FileMaker has released the latest version of its highly successful custom app platform, FileMaker 15. The Apple subsidiary says this version improves upon the fundamentals of custom app development with new features in these five key areas: mobility, automation/integration, ease of use, security and performance.
This is the first year when FileMaker is committing to an annual release. That means we can probably expect fewer “big bang” changes. Version 15 represents an upgrade on the previous release but lacks new “blockbuster” changes such as WebDirect which was introduced in Version 14.
As there are no underlying code changes, applications that worked in FileMaker 14 should seamlessly work with the new release.
The FileMaker Platform provides tools for creating a custom app that fits an organisation’s business needs. It is flexible,integrates with other applications and data sources, and works across iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows and the web.
New features of the FileMaker 15 Platform include:
Mobility: Touch ID support enables developers to securely access their custom apps with the touch of a finger. 3D Touch support enables quick access to specific apps. New app extensions offer content customisation and cloud-based file sharing. iBeacon support offers location-based data from the custom app and FileMaker WebDirect enables customers to use a mobile phone to access FileMaker apps in a web browser.
Automation & Integration: Timesaving tools include in-product updates and the ability to instantly recover scripting work with multiple undo. Red highlighted text helps easily identify problem areas in the Script Workspace. The ESS Adapter connects to even more External SQL Data Sources including PostgresSQL and IBM DB2.
Ease of use: Start managing contacts, inventory, content management and tasks right away with the new basic Starter Solutions. The new web-based Help menu provides faster results when searching for needed FileMaker information and is downloadable as a PDF. The newly designed status toolbar in FileMaker Pro keeps custom apps looking fresh.
Security: A new concealed edit box hides sensitive information users don’t want displayed on their screen. Proactive security warnings include notifications that appear when a user tries to connect to a host or website with an invalid security certificate. FileMaker Server now supports SSL certificates from nine popular vendors and supports intermediate, subjectAltName (SAN), and wildcard certificates.
And certificates can now be purchased and installed directly within the FileMaker Server graphical interface rather than through the command line, further simplifying the user experience. Although FileMaker provides a certificate with FileMaker Server, they strongly recommend companies only use that for testing a purchase their own certificates for production.
Performance: The top call statistics-logging feature quickly diagnoses any slowdowns within the FileMaker Platform. The portal inline progress bar indicates when data filtering and sorting is complete. This process now takes place separately from other operations so developers can continue to use their apps at the same time.
FileMaker says performance testing during the beta testing program revealed significant updates. However, the company won;t be releasing specific data due to the variability of conditions under which the testing was undertaken.
New Licensing for Teams: FileMaker introduces a new, simpler way for teams of five or more people to license FileMaker software. Each user can access FileMaker Pro (for User Connections), FileMaker Go, or FileMaker WebDirect — all hosted on FileMaker Server to securely share information in real time. Click here for details.