Filemaker Pro 13 continues to dominate on OS X and iOS

Filemaker Pro 13 continues to dominate on OS X and iOS

Summary: FileMaker 13 contains over 50 new features and continues its reign as the dominate database solution for the Apple platform.

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TOPICS: Apple
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(Image: FileMaker Inc.)

FileMaker Pro 13 ($329, $179/upgrade)—the next major release of the most popular database software for OS X and iOS—adds 50 new features that make it a worthwhile upgrade for existing owners and worthy of consideration if you need to build, maintain, or publish a database on the Apple platform. 

New features in FileMaker Pro 13 include enhanced design and development tools such as custom themes, styles, a field picker, and the ability to control object visibility. If you're just getting started with FileMaker development, you'll appreciate its improved starter solutions that allow you to get up and running quickly. In the span of about an hour, I used the out-of-box inventory template to create a product database from an Excel file containing 27,000 rows, and a contact database out of a 6,000 record CSV file. It'd be nice if FileMaker was better able to match fields on import, but it's nothing that a little drag and drop couldn't fix.

If you need to access your data on mobile devices, FileMaker Pro 13 now allows you to add, edit, search, sort and report on data on the iPad and iPhone via FileMaker Go (more on that in a minute). You can also host data on FileMaker Server and share it in real-time with iPad and iPhone users. 

FileMaker Pro 13 Advanced ($540, $299/upgrade) includes everything in Pro (above) and adds a suite of advanced development and customization tools including AES 256-bit encryption, a script debugger, multiple table import, field and table replication, and a plug-in API to name a few. If you need more powerful database solutions, then you should probably check out Advanced.

FileMaker Pro 13 Server is for database developers who need to manage and share databases created using FileMaker Pro and extend them to the web. Server allows FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and FileMaker WebDirect clients to simultaneously access updated information in real-time. WebDirect is a new web technology that runs your custom business solutions directly in a web browser on a desktop or laptop with no web development skills required.

FileMaker Go 13 (free, App Store) is the companion FileMaker app that runs on both iPad and iPhone. Like its cousin on the desktop, FileMaker Go includes several starter templates designed for tasks like managing contacts, tracking assets, and creating invoices. Databases created in the desktop version of FileMaker Pro can be emailed to to an iPad or iPhone for mobile use or you can sync with FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server. Here are 50 examples of what you can do with FileMaker Go. New features in FileMaker Go 13 include bar code scanning and new iOS keyboard types.

FileMaker is the most robust database solution for both OS X and iOS, and the new features in version 13 solidify its position at the top of the heap. Whether you're building a simple asset or invoice database, or an enterprise-level solution with multiple concurrent users, FileMaker is simply the most powerful solution available on the Apple platform. 

Topic: Apple

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12 comments
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  • Wow

    That's pretty sad... The app is cool and all but, it is nowhere near fast enough to be a serious solution in high volume situations.
    slickjim
    • Neither is Access.. or LibreOffice's DB....

      Desktop DBMS software is meant to support smaller groups with a handful of users at the most. Where these programs shine are in smaller businesses needing quick, inexpensive solutions that can be developed easily by non-tech-heads.

      Tools appropriate for the job first. Not every database has thousands of users and billions of records.
      daftkey
    • sad, but also irrelevant

      A far greater percentage of recent Macs and iOS devices are running sqlLite - i.e. all of them

      And a far greater percentage of recent Macs have PostgreSQL installed. i.e. all of them

      This article is just a little O'Grady fantasy.
      Henry 3 Dogg
      • Very different programs and purposes..

        Just because I have a tea kettle and a french press doesn't mean I have no use for a Keurig coffee maker - particularly when I want a quick cup of coffee without too much hassle.

        Between you, slickjim and Rabid Howler Monkey, I have to shake my head at the lack of imagination some of the people in these forums have. I mean you really can't distinguish the difference between a SQL library (generally used as an embedded engine in applications), a SQL and Object-Relational database, and a desktop database program used for quick development of database applications?

        You can't imagine a need for a program that can build a lightweight sophisticated database, complete with user-interface (that which both PostgreSQL and sqlLite lack) with very minimal coding or database expertise required?

        Can't see the value at all in the ability to deploy a small database on a single desktop and scale to mobile devices and small workgroups, again with very little technical expertise required?

        There isn't even really a lot of crossover between any of these three applications - they are all intended for very different purposes. By suggesting that having one installed on a computer or phone makes the others irrelevant just proves you really don't know what any of these products actually *do*. Hint - not every product with the word "SQL" in its name does the same thing.

        You want to know why the control of IT projects are increasingly being taken out of the hands of programmers, engineers, and system administrators and being given to business analysts and finance managers? A lot of it can be seen in your three-line comment.

        So many of the self-proclaimed "technical elite" seem to have an idea that there is always one best solution to every problem (even without knowing what the problem is), and that the cost and time involved in a solution's development is irrelevant.
        daftkey
        • daftkey: "the lack of imagination some of the people in these forums have"

          "can't distinguish the difference between a SQL library (generally used as an embedded engine in applications), a SQL and Object-Relational database, and a desktop database program used for quick development of database applications?"

          Can't speak for the others, but I am very much aware that sqlite is a library used for an embedded database in applications. Which is why, in my post below, I stated the following:

          "As are a number of front-ends via the app stores (and, elsewhere, for OS X). ... As an embedded database, sqlite is used in Mozilla Firefox (not available for iOS) and many other applications."

          I was simply trying to state that, in addition to its use as an embedded database management system in applications (such as Mozilla Firefox), sqlite also has some traction for use in personal databases. As an example, on my GNU/Linux desktop systems I have sqlite3 and use both the sqlitebrowser and SQuirreL SQL (via the sqlite JDBC driver) front-ends to interact with the databases. I agree that it lacks the functionality to build applications with forms and reports.
          Rabid Howler Monkey
          • I read your comment differently...

            ..I took your comment as also suggesting that SQLite would be a replacement for FileMaker as a standalone DB in the same way (but a better tone) as Henry.. I apologize for including you in the mix.
            daftkey
        • No kidding

          It's like these critics have no clue what a database like FileMaker is for. I'd like to see them build a database for the iPad for gathering metadata on photos that lets you shoot a picture of the subject with the iPad for identification, and get a signature for the owner's permission (signed with a finger on screen) and preset values in multiple fields, and shoot a photo of their business card for ID purposes, and build it in an hour with Postgres or SQLite.
          ewelch
  • There is a Windows version as well...

    that is file compatible between platforms. It's the preferred database app in my business for both OSX and Windows users.
    msalzberg
  • Open source sqlite is also an option for iOS and OS X

    Sqlite is built-into iOS:

    https://developer.apple.com/technologies/ios/data-management.html

    And sqlite is available for OS X. As are a number of front-ends via the app stores (and, elsewhere, for OS X).

    As an embedded database, sqlite is used in Mozilla Firefox (not available for iOS) and many other applications.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Sqlite is not comparable with this application

      In fact I wouldn't be surprised if this application is underpinned by Sqlite. The difference is FileMaker makes it easy for non developers to define their data entities and generate forms.
      NitzMan
      • FileMaker predates sqlLite..

        Not that Apple couldn't have updated the database engine in FileMaker Pro to use sqlLite, but I suspect that it would require a major overhaul to do so.
        daftkey
  • FileMaker Pro

    I still use FileMaker Pro 4.0 V1 for my personal database use on my Windows 7 computer. It is quick and easy. I have also had it on Mac's in the past and it was great. I do not know if files can be transferred from the older pro ver to the newer filemaker go 13 or not. I think I will give it a try. Thanks for the article above.
    JALaswellSr