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FileMaker Pro 19

Apple subsidiary Claris has updated its FileMaker Pro relational database app to version 19, bringing a variety of new features to help developers build sophisticated custom apps using JavaScript integrations, drag-and-drop add-ons, AI via Apple’s Core ML, and more. FileMaker Pro 19 now enables developers to use add-ons like Kanban boards and photo galleries; directly embed maps, animated graphics, data visualization, and more into apps; use Core ML machine learning models, Siri Shortcuts, and NFC (near field communication) tag reading; and create apps directly in FileMaker Cloud.

The full version of FileMaker Pro 19 costs $540 for an individual license; upgrades from previous versions are $197. It is also available in a Cloud edition, starting with five licenses at $19 per month ($1140 annually). A free 45-day trial is available for download. ($540 new, $197 upgrade, release notes, 10.14+)

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Comments About FileMaker Pro 19

Notable Replies

  1. It’s important to note that while Apple boasts of the new features, much has been taken away. FileMaker Advanced has been discontinued, and with it, the ability to create standalone (runtime) solutions. There is now no way to distribute a FileMaker database on Mac or PC without either having the user own a copy of FileMaker or by using a complex and expensive cloud solution. The iOS solution was and is FileMaker Go, but Apple has not released such a product for Mac or PC. And note that Apple is now charging the same for regular FileMaker as it used to charge for FileMaker Advanced.

    For many years, I have been using FileMaker runtimes to distribute large databases of academic work at no cost to anyone who wants it. This is no longer possible. I am, frankly, heartbroken to see two decades of work trashed because Apple wants to move everything to its cloud servers.

  2. Of course, you don’t have to upgrade. If you’ve got a version that works and does what you need, stick with it.

    And complain to Apple just in case it may help convince them to put this feature back in the future.

    You may want to consider migrating to a different product, but there’s no requirement to do it right now.

  3. You are of course correct that I don’t have to upgrade. (And I haven’t, so far.) Moving to another database isn’t very practical; there is no real competition to FileMaker any more. Not that is relational, programmable, cross-platform, and reliable.

    They’ve already heard from me about the importance of runtimes.

    The real issue is Apple’s strategy of planned obsolescence. How long will FileMaker 18 databases run once Apple moves the Mac to ARM processors? When they eliminate (who knows) 64-bit code because they’ve created a 128-bit operating system?

    The ultimate point is that behavior like this make it very hard to know what to do, or what Apple is doing.

    Put it this way: FileMaker 19 is a good upgrade for people who were using FileMaker 18-the-regular-version. For those who were using FileMaker Advanced, it represents a tragic downgrade.

  4. Ouch. I feel your pain—if you’re accustomed to being able to create standalone runtimes, that’s a major issue for existing installations that might want to upgrade at some point.

    How does the cloud version come into place for such situations?

  5. Regarding the cloud version: I’m still trying to learn more about it. FileMaker is a very complex program, so people are still digging into the new version. :slight_smile: It appears that the cloud version would have most of the same functionality, but it requires access to the cloud. For folk musicians, who are often singing out in the middle of nowhere, that is not guaranteed. Also, the cloud subscription appears to be very expensive. I’m not sure about that one; as I say, I’m still trying to decipher what Apple has done. They’re much better at listing new features than deleted ones. :slight_smile:

  6. |||| re: Advanced has been discontinued

    I can’t believe nobody has corrected you yet… Advanced hasn’t gone away at all, it just that they’re no longer making it a separate product. Not everyone needs the functionality that Advanced provides, specifically the script debugger and other such developer tools. Those are now turned on with a checkbox in the preferences.

    In reference to the run-times we used to be able to create, we have known for 10 years that those were on the way out and it took them this long to finally pull that trigger. I feel for people who had built a business on that model, but frankly you’ve had plenty of time to work out what’s next since we’ve known it was a deprecated feature. I never used it myself, but I saw the appeal. I wonder if the Webdirect feature is seen as a way of deploying Filemaker apps to someone who doesn’t want to install a Filemaker client?

    The cloud servers from Claris is a service that is actually comparable to buying server space from some of the various FM hosting companies. While you can host your files on your own server, you’ll need licensing to accomplish it… that cost is built in to the subscription cost whether you use Claris’ cloud offering or FMP Host. In the latter case, you can bring your own license but if you don’t have one, they’ll happily add the cost to your monthly number.

    The cost of Filemaker licenses and server has long been a subject of debate among people who want their software to be cheap and well-supported. Obviously those two ideas are not possible in the same product. In the 30 plus years I’ve been working with Filemaker, I can assure you I’ve never stopped looking for something better. I’ve looked at MANY alternatives and haven’t found anything that measures up in terms of pure power and speed of development. Coupled with the vast number of protocols and techniques supported, Filemaker Pro is one of the best tools out there. When you consider that the cost of a project is overwhelmingly the hours of labor it takes to build a solution and not the cost of the platform itself, it’s easy to see that while you could just build something amazing using a combination of free tools like javascript, PHP, and MySQL, I assure you, it will take many times the hours to do so. I continue to use the platform because it makes economic sense to do so, but when someone builds a better tool for building business systems that can connect to the web services we increasingly depend on - you can bet I’ll be signing up for it.

  7. Being a FileMaker developer I feel your pain, to various degrees. Just speculating here, as many in the community have requested a thin-client, Claris has been waiting for Apple to bring iOS apps (FileMaker Go) to macOS. Hopefully Android is on the horizon for FileMaker Go and Windows users will get the same functionality. FileMaker Go is currently free, and though that may change, I’d wager Runtime solutions will continue working until this is sorted out.

    If you have people that need to use FileMaker in remote locations, and have an iOS device, you can simply email them a copy of a FileMaker database file and they can open it with FileMaker Go at no cost. If you want to get fancy the FileMaker Go database can exchange data with a database hosted by FileMaker Server using its native data API.

    Also not an apples-to-apples replacement for Runtime, with a learning curve and some related costs, but Claris provides an SDK that allows FileMaker files to be converted into iOS apps. I haven’t had the opportunity to try this but there are vendors trying to make this easier, like

  8. Not sure why this thread was revived at this date, but I agree with your thought but am perhaps less confident. A FileMaker Go client is a perfectly acceptable solution for me. But Apple has not, that I’ve heard, announced such a program for Windows, and on Mac it’s still using the iOS version (which works only on ARM Macs, of course). There isn’t even an ARM version of FileMaker 19. :slight_smile:

    So I’m hoping this happens, but not betting on it.

    And, of course, there will never, ever be an Android client. :slight_smile:

  9. Oy, yeah, just noticed the time stamp :grinning:

    No guarantee, but check out the bullet points on the slide around the 20:25 mark…

    There’s often a “yes…but” factor, and it can take some patience, but FileMaker eventually delivers. We now have JavaScript, JSON, cURL, a proper REST API, and FMS for Linux.

  10. OK, consider me astonished to even see the word “Android” in an Apple document. Maybe Claris is rebelling against headquarters? :slight_smile:

    Naturally I wish they’d hurry up and implement the features I need – I don’t need security, e.g., since the data is being GIVEN away. (Which is why a lot of the suggestions that involve money aren’t very practical – I can’t recoup it.) But I can limp along with the old runtimes, as long as they eventually do something. And a client for Android would be really nice…

  11. Claris wants to increase its market share and sales. It’s why they expanded its product offerings with Windows years ago, and Linux more recently.

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