September/October 2011 Volume: 2 Issue: 5
2011 FileMaker Developer Conference
The annual FileMaker developers conference was held the first week of August in San Diego this year and I had the good fortune to attend. The weather was very nice, and consistently sunny. More than I can say for Seattle. I'm not complaining though, at least we haven't had 40+ days of 100-degree temperatures like Austin has seen!
The keynote address included some very interesting highlights of FileMaker Go (FileMaker for iPhone/iPad) implementations at three different organizations. Details on a variety of FileMaker Go implementations can be read at http://www.FileMaker.com/solutions/customers/fmgo.html.
In addition, we had a preview of some of the new features under development for the next version of FileMaker. I'm not supposed to unveil specific details, but I think we'll see some very good improvements in several areas when the new version is released.
I attended quite a few interesting breakout sessions. In particular, I found a session on simplifying the relationship graph in FileMaker to be intriguing. The presenter demonstrated a FileMaker solution the he had refactored from over 100 table occurrences to fewer than 40, greatly simplifying the graph. He did this by employing a variety of techniques, some available for years, many only available in FileMaker 11, to make the user interface less dependent on a large number of table occurrences.
Another very interesting session was presented by the publisher of a developer's tool for FileMaker called FMPro Migrator. The publisher has added a new capability for converting a FileMaker solution to a PHP web application. All conversions like this are really only a starting point, but it looked like this tool could be a significant time saver on certain types of projects.
Accessing your database from the web
Are you are interested in making your database accessible to anyone who has a web browser and an internet connection? We decided to take a look at the some of the options for accomplishing this goal. One option is to use custom publishing with PHP, a popular open-source language used for development on the web. This option is available for both 4th Dimension and FileMaker databases. Another choice, specific to FileMaker, is to use Instant Web Publishing, a way of quickly publishing a database to the web. 4th Dimension is itself a web server and you can use this capability to directly publish your 4D data to the web without 3rd party tools.
The lists below compare the most basic features and benefits of each option. If you are interested in going online with your database, we are happy to discuss which option may best suit your needs.
|PHP||IWP||4D Web Server|
Apple Computer recently released the newest major update to the Macintosh operating system, Mac OS X 10.7, also known as Mac OS X Lion. The new release makes a little work for FileMaker and 4th Dimension users. FileMaker Pro 11v4 was just released in early August to deal with some minor incompatibilities with the new Mac OS. Unfortunately, both 4D v11 and 4D v12 are essentially unusable on the new Mac OS X. Both experience intermittent crashing problems.
4D has announced a tentative release date of October for a Lion-compatible version of 4D v12, but has unfortunately not announced whether or not 4Dv11 will be updated for Lion. As of this writing, I would recommend that 4D users hold off on upgrading to Lion. The FileMaker update can be found at http://www.FileMaker.com/support/downloads/.
NOTE: 4D 2004 and earlier and FileMaker 6 and earlier will not run on Lion at all. If you are still working with older versions of 4D or FileMaker like these, you will want to be sure to upgrade your database application before upgrading to Lion.
Academy-Award winning film editor, Walter Much, best known for his work on The English Patient, Cold Mountain, and Apocalypse Now, will speak at the Palo Alto International Film Festival on his successful integration of a FileMaker database in post-production of his latest project, Hemingway & Gelhorm. See the Palo Alto International Film Festival site for more information.
Keep Up to Date with FileMaker and 4th Dimension
The FileMaker 11.0v4 update addresses data formatting issues associated with Mac OS X Lion. If you use Lion with FileMaker, please download the latest release.
Who We Are
Portage Bay Solutions is a database development firm in Seattle and Austin, where we've been working with organizations of all sizes for almost 20 years. We specialize in answering and returning calls promptly, staying within budget, and providing top notch support to our clients during all phases of the development process.
- FileMaker Pro & 4th Dimension upgrade and development
- MS Access to FileMaker conversions
- FileMaker Pro & 4th Dimension integration with other data environments
- Web/Database integrations
- FileMaker Instant Web Publishing
Seattle - 425.481.8175 | Austin - 512.763.7864
Mailing Address: 17115 NE 163rd Place, Woodinville, WA 98072