It's that wonderful time of the year again - the FileMaker Developer Conference. Karstyn McCoy, our Senior Systems Engineer, and I just returned from the DevCon conference in Dallas, TX and we are more excited than ever about the future of this ingenious software platform. It was a week full of motivational discussions and a whole lot of learning.
The Support Group Blog
You've taken the plunge and purchased the FileMaker Platform software and now you're eager to build your own custom app. But where do you start? If you're completely new to the world of FileMaker, training might be the best place to start. Or, is it?
FileMaker, Inc. certainly offers a variety of support resources as do their partners, but we all learn and process information differently because we all have different experiences and expertise. The resounding theme of the FileMaker Platform is customization so it's reasonable for users to expect personalized support. We thought now was as good a time as any to offer a FileMaker support assessment. This is not like the FileMaker certification exam. True to an assessment, this quiz is not about right or wrong answers, but an evaluation of your proficiency with the FileMaker Platform so that you understand the support options that will help get you up and running as quickly as possible.
You've got organizational challenges, we all do. Maybe you want to create a schedule to manage your football team, a class roster to track attendance or a portal where parents and students can review assignments and grades. You don’t have time to install, learn and deploy a traditional productivity application, much more pay for one.
You might currently manage these common tasks with a disparate group of spreadsheets that you've cobbled together and shared with your team. This sort of worked pretty well when you first set them up, but now expectations have risen and users want different ways to view and interact with the information. Basically, your tool has become what folks refer to as the "spreadsheet from hell.” A tangled web of calculations and forms makes it frustrating to interpret and update the data.
You might not know it, but you probably use a web application every day. Take your email, for example, if you use Gmail, Yahoo or any other type of web-based email client you've already experienced a web app. You don't need a specific device in a specific location to use the app; all you need is a web browser, any one will do. Pretty convenient, huh? But, have you ever wished that your web app could do something uniquely, only for you? You've looked and there's no feature or setting that provides that function. That's where customization comes in, but I digress...
I was introduced to different types of technologies, like database administration, computer networking, operating systems and such during my undergraduate and graduate Computer Science course studies. The more I studied, the more I realized that web technology excited me the most.
We've been developing custom apps for more than 30 years and it's always exciting to see
Have you heard enough about FileMaker 17 yet? There’s certainly no shortage of articles, videos, walk-throughs, etc. about FileMaker 17 and we've certainly contributed to the information overload. There's just so much to discuss, show and brag about with the new platform. FileMaker, Inc. has introduced new, modern and evolving ways to develop custom apps to solve both common and complex business operations issues.
But we get it, it's difficult to process the new features all at once. So we thought it would be helpful to summarize the new features of the FileMaker 17 Platform in one succinct infographic. The infographic is by no means comprehensive, but certainly captures some of the remarkable nuances of the tool. Given that FileMaker, Inc. generally releases a new product version annually, it's nice to keep track of its evolution.
After graduating with a Bachelors of Technology in Application Software Development from Morrisville State College, I responded to a job posting for a Database Manager position and the job description mentioned SQL Server and a word I never heard before, FileMaker. I always rise to the occasion so I figured I could learn another database programming language relatively easily. During the interview, I repeatedly referred to FileMaker as “FilmMaker.” Fortunately, Sessions College of Professional Design took a chance on me and within a week I was introduced to their multi-file spider web of a system! Unlike traditional database programs, I found FileMaker Pro easy to use and I loved how quickly I could develop solutions.
I enjoy teamwork – the thrill of brainstorming new/different ideas with my peers and working on different projects together. In an effort to pursue that, I joined The Support Group as a Developer and worked my up to Systems Engineer from there.
The thought of actually building your own custom business application might sound impossible. We get it, it's an investment, not just from a financial perspective, but it also involves a good deal of your attention and time. However, most of the easily automated tasks that you do regularly can save you time and money when you perform those workflows with a custom app.
These are some of the signs that a custom business application might improve your business productivity and profitability.
The introduction of the new FileMaker 17 Platform brings many new and productive improvements to the software. We have the ability to attach multiple files to email messages, copy custom menus, create directories on the fly and more. Those are all very exciting features but I would say one of the life-changing enhancements is the new FileMaker data migration tool. The data migration tool isn’t strictly a version 17 feature. It's really a stand-alone command line app that you can download with a FileMaker Developer Subscription, just like the iOS SDK.
I've finally jumped on the bandwagon; I've upgraded to the FileMaker 17 Platform. I know, I’m a developer and I should have done it as soon as it released, right?! I have no good excuses, but better late than never. So here's how I navigated the upgrade process.
I downloaded the installer file and installed it, so far so good. I opened the file for the first time and immediately noticed the new My Apps window. This new window provides easy access to My Apps and Recent files as well as a button to Create a file. The new UI is very modern and intuitive.