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FileMaker 8 to pack new work-flow and sharing features

post #1 of 10
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FileMaker, Inc. in the coming weeks is expected to announce a major upgrade to its top-selling database suite for managing people, projects, assets and more, AppleInsider has learned.

The wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple Computer, Inc plans to roll out FileMaker Pro 8 and FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced, both of which have been under development since the company released FileMaker Pro 7 in March of last year.

FileMaker 8 Pro

Rumored to go by the code-name Napa, FileMaker Pro 8 will reportedly pack over 15 new features aimed at improving work-flow and information sharing. Topping the list are new PDF Maker and Excel Maker features that will let users export their FileMaker data in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Microsoft Excel (XLS) formats, sources said.

Additionally, it's rumored the release will let users instantly email the contents of any database field using a new FastSend feature or send personalized messages to one or more customers via added email merge capabilities. A similar FastMatch function will search for data matches without the having to type search criteria, sources said.

FileMaker Pro 8 is also expected to sport faster table imports and a new Relationship Graph function for quickly documenting database and field relationships. Meanwhile, new Alignment and Tab Control tools will help users create cleaner looking database layouts with multiple tabs.

Among the many other features scheduled for FileMaker Pro 8 are mouse-wheel support, automated data entry and completion, an integrated spell checker, and tools to ensure more accurate data entry.

FileMaker 8 Pro Advanced

With the release of FileMaker 8, sources say FileMaker Developer will be renamed FileMaker Pro Advanced. The release is expected to include all the features of FileMaker Pro 8 plus advanced development and customization capabilities.

Developers utilizing FileMaker 8 Pro Advanced will reportedly gain access to new tools for adding custom menus and tooltips. They'll also be able to generate a report that provides an overview of their database schema.

Sources also said that the new version will unleash tools for creating kiosk-based and standalone runtime applications.

Simultaneous table imports, more robust calculations, and the ability to tests scripts without modifying the database are some of the other advanced features rumored to make the cut.

Already, it's believed that FileMaker is preparing packaging and marketing material to coincide with the release of the two software packages. According to sources, retail packaging will remain largely unaltered from version 7 with the exception of updated version numbers.

FileMaker plans to hold its annual developers conference during the last week of August. The event, which will likely showcase FileMaker 8 Pro, is expected to draw more than 1,000 corporate and independent database developers, consultants and trainers from more than 25 countries.
post #2 of 10
Well that's vague.

As I've said a million times before on these boards, Filemaker needs to enter the business forms market.

These days a database is only as useful as how fast you can update it.

Filemaker should allow you to save a layout as a PDF form. When completed forms are returned by email, the user should be able to drag them onto the database and update the relevant record.

I don't know if that's what is meant by "(Filemaker 8.0) will let users export their FileMaker data in Adobe Acrobat (PDF)", but I doubt it. Not sure what it means though, since I've been saving Filemaker layouts as PDFs for years. All OS X apps do that.

Adobe is targeting the billion-dollar forms market, but Apple has an entrenched database and could get there first.
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post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally posted by Frank777
...
Filemaker should allow you to save a layout as a PDF form. When completed forms are returned by email, the user should be able to drag them onto the database and update the relevant record.
...

That would be fantastic.
[OT: I would like to see "preview" to be updated soon, in order
to handle PDF forms, - download edit send it back, you know.]
edit: fixed something
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" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
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post #4 of 10
That would be awesome. I'm looking for a database to store credit application info and if I could have people fill out the apps as a pdf and then just import them that would be sweet.
post #5 of 10
I wonder why Apple don't pull in Filemaker and rebrand it under iWork? They did that with Claris Works/Apple Works didn't they?
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally posted by eAi
I wonder why Apple don't pull in Filemaker and rebrand it under iWork? They didn't that with Claris Works/Apple Works didn't they?

Completely different markets. iWork is geared toward users at homes and schools. FileMaker market orientation spans from the office to the enterprise. Also, FileMaker is the second most popular DBMS on Windows.
post #7 of 10
Yes, true, but surely they could take filemaker and strip it down for general useage then rebrand it to iData or somthing...
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally posted by eAi
Yes, true, but surely they could take filemaker and strip it down for general useage then rebrand it to iData or somthing...

They'd be better off writing a new app from scratch which depends on CoreData, for that.
post #9 of 10
If you adore Filemaker, DONT read this !

*g*

...

I am exceptionally disappointed by the current FMP7.0v3 on Mac OS Tiger.

its slow first of all, slowest version (interface wise, I dont mean searching records or sorting) i have ever used. Filesize increased quite a bit too (not an issue.. but.. its getting fat slowly)

But its just no development environment. It has some stuff they added back in Filemaker Pro 2 or before...

Opening script or Database/Fields window essentially blocks the entire application as well as I have to close and reopen the Define DB window - instead of being able to switch the Database Document to look up something...

While it FINALLY remembers some window sizes etc... it still resets column width every time.

Conversion process is more or less okay depending on your work, but i strongly recommend you un-group any grouped objects before converting, mine always are out of center, or loose their button function, or the font is just bad/wrong.

speaking of fonts .. oh no i dont speak of fonts *cry* Ok v3 put a remedy, but only partly.

Layout mode using fonts smaller than 9pt (for invoices etc), the text positioning doesnt work. In everything other than 100% view, the relations/layout is more or less messed up.

Font smoothing is okay to have, but not good to have it forced on you, especially when it tneds to look cluttered, or to strong

So... everys since Apple slapped Claris, its started off going downwards.. I mean i still use it and sell solutions, but... my god I miss the quality Filemaker Pro 3 had! Speeeeed, easy to design with, and back then the above "missing dev environment" didnt bother.

Today, I am having bigger Databases, so this has become an issue somewhat.

MAKE IT LIKE XCODE ( INTERFACE WISE) - or at least make it better as it is. Its a developers nightmare, and why the Developer Version of Filemaker is so much more expensive is almost as much a miracle to me as is the thing they call "server". Okay finally they managed to get it a daemon, i have heard. But it costs like a palette shipping of mac minis

sorry for the rants, but i - once - had to slap filemaker a little. Its because i care, and Love this app. But the relationship is trying out...
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally posted by Anunnaki
If you adore Filemaker, DONT read this !
Okay finally they managed to get it a daemon, i have heard. But it costs like a palette shipping of mac minis

You have heard?!? Should you really be commenting on things that you only "have heard" about?

What should it cost? Have you priced other solutions? FileMaker server is a bargain compared to comparable solutions. Even if you go with something cheaper like MySQL you are going to pay more to have clients developed unless you consider a web interface to be a suitable database client. I don't.

Edit: I agree with you on the interface front. I wish FM had OS-native interface widgets, tabbed layouts, horizontal portals (or table view within a layout), full control over menus, and keyboard shortcuts. I would really like to make an FM database look like any other MacOS X application.
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