FileMaker Inc, a subsidiary of Apple Inc, has just released the latest reincarnation of its popular database program for Mac computers, with a wealth of new and improved features ready and waiting to greet us. The new version, FileMaker Pro 12 is available for instant download or as an upgrade from FileMaker Pro 9, 10 or 11 from their website.
There are plenty of new features worth shouting about in this release and may make people more inclined to part with the steep asking price for the product (the full standalone version retails at $299). Let’s take a look and see what’s new.
New Themes and Starter Solutions
FileMaker Pro 12 features 40 new, professionally-designed themes which give your database a touch of style and class. Several of these themes also have “touch” themes which are enhanced for the new FileMaker Go iOS app (more on this below) and FileMaker have followed Apple’s own Human Interface Guidelines tightly, ensuring that the themes conform to all of Apple’s strict rules and regulations regarding GUI design.
The new Starter Solutions means that it is far easier to start creating a database without having to learn all about how FileMaker Pro works first. The included solutions, of which there are 16 in total, are basically templates for a load of different requirements, whether it would be managing contacts, projects, digital content or inventories.
FileMaker claims that half of its users use their templates as a starting point for their databases and given the 16 new ones in the 12 version, it seems like this figure may well rise among FileMaker Pro users.
New Charts and Design Tools
FileMaker Pro 12 comes along with new design tools, such as gradients, image slicing and dynamic grids design which make lighter work of making your databases look the part. There is also a new set of guides and rules (known as “stencils” in FileMaker Pro 12) which help users of the program fit their databases to mobile devices. All you have to do is let FileMaker Pro know what device you are using, and it will customise your database for the target device.
Quick charts are another feature of FileMaker Pro, making it easier to create stylish and professional-looking graphs from the data in the program. There are 5 new chart styles included in this release, including bubble, scatter, positive/negative and stacked bar and column charts.
Enhanced Container Tools
The enhanced Container Fields in FileMaker Pro 12 allow for tighter multimedia integration into your database and supports a wider range of files, including photos, videos, documents, music and much more.
You can drag and drop multimedia files straight into the program and FileMaker Pro 12 also automatically manages and encrypts any remote files not stored on your computer using AES-128 encryption technology.
FileMaker Go for iOS
This release of FileMaker Pro 12 also saw the release of FileMaker Go 12 for the iPad and iPhone, allowing users of these devices to view databases hosted either using the Pro or Server version on the go on Wi-Fi and 3G.
The built-in design tools in FileMaker Pro 12 ensure that your databases look great on no matter device you are using and FileMaker Go 12 is now a free app, compared to $19.99 with the iPhone version or $39.99 for the iPad version of Go 11.
I Want In!
Critics are calling FileMaker Pro 12 the best release yet and to get a piece of this action, head over to their website, where you can download a 30-day, no obligation free trial. If you’re thinking about getting the program, then it is currently retailing at $299 RRP, or $179 if you’re upgrading from either FileMaker Pro 9, 10 or 11 (be aware, though, if you’re upgrading from version 9 – this upgrade deal ends on 27 September).
Be sure to let us know your thoughts and opinion about this new release in the comments section below!