FileMaker 13 Review Roundup

FileMaker 13 Review

Since the release of FileMaker 13, the software has been doing the rounds of the reviewers and seems to be coming out pretty well.

Samara Lynn at PC Mag gave FileMaker 13 4.5 stars out of 5, attributing its success to ease of use and FileMaker 13’s ability to make a database look amazing.

“FileMaker always delivers a beautiful aesthetic to database design, and now the new features lend tighter security and the ability to create uber web-friendly custom apps.”

The tighter security she refers to is the AES 256-bit encryption available in FileMaker Pro Advanced 13. This allows all data to be encrypted on any device and also when data is passing between FileMaker Server and FileMaker Pro.

In a time when more and more data is held about all of us electronically, security is of paramount concern. With even simple details such as address and postcode helpful to identity thieves, you can be sure that data held in FileMaker is safe.

FileMaker: Developing Styles & Appearance

The ability to add custom styles in FileMaker 13 also goes down well. It’s easy now to define your own styles for any object. Then, once a style is assigned, changing the style changes that item - be it a button or font - right across a database.

Although previous versions of FileMaker have been renowned for ease of building, quick, simple layouts, such layouts often looked very ‘database-like’. With the advent of FileMaker 12 and now 13, any database can be given a very web-like appearance, with pop-ups and rollovers for instance giving a user experience that will be familiar to most.

As part of FileMaker 13, there are 50 styles to choose from and all can be altered to taste allowing just about any look and feel for any database. From designer-like cool to the wildly garish, there is something for most palettes.

There are improved facilities to produce layouts just for iPad and iPhone. This reflects FileMaker Go’s increasing popularity. In fact, here at igeek, we’re seeing more and more clients who intend to use their database on the go on their iOS devices.

Custom styles in FileMaker 13 can be saved as Themes and these can be used across different databases. For developers such as us who develop multiple databases that need the igeek ‘look and feel’, this is invaluable.

WebDirect and FileMaker Go

Of course WebDirect gets a big look-in in review land. This feature allows just about any FileMaker layout to be reproduced over the web, so any device with a browser can use and interact with a hosted FileMaker database.

MacWorld’s William Porter says:

“WebDirect is a jaw-dropper”

With FileMaker 13, unlike in previous versions, publishing to the web is pretty much seamless. Using the web technology, Instant Web Publishing, on versions 12 and earlier was always something of a fiddle and often didn’t provide a great user experience.

Licences for concurrent web and FileMaker Go use are bought in bundles, details available here.

In all, FileMaker 13 has gone down well with us developer types as well as the more end-user oriented reviewers. It’s a real step forward: the increasing popularity of FileMaker Go on iPad and iPhone coupled with WebDirect’s power should ensure that FileMaker becomes a lot more common in every corner of the home and business.


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