FileMaker 14: Tim Dietrich’s Take

Tim Dietrich wrote a great post on FileMaker 14 last week.  What set his post apart, however, was his take on FileMaker's goals.  You'll want to read the whole thing, of course:

FileMaker Inc's Goals With the FileMaker 14 Platform

To fully understand where FileMaker Inc has taken the FileMaker 14 platform and how it has chosen to do so, it is important to understand the goals that it was trying to achieve. And there were plenty of them.

In terms of development, FileMaker wants to provide an environment where solutions can be created rapidly and inexpensively - and that's a goal that they've been achieving for many years now. When it comes to developing database solutions, there is simply no other tool available that can achieve FileMaker's speed and low cost. Period.

Another goal is to provide the tools that developers need to address the increasing popularity and demand for mobile solutions. Without a doubt, the rise of mobile solutions is one of the most significant trends that the industry has seen in many years. With FileMaker Go, you can easily deploy mobile FileMaker-based database solutions. Originally released in 2010 as part of the FileMaker 11 product line, FileMaker Go has matured very quickly, and it now includes much of the user-oriented functionality of its desktop sibling.

A similar goal was set with regard to the Web, and the growing trend of delivering solutions in a browser-based SaaS-like model. To put it simply, FileMaker's goal is to provide the FileMaker experience via the browser. This was a goal that FileMaker Inc initially started working towards with the release of the FileMaker 13 platform, and specifically with its unique WebDirect technology.

With FileMaker 14, the goal was to improve WebDirect in terms of speed, reliability, fidelity, and features. There are still a few issues that need to be addressed (printing, for example). However, with the FileMaker 14 platform, WebDirect has taken a big step forward, and WebDirect is now a much more viable alternative to the traditional FileMaker desktop client.

Due to their nature, database solutions are somewhat different from other types of apps. The interfaces are different. The workflow is different. And FileMaker-based database solutions have been no exception. However, with the past few releases of the platform, it has become clear that one of FileMaker's goals is to help make FileMaker-based solutions look and feel more like the other types of apps that users are familiar with.

With the FileMaker 14 platform, that also appears to have been one of the goals - and one that I think FileMaker Inc either has, or is very close to, achieving. You'll find this reflected in new features such as button bars, button icons, top and bottom navigation layout parts, in-field labels (placeholders), redesigned toolbars (in FileMaker Pro, Go, and WebDirect),and the Launch Center. As a result, the solutions that you create with FileMaker look and feel more like other native apps.

And last but certainly not least, another goal that FileMaker Inc set out to achieve was to make the platform as secure, reliable, and scalable as possible. In the FileMaker 14 platform, nowhere is this more evident than in FileMaker WebDirect and Server. WebDirect now supports an increased number of concurrent connections, and does so with reduced hardware requirements. FileMaker Server now supports the ability to attempt to reconnect to a hosted database should the connection drop for some reason. The security of the Admin Console has been enhanced with password strength indicators and hints. And then there's support for Standby Servers, giving administrators the ability to restore service when there are problems with a primary server.

As we review the features and enhancements that FileMaker Inc has delivered with the FileMaker 14 platform, I think you'll agree that the FileMaker team has done an amazing job of achieving many of the challenging and lofty goals that they set out to achieve.

I've been working with FileMaker 14 WebDirect, and it truly is massive improvement over version 13.  Combine this with all the other features in 14, and it truly is moving in the direction necessary to be successful in today's tech world.

Source: FileMaker 14: An Overview

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