FileMaker 13 launches with browser-based support via HTML5, new tools for iPhone & iPad

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  • Reply 21 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    I can't find it on their website if they did. But they still have 30 day trials, so check it out.



    One thing they still didn't get right:







    It's 2013 for crying out loud; I shouldn't have to deal with hooking up to iTunes, copy pasting stuff in order for it to be on my iPhone. This is Microsoft-stupidity. I want my data synched across all devices, OTA, with iCloud. In the spirit of Jeremy Clarkson: "How hard can it be?"



    Bento synced, but you needed to be connected to the same WiFi network and have the app open on both devices.



    edit: typo. And this:



    "Upload solutions created with FileMaker Pro to FileMaker Server or email to your iPad and iPhone for use in FileMaker Go." That is so 1995

    That's not the only way to use FileMaker databases; there are several, and none of these require your using iTunes:

     

    1. Email the database to yourself or someone else; when it arrives in the email, a simple tap on it will prompt you to open it in FileMaker Go.

    2. Open the database while it's being hosted on FileMaker Server anywhere in the world.

    3. Put the database in Dropbox.

     

     

    Where is this "copy-pasting"? The whole idea of a well-designed system is to have the data in ONE place.

  • Reply 22 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zaba View Post



    It's still way overpriced. They should have a developer app and a client app, the client app could be the same but with feature lockdown. Most small businesses are put off by the deployment costs when they have to purchase full versions for client machines. It's a really excellent app that needs to be priced and structured better.

    Look on FileMaker's site--there ARE two different versions of FileMaker Client.



    If your business isn't worth a $200 investment for FileMaker Pro, you probably need to look into a different line of work. How is it that people can expect to run a successful business on $25 software?



    Is MS Word cheap? No. How about Powerpoint, Excel, and so on and so on? 



    No. Professional-level powerful software is expensive to develop and support, and FileMaker Pro is no exception.



    If you look into FileMaker Pro 13, you'll find that it's extremely reasonable; you can now pay a monthly fee for FileMaker Server (which used to be in the $1000 range for FM Server and $1800 for FM Server Advanced) of $29, and run FM Server on a machine.

     

    Then, you can buy connections for $5/month each, and use these connections to connect to the server and the databases there. One copy of FM Pro for a developer (or hire a consultant) and you have a really cheap solution:

     

    $29/month - server

    $25/month - 5 users

     

    $54/month for FM Server and all its power, plus the ability for 5 users to connect either with FM Go (which is free) or a browser using the new WebDirect, which looks exactly like the database.



    How is this too expensive?

  • Reply 23 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

     

     

    I work for a technology company that implements enterprise solutions and we frequently have to integrate FileMaker databases.   The biggest problem we see is that so many of these FileMaker databases were written by  amateurs who had no idea how to design a database and they're a total mess (not technically, but intellectually).    FileMaker is easy to use, but it doesn't force one to use standard database design principles.     I usually refer to these databases as "ransom notes".     They're frequently so poorly designed and the cost to convert them is so high that we wind up recommending that the client re-key the data into our database.  


    That's the paradox with FileMaker; it's easy to slap together a poorly-designed database, which users then try to have patched so that they work properly.

     

    At the same time, extremely complex systems can be written that manage large corporations; I have a system in place that runs 2 museums, from ticketing to giftshop, purchase orders, invoicing, supplies, group scheduling, event booking, and much more. 



    FileMaker 13 ships with some excellent templates that can be used right away; other things: FileMaker works with ODBC, can deal with SQL data sources, is completely cross-platform, has the same look and feel on both WIndows and Mac (an important distinction when working with large companies still mired in Windows), can power complex web applications (my website has one on it for the blog, in fact); I've written dozens of web apps that are powered by FileMaker--for ticket purchases, shopping carts, registration sites, and much more.

  • Reply 24 of 46

    Longterm...can you please message me?

    I have some filemaker questions...please.

  • Reply 25 of 46
    Originally Posted by bonovox View Post

    Longterm...can you please message me?

    I have some filemaker questions...please.


     

    If you want to continue your conversation beyond that first message, give him your e-mail address. The number of PMs you can send is tied to your post count, and you’ll be blocked from sending more unless you post here some more.

  • Reply 26 of 46
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,789member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by longterm View Post

     

    That's the paradox with FileMaker; it's easy to slap together a poorly-designed database, which users then try to have patched so that they work properly.

     

    At the same time, extremely complex systems can be written that manage large corporations; I have a system in place that runs 2 museums, from ticketing to giftshop, purchase orders, invoicing, supplies, group scheduling, event booking, and much more. 



    FileMaker 13 ships with some excellent templates that can be used right away; other things: FileMaker works with ODBC, can deal with SQL data sources, is completely cross-platform, has the same look and feel on both WIndows and Mac (an important distinction when working with large companies still mired in Windows), can power complex web applications (my website has one on it for the blog, in fact); I've written dozens of web apps that are powered by FileMaker--for ticket purchases, shopping carts, registration sites, and much more.


     

    Absolutely. I'm likely moving my invoicing to a full fledged accounting app for 2014, but I've used Filemaker for invoicing and contact management for much of the last two decades. It's a great and powerful app.

     

    As regulars will know, my only big problem with Filemaker is the lack of integration with Contacts and Calendar.

  • Reply 27 of 46

    Tallest...thanks for th einfo...new here and didn't know that.

     

    [email protected]

  • Reply 28 of 46
  • Reply 29 of 46
    zoetmb wrote: »
    They're frequently so poorly designed and the cost to convert them is so high that we wind up recommending that the client re-key the data into our database.

    Can't imagine they stay being your clients. Who in the hell tells them to 're-enter the data' into this new fantastic DB we build for you? Darn, no import tool whatsoever?
    longterm wrote: »
    1. Email the database to yourself or someone else; when it arrives in the email, a simple tap on it will prompt you to open it in FileMaker Go.
    2. Open the database while it's being hosted on FileMaker Server anywhere in the world.
    3. Put the database in Dropbox.

    1. That'll be a static, stand-alone DB then. And there's a size limit in the iPhone. And hat isn't a solution, it's a workaround. Whatever changes you made won't be seen by others who use the DB on the server.
    2. Right, for which you'll need internet access. What about a single-user DB situation, wanting to make changes on their iPhone, or iPad, or Mac, or PC? Have it synched the next time you have internet or LAN access. This is no more complicated that say, Notes being synced across all devices.
    3. Viable option. That might work; I believe DB Dropbox can be accessed off-line as well. Thanks, I'll try that.
    Where is this "copy-pasting"? The whole idea of a well-designed system is to have the data in ONE place.

    Precisely, which is why you don't want to email it to yourself; it'll become a read-only option.
  • Reply 30 of 46
    ipenipen Posts: 410member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by longterm View Post

     

    Look on FileMaker's site--there ARE two different versions of FileMaker Client.



    If your business isn't worth a $200 investment for FileMaker Pro, you probably need to look into a different line of work. How is it that people can expect to run a successful business on $25 software?



    Is MS Word cheap? No. How about Powerpoint, Excel, and so on and so on? 



    No. Professional-level powerful software is expensive to develop and support, and FileMaker Pro is no exception.



    If you look into FileMaker Pro 13, you'll find that it's extremely reasonable; you can now pay a monthly fee for FileMaker Server (which used to be in the $1000 range for FM Server and $1800 for FM Server Advanced) of $29, and run FM Server on a machine.

     

    Then, you can buy connections for $5/month each, and use these connections to connect to the server and the databases there. One copy of FM Pro for a developer (or hire a consultant) and you have a really cheap solution:

     

    $29/month - server

    $25/month - 5 users

     

    $54/month for FM Server and all its power, plus the ability for 5 users to connect either with FM Go (which is free) or a browser using the new WebDirect, which looks exactly like the database.



    How is this too expensive?


     

    Open source ones are free.   Yes, use the popular ones which have excellent online forums and resources for support.  

  • Reply 31 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    Can't imagine they stay being your clients. Who in the hell tells them to 're-enter the data' into this new fantastic DB we build for you? Darn, no import tool whatsoever?




    1. That'll be a static, stand-alone DB then. And there's a size limit in the iPhone. And hat isn't a solution, it's a workaround. Whatever changes you made won't be seen by others who use the DB on the server.

    2. Right, for which you'll need internet access. What about a single-user DB situation, wanting to make changes on their iPhone, or iPad, or Mac, or PC? Have it synched the next time you have internet or LAN access. This is no more complicated that say, Notes being synced across all devices.

    3. Viable option. That might work; I believe DB Dropbox can be accessed off-line as well. Thanks, I'll try that.

    Precisely, which is why you don't want to email it to yourself; it'll become a read-only option.

    FIleMaker imports from CSV, Excel, Bento, tab-delimited; it can also pull from ODBC and SQL data sources.

     

    1. No, there isn't a size limit in the iPhone, other than the amount of storage space you have. Some people use solutions that are single-user, and in this instance it works great to have a FM database locally stored on an iOS device.

     

    You can have the database hosted on FileMaker Server, which is a smart way to go. Not a workaround. This is what most of my clients choose; however, with the sync methods already available, the latest thinking is to use the database locally (which will always be faster than connecting--plus, some people might not always have reliable Internet connections on their iOS devices), and then using a sync method (360 Works makes one, as does Seedcode--both are excellent), you can sync whenever you're at a place with good Internet. This works really well for lots of situations.

     

    2. There are lots of sync solutions for FileMaker; several 3rd-party companies have stepped up with some amazing methods (see above).

     

    Emailing to oneself doesn't make it read-only; it's a method for getting the database onto an iOS device very easily. 

     

    You can also have the database up on the web somewhere and load it by clicking the link, which pulls the DB down to the iOS device, at which point a prompt alerts you to store it or open it in FileMaker Go.

  • Reply 32 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ipen View Post

     

     

    Open source ones are free.   Yes, use the popular ones which have excellent online forums and resources for support.  


    You get what you pay for.

     

    Name a single open-source database platform that does these things:

     

    a) is cross-platform;

    b) talks to a wide variety of data sources, including ODBC and SQL sources;

    c) imports from lots of formats;

    d) exports likewise;

    e) has the ability to be configured to meet a user's needs;

    f) has a decent UI.

     

    MySQL is free, but it has no UI; it's an excellent database for some things, but for clients who need a good front end, it's not a great choice.

     

    MS Notepad comes free with Windows; that doesn't make it useful for more than casual text storage.

  • Reply 33 of 46
    I have one word - Bento - brings me back to the good old days of Claris - they develop and market a product for years - literally years - as a user you invest a ton of time into using it - and then one day they just drop it. Sorry but Bento was the last Filemaker product I'll ever buy. Adobe and Autodesk are also on the "there must be a better way" list.
  • Reply 34 of 46
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    longterm wrote: »
    FIleMaker imports from CSV, Excel, Bento, tab-delimited; it can also pull from ODBC and SQL data sources.

    Indeed, hence why I don't understand why he tells his clients to re-enter the data into the newly created FM DB.
    1. No, there isn't a size limit in the iPhone, other than the amount of storage space you have. Some people use solutions that are single-user, and in this instance it works great to have a FM database locally stored on an iOS device.

    There is, I think it's 25MB or 50MB per email, I forgot.

    Sure, accessing is great, but I also want any changes synced back to the server once connected.

    You can have the database hosted on FileMaker Server, which is a smart way to go. Not a workaround. This is what most of my clients choose; however, with the sync methods already available, the latest thinking is to use the database locally (which will always be faster than connecting--plus, some people might not always have reliable Internet connections on their iOS devices), and then using a sync method (360 Works makes one, as does Seedcode--both are excellent), you can sync whenever you're at a place with good Internet. This works really well for lots of situations.

    So no native syncing from FM themselves? Bento used to do that, but was (or is being) EOL'd. Therefore I think this is a workaround, though putting your DB's on a server is of course the way to go.

    Anyway, big thanks for these 3rd party tips!
  • Reply 35 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    Indeed, hence why I don't understand why he tells his clients to re-enter the data into the newly created FM DB.

    There is, I think it's 25MB or 50MB per email, I forgot.



    Sure, accessing is great, but I also want any changes synced back to the server once connected.

    So no native syncing from FM themselves? Bento used to do that, but was (or is being) EOL'd. Therefore I think this is a workaround, though putting your DB's on a server is of course the way to go.



    Anyway, big thanks for these 3rd party tips!

    No, FileMaker doesn't have any native sync method, but the 2 I mentioned (from Seedcode and from 360 Works) are excellent. They came about after an unconference where about 100 of us developers kicked around the best way to deal with data syncing on handhelds when connectivity can be an issue (like in a hotel with bad wifi, for example). Both are super slick and fully-developed, and easy to integrate into existing solutions.

     

    Bento was EOLed because it just didn't provide enough revenue; in addition, FileMaker has become an excellent tool for iOS devices, and with the templates that are provided, can do a lot of what people used in Bento. I never used Bento much, but it did seem like a decent low-end solution, but it all comes down to revenue--if a company can't pay its employees, development suffers, innovation stops, the platform dies.

     

    Check out http://www.seedcode.com; John Sindelar is a first-class FileMaker developer and has a free calendar for FileMaker that integrates with Google Calendar, does a lot more as well. His sync solution is great.

     

    360 Works (http://www.360works.com) makes lots of things, including a new sync solution that is really great; their card-processing plugin is the FileMaker standard too, is what we use in our company as well.



    WorldSync (http://www.worldsync.com) also has a new sync solution, but I don't know much about it yet.

  • Reply 36 of 46
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    longterm wrote: »
    ^ post

    Thanks much for al the additional 3rd party info and experience. I will look at these options one by one, try them out.

    Fully agree and understand the Bento 'situation'. Besides, it was way too limited for my needs. I used to develop DB's, but it was years ago. Just last week I was asked to develop a DB for a Windows user and if nothing changed, I can create and test it all on my Mac and simply copy it to their Windows environment and it all works.

    I most certainly look forward to all the enhancements that were added. And the latest version looks incredibly enticing.
  • Reply 37 of 46
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,789member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by adeen View Post



    I have one word - Bento - brings me back to the good old days of Claris - they develop and market a product for years - literally years - as a user you invest a ton of time into using it - and then one day they just drop it. Sorry but Bento was the last Filemaker product I'll ever buy. Adobe and Autodesk are also on the "there must be a better way" list.

     

    Okay, that's really funny, but a bit one-sided.

     

    I've advocated that Filemaker create Project Management and CRM products based on Filemaker, but the former Claris had gone hogwild in the old days creating CAD, Animation, Web development, Email, Calendar and Form Design software. And I'm guessing each of those had a distinctly different codebase.

     

    Most of those niches were upended (multiple times) by the web, and in the dark days when Apple's future was...um...'beleaguered', difficult decisions had to be made. I miss HomePage and Organizer too. But they did the right thing. They couldn't keep all that going.

     

    The most hilarious part was when the ClarisWorks team lost faith and decamped for BeOS, which turned out to be an even worse place to go.

  • Reply 38 of 46
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,789member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by longterm View Post

     

    No, FileMaker doesn't have any native sync method, but the 2 I mentioned (from Seedcode and from 360 Works) are excellent. They came about after an unconference where about 100 of us developers kicked around the best way to deal with data syncing on handhelds when connectivity can be an issue (like in a hotel with bad wifi, for example). Both are super slick and fully-developed, and easy to integrate into existing solutions.


     

    This is what worries me most about Filemaker. There are ridiculously talented FM developers who can do amazing things with the software.

    There's a large user community built around the software, and by all accounts developers are friendly and open.

     

    And yet nobody can come up with an easy way to integrate OS X's Contacts and Calendar? After a decade of requests?

     

    If it hasn't happened by now, is it ever going to happen?

  • Reply 39 of 46
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

     

     

    This is what worries me most about Filemaker. There are ridiculously talented FM developers who can do amazing things with the software.

    There's a large user community built around the software, and by all accounts developers are friendly and open.

     

    And yet nobody can come up with an easy way to integrate OS X's Contacts and Calendar? After a decade of requests?

     

    If it hasn't happened by now, is it ever going to happen?


    I assume Apple's not letting them get to the contacts & calendar like they need...

     

    As to whether it's going to happen, who knows... I don't think it's Filemaker that's not trying to make it work, rather that Apple's not exposing the hooks that FileMaker would need in order to write to contacts & calendar.



    I have a plugin that I use that will write TO Contacts, but it doesn't pull from, nor does it sync; it merely writes to Contacts when I tell it to. 

  • Reply 40 of 46
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,789member

    Daylite can sync with Contacts and Calendar, so the function is available to apps (which use Core Data?)

     

    If Filemaker is truly outside of Apple and focuses on the business market, surely they can break with the Apple-like secrecy and tell us whether somebody's working on this, or if they don't anticipate it being available in the future.

     

    At the very least, it would stop people like me from whining about it every year when the new upgrade comes out.

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