By Craig Saunders, 5 April 2012
We're rapt to see the new version of FileMaker released, a major release covering all 3 aspects of the FileMaker suite (FileMaker Pro, Server and Go) in one hit, and bringing a raft of new features along with speed and robustness improvements... all very good stuff, so here's a few highlights and what they'll mean for you.
The biggest change is the "layout engine" which is the technical way of saying that it's now a lot easier to have modern style screen layouts. FileMaker have used the same technology used in web pages so we can do a lot of the same effects, like changing what shows when you mouse over something, gradients and transparency... all of which means your FileMaker solutions can look and feel a lot more like a modern program or web site. In turn that helps keep screens clean and clear, make better user of space, and ultimately makes for happy productive staff using the systems.
Behind the scenes the server product has very important improvements that basically mean more speed, continuous backups, and a huge improvement in stability - it's now much harder for plugins and scripts running on the server to crash. You won't notice this day to day so much, but we know that FileMaker systems are the backbone of many businesses and these changes greatly reduce the chance of interruption and disgruntled staff... keep em happy!
Other changes include the way documents, images and files are handled which means FileMaker can be used as a document management system with much greater aplomb; and connecting your database up to the web will see you dish out web pages much faster, all as a result of some serious rejigging under the hood in that area of FileMaker Server.
Finally FileMaker Go, which is FileMaker for the iPad has been updated too. It's very slick ? much faster than the previous version and of course it inherits all the new layout capabilities from the desktop application. Perhaps the biggest thing is that it's free which is a very nice surprise and we're sure that'll mean it spreads like wild fire... it's by far the best and only real option for quickly building quality business solutions for iOS devices ? iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. And no, it doesn't run on Android.
The only real drawback with the new FileMaker stable is that it's not compatible with the old version, so files have to be converted and you can't mix and match. We think the price of that is worth it for all the good stuff this new version brings, but before you upgrade please talk to us and we'll help make sure everything will go smoothly and advise on when we think it's time to make the jump.
For more details read our blog article on some of the technical changes.