Review: FileMaker Pro 13 for OS X offers a lot to like

“FileMaker Pro—the database application that has a user base ranging from individuals through corporations — has released FMPro 13,” Gary Coyne writes for Technology Tell. “While there are the expected improvements to the application, this new release provides a whole new level of opportunities. Part of that includes a new release of FileMaker Go for iPhone, iTouch, and iPad to work with the new features of FMPro 13. And as before with version 12, FMPro Go is free from the App store.”

“I need to also take a moment to mention the demise of Bento, FileMaker’s simplified flat-file database that made database creation as simple as could be. As of September, 2013, Bento was discontinued. Despite having some wonderful innovations and a very large following, changes in FileMaker made Bento less of a value to iPad and iPhone customers (simply, FMPro Go gave more bang for the buck),” Coyne writes. “Personally I think the limitations of Bento being a flat-file database created a wall for users who were expecting full (relational) database capabilities, and Bento just could not do that. For the Bento users upgrading to FileMaker, they will have a steep learning curve. But if they hang in there, they will probably be better off in the long run.”

“I cannot tout the improvements to FileMaker WebDirect enough. But that must be tempered with the costs to run the thing itself. When I was being shown the improvements and new features of FM Pro 13, one of the things I quickly latched onto was that a user could devise an ‘App’ that was actually nothing more than a FileMaker Pro database running in FileMaker Go. That was until I saw the price tag of making that happen. It ain’t going to happen; FileMaker’s pricing scheme is a bucket of ice cold Gatorade dumped on a chilly day for that idea,” Coyne writes. “Sadly, unless you are corporate, WebDirect is probably a non-starter.”

Coyne writes, “Getting past that, though, there is a lot to like in FileMaker Pro 13. Once you get past the confusing and limited (albeit limitless) documentation, the powerful features within FileMaker Pro make the promise of databases on your devices via FileMaker Go a true marvel. This, even if you just have a database sitting on your device not talking to a server.”

Tons more in the full review here.


    1. I used to work at a school, and have heard kids use that expression constantly. For some reason they would shorten the name of an iPod touch to an “iTouch.” I never quite understood why they did it, but I knew what they were talking about, so I stopped correcting them.

  1. Filemaker’s extremely high priced licensing model for FileMaker Server, the only thing that can publish WebDirect, makes it uninteresting to use it for anything else than quickly get something running. Once you have the database model worked out, for web facing applications, it is probably better to switch to something like MariaDB and use PHP or other languages to develop a long running solution. In this way you avoid the high yearly licensing cost and you are not forced to “upgrade” every year again for a high cost.

    1. I agree Filemaker is like Microsoft they have never got that the server app is what has always held them back and that there is a reason that more than 75% of the worlds web servers are unix. Its like there’s always been a Steve Balmer at helm. If you want to look at a recent successful company that makes their server FREE take a look at Market Circles “Daylite” awesome way to separate your employees personal address book contacts with work contacts and when they no longer work for you just turn off their connection on the server. Funnily enough this is something Apple is also crap at, Enterprise use of their products, maybe its an Apple head in the sand thing.

  2. What I want would seem to be simple — a way to use an iDevice to open and run a database created on the FMPro desktop and have the changes made sync. Bento didn’t do it. FM Go doesn’t do it. Putting the database on a Transporter doesn’t do it (they tell me it won’t “save back” to the file on the Transporter). Haven’t tried Dropbox. But come on, FileMaker, why should it be this hard?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.