FileMaker 14 brings feature, speed improvements across Mac, iOS & Windows

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Apple-owned FileMaker on Tuesday launched FileMaker 14, a major update of its database software for Mac, Windows, and iOS devices, focusing on speed improvements but adding a variety of other new features as well.

The company's flagship Mac and Windows software — FileMaker Pro — has gained the Launch Center, which organizes solutions into an icon-based interface, eschewing menus and dialog boxes. There are 29 included icons, but users can also design custom ones if they want a unique look for their organization.

A tool called the Script Workspace is intended to simplify the automation of common actions — like reordering inventory when stock is low, or producing an invoice during a customer meeting — by unifying the creation, editing, and viewing of scripts and calculations. It has options like favorites, auto-complete, and shortcuts, and is designed to be simple enough that non-programmers can use it.

FileMaker Go 14, the iOS client, has been improved with an interface that better matches iOS 8, and now can be set to display videos or whole databases in fullscreen. Scripts can be used to lock layout in portrait or landscape mode, or toggle whether the onscreen keyboard appears. When editing text, users can control size, color, and font, and make text bold, underlined, or italicized. Go 13 will soon be removed from the App Store.

FileMaker Server has been updated to allow mobile access to databases hosted on WebDirect. WebDirect also has a new mobile-oriented toolbar, although it's similarly present on desktop browsers.

Server administrators can specify password strength and offer login hints, and should have to worry less often about disconnections, since FileMaker Pro will now automatically reconnect to Server when possible. Likewise, a new set of Command Line Interface entries can be used to switch over to a secondary server.

FileMaker Go is free for any iOS 8.1 device, but FileMaker Pro is $329 new, or $179 as an upgrade. Equivalent prices for Pro Advanced are $549 and $299, while Server is simply $1,044, with no upgrade path. Pro, Pro Advanced, and Server can also be had in subscriptions costing $9, $15, or $29 monthly. Adding a bundle of five concurrent connections to Server costs $1,440 outright or $40 per month.


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