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FileMaker Pro 11 released with quicker, easier database creation

post #1 of 27
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FileMaker Pro 11, the latest version of the Mac database software, was officially released Tuesday, packing in improved chart visuals, "on the fly" reporting, a new Quick Find capability, and a number of productivity tools that aim to make database creation simpler and quicker.

FileMaker Inc., a subsidiary of Apple, revealed the latest version, which it said delivers many new features for creating professional solutions quickly. FileMaker Pro 11 offers new ways to create, share and visualize databases.

Also released Tuesday were updates to the entire FileMaker product line, including FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced, FileMaker Server 11, and FileMaker Server 11 Advanced.

"FileMaker Pro 11 is designed for solving real-world business problems, such as the need for interpreting business data," said Ryan Rosenberg, vice president, marketing and services, FileMaker, Inc. "With easy-to-use integrated charting, we bring dynamic visual reporting to FileMaker Pro 11 users. We also provide new tools to boost all users productivity, helping novice and expert users alike build, share and publish better databases."

FileMaker Pro 11 is carries a U.S. suggested price of $299, or $179 upgrade, and FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced is $499, $299 upgrade. FileMaker Server 11 is $999, $599 upgrade, and FileMaker Server 11 Advanced is $2,999, $1,799 upgrade. Additional pricing and upgrade information, including pricing for licensed users of FileMaker 8 and 8.5 products, is available at www.filemaker.com.



The following are new features in FileMaker Pro 11, according to the developer.

FileMaker Charts and reports
FileMaker Pro 11 offers a selection of dynamic professional-quality charts (pie, bar, area, and line), allowing users to visualize, evaluate and report on data within a new or existing layout. For example, users can add a pie chart tab within a FileMaker Pro layout to see their sales depicted graphically any way they chose weekly, monthly, regionally and more.

FileMaker Charts can also be published to the web using FileMaker Pro Instant Web Publishing. FileMaker Pro 11 users can now easily create "on the fly" Quick Reports in a familiar spreadsheet-like format to easily set up subtotals and totals similar to pivot tables in spreadsheets. A new streamlined Layout/Report Assistant guides users through the process of setting up reports with grouped data.



Easier ways to build and use databases
FileMaker Pro 11 provides a variety of new tools to help boost productivity and enable users to build and use databases more easily. New FileMaker Pro 11 productivity features include:

Innovative Quick Find with iTunes style that searches across all fields within a layout
Inspector, a master tool palette that controls layout objects and properties in one convenient place
Object Badges to visually identify scripted fields in layouts with color-coded icons
A new Invoices Starter Solution, one of more than 30 built-in solutions, designed to track product and customer details and create, manage and print customized invoices for every order
An improved Quick Start Screen to help users create new databases, manage favorite files and find helpful resources
Text highlighting to emphasize key words or numbers in fields
For more experienced database developers, FileMaker Pro 11 offers script creation and editing enhancements, portal filtering that specifies related records based on calculations and layout folders that help organize layouts in folders via a simple drag-and-drop operation



New ways to collaborate
FileMaker Pro 11 also delivers innovative new ways to collaborate with its unique Snapshot Link that flags a specific set of records at a point in time, preserving the same layout, view and sort order. Any changes made to the file are automatically updated in the database.

The Snapshot Link file can be emailed to anyone who has FileMaker Pro 11 for easy collaboration. FileMaker Pro 11also introduces Recurring Import, a new feature that allows users to establish an automatic import from Excel, CSV or TAB, the perfect solution for insuring that data is always accurate within a FileMaker record.

FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced delivers greater customization and more

The new FileMaker Pro 11 Advanced, which offers all of the features of FileMaker Pro 11 plus a suite of advanced development and customization tools, provides a new streamlined, intuitive interface for creating customized menus; the ability to copy, paste and import custom functions into databases without having to re-key information; and an Improved Script Debugger that lets users debug scripts attached to buttons and Custom Menus along with all the scripts on a layout.

New FileMaker Server 11 products give new insights into workgroup databases

New in FileMaker Server 11 is an Enhanced Statistics View that provides detailed visibility into FileMaker Pro clients to help diagnose potential issues.

The new Backup File Clone allows administrators to save an empty version of any database to help preserve the schema and architecture of a file while troubleshooting.

FileMaker Server 11 Advanced no longer limits the number of users that can simultaneously access files over the network and allows managers to securely assign access privileges to groups of users.

The last update to the database software came in early 2009, with Filmeaker 10 Pro dubbed as a "breakthrough" release featuring a dramatic redesign to the software's interface.
post #2 of 27
It has been some time since I last used a database. I used 4th Dimension by then AciUS. Will give this a try.
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post #3 of 27
Versions 10 and now 11 of FileMaker Pro have been sold as full upgrades, when in fact the kinds of improvements they represent appear incremental at best. The graphic improvement features especially should have long ago been included in previous versions at no extra charge. The design and marketing strategy at this wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple seems to have degenerated into "what are the fewest possible number of 'new' features we have to add to justify a full upgrade price from each customer each year?" Sad. Very Microsoft-esque.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BAW View Post

Versions 10 and now 11 of FileMaker Pro have been sold as full upgrades, when in fact the kinds of improvements they represent appear incremental at best. The graphic improvement features especially should have long ago been included in previous versions at no extra charge. The design and marketing strategy at this wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple seems to have degenerated into "what are fewest possible number of 'new' features we have to add to justify a full upgrade price from each customer each year?" Sad. Very Microsoft-esque.

Filemaker has been doing this for years. There really should only have been 3 versions, the one that ended with v.3, the one that ended with v.6 and the current one. I like the tool, but stopped paying for it at version 6 because I got fed up with the pricing.
post #5 of 27
It looks like they still use software activation for FMP11. Can anyone confirm the limits that FMP11 activation incurs? I've had too many bad experiences with it in the past (FMP9), which required internet activation.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BAW View Post

Versions 10 and now 11 of FileMaker Pro have been sold as full upgrades, when in fact the kinds of improvements they represent appear incremental at best. The graphic improvement features especially should have long ago been included in previous versions at no extra charge. The design and marketing strategy at this wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple seems to have degenerated into "what are fewest possible number of 'new' features we have to add to justify a full upgrade price from each customer each year?" Sad. Very Microsoft-esque.

Don't you mean Adobe? Their so-called new versions are worthless. No one says you need to upgrade.
post #7 of 27
Still no integration with Address Book and iCal.

Address Book was introduced in Mac OS 10.2 "Jaguar" on August 23, 2002.
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post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BAW View Post

Versions 10 and now 11 of FileMaker Pro have been sold as full upgrades, when in fact the kinds of improvements they represent appear incremental at best. The graphic improvement features especially should have long ago been included in previous versions at no extra charge. The design and marketing strategy at this wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple seems to have degenerated into "what are fewest possible number of 'new' features we have to add to justify a full upgrade price from each customer each year?" Sad. Very Microsoft-esque.

I have been using FMP since Version 3....it is the weakest update since then.....I have had the pre release of this for a few weeks....it is NOT worth the update price. This should be called Version 10.1 or 10.2....NOT 11
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BAW View Post

Versions 10 and now 11 of FileMaker Pro have been sold as full upgrades, when in fact the kinds of improvements they represent appear incremental at best.

Yeah, I agree. I spent a non-trivial sum to upgrade my department from version 9 to version 10 about a year ago (year and a half? whatever), and I didn't really feel like I got my money's worth.

I wonder how much of this is related to Sarbanes-Oxley? I'm not an accountant, but as I understand it, a company that releases major new functionality without charging for it runs into accounting issues. Something about reporting revenue earned this quarter from sales of something that won't be "completed" until next quarter. It might be literally impossible, for accounting reasons, for Filemaker to give away an update like this one.

On the other side of the coin, I wish they'd save up their new features and roll out a major update that's worth the cost and trouble to upgrade to.

Filemaker's kind of like Photoshop, in my opinion. It's a bit long in the tooth, but absolutely everybody uses it. (Note: May not actually be true. I'm speaking of my industry here.) The difference is that Filemaker is really very frustrating to use, and only holds on to its market dominance 'cause every alternative is even more of a pain.

So I guess Filemaker the company really isn't under much pressure to improve Filemaker the product. Everybody uses it, so why break a sweat working on it?
post #10 of 27
While I think this is a great database program, the company doesn't work closely enough with Apple. At this point in it's age, it should be fully integrated with OS X.

It's still too expensive, and the only way to share a database over the web or local intranet is to purchase the Advanced version, which is overkill for a small office with only a handful of employees.
post #11 of 27
I'm still waiting for the iPhone version though. Truly.


On upgrades:
I agree ... as once a beta tester they had simple things like a calendar picker and then pulled it out before golden master and you wait for the next version to fork over the cash to get a simple calendar picker that probably should of been in there earlier.

It truly is a great product overall and they'll get an order from me.

They had me at charts.
post #12 of 27
Just compare Filemaker 11 with Bento 3, the little brother of Filemaker:

Bento 3
Integraton of:
- Address book
- iCal
- Apple Mail
- iPhoto
- share with 5 users
+ iPhone app


Filemaker 11
nothing at all, except sharing, for which you have to buy Filemaker Advance


Also, coming from Access, I miss the easy connection to MS-Word.

I wonder if Filemaker spoke to any users at all before they developed Filemaker 11. The 'new' features are just incremental improvements, which should have come for free or just a small fee.
And I wonder, if Filemaker is really interested in developing Filemaker any further. For me it seems they just use Filemaker as a cash cow while all the development goes into Bento.
post #13 of 27
It does look like a very weak update. But I think some of the posts regarding Filemaker's capabilities are misleading...you CAN publish a database to the web using the regular Pro version. The Advanced version just gives you more simultaneous users.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The last update to the database software came in early 2009, with Filmeaker 10 Pro...

I don't remember Filmeaker?
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomfoolery View Post

I wonder how much of this is related to Sarbanes-Oxley? I'm not an accountant, but as I understand it, a company that releases major new functionality without charging for it runs into accounting issues. Something about reporting revenue earned this quarter from sales of something that won't be "completed" until next quarter. It might be literally impossible, for accounting reasons, for Filemaker to give away an update like this one.

It is definitely because of Sarbanes-Oxley. Bill Gates lobbied Congress to include special provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley that prohibit Apple from ever doing anything that doesn't shake a buck out of Apple customers' wallets.

All the other provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley were designed to allow everybody else to do anything they want, hence the collapse of our financial system, with rampant fraud anywhere and everywhere.

Darn you, Bill Gates!
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregincolumbus View Post

I have been using FMP since Version 3....it is the weakest update since then.....I have had the pre release of this for a few weeks....it is NOT worth the update price. This should be called Version 10.1 or 10.2....NOT 11

William Porter clearly begs to differ
http://www.macworld.com/article/1469...lemaker11.html
post #17 of 27
No matter how intuitive they try to make it, I'll never use it again. I gave up on Filemaker a long time ago because it isn't really a database in the sense of MS Access, since it didn't do SQL queries and is useless in my opinion as a web accessible ODBC data source (I really hated their crazy server feature)

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post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

While I think this is a great database program, the company doesn't work closely enough with Apple...

Filemaker is owned by Apple. Despite that, they've released an app that doesn't support AddressBook and iCal, doesn't integrate directly with the iPhone and doesn't take advantage of Snow Leopard's modern OS capabilities.

If there ever was an Apple development team begging to be torn apart by Jobs, this would be it.
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post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

William Porter clearly begs to differ
http://www.macworld.com/article/1469...lemaker11.html

And so do the experts*,†

Unreal the amount of BS posted here. Not many companies develop cross-platform applications and give you both the Mac and PC versions in all the updates. Great price. The new features will definitely save pros and anybody that knows what they are talking about a ton of work.

*033 FileMaker Pro 11 http://filemakertalk.com/matt-squared/10033

New Features http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWWMR...layer_embedded
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kamui View Post

Just compare Filemaker 11 with Bento 3, the little brother of Filemaker:

Bento 3
Integraton of:
- Address book
- iCal
- Apple Mail
- iPhoto
- share with 5 users
+ iPhone app


Filemaker 11
nothing at all, except sharing, for which you have to buy Filemaker Advance


Also, coming from Access, I miss the easy connection to MS-Word.

I wonder if Filemaker spoke to any users at all before they developed Filemaker 11. The 'new' features are just incremental improvements, which should have come for free or just a small fee.
And I wonder, if Filemaker is really interested in developing Filemaker any further. For me it seems they just use Filemaker as a cash cow while all the development goes into Bento.

I stopped updating FMPro at v4 lol and at least it was easy to develop custom server side databases with that using CDML then they dropped that. Now I use Bento quite a bit I admit. IMHO the new features they need and fast is a fully iPad supporting version of Bento to go with the new iWorks and iLife headed for iPad.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Filemaker is owned by Apple. Despite that, they've released an app that doesn't support AddressBook and iCal, doesn't integrate directly with the iPhone and doesn't take advantage of Snow Leopard's modern OS capabilities.

If there ever was an Apple development team begging to be torn apart by Jobs, this would be it.

Agreed but is Clarris not pretty well independent although I do recall Apple still own it or part of it ... not too sure. But yes, fold it back in and make it part of iWorks!
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Agreed but is Clarris not pretty well independent although I do recall Apple still own it or part of it ... not too sure. But yes, fold it back in and make it part of iWorks!

Right. Like trying to win a Super Boat Race in a Kayak.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kamui View Post

Filemaker 11
nothing at all, except sharing, for which you have to buy Filemaker Advance

You can do network sharing with standard FileMaker Pro (one licence per user), for up to ten users. More than that and you need FileMaker Server as well as a licence of FileMaker Pro for each user. FM Inc. often does specials giving away a free server with five licences of FileMaker Pro.

FileMaker Pro Advanced adds extra features for database development, such as script debugging and copying tables between databases. Its major feature is creating a standalone (run-time) database which can be used without owning FileMaker Pro (but run-time databases can't be networked).

In a typical organisation which uses FileMaker heavily, most users would be running FileMaker Pro, and a very small number of database developers would have FileMaker Pro Advanced.
post #24 of 27
I do development in Access and had a pain adjusting to Access 2007 new ribbon look for a project I did but was seriously considering FileMaker. Thinking it would cut my development in half and maybe with more flare on the front end for the users. I was very interested in the stand-alone runtime databases on the FM Advanced version.

So I gave it a try and after playing with it for a bit, I crossed it off my list not because it wasn't any good but because it would require me to spend a lot more time than I wanted to devote on how to use it but frankly I thought how it did some things were just plain wonky in comparison to Access.

The deal breaker came down to when I found out I didn't have the same power as I did with VBS in Access... for instance, I am able to create a File or just a Folder browser in Access and have the capability of checking if a file exists or opening PDF files. I was unable to find this capability in FM. I saw a File browser but not a Folder browser only.

My point is, I want more control and I didn't see that. I also like how you setup fields in Access tables over FMs.

I am not dissing FM, I'm just too used to Access and prefer it over FM especially price-wise.
post #25 of 27
Part of the problem with FileMaker Pro is that it runs on Windows as well so they can't have full integration with Apple apps because those apps aren't available on Windows which will affect the user experience with those who have to work on both platforms.

Bento on the other hand is Mac only and so can link into the Mac apps much better than its big brother. That being said some of those features in Bento are kind of gimmicky.

I use Bento all the time (in fact I'm going to Sydney next week to talk about how I use it) because it's all I need at the moment but I'm thinking of using FileMaker Pro for a project that I'm working on just because I need the server functionality.

Ultimately FileMaker Pro and Bento serve two different purposes and I like both although I hope the FileMaker 11 manual is better than 10's because it gets stupid seeing screenshots for Windows on the Mac version and even worse when there is actually a mix of Mac and Windows screen shots during the tutorials.
post #26 of 27
If Apple's going to simultaneously hobble Bento and keep Filemaker cross-platform, there needs to be a product in the middle.

Call it Bento Pro or Filemaker LE. I don't care which.

Bento looks nice, but what kind of serious database doesn't allow you to print envelopes or labels?

The integration with AddressBook and iCal is great, but I want more. I want to be able to select a group of contacts, and print out a page from Google or Yahoo maps so I can plan my daily route.

Or maybe this works better as a feature for AddressBook 6.0?
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post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

William Porter clearly begs to differ
http://www.macworld.com/article/1469...lemaker11.html

William Porter has a vested interest which Macworld chooses to conceal. He is a professional FileMaker consultant, trainer and author. Why would he offer anything less than a glowing review? If FileMaker does well, it helps his bottom line too. Macworld needs to be a bit more open about it when the reviewer is not impartial.
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