurant will enter your phone number and get your address and order history and how libraries index books or what? Who really uses it?

2-What are alternatives for this software, even on Windows. Is there like a standard DB software like Microsoft Office for Office suites?
The only 2 types I know are Filemaker and Microsoft Access (Which everyone seems to hate on), and then there is the higher advanced stuff that I don't understand like MySQL which needs a programmer I think.

3-If I enter my info into a database, is it easy to transfer to another database software? Does it have like an export function or do i have to re-enter all the entries again?
I work in a small college (about 700 students), and we use Filemaker for a myriad of purposes. Admissions, registration, faculty grading via the web, advising, populating web content, housing assignments, syncing with other systems to create email accounts and student calendars - all developed by me (with no computer science degree, BTW). In higher education, the cheapest integrated system is in the hundreds of thousands, often millions, of dollars. We've been able to do it all for pennies on the dollar. While it's not the product for a large institution, for us it's a miracle. I can develop in hours, not weeks (I am not kidding). I can connect to MSSQL or My SQL, or work directly in Filemaker. I can have 200 people connect concurrently, using a desktop, web browser, ipad or even phone and get work done. All for a few thousand dollars and a server. All the people who hate on it either don't know what it is or are professional programmers. I've used it since 1994 and it's still here. The majority of users are Windows users, and this company is independent from Apple. It has a niche. Without it, I have no idea what we would do.

And yes, you can export data into other systems.
 

drumcat

macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2008
709
1,986
Otautahi, Aotearoa
I have a couple of questions:

1- I know this is a database, but what are the real world uses of it? Is this the kind of software where a delivery restaurant will enter your phone number and get your address and order history and how libraries index books or what? Who really uses it?

2-What are alternatives for this software, even on Windows. Is there like a standard DB software like Microsoft Office for Office suites?
The only 2 types I know are Filemaker and Microsoft Access (Which everyone seems to hate on), and then there is the higher advanced stuff that I don't understand like MySQL which needs a programmer I think.

3-If I enter my info into a database, is it easy to transfer to another database software? Does it have like an export function or do i have to re-enter all the entries again?
Mfethers is right on. It's a pretty darn good system. I think it's fair to include some "can't dos" as well. This isn't even a negative necessarily, but it might help to explain why or why not to use it.

Yes, it's very inexpensive compared to "systems" that are packaged. Of course, MySQL is free. LAMP stacks are very inexpensive, but they do require knowledge of course.

Filemaker is fantastic in how it quickly can be given a UI, and a shared, web UI at that. The drawback is that you can't write directly to SQL. There's a way it can be done, from their ESS stuff, and maybe it has become easier the last two revs, but at least as of 13 you had to write to the FM table, and then marry up to an external SQL table.

I went into my research of FM thinking that it would be an awesome SQL "front end". It is not. However, if Filemaker ever supported MySQL as its native format, the software would be an unparalleled success.

Finally, there are some cons from a few years ago about corrupted databases. I'm sure that has improved, as has performance. Going into it, however, please take backups seriously. Filemaker is a great repository for humans, but it is not a great tool for things like automated forms. Generally, if a human puts data in, and a human takes it out, it's awesome. If you're trying to get code to add things to tables, that's when things start to get messy.

This is my experience, your mileage may vary. Again, these aren't intended to be a bash. It's just the differences between products that I personally found. I was originally going to use FM for a conversion from an old MS Access file, but we went with SQL Server because we already had it, and because the data going into it would need to be presented in a production website with high volume and it needed to be written to via the company website. That combination made it unreasonable to choose FM, but that's because it exceeded the scope of what FM is good at.

Good luck.
 
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