The Support Group Blog

FileMaker Go is a Go

Today’s the lucky day for all of you that have been asking, “When is FileMaker going to make an iPhone app?” FileMaker Go is an amazing new iOS app that gives you access to your FileMaker solutions on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

We are incredibly excited about the possibilities now available for our customers—and for us personally, too!  FileMaker Go runs most .fp7 databases without modification.  Layouts are rendered almost identically as in FileMaker Pro; portals, tabs, and Quick Find work; technologies such as web viewers, script triggers, and External SQL Sources (think of the possibilities there) all transfer to your iDevice.  And you get the best of both worlds: you can connect remotely to an available FileMaker Server WiFi or 3G to access live shared systems, or you can copy a .fp7 file to your phone or iPad to carry your data with you.

Contact us to learn how we can develop a new application for you or help you take your solutions mobile.

Before you get started with FileMaker Go and your current databases, you’ll want to consider some differences between FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go.

  • FileMaker Go does not have a Layout mode or access to defining tables, fields, relationship, scripts, or value lists.  In other words, you still need FileMaker Pro (or Pro Advanced) to build your solution.
  • Certain scripts steps won’t work in Go, or will work differently.  The limitations are somewhat similar to the limitations you’ll experience with Instant Web Publishing: for example, there’s no printing, saving to PDF, importing or exporting, etc.  Knowledge Base article 7734 lists the calculation and scripting behavioral differences in FileMaker Go.  There’s also no support for plug-ins, so any scripts or calculations that make use of such need to be rethought.
  • No charting à la FileMaker Pro 11.  Oh well, you can’t have everything. Where would you put it?
  • This Knowledge Base article gives some pointers regarding optimizing your layouts for display on an iPhone or iPad.  The screen size is going to be smaller (obviously), styled text may not render the same, radio buttons might be problematic, and you can’t use auto-complete or insert from the index.  Also, check out article 7743. It lists some miscellaneous changes you’ll experience, such as lack of rich text exiting, working with the web viewer, how custom menus work on Go, and navigating through the tab order.
  • Download the FileMaker Go Development Guide. It contains almost all of the previous Knowledge Base information as well information on setting up your database files for access.

FileMaker Go is available in two versions: FileMaker Go for iPhone and iPod touch (requires iOS 4.0), and FileMaker Go for iPad that makes use of its larger screen.  Go get it!

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