FileMaker 16 brings enhancements to Mac & iOS databases

Posted:
in Mac Software
Apple-owned FileMaker on Tuesday launched FileMaker 16, the latest edition of its database platform, including updates for Macs, iPhones, and iPads.




When building databases on a Mac, FileMaker users now have access to features such as a Layout Objects window, which makes it easier to locate items or edit them individually without ungrouping a set. "Cards," meanwhile, are windows that can be made to appear automatically and prompt a choice before people continue on.

PDFs can meanwhile be printed through FileMaker WebDirect, and generated automatically from reports and other information via FileMaker Server.

Databases produced for FileMaker Go on iOS can now use animations and transitions, and offer signature capture in both fullscreen and pop-up windows. Workflows can be set to trigger based on the location of an iOS device, whether a geofence or a nearby iBeacon, and custom paper sizes can be enabled for printing.

FileMaker is also offering improved cURL and JSON integration, and support for external script steps in the FileMaker Plug-in SDK. Security-wise, OAuth 2.0 has been introduced for authenticating with Amazon, Google, and Microsoft accounts.

The standard version of FileMaker Pro 16 costs $329 for an individual, while Advanced is $549. Teams of five or more people must normally turn to a subscription costing at least $888 per year -- perpetual licenses start at $2,664 for groups, but don't include upgrades.

FileMaker Go is a free download for devices with iOS 10.2 or later but can only run existing databases made with FileMaker Pro.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,399member
    Used FileMaker for years until they screwed our business by failing to provide adequate database migration tools for previous versions of FileMaker. Finally dumped them in favor of a less involved solution.
    palomine
  • Reply 2 of 29
    palominepalomine Posts: 362member
    Database software is absolutely CRITICAL for business. I hope they are improving the advanced side of this app. Companies run Windows databases because FileMaker hasn't been adequate. Last time I looked it was still hard to do a basic table layout and joins. Apple could jump into the enterprise right now if this software is up to the task. The same goes for the other usual office applications. Maybe IBM will fill the gap?
  • Reply 3 of 29
    dee_deedee_dee Posts: 19member
    FileMaker is absolute garbage.
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 29
    I love FileMaker! :-) Useful for so many things and FileMaker Go on iOS is nothing short of brilliant :-) This new release has loads of great stuff in it....
    edited May 2017 macplusplus
  • Reply 5 of 29
    tomahawktomahawk Posts: 152member
    palomine said:
    Database software is absolutely CRITICAL for business. I hope they are improving the advanced side of this app. Companies run Windows databases because FileMaker hasn't been adequate. Last time I looked it was still hard to do a basic table layout and joins. Apple could jump into the enterprise right now if this software is up to the task. The same goes for the other usual office applications. Maybe IBM will fill the gap?
    Think they added Joins and table layout quite some time ago...
    macplusplus
  • Reply 6 of 29
    rbparkerrbparker Posts: 7member
    dee_dee said:
    FileMaker is absolute garbage.
    That's why FileMaker (owned by Apple, the largest company in the world) has been profitable for 73+ quarters...

    I make a living off of FileMaker and the changes in 16 (and 15 and 14), the new features they offer for mobility (iPad and iPhone via FileMaker Go) and the ability to web-enable any of my solutions via Filemaker WebDirect are flat-out amazing. No other platform offers this level of options, control and customization. 

    I can only assume the person posting above is/was a Microsoft Access programmer...

    :-)
    macpluspluspscooter63chia
  • Reply 7 of 29
    ben20ben20 Posts: 120member
    The hosting options on Amazon AWS cloud are very attractive, to bad they don't use iCloud yet
  • Reply 8 of 29
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    Used FileMaker for years until they screwed our business by failing to provide adequate database migration tools for previous versions of FileMaker. Finally dumped them in favor of a less involved solution.
    Your databases were wrongly designed.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    palomine said:
    Database software is absolutely CRITICAL for business. I hope they are improving the advanced side of this app. Companies run Windows databases because FileMaker hasn't been adequate. Last time I looked it was still hard to do a basic table layout and joins. Apple could jump into the enterprise right now if this software is up to the task. The same goes for the other usual office applications. Maybe IBM will fill the gap?
    You didn't understand the relational data model.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member

    ben20 said:
    The hosting options on Amazon AWS cloud are very attractive, to bad they don't use iCloud yet
    They use iCloud but not in the sense you mention. File transfer via iCloud (not record access) is possible between Filemaker Go on iOS and Filemaker Pro on macOS.
  • Reply 11 of 29
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,523member
    palomine said:
    Database software is absolutely CRITICAL for business. I hope they are improving the advanced side of this app. Companies run Windows databases because FileMaker hasn't been adequate. Last time I looked it was still hard to do a basic table layout and joins. Apple could jump into the enterprise right now if this software is up to the task. The same goes for the other usual office applications. Maybe IBM will fill the gap?
    I used the original version of this app called NutShell (before Apple bought it).  It was the first db app that exploited the Mac's GUI.  You could graphically design your db structure and the relationships -- quite the thing in it's day.

    I don't think IBM is interested in providing locally-run db solutions -- rather, local clients to their cloud db solutions -- especially NoSQL dbs.

    Apple is in an interesting  position.  

    In 2015 they acquired FoundationDB -- a performant, flexible, horizontally scalable, reliable, ACID, transactional db.  It is structured as layers above an ordered, key/value store.  This concept allows the user to implement one or more SQL or NoSQL Layers without sacrificing the advantages of the base foundation.  FoundationDB included an SQL layer implementation with the base product. (The latest version of  3rd-party SQLite  db is implemented using an ordered, key/value store.)

    Likely, Apple acquired FoundationDB for internal use:  ApplePay;  iTunes store; App Store;  iCloud...

    But they could offer a Cloud (iCloud or IBM Cloud) db service based on FoundationDB with iOS, macOS, tvOS, Window, Linux, even browser clients.

    Some interesting tidbits might be related:
    1. APFS -- Apple's new File system
    2. Swift Open Source
    3. Swift used to write both the server-side and client-side parts of solutions (Apple/IBM)
    4. Ability to run/test both the server-side and client-side parts locally, on the same device.

    Here's a demo of FoundationDB in action:


    macpluspluspalominetdknoxpscooter63
  • Reply 12 of 29
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,791member
    dick applebaum said:
    Likely, Apple acquired FoundationDB for internal use:
    Foundation is a dead end. Unless it is available to developers it will go no where. Webobjects Deux all over again.
  • Reply 13 of 29
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,399member
    Used FileMaker for years until they screwed our business by failing to provide adequate database migration tools for previous versions of FileMaker. Finally dumped them in favor of a less involved solution.
    Your databases were wrongly designed.
    Thanks for the help, jackass.
    edited May 2017 palomine
  • Reply 14 of 29
    rbparkerrbparker Posts: 7member
    "...failing to provide adequate database migration tools for previous versions of FileMaker."???

    I've been developing in Filemaker since v2.1 (circa 1995ish) and can tell you that every version of FileMaker can import previous versions of FileMaker and convert to the then "current" file format of FileMaker. 

    This new v16 uses the exact SAME file format as 15, 14, 13 and 12. Prior to that there were a couple other file formats (not every new version uses one) and usually each version of FileMaker can import 2 or 3 earlier versions per my statement above. They've also been known to make available utilities to assist in file conversion as well. Conversion is as simple as just opening an old file with the newest version of FileMaker! A couple of clicks and it's done!

    Given all this, your statement literally makes no sense. The built in facilities would automatically import absolutely EVERY field in EVERY table as well as EVERY layout in your file(s). It would also import EVERY script in every file. Over time, some commands/features may have been deprecated/removed but that's pretty much assumed for every piece of software. Older versions of FileMaker are also unable to run on newer OS's but again this is not unusual.

    From my perspective FileMaker's actually done MORE than most companies by building into EVERY Mac/PC version the ability to convert old databases to new ones.

    Given all this, I'd love to know what you mean by your statement (quoted above). Exactly WHAT could you not migrate?
    tdknoxmacplusplusrobbyxchia
  • Reply 15 of 29
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,523member
    volcan said:
    dick applebaum said:
    Likely, Apple acquired FoundationDB for internal use:
    Foundation is a dead end. Unless it is available to developers it will go no where. Webobjects Deux all over again.

    Mmm... Mas o menos!

    I really, really hope that Apple makes FoundationDB available to developers, but even if it doesn't there are huge potential gains for internal use only.  It doesn't need wide acceptance to go somewhere -- give Apple a significant advantage in its services offerings:

    First: Performance -- a 14 x improvement over Netflix' record performance:

    https://thenewstack.io/databases-high-volume-transactions-scale-part-two/ 

    FoundationDB has released a new version of their database product, aimed at enabling a new generation of Internet of Things and device-driven interactive applications to be built that keeps a single view of a massive distributed database while allowing a constant stream of read and writes to the data.

    “One of the hardest things to scale is write transactions,” says Dave Rosenthal, CEO and Founder of FoundationDB, who has been working on version three of the database from for the past year. “Scaling transactions with lots of writes happening all at the same time is difficult: in the past, we have been able to manage 300-400,000 random writes to the database every second. That’s a pretty good number, but there have been some businesses pushing bigger numbers than that.”

    Rosenthal cites a recent Netflix post that last year stood out as the industry’s best practice. In the documented test, Netflix were able to run Cassandra at scale on a thousand core cluster that maintained 1.1 million writes per second.

    “That was one of the really cool benchmarks that caused a lot of people to stand up,” says Rosenthal. “It was about three times faster than our 2.0 product.”

    According to Rosenthal, many doubted FoundationDB’s ability to take on that level of transactional capacity, especially given FoundationDB’s architecture which is built on a single node.

    foundationDB transactional writes per second

    With the announcement of Version Three, FoundationDB launched their new transactional processing engine: “Thas been a massive project for us. It is based on a totally new scalable design. The benchmark we are showing is running 14.4 million transactions per second, so that is an order of magnitude faster than the Netflix test.”

    To enable this sort of transaction processing, FoundationDB has also released an update to its own language — Flow 2 — that is a blend of C++ and Erlang. Flow 2 provides some new batch and scale algorithms that work with the transactional processing engine to reduce latency and increase scalability.


    I suspect that Apple will rewrite FoundationDB in Swift and enhance Swift to exploit the needed FoundationDB constructs.


    Second: Replacing Cassandra

    http://www.businessinsider.com/why-apple-bought-foundationdb-2015-3

    "Apple bought Foundation not to resell the database, but for internal use," Peter Goldmacher, vice president of development of Aerospike, another noSQL database, tells us. (Prior to joining Aerospike, Goldmacher worked at MongoDB and prior to that, he was a Wall Street analyst covering databases.)

    Word in Goldmacher's circles is that Apple will be "replacing" its huge Cassandra noSQL implementation with FoundationDB. Apple uses Cassandra for "iMessage, iTunes passwords, a bunch of stuff," he says.

    In fact, Apple is touted as having one of the largest production deployments of Cassandra of all, with over 75,000 nodes storing over 10 petabytes of data. Cassandra is a free and open source database with a commercial version offered by DataStax



    Third: New Opportunities

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/foundationdb-extends-performance-scalability-version-140000046.html

    • IoT market expansion -- 3.0 expands FoundationDB's market opportunity to support a new realm of applications for the rising Internet of Things market. IoT applications are often write-intensive, gathering dozens or hundreds of data points per minute from millions of devices. Version 3.0 makes the power of a multi-model, ACID transactional database available to a new set of connected-device applications that are generating data at previously unheard of speed.



    But, I really, really hope that Apple makes FoundationDB available to developers!  If they do, Apple could offer an upgraded FileMaker as a front end -- likely, it would need a [sexy] new name, tho.
    edited May 2017 pscooter63
  • Reply 16 of 29
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,523member

    Ha!

    This thread got me thinking about my first job using a database -- it resided on a stack of punched cards.  Below is an example of sorting the database by the content of a certain field, e.g. Employee Last Name.




    If the field was designed to contain a Name of up 25 characters -- then 25 columns of the punched card were set aside for the Name Field.  


    And... And... To sort the database by Name, you had to repeat the above process once for each column, last to first!  That means 50 times - as you had to sort twice for each alphabetic column.

    A typical sort included Div, Dept, Last Name, First Name -- a total of ~100 passes through the sorter.

    tallest skilpscooter63
  • Reply 17 of 29
    robbyxrobbyx Posts: 479member
    palomine said:
    Database software is absolutely CRITICAL for business. I hope they are improving the advanced side of this app. Companies run Windows databases because FileMaker hasn't been adequate. Last time I looked it was still hard to do a basic table layout and joins. Apple could jump into the enterprise right now if this software is up to the task. The same goes for the other usual office applications. Maybe IBM will fill the gap?
    I'm not saying this to be a jerk, but you clearly don't understand Filemaker.  Filemaker is extremely popular on Windows.  Table layouts are standard and joins are effortless.  When was the last time you used Filemaker?  I'd suggest downloading the trial and giving it a spin.  It's every bit as powerful as Access and far easier from a development standpoint, not to mention cross-platform, supports iOS beautifully, and allows you to deploy your custom app on the web with a single click. I've been working with it since version 2.
    edited May 2017 macplusplusben20
  • Reply 18 of 29
    robbyxrobbyx Posts: 479member
    Used FileMaker for years until they screwed our business by failing to provide adequate database migration tools for previous versions of FileMaker. Finally dumped them in favor of a less involved solution.
    Your databases were wrongly designed.
    Thanks for the help, jackass.
    I've been working with Filemaker since version 2 and have never had any serious issues moving from one version to the next.  The file format changed in version 7, when they introduced the ability to have multiple tables in a single file, then again in version 11.  If you waited a very long time to update your files, you might have run into problems.  I can't remember the exact timeline, but they eventually dropped support for pre-7 files, but I'm pretty sure that came in version 11 or 12.  So yes, if you were running Filemaker 5 and tried to upgrade your files to Filemaker 13, you were out of luck.  But I think it's completely wrong to say that Filemaker failed to provide adequate migration tools.  They supported pre-7 files for a very long time.
    macpluspluschia
  • Reply 19 of 29
    jdwjdw Posts: 785member
    rbparker said:
    I make a living off of FileMaker... my solutions via Filemaker WebDirect are flat-out amazing. No other platform offers this level of options, control and customization. 
    I too have been using FileMaker for years in business, but those "amazing solutions" provided by WebDirect are too expensive.  That's why we still host FM Pro 12 databases on MacUSA (the most economically priced FMP web hosting available) so we can continue using affordable solutions like Instant Web Publishing (IWP).  For example, we have numerous dealers who can login and access vehicle wiring information, text and photos and illustrations, serial number information on products, etc. -- none of whom have any need to edit or add data to our database.  Why use FMP when SQL is available?  With FMP, no programming is required.  It's drop-dead easy.  That's why.

    Sure WebDirect is more sophisticated than IWP, but it requires an ongoing and never-ending cost commitment (high-priced concurrent connections).  With IWP, we are stuck with older versions of FileMaker, but at least we don't get charged anything other than the MacUSA fees for hosting our databases on the web.  WebDirect may be great for businesses that need to allow database editing from around the globe, but that isn't what we need.  Sadly, if we move to newer versions of FMP, there is not solution that gives us the same functionality we have now for the same price (which is the price of FMP -- no ongoing "connection fees").
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 20 of 29
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    A typical sort included Div, Dept, Last Name, First Name -- a total of ~100 passes through the sorter.
    Makes me wonder if the whole process was really more efficient…
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