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!