FileMaker 19, a very powerful tool for creating cross-platform apps

At Faq-mac we have regularly echoed new versions of FileMaker, year after year. As a subsidiary of Apple, it is striking that it has maintained both its commercial and income statement independence.

This is something that could be understood when Apple was not only a niche company but its future seemed anything but certain. However, in these times, the strength of the Apple brand is several kilotons more powerful than that of Claris. And yet, Cupertino’s tentacles have let this company follow its own designs, trusting that they knew their customers better than Apple’s globalization could bring (Apple has already taken care of killing Bento to avoid turncoats).

Additionally, FileMaker Pro 19 is the last time the Claris database will be revamped in major annual releases.

In this way, without any change in the way FileMaker Pro works, Claris has progressively eliminated the expression “database” to replace it with “app”, something that can be confusing for both the casual user and the user. walker with conventional app development in mind (for iOS for example).

However, the need to move to an “online” world, with applications that are always accessible and with the ability to provide live updates as they occur, make this semantic and functional change inevitable, or they run the risk of being stuck in the past .

In that sense, if you are like us, and our use of FileMaker is reduced to using it for invoicing, ignoring the enormous powers that the program offers, opening FileMaker 19 is not going to be any kind of shock. It works as usual, with everything you like and everything you wish would change. You are not in luck. The news is based on expanding its operation to attract more powerful users, not on reviewing things that have been twenty years old and cry out for a review.

The FileMaker Pro user has used it to sell management solutions to clients, which could be used on both Macs and PCs (yes, FileMaker has a PC version in parity with its Mac version), but now you can also make the application (the introduction, management and manipulation of data, to understand us) can also be done on iPads, without the need to use any additional software.

Although FileMaker Pro 19 does not incorporate any great new features (if we ignore the growing number of plugins and languages ​​that can be injected to work with them), it is another step in relocating the Claris nomenclature in the new stage.

I don’t think anyone will be surprised if we say that one of FileMaker’s great strengths is the huge (and we should capitalize it: HUGE) community of developers working to expand, fix, and delve into the possibilities this software offers.

Filemaker 19

Although it is still called FileMaker, in order not to alienate the user base, the reality is that the product is rapidly evolving towards a platform for software development. Of course it is still an ultra-powerful relational database management (RDBMS) application but it is in the inclusion of new worlds that Claris is focusing its efforts.

With FileMaker you can create applications for the home (management of audiovisual files, such as record labels, video graphics, library, etc.) for groups (work, sports, etc.) small and medium-sized companies, for public administrations, electronic commerce, museums , accounting, etc. It can be used for contact management, libraries, inventory management, customer relations, event planning, research, …) practically if you can name the needs you have, you can create a database with FileMaker that solves all of them, with the robustness and reliability that has made them remain the benchmark application for so many years.

Data in FileMaker can be entered, edited, retrieved, displayed, shared, broadcast … all with user role management, which allow each one appropriate access to the use they need to make of them.

If you want to go deeper into FileMaker, you can follow FileMaker Magazine:

If you are a veteran user, but with modest needs (again, like us) of FileMaker but the need to update the operating systems is pushing you to renew your license, you should know that the file format that FileMaker 19 uses can open files of FMP 12, and the platform supports up to version 17.

New Features in FileMaker Pro 19

The big news in this version of FileMaker is the integration with Javascript. Although FileMaker already has a very powerful tool for scripting (which has allowed developers of specific and custom solutions to abound), it now allows calls to native Javascript functions, in the same way that it allows Javascript code to call scripts FileMaker.

Using the Data API that was introduced in FileMaker Pro 16, there is a new script in FileMaker that achieves this integration. The data in an FMP table can be retrieved in JSON format, increasing JavaScript integration.

This means that the hundreds and hundreds of JavaScript routines that are already created can be used in apps created by FileMaker. And at the same time, the output of FileMaker apps can be displayed and you can interact with it in your internet browser.

Another novelty of this version of FileMaker is the ability to use dashboards Kanban, photo galleries, timelines and progress bars, all using a drag-and-drop interface. If you need something specific we recommend that you visit Claris Marketplace where you can find a huge number of integrated tools for all kinds of solutions.

FileMaker 19 can read NFC tags (Near Field Communication) immediately to code inventory directly in the warehouse and then modify it in the tables. Since NFC tags can contain just about anything, there are actually few limits to the interfaces that can be built to bring the physical world into FileMaker apps.

FileMaker 19 also incorporates the support for Apple’s Core ML technology, the API to integrate machine learning to the apps created with the application. This can be used for image recognition, object detection, and things like text prediction.

There are also other less relevant improvements, but which will surely make life easier for developers, such as Siri shortcuts to search and run scripts using voice, copy and paste styles between buttons, formatting fields in scientific notation, etc. .

FileMaker 19 pricing

Claris is also moving towards the subscription model (Software As A Service – SAAS). This means that there will no longer be major releases of the application where the news is concentrated, but that the news will become visible as they are ready. It would be desirable if the app update did not automatically launch the opening of a page in the browser – although at least now the download is automatic, instead of having to manually download the updates. Here are the prices in detail.

You also have the Claris Academy to train you, if you want to advance in the knowledge of the power of the application.

Faq-Mac and Vida Digital team up to show how easy it is to use Filemaker

Faq-mac and Digital Life, a FileMaker specialist developer have come together to periodically publish short videos on how to do things with FileMaker, in order to encourage their use and knowledge.

We hope you like them and that they start a conversation about how to use FileMaker in a real life environment, with real cases.

Stay tuned!