FileMaker, Inc has announced the release of the FileMaker 12 database software line.
All products in the FileMaker database family are now represented by new versions, including the server (FileMaker Server 12 and FileMaker Server 12 Advanced), Mac and Windows desktop (FileMaker Pro 12 and FileMaker Pro 12 Advanced), and the iPad (FileMaker Go 12 for the iPad).
There are plenty of exciting new features in this new release. On the desktop side, most of the enhanced features are aimed at developers, both casual developers and experienced professionals. Experienced developers will be delighted with new functions and triggers, and casual developers will like the new implementation of themes -- it's a lot easier now to create a professional look for your custom application.
On the server side, the big changes relate to performance. The server is now available in a 64-bit version, and WAN performance has been significantly improved.
And finally, FileMaker Go for the iPad offers one amazing change: It's free!
FileMaker Go can now be downloaded from the iPad's App Store at no charge. Once downloaded, it enables you to do two things:
First, you can access server-based applications (or desktop applications in shared mode) from your iPad, assuming they don't require functionality that's not supported on the iPad. Second, you can download FileMaker applications to your iPad and run them right there. That means you can now create your own iPad applications!
Version 12 uses a different file format than version 11, so any existing databases must be converted to the new format before they'll run under version 12. However, the conversion process is pretty straightforward and remarkably quick. Those of you who remember the format change from FileMaker 6 to FileMaker 7 will be delighted with how much easier it is this time around.
With the new format, incidentally, comes a new file extension. The old fp7 extension has been replaced with fmp12.
Should you upgrade?
We'll give our standard advice on this. If you've got a mission-critical application -- one that must work and work well -- we recommend that you hold off converting it. Every new software release has some bugs, and we always wait for thirty to ninety days before we switch critical applications, so those bugs can be found and fixed.
How does this affect the qd documents application?
We're going to follow our own advice and wait a while before we issue a new release of the qd documents™ application using the new format. We'll let all our users know when we issue a converted version.
You can read more about the new version on the FileMaker website.