Sweet Sixteen

I’ve been playing with FileMaker 16 for a few weeks now. And I am impressed. There are a lot of expanded and new capabilities that I’m already using in client solutions. For the next few posts – maybe longer – I’ll be showcasing some of my personal favorite changes.

Some of the items we’ll be looking at include:

  • Card windows: Floating, modal windows that give us a lot more flexibility and direct access for interface possibilities
  • Native web service capabilities: This one is huge. Previously, interacting with web services was possible, but required sometimes complex workarounds. Now, we have not only the ability to send GET and POST requests to web services, but native functionality to parse JSON. This will make integrating your FileMaker solution with web-based services vastly easier, which means it’s cheaper for you.
  • New pop-up menu display option: Makes pop-up menus look like normal fields. Sounds trivial, but with a lot of our designs, it just really smooths out the appearance of the interface.
  • New functions: UniqueValues and SortValues allow us native ways to accomplish tasks that used to require Custom Functions or plug-ins. It’ll speed up our development and therefore make it cheaper for you.
  • Field-level encryption: Another feature for good security that previously required plugin functionality.
  • Variables in data source references: This is a huge boon when you have a system that’s installed in multiple locations. It allows you to avoid hard-coding the names and locations of related files and instead set that information in variables at startup. Again, this might not sound like much, but it means lower cost for us, which we can then pass on to you.
  • Region monitoring: Say you’re using a mobile device as you walk around your facility. How cool would it be for your solution to display relevant information about your process just based on where you’re standing – without having to do anything at all? Region monitoring works based either on iBeacons (small hardware devices you can purchase), or just latitude and longitude.
  • SDI interface on Windows: Up to now, FileMaker used the older MDI (Multiple Document Interface) standard on the Windows platform, where you have one window for the application and then individual windows inside that for solution’s interface. This older standard made it difficult in certain circumstances (like multiple monitors) to provide a smooth user experience. Now, the platform has adopted the SDI (Single Document Interface) standard, which basically does away with the application window – meaning you just have the various windows for the solution. It’ll be much more flexible and familiar to Windows users now, since this is the current interface standard.

Looking forward to covering these new features, and what they can do for your organization, over the next several posts. Please check back and see what’s new!