Category Archives: FileMaker News

FileMaker Pro 14 Update will address El Capitan Compatibility Issues

FileMaker 14 Update in the Works

FileMaker Inc. announced today that they are working on an update

FileMaker, Inc. is planning to release updates to address compatibility issues with OS X El Capitan as well as other general bug fixes. FileMaker, recommends that you wait for these updates before using FileMaker with OS X El Capitan.

Unfortunately, there is no word yet on when that update is expected to be released. I’ve so far heard mixed reviews from those using FileMaker 14 on the El Capitan Gold Master. Some have had good luck. Others warn of danger damaging files. So, I would take FileMaker Inc.’s advice and wait for this impending upgrade to FileMaker 14.

FileMaker 13 and Prior Versions of FileMaker Pro

FileMaker Inc. also had something to say about prior versions of FileMaker Pro:

FileMaker 13 and earlier versions of FileMaker have not been tested or certified with OS X El Capitan).  These products were developed and released before OS X El Capitan became available.

While these earlier versions may install and run, you may encounter installation and stability issues for which there is no resolution.

My experience on previous OS X Upgrades and FileMaker is that this is likely to be the last official word from FileMaker Inc. on these pre-14 versions of FileMaker.

I will be keeping up on this issue informally with other FileMaker consultants and developers to determine the safety of running prior versions of FileMaker under OS X 10.11 El Capitan. As I mentioned in the previous post today, it may work to run FileMaker 13 and prior as a guest under El Capitan but may never work safely running earlier versions of FileMaker under El Capitan. FileMaker Inc. won’t commit to the safety of such an undertaking.

I advise you to avoid upgrading a Mac to El Capitan if you need to run your own FileMaker files locally on that computer. Around Tokerud Consulting Group, we have Macs all the way back to one of the first Mac minis that can still run OS 9 Classic so that we can help folks who need to convert their FileMaker systems from all the way back to FileMaker II 1.0.

FileMaker 11 Receives Qualified Green Light from its Makers today

More has been revealed today (July 20 2011) about how well FileMaker 11 will play with Lion. There are limitations. We now know that a FileMaker Pro 11 compatibility update is scheduled for August. There is also an update for FileMaker Server 11 scheduled to be released in October. I wrote up as much as I could about all this on my Studio Manager site but now I'm too busy playing with Lion and reading up on it to propagate all of it to this site tonight. Just click to Studio Manager to see what I've got for you.

FileMaker 11 is Out Today and Looking Fabulous

FM11_shot_1
I've got Filemaker Pro 11 Advanced running on my Macbook Air right now
. It came out this morning and ever since I've been working to understand its new features and begin to write about them. I saw a preview at the FileMaker Developer's Conference last summer, but there's nothing like the real thing, released and usable now!

Before you get too excited, you need Leopard 10.5.7 or higher to run FileMaker 11. And Snow Leopard is recommended.

Linear Chat and CNET says FileMaker 11 is Cocoa-based on Mac. I'm still researching this, but apparently the reason FileMaker 11 looks so good on my Snow Leopard Mac today is that is Cocoa-based.

Yay! FileMaker 11 has end-user charting and, of course, developer charting as well so canned charts that show important information can be set to pop-up with a click. The charts look really good and have a lot of functionality and tweakability without scripting or head-scratching.

Layout Groups will be appreciated by just about any firm using FileMaker to cleanup the layouts menu. Now you can put all those junky layouts that may never be used again in a Folder or two and get them out of the way. For my Studio Manager product with 250+ layouts, it sure will be a faster scroll once layouts are organized into folders. There's also layout search built-in, just start typing.

Learn More. FileMaker.com's FileMaker Pro 11 New Features page is a good place to start to see the new features and watch little videos to learn more. You might also find FileMaker's Features page helpful as a list of key things in each release of filemaker starting with what's new in FM11.

Keep an eye on FileMaker Fever for more details in this post and others to follow.

I've got a brief post on FileMaker 11 on my Studio Manager Story blog for Studio Manager customers. Don't miss it, if you are a customer.

FMTouch: FileMaker in your Pocket on your iPhone

Fmtouch_smallUpdate Aug 8: FMWebschool has just lowered the price of FMTouch to $69.99 from $99.99. They are offering $50 FMWebschool store credits to buyers who paid the full $99.99 amount.

I didn’t see this one coming. FMWebschool is rocking hard. Their new FMTouch iPhone app shows true promise.

FMTouch provides a way to migrate a relational FileMaker database to reside locally on your iPhone or iPod touch. You can enter and edit data from your phone.

Even better, you can wirelessly sync your changes both ways back to a local or hosted FileMaker database. Realistically, you have to expect all sorts of constraints in these early days. But, watching the video, this mobile FileMaker app is already pretty darned amazing.

Today’s press release provides you some of the details, but there’s also a quick Intro Video and a detailed nuts and bolts tutorial video for your viewing pleasure. There is a downloadable list of features.

You get native performance, syncing and you are untethered. You don’t have to have wi-fi while you are out away from your computer the way you would with a web app. This is truly fascinating.

FMWebschool uses a current DDR of your database to create a native iPhone version of the database. That’s a pretty good trick in itself. Keep an eye on FMTouch. It is worth seeing how things go.

Hardcore FileMaker iPhone enthusiasts (especially those with bucks up clients who want to be first on their block with a FileMaker database running on their iPhones) should dive in now. It will cost you $100.

FMtouch was released on the Apple App store on August 5. You can buy FMTouch on the App store. A newer version (1.6) has already been submitted and is awaiting Apple approval.

FMTouch Youtube Video

FileMaker Pro 8.v3 Released Today

Fmp8 Box Green Bkgrnd

Good news. The eagerly awaited version 3 of FileMaker 8 was released today. It is available as a free 12 mb download from FIleMaker’s Downloads page.

The update works on FileMaker Pro 8 v2. If you haven’t updated to v2, you’ll need to use the FileMaker Pro 8 v2 updater first and then run the v3 updater.

This updater will update both FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Pro Advanced.

I installed the updater and it installed without difficulty. It did take about 4 minutes or so on my G4 Powerbook though.

Documented Issues in FileMaker 8 v1 and v2

Fm8 Adv Box

According to FileMaker Inc., there are some significant issues in both FileMaker 8 v1 and v2. The company is working to release v3 soon which is expected to resolve the new issues introduced in v2. There is a good summary of the issues at the FileMaker Knowledge Base. It looks to me that you might be better off with the v1 release for the time being. If you are using FileMaker 8 or just about to start using it, you should read this yourself

There is one corruption issue in each of the versions which is my main concern. In v1, some batch operations and schema changes can corrupt indexes. Fortunately, those indexes can be easily rebuilt by turning the indexing on and off for that particular field with index problems. In v2, recovering a file corrupts the variable names in calculations. If you are using lots of variables, a new FileMaker 8 feature, you would want to check your variable names if you have to recover the file.

Developers might want to have a copy of both FileMaker 8 v1 and FileMaker 8 v2 around in case they want to switch between the two. For example, if you need to recover your file and you use variables a lot, you’ll want to be recovering with v1.

Anyone with more real world information about this is welcome to share it here in the comments. We will revisit this topic with an update when additional information is available or when v3 is released whichever comes first.

On a personal basis, I recommend Studio Manager customers use FileMaker 8 v1 until v3 is available. Neither of the two issues identified in v1 should present problems in Studio Manager. If you are customizing Studio Manager extensively, you should keep these issues in mind, however.

Knowledge Base article #5907 says this about the issues in v1:

  • Some calculations that require local client information (such as Get(WindowHeight)) are incorrectly calculated on the server. There are no known workarounds in this version.
  • Certain batch operations and schema changes might cause indexes to become corrupt. These indexes can be rebuilt via the Define Fields dialog box by turning the index off, and then on again.

Knowledge Base article #5907 says that “while FileMaker 8.0v2 addressed key problems in 8.0v1, it introduced some new issues”:

  • When using a FileMaker 8.0v2 product (Pro/Pro Advanced or Server/Server Advanced) as a host with clients prior to 8.0v2, performing find requests on unstored calculations result in all records being found. This is particularly dangerous when used in scripts that perform operations across the found set, such as replacing data or deleting records. To avoid this, make sure that all clients are using FileMaker Pro 8.0v2 or FileMaker Pro 8.0v2 Advanced. You may utilize the Get(ApplicationVersion) function to check the client version.
  • When using a FileMaker 8.0v2 product (Pro or Server) as a host, unstored calculations are always processed by the client application. In some network scenarios, this creates a significant decrease in performance, particularly when searching on these fields.
  • When printing from Windows based clients, layouts that use fixed margins will experience a shifting of the image by several pixels.
  • Recovering a file corrupts variable names in calculations.

Here is the advice from FileMaker Inc.:

During the period prior to this upcoming release, we recommend that you study the list of issues above carefully to best determine which version is right for you.

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MacWorld Gets it About FileMaker 8: 5 mice!

If you don’t have FileMaker 8 yet, read this review and upgrade. If you are a consultant or in-house FileMaker developer and want to convince your firm or client to upgrade, read this review and have them read it. The title says it: Easy-to-use database program morphs into a powerhouse. You really owe it to yourself or your organization/client to push this upgrade. It’s that good.

Just last year, enthusiastic software reviewers throughout the computer industry greeted the release of FileMaker Pro 7 (; October 2004) as the most significant upgrade in the product’s history. With the release of FileMaker Pro 8 (see our first look), the company has done something surprising: Rather than resting on its laurels, FileMaker has released another significant upgrade about a year sooner than many industry observers expected. In retrospect, it looks as if FileMaker 7 was really the precursor to FileMaker 8.

This is one of those situations where later your clients will say, *well, why didn’t you say so?* This is a no-brainer upgrade even though paying the upgrade fees will hurt some. Worth every penny.

Just one little disclaimer for those who are still running FileMaker 6 or earlier versions. FileMaker 7 was a complete rewrite of FileMaker. And 8 builds on that. Depending on the complexity of your FileMaker application, you may need to do substantial work to prepare for and shepherd your database to the new file format and environment of FileMaker 7/8.

If you are already on 7, there is no transition to manage. You are there. The good news for FileMaker 6 users, specifically, is that you can upgrade to 8 as cheaply as those who already paid to upgrade to 7 – skipping an upgrade fee. FileMaker 7 users, don’t be too resentful. FileMaker Inc. wants to make a very attractive offer to those who haven’t made the transition to 7.

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FileMaker 8 and 8 Advanced Released: Hugely Rock

Filemaker8 Box

Unbelievably better than I was expecting. FileMaker 8 has all sorts of advantages that will make me able to create better applications faster. I am at the developer’s conference and just saw the announcement at the Keynote presentation. We got to see the product and the Advanced version which also ships today. Every attendee received a copy of 8 as we left the keynote.

I just installed it at the break and have a conference session in a minute. Here are a few quick highlights that are going to rock my world:

1. The new tabs feature will help me greatly reduce the number of layouts in Studio Manager and any other FileMaker applications I build.

2. I can now copy and paste fields and scripts to other tables and files. This is huge.

3. New script variables will be very handy allowing me to create counters and other scripting variables on the fly without cluttering up my field definitions with script-specific, temporary fields.

4. I can customize the menus of my applications with extreme ease and organization. There will be no reason NOT to customize those menus, so it will become commonplace in FileMaker Apps [FM8 advanced].

5. There are many more things I can do with calculations. Including specify paths and file names.

6. I can decorate and organize the database graph.

7. Tool tips which can be hard-coded with specific text or be dynamically created based on calculations and related information.

8. Being able to suppress the view of codes in value lists. I can now show a value list that says Oregon, Washington, California instead of OR Oregon, WA Washington and CA California. And, more importantly, the field I show on the screen afterwards can just say California even though I also stored CA in the code field behind the scenes. Finally, we can please the user’s reasonable request and still get the data integrity we need.

The implications of having the above capabilities available are awesome. There’s more but I’m at the conference and have to get back to my lunch!

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Getting Ready for FileMaker Devcon

Desertridgepalmsandpools

Yay! it is almost time to fly off to sunny Phoenix, AZ for devcon. I just put up 41 photos from last year’s conference over at Flickr. If you want to see what you are missing or can look forward to, have a look. When I looked at them I got even more excited. Except for moderate weather, Desert Ridge has it all.

These were taken either before the conference got started or in the evening in a spare moment. I never actually photographed the conference events themselves. I was way too busy gathering information and talking to people to play photographer.

Last year was my chance to learn as much as I possibly could about FileMaker 7. This year will be a big learning opportunity too, but I’m expecting it to be a little less mind-bending. The most crazy it could get is if FileMaker 8 gets released and people start trying to master that in 3 days.

This time I’m vowing to be moderate. That’s hard because almost every minute is packed with some kind of opportunity. During the breaks there’s more to learn and more people to meet. My salvation may be in getting into the pool every day and not staying up all hours partying with FileMaker attendees playing old time rock and roll. You almost have to go into training ahead time to handle these conferences.

I hope to be selective in attending sessions because there are about 7 or 8 a day for 3 days straight and you just cannot absorb that much information non-stop. Instead, I’ll take some breaks to research things at the vendor booths and hang out with my fellow Filemaker professionals.

Besides meeting people from all over the world, I especially hope to meet a few who have customers in the creative services industry where I work. It used to be that most FileMaker consultants worked in this area, but now that FileMaker is cross-platform, every industry is represented. And FileMaker consultants in less populated areas, tend to have really broad and mixed practices.

Looking at ll those photos from last year reminds me how fancy that resort really is. It’s deluxe!

Devcon Sunset

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FileMaker Developer’s Conference Coming Aug 28

Desert Ridge

I just booked my flight to Phoenix today. I’ll be arriving on Sunday afternoon and leaving Wednesday night. The conference is held at the excellent JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. A gorgeous luxury hotel with lots of pools and palm trees.

Yes. Daytime highs will probably average 105 degrees. It will be scorching hot. You can’t plan on exercising outdoors during the heat of the day unless you go swimming. But, there is a nice big exercise room with a lot of machines which I managed to avoid last year.

Swimming is a must. Ideally two or three times a day. The water temperature is just right – not too cold or too warm. There are a variety of pools. Water is everywhere as a compensation for how hot and dry it is.

The resort is across the street from a mall which is handy for shopping, movies and a good bookstore (it’s either Borders or Barnes & Noble). A shuttle operates frequently to take you to and from the mall which isn’t a bad idea during the day unless you’ve got a water bottle and are ready for some heat.

Then there’s the conference itself. They do a first class job. Presenter (and attendee) knowledge of FileMaker 7 will now be deep and full of real world experience.

Three or four sessions run concurrently throughout the day with room for seven 1.25 hour sessions a day! Brain death is always a danger at these things. If you don’t like one session, you can try another or sometimes spending time one-on-one with another attendee or chatting with vendors is even more valuable.

As usual we’ll be filled in on what’s next for FileMaker at the 2 hour keynote on Monday morning and, if like last year, a special FileMaker Solutions Alliance meeting for FSA members only Monday night. If you are coming and want to say hi, just leave me a message and your room number and we can find a time to meet.

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