Portage Bay
Portage Bay

Sept/Oct 2011

PBS_enews_header 2 September/October 2011                                 Volume: 2   Issue: 5

2011 FileMaker Developer Conference

2011 FM 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.
~John Newhoff

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
ways_php ways_iwf 2 4D web
  • integrate your database with an existing website
  • total control over appearance and functionality of the database
  • requires FileMaker Server or any version of 4th Dimension
  • can integrate PHP security
  • unlimited number of simultaneous connections
  • cross-platform, widely-used
  • PHP is can be used with both Filemaker and 4th Dimension
  • quick and easy set up to get your database available online
  • the interface resembles FileMaker interface very closely
  • doesn’t require FileMaker Server for small number of users
  • simple security configuration
  • limited number of simultaneous connections
  • for use with FileMaker only
  • easy install and configuration
  • familiar environment for 4D developers
  • available for 4D or 4D Server with purchase of web expansion license
  • database and web-server are integrated - simple to manage
  • Ajax framework available for rapid development
  • rich user interfaces and web applications possible
  • for use with 4th Dimension only

~Kate Wheeler

Mac OSX Lion Release - FileMaker & 4D Issues

Apple LionApple 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.
~John Newhoff

FileMaker in the News

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.
~Kate Wheeler

Keep Up to Date with FileMaker and 4th Dimension

Software Update

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.

FM11Logo 2 2

FileMaker Pro 11.0v4

FileMaker Pro 10.0v3

FMServer11 3

FileMaker Server 11.0v3

FileMaker Server 10.0v2

4D_Developer_Standard 4

4Dv11 SQL Release 11.8





4D_Developer_Standard 6



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