FileMaker Pro 13 – First Thoughts | HomeBase Software

FileMaker Pro 13 is now available from FileMaker Inc. The marque features are the new WebDirect feature and a new licensing model based on concurrent connections. There are some very useful new interface and development tools which will get developers excited about using FileMaker Pro 13. When I read the system requirements, my heart sank a bit for some of my clients, running on older hardware, but then I started to research the implications of being able to run FileMaker on older hardware through a web browser using WebDirect and found some hope.

Changes in Licensing Approach and Pricing

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One of the biggest changes is a new approach to licensing. FileMaker has vastly improved the capabilities of Instant Web Publishing and renamed it WebDirect. FileMaker Inc. seems to be taking a page from Adobe with annual fees for the software and are increasing their focus on selling annual licenses for ‘concurrent connections‘, whether they are FileMaker Go clients, FileMaker Pro clients or Web clients. A sample pricing structure for one of my clients with ten users came out to $948 a year, not so very different from what they are paying now with their annual plan.

Hardware and Software Support – We Win Some and We Loose Some

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FileMaker has made a fairly drastic cut off for Windows users, dropping support for Windows XP and Vista. You can’t really blame them for doing this, as Microsoft has announced End of Life for XP support. Still there are a lot of those old XP machines humming away out there. FileMaker Pro 12 had already set the minimum bar on Mac OS X at Lion. The new WebDirectconnections (replacement for Instant Web Publishing), will hopefully fill that gap and it seems like developers should be able to get older machines back in play using Chrome or Safari. In addition, Linux machines are going to be more welcome via WebDirect.

WebDirect System Requirements

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Internet Explorer 9 minimum requirements for Windows IE 9 – only goes back to Vista, with no XP support, which leaves older Windows machines at the mercy of Google’s Chrome browser. Because Chrome also works on Linux, more potential machines are possible. The cost of hardware just went down considerably. Using WebDirect, users could potentially log in on a $250 Chrome book, where the entire cost of the hardware is less than a FileMaker Pro license.

OS X support goes back to Safari 6, which also requires Lion, so no help there.

According to Apple, to use Lion, make sure your computer has the following:

  • An Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor
  • Mac OS X v10.6.8
  • 2 GB of RAM

Chrome on OS X also requires an Intel chip, so there does not appear to be much hope for older Power PC computers. Perhaps Opera or another browser might work? More testing is required to answer these questions.

Using FM 13 themes in FM 12

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