Meet the Modern FileMaker Platform

FileMaker 18 was released on 23 May 2019. This is in line with the annual release strategy adopted by FileMaker Inc., since version 14 in 2015. So we can probably expect version 19 will be released in May 2020.

What’s New for FileMaker 18?

The official list of new features for each of the FileMaker products is in the online help:

  • FileMaker Pro 18 here
  • FileMaker Server 18 here

However, these lists are not usually complete – there are often lots of other minor changes in features and behaviours. The other thing that I have always grappled with on each new release is looking at a feature and asking “what can I do with that?” and “how would that work in my FileMaker solution?”.

Spoiler Alert: a new seminar may be of interest to you

Less Presents, More Often

With an annual release cycle, the FileMaker engineering team made major changes to the way in which it develops and releases new features. At any time, there are two or more release cycles in motion. At a certain time, features that will make the next release are moved onto the current release cycle; others are moved off onto the next cycle. This means that there can be a more responsive release methodology.

However, 12 months (or less in reality) is not long to develop, test and release new features. This means there are typically fewer groundbreaking new features in each release. This, in turn, has resulted in comments in the FileMaker Community like “disappointing release, nothing for me, not upgrading”.

There is a change in how we should see each new release. Instead of having major feature upgrades every 15-18 months, now we have ‘Christmas in May’ every year. Sure, this means less presents each time, but there is a steady stream of new stuff that comes through consistently. To continue the Christmas analogy, we may not get a new bike, but we get a couple of wheels to play with one year and then a frame to connect them the next. Eventually we can construct the whole bike, but the components are the latest technologies as they are released.

OK, so the analogy may not be great, but my point is this – with every new release, new features will build on existing features to make something that is even better. This contrasts with the old release cycles where we had to wait until something was almost fully baked before it was released. I am pleased to see FileMaker releasing new features that are not fully baked but still somewhat functional. I can start using them and then expand their use in a future release. Make sense?

FileMaker 18 Development and Experience

So what does the development world look like in FileMaker 18? As suggested above, it is the sum of many recent releases. The reality of regular releases is that you may often skip a version or two before upgrading again. So right now, you may still be using FileMaker 15 or 16. What have you missed in 17? And what might be useful in 18?

Wouldn’t it be useful to get an overview of the current state of FileMaker development? And wouldn’t it be useful to see some practical examples of use of this features that have crept into the FileMaker platform over the last few years?

Well we have great news – we have a full day seminar that you can attend!

Seminar – Meet the Modern FileMaker Platform

Meet the Modern FileMaker Platform is a presentation of the range of new features introduced in the last few versions. With yearly releases, some features are easily overlooked, while others become more useful with each version. We present the modern FileMaker platform and the new opportunities for development, user interface and data management. See the full seminar outline below.

This seminar is suitable for anyone who is familiar with the FileMaker Platform – users, administrators and developers of FileMaker database solutions. You may be using recently released FileMaker versions (16-18), or you might still be running an older version (15 and earlier).

This seminar is a presentation/demonstration format. Although you are welcome to bring a laptop, this is not a hands-on course and limited power outlets will be available. You should bring all your questions about the FileMaker Platform for discussion. You will receive comprehensive seminar notes, along with high quality presentations, demonstrations and discussions. The seminar day is fully catered with lunch included.

Seminar Outline

FileMaker Versions
• recent releases
• managing upgrades – requirements, compatibility, using new features
FileMaker Platform Products
• current, deprecated and past
New Features and Updates (v16, v17, v18)
• FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Server (incl. WebDirect), FileMaker Go
The Modern FileMaker Platform – demonstrations
• Developing in FileMaker Pro 18
• User Experience in FileMaker 18 clients
• FileMaker 18 hosting and connectivity
FileMaker Future – published roadmap

Seminar Schedule

At this time, we have scheduled the Meet the Modern FileMaker Platform seminar in three locations:

  • Sydney – Monday, 8 July 2019
  • Melbourne – Wednesday, 10 July 2019
  • Brisbane – Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Places are limited in each location. If we sell out in any location, we may schedule another seminar.

To book your place now, go to our FileMaker Classes page. The seminar cost is $450 (ex GST) for the full day with breaks and lunch. And there is a special early bird rate – save $100 if you book on or before 20 June.

We are considering more locations and possibly offering it online if there is enough interest. If you would like to attend the seminar but cannot get to one of the locations below, please email us with your request now.

Hope to see you at a seminar.

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