FileMaker 16 Launches With Enhancements to Mobility, Scalability, Security and More

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Apple subsidiary FileMaker today announced the launch of FileMaker 16, the newest version of the company's popular database platform that's designed to make it easy for businesses to build a range of customized apps able to work effortlessly across iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows, and the Web.

FileMaker 16 focuses on enhancing mobility, scalability, and security, along with providing new features and integrations for an improved app creation experience.

"Today's leaders empower their teams with the tools they need to quickly adapt as their needs change. The FileMaker 16 Platform builds on our track record of success, providing customers with the latest features, enabling them to create great apps that work across iPad, iPhone, Windows, Mac and the web."

When developing an app, FileMaker users have access to a new Layout Objects window, which offers up a hierarchical list of each object in a layout. The feature is designed to make it easier to make quick changes to an object without the need to ungroup the object set.

Enhanced cURL options and predefined JSON functions improve integration to make it simpler to exchange data with other web services and applications, and for large teams, custom apps accessed through FileMaker WebDirect can now be used by up to 500 users simultaneously.


Security has been enhanced and simplified with the addition of third-party authentication through providers that include Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. These existing account credentials can be used to log into FileMaker-based custom apps.

For the FileMaker Go app, there are new animations and transitions that are designed to provide visual cues to make it easier for users to navigate through their custom apps, along with a new enhanced signature capture feature for signing documents on the iPad or iPhone.

Pricing for FileMaker is not changing with the release of FileMaker 16, but there have been some pricing changes in certain countries due to currency adjustments.

Since last year, FileMaker has used a subscription licensing structure for teams of five or more users, with access to FileMaker Server and FileMaker systems across desktop, mobile, and web. Pricing starts at $888 per year for a team of five. A perpetual license is also available for $2,664 for a team of five, but it does not include access to future versions of FileMaker.

For individuals, a perpetual license for FileMaker Pro 16 is available for $329, while FileMaker Pro 16 Advanced is priced at $549. A free trial is also available.

Top Rated Comments

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44 months ago
FileMaker has been a fully relational database since version 7. That was close to 15 years ago at this point; this is version 16. It's still proprietary but can act as a front-end to SQL databases, importing and exporting SQL data or just providing a rapid development environment for a highly functional GUI. You can use it to rapidly develop custom mobile apps. There's a web front end that's gotten pretty sophisticated over the years. For most purposes there are no meaningful limits to database size and the server version supports hundreds of simultaneous users. I could go on for several more paragraphs and barely scratch the surface of what FM can do now.

You're all acting like the last time you heard of FileMaker was when it was still owned by Claris and stored data in a flat file. Modern day FileMaker is more on par with SQL Server and it badly outclassed things like MS Access quite a few years ago for many use cases. FileMaker is far from perfect but has its place in the market and many companies are making extremely effective use of the product for some very large and complex database needs.

Dear moderator(s): I entered this thread and found most posts talking about FileMaker as if it were something ancient that nobody used anymore since the long-gone days of the 20th century when it was just a simple "desktop database" for holding recipe cards. I found this level of lack of knowledge (aka "ignorance") somewhat disconcerting (aka "scary"), since I worked with the product in question for a several year period in this century, and know that it is still quite popular today in its own market niche. Most posters when I joined the thread were being quite dismissive of the product announcement due to this apparent lack of knowledge, so I expressed the desire for fellow forum posters and readers to reconnect with objective reality (aka "Get a grip"), and learn the current capabilities about a product that many of them could likely find to be a useful tool among many other useful tools.

If I stepped out of some invisible Political Correctness box that exists on this forum, I really do apologize. I find it curious, though, that the poster who, seemingly while expressing no particular point, quoted my entire post and then dismissed all of my simple factual statements with a non-sequitur one-liner many might consider the epitome of provocation (I don't recall telling anyone that FM is or ever has been a "cure" for anything in particular.), has not had his post edited by moderators...

Very curious indeed. Well, if this is a prelude to getting moderated again due to failure to follow some unknown level of necessary politeness or some other rule, I would find it less displeasurable to simply have my comment completely removed and be banned from the forum. I have no power here. If it is impossible to post here with anything less than happy-happy joy-joy good feelings in every word of every post without getting forcibly edited by a moderator, I may not be suited to be a poster here.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago
I still use Bento. One of the many apps I liked and used or still use that Apple killed
Others are

* Bento
* Aperture
* IPhoto
* IWeb
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago
I'm a consultant working with Filemaker - I've never been busier. The roadmap published last year brings some long overdue but very welcome improvements like json, REST APIs etc. Interesting fact - Filemaker have made a profit every year since they were formed back in the 80's.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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44 months ago

Anyone remember Bento? I was hoping Apple would have continued development and add it to iWork, but they discontinued it.

I remember Bento and continue to use it for inventory tracking (i like the ability to add multiple media files to individual records. I like the way it synchronized with my iPad. I do wish they continued to support it and integrated it with iWork.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago

I was thinking the same thing. Crazy. When I was little I played with it a bit (I'm a nerd) and it was flat file back then.

edit: does anyone here actually use it? are you only using it for legacy applications that haven't justified replacement yet or is there actually new development taking place on this?

Yep. It is actually as popular as ever. They keep adding features and improving performance at a steady rate. It is still one of the most popular tools for mere mortals to develop their own apps/DB systems....without having to be at the mercy of traditional developers.

One of the most impressive recent additions that should help continue growth is FM Cloud. ('https://www.filemaker.com/products/filemaker-cloud/') Having managed FM Servers over the years, they tended to be a little particular, and not so easily shared via the web, and challenging to have complete hardware redundancy. Much of this is addressed with their new, lightweight Linux VM for AWS. If they get this right, should grow the base and expand the draw to newer markets.
[doublepost=1494350612][/doublepost]

Its a database, not a cure.

True.

OTOH, for so many small to med companies, managing data is one of their biggest issues. Many fall between the gap of off-the-shelf and fully developed solutions. For them...it can be the best solution.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
44 months ago

I didn't even know FileMaker was still a thing. Is it based on a popular rdbms on the back end or is it some flat file/SQLite thing?

I have been using for 7 years. Initially we built a basic application in it which then scale to a multi-tenant, multi-user b2b app. A few years ago we switched to a native front end and still rely on FileMaker PHP API for database.

It is very easy to develop in, but I wouldn't do it again for this app. The speed and flexibility from a data perspective is just not as good as parse or similar. If you don't know how to code though, filemaker is the ticket.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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