FileMaker Pro 19

Originally published at: https://tidbits.com/watchlist/filemaker-pro-19/

Venerable relational database app is updated with a variety of new features to help developers build sophisticated custom apps. ($540 new, $197 upgrade, 376.2 MB)

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.

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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.

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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.

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?

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:

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