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FileMaker 10 Pro arrives with interface overhaul

post #1 of 32
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Apple subsidiary FileMaker on Monday announced FileMaker Pro 10, a new version of its database software billed as "breakthrough" release that delivers the most dramatic interface design changes in over a decade.

FileMaker Pro 10

The software features a redesigned, customizable Status Toolbar that's similar to browser toolbars. It takes commonly used functions that were previously available only from the main menu and places them within eye view for more streamlined navigation, better workflow and time-saving shortcuts.

"The new interface is the result of years of in-depth research into how people actually interact with databases," said FileMaker president Dominique Goupil. "The result is a major new version of FileMaker Pro that brings the power of databases to everyone whether they create their own databases, or use one from someone else."

Complementing the new interface are handful of other feature additions like Script Triggers, which offers new options for automating tasks and boosting productivity. Users can specify that a FileMaker Script (similar to a spreadsheet macro) be run based on timing or whenever users take a specified action in Browse Mode or Find Mode, such as clicking in a field or exiting a viewing mode.

Another time-saving feature called "Saved Finds" lets users save their favorite find requests and then perform those requests in a single click for quicker searches. For example, a find request can be created for customers in California who've spent more than $1,000 in the past year, but have not placed an order in the last three months. The search can be saved so it can be accessed over and over again in the future.

Leveraging one of the most popular uses of databases -- report generation -- FileMaker Pro 10 also offers the ability to make changes directly to the underlying data from within a report "on-the-fly." Any changes made to the data within a report will also show up immediately in the database, without the user ever having to switch views.



Among the other features new to FileMaker Pro 10 are Send Mail via SMTP, which saves time by sending email directly from FileMaker Pro rather than through an email client; Enhanced Quick Start Screen, a step-by-step learning assistant that makes it easy to create databases from existing data sources like .CSV, Tab, Excel 2007 or Bento 2; and Enhanced SQL support for displaying, accessing and using data from even more SQL sources, including SQL tables in Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Oracle 11g and MySQL 5.1 community edition.

FileMaker Pro 10 is available as an immediate download for $299; upgrades from previous versions fetch $179. A version called FileMaker Pro 10 Advanced includes all the features of FileMaker Pro 10 plus a suite of advanced development and customization tools. New licenses for that version cost $499 while upgrades are $299.



FileMaker Server 10

In addition to the pair of new client offerings, FileMaker also announced FileMaker Server 10 with several new features, including: simplified server management that allows administrators to import and export records using server-based scripts -- no more robots are required -- and an enhanced PHP Site Assistant with 10 PHP Site Assistant themes plus one for the iPhone.

The server software now also offers the ability to send mail via SMTP directly from FileMaker Server 10 without the need for an e-mail client; and a new Database Log Viewer that provides a snapshot of database logs to quickly pinpoint trouble spots.



On top of the features offered in FileMaker Server 10, FileMaker Server 10 Advanced allows up to 999 users to simultaneously connect to FileMaker Pro databases -- about four times the number of live connections in FileMaker Server 10 and in previous versions of FileMaker Server Advanced.

FileMaker Server 10 is available as a direct download for $999; upgrades cost $599. New FileMaker Server 10 Advanced licenses are priced at $2,999, while upgrades fetch $1,799.
post #2 of 32
Aha! So, this is one thing to mark off the MacWorld announcements bingo card.

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post #3 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The server software now also offers the ability to send mail via SMTP directly from FileMaker Server 10 without the need for an e-mail client; and a new Database Log Viewer that provides a snapshot of your database logs to quickly pinpoint trouble spots.

Mail servers need to be bullet proof on security. I always feel more comfortable letting a real smtp sever handle the final outgoing mail. User authentication is key. If it is a server then it shouldn't be run from the desktop anyway hence no 'e-mail client'.

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post #4 of 32
I still remember making databases on FileMaker Pro 2! Got version 5 for PowerPC, then didn't really need a reason for it anymore.
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Mail servers need to be bullet proof on security. I always feel more comfortable letting a real smtp sever handle the final outgoing mail. User authentication is key. If it is a server then it shouldn't be run from the desktop anyway hence no 'e-mail client'.

That's nice, but this isn't an SMTP server. The FileMaker server has an SMTP client, not a server. It's so you don't need to have FileMaker talk to a Mail client application to send the mail, it can talk to your existing SMTP server directly from FM Server.
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple subsidiary FileMaker on Monday announced FileMaker Pro 10, a new version of its database software billed as "breakthrough" release that delivers the most dramatic interface design changes in over a decade. ...

This is a major understatement. They have removed *most* of the main interface elements that have been part of the UI since the very first day. This will require significant re-training of hundreds of staff members where I work.

Also, since most FM solutions use interfaces that are customised to the specific circumstances, everything in development at the moment needs to be re-imagined, re-designed etc. FileMaker just made it easier for the database developer, while simultaneously introducing huge problems for the users.

My guess is that this new version will keep FileMaker professionals in work up to their eyeballs for the next couple of years, but that's good I suppose (in a way).
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

That's nice, but this isn't an SMTP server. The FileMaker server has an SMTP client, not a server. It's so you don't need to have FileMaker talk to a Mail client application to send the mail, it can talk to your existing SMTP server directly from FM Server.

If it sends email it is a server. Just as a standard mail client is also a mail server. You set the preference to send to a specific destination and it sends email to that IP address in SMTP. The major difference is that a typical SMTP server resolves the DNS in the MX record based on the domain of the recipient where with a mail client that value is defined.

My only point was that I distrust swiss army knife applications. A better and safer method in my opinion is to use three dedicated applications. 1) script 2) database 3) mail server

(LAMP comes to mind)

But I have not heard anyone refer to an application as an SMTP client - the word 'client' makes no sense to me.

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post #8 of 32
I am surprised they don't target PostgreSQL 8.3.x and the upcoming 8.4 as one of the enterprise caliber datasource backends.
post #9 of 32
Quote:
If it sends email it is a server.

Actually, no, the other poster is right. Sending email is the definition of an SMTP client. Having other SMTP clients connect to you in order to send mail is an SMTP server.

I agree, though, that having your SMTP account's authentication details all over the place is not good for security.
post #10 of 32
I still haven't received the download link for trial. I submitted the request this morning. Anyone having this trouble?
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Actually, no, the other poster is right. Sending email is the definition of an SMTP client. Having other SMTP clients connect to you in order to send mail is an SMTP server.

I agree, though, that having your SMTP account's authentication details all over the place is not good for security.

I stand corrected. After doing a little researching it is true that the term client is being used in the context of SMTP. The actual definition of client I think is a little vague at this point. My previous view was that a client only sent requests and received responses from a server in a client server model such as with a web browser. But I guess in the case of a mail server the final client request sent is the full content of the message to which it does not need a response.

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post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Mail servers need to be bullet proof on security. I always feel more comfortable letting a real smtp sever handle the final outgoing mail. User authentication is key. If it is a server then it shouldn't be run from the desktop anyway hence no 'e-mail client'.

Filemaker uses your existing SMTP server and supports full authentication. I have had a hands on with it and it is a real time saver.
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MBP 2.16 C2D, 200GB, 3GB; 8GB iPhone
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post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

This is a major understatement. They have removed *most* of the main interface elements that have been part of the UI since the very first day. This will require significant re-training of hundreds of staff members where I work.

Yes, this will require an investment in training, but it's good to see the app moving forward.

By the way, I've been scouring the news on this release...
Official Press Release here
MacWorld news story here
MacWorld First Look Here

...and can find no reference to Filemaker 10 being able to directly access AddressBook and iCal.
How is it possible that Bento remains ahead of Filemaker in this regard?
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Mail servers need to be bullet proof on security. I always feel more comfortable letting a real smtp sever handle the final outgoing mail. User authentication is key. If it is a server then it shouldn't be run from the desktop anyway hence no 'e-mail client'.

FileMaker 10 isn't acting as a mail server; it makes it possible to send mail from the database to the SMTP server, authenticated if necessary, and without the need of using a local mail client.

In previous versions of FileMaker, you could send mail from FileMaker, but it used your local mail client; now this is no longer necessary.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

If it sends email it is a server. Just as a standard mail client is also a mail server.

No, you're not correct. A mail client is just that, a client; it requires a mail server to send mail. Any mail that you send with your mail client goes to an SMTP server, which actually sends the mail to the recipient.

All mail has to go through a mail server to be sent to the recipient's mail server, and then eventually to the recipient's mail client.

FileMaker Pro is NOT a mail server.
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

This is a major understatement. They have removed *most* of the main interface elements that have been part of the UI since the very first day.

I totally disagree. The status bar is moved, but it contains the same elements that were in FMP 9--you just have to get used to finding them in a new place.

What's more, a database created in 7, 8, or 9 will look exactly the same in FMP 10; if you are used to seeing the status bar, you'll still be able to see and use it, although it'll take up a different amount of screen real estate than the previous versions did.

As a FileMaker Certified Developer who spends his days using this app, I love the new interface. I've been using it for months now, and after a couple of days mousing over to where the old status bar used to be, I'm loving the new status bar.

Combined with some long-requested features, most notably script triggering, saved finds, and report editing on the fly, it's a great release and has been totally stable for me.
post #17 of 32
Friggin FINALLY!
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post

I still haven't received the download link for trial. I submitted the request this morning. Anyone having this trouble?

That's Filemaker's email download bullshit at its best. They never let you download the software when you need it so it's best to prepare beforehand sometimes.
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

I agree, though, that having your SMTP account's authentication details all over the place is not good for security.

If security is a concern for a database user, FileMaker has a wealth of options for protecting one's mail account information. For example, a user account can be set so that the user can trigger a script (send mail) but not see its programming; this keeps the end-user from being able to see any of the SMTP authentication information. If, on the other hand, a user has high-enough access privileges to see scripting, he would also be able to do lots of other damage, including deleting data, editing/deleting scripts, layouts, and fields, and so on.

Databases can be locked down in many different ways, and usernames and passwords are encrypted in the database itself. In almost 15 years dealing with FileMaker databases, I've never had a problem with security--and with each new version, security has gotten better.

Security with a FileMaker database is only as good as the person designing the solution.
post #20 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by longterm View Post

I totally disagree. The status bar is moved, but it contains the same elements that were in FMP 9--you just have to get used to finding them in a new place.

What's more, a database created in 7, 8, or 9 will look exactly the same in FMP 10; if you are used to seeing the status bar, you'll still be able to see and use it, although it'll take up a different amount of screen real estate than the previous versions did.

As a FileMaker Certified Developer who spends his days using this app, I love the new interface. I've been using it for months now, and after a couple of days mousing over to where the old status bar used to be, I'm loving the new status bar.

Combined with some long-requested features, most notably script triggering, saved finds, and report editing on the fly, it's a great release and has been totally stable for me.

I just wish they would re-introduce Filemaker Mobile again, for the Ipod Touch and iPhone, or even the Palm. Up 'til now, I have had most of my apps on my Palm, using Word,Excel and Powerpoint apps with Documents To Go, but been waiting for the iPod Touch to mature, with solid apps available like I have on my old Palm. I regularly use several FM databases on my Palm, and I'd be lost without it. The makers of Documents To Go have advised me they are making a version for the iPod and iPhone, it just needs a new Mobile Filemaker version and that would complete my wish list.

It seems to me that Filemaker have been making very slow penetration in the market, and being part of Apple have missed a trick on not riding on the back of the iPhone and iPod touchs' popularity with a mobile version.

Here's hoping.....
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by longterm View Post

No, you're not correct. A mail client is just that, a client; it requires a mail server to send mail. Any mail that you send with your mail client goes to an SMTP server, which actually sends the mail to the recipient.

All mail has to go through a mail server to be sent to the recipient's mail server, and then eventually to the recipient's mail client.

FileMaker Pro is NOT a mail server.

All I can think to add to your statement is, ``How can one actually think to reason that a mail client is a server?''

This tells me the person knows very little about mail systems.
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

All I can think to add to your statement is, ``How can one actually think to reason that a mail client is a server?''

This tells me the person knows very little about mail systems.

I think it is a matter of semantics. Client/server who cares if it is even a virus, it is just another way to send spam. And you would be incorrect in your assumption that I know very little about mail systems. You may be quick to judge. Let me know when you've successfully locked down a Unix box with spam detection, blacklists and certificates, web mail for multiple domains . That is something I am sort of an expert in. I admitted in an earlier post that it turns out I used the term SMPT client/server incorrectly.

To be honest I've hated all previous versions of FileMaker and I'd be pretty surprised if this release changed my mind. I have battled spam and hackers for many years and my comments were only intended to express my concerns about opening up another method of attack.

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post #23 of 32
Somewhat off-topic post:

Does anyone know if Bento allows you to create a SQLite database file?

I'm not talking about tapping into an SQL server to run queries on, I just want to create a blank database in Bento that I can then use in XCode (specifically the iPhone SDK).

And, yes, I have tried to create one using the SQL CLI in Terminal but it just doesn't seem to work.
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post

I still haven't received the download link for trial. I submitted the request this morning. Anyone having this trouble?

I'm in the same boat. Seems it's broken or they can't get their act together.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by longterm View Post

If security is a concern for a database user, FileMaker has a wealth of options for protecting one's mail account information. For example, a user account can be set so that the user can trigger a script (send mail) but not see its programming; this keeps the end-user from being able to see any of the SMTP authentication information. If, on the other hand, a user has high-enough access privileges to see scripting, he would also be able to do lots of other damage, including deleting data, editing/deleting scripts, layouts, and fields, and so on.

Databases can be locked down in many different ways, and usernames and passwords are encrypted in the database itself. In almost 15 years dealing with FileMaker databases, I've never had a problem with security--and with each new version, security has gotten better.

Security with a FileMaker database is only as good as the person designing the solution.

FileMaker security is lousy. You can buy a program for $40 or $50 that will crack the password on any FileMaker database.
post #26 of 32
post #27 of 32
Quote:
FileMaker security is lousy. You can buy a program for $40 or $50 that will crack the password on any FileMaker database.

I guess that only applies if the person is in possession of the actual file?
post #28 of 32
Generally speaking, I find FileMaker upgrades to be a total rip-off, save the jump to version 7. They introduce a few nice new features, then charge more than 50% to upgrade. Improvements are modest at best, yet users pay again and again and again.

This time around, however, I think FileMaker has delivered a very worthwhile upgrade. Script Triggers are almost worth buying the program again at full price. I've spent so much time writing scripted data entry solutions because users can't or won't enter all of the relevant information correctly. While FileMaker includes some validation capability, the validation UI is lousy from an end-user perspective. Being able to trigger a custom validation script whenever a user commits a record, for example, will save hours of coding work and make FileMaker databases far more user-friendly. And that's just the beginning.

Script Triggers are huge. Way to go FileMaker! Finally!!!!!
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbyx View Post

Generally speaking, I find FileMaker upgrades to be a total rip-off, save the jump to version 7. They introduce a few nice new features, then charge more than 50% to upgrade. Improvements are modest at best, yet users pay again and again and again.

This time around, however, I think FileMaker has delivered a very worthwhile upgrade. Script Triggers are almost worth buying the program again at full price. I've spent so much time writing scripted data entry solutions because users can't or won't enter all of the relevant information correctly. While FileMaker includes some validation capability, the validation UI is lousy from an end-user perspective. Being able to trigger a custom validation script whenever a user commits a record, for example, will save hours of coding work and make FileMaker databases far more user-friendly. And that's just the beginning.

Script Triggers are huge. Way to go FileMaker! Finally!!!!!

Yeah it's definitely a very good feature. I was asked to provide a functionality that checked whether a certain value entered into a certain field was a duplicate value already present in the database and script triggers were just the thing that was missing in 9.
post #30 of 32
ill buy it when they decided to add a feature that lets you export it to a stand alone desktop application
post #31 of 32
You think Filemaker Inc. is going to give people a reason not to buy copies of Filemaker?

This isn't Keynote or PowerPoint. Very few people get a copy of a Filemaker database strictly for viewing.
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post #32 of 32
It's been a few days. Does anybody have any thoughts on the trial version?

Even though FMP10 still lacks the ability to link to AddressBook and iCal, how hard will it be to build an ACT clone? Sales Management is one field where the Mac lacks a really powerful solution.
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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