FileMaker has moved into the iPhone market with its latest version. FileMaker 12 has been released in versions for traditional desktop machines (FileMaker Pro 12), and with free apps for iPad and iPhone. The free FileMaker apps for iPad and iPhone were downloaded more than 100,000 times in the first week they were released. FileMaker has also released new 64-bit versions of FileMaker Server 12 and FileMaker Server 12 Advanced that have better support for large databases alongside the ability for file and multimedia-content streaming.
FileMaker Pro 12 has been redesigned to make it easy to build databases for iOS, with a range of 16 new starter templates and 40 themes, some of which are designed specifically with the iPad and iPhone in mind. The idea behind the changes is to make designing databases as simple as possible, with features such as custom screen stencils to make it easy to arrange information for iPad and iPhone screens. FileMaker also has new chart options that can be used to create on-the-fly graphs.
Container fields have been improved to make it easier to handle multimedia files such as PDFs, video, photos, audio, and documents. Files can be dragged and dropped into the fields, and can be either stored in the database or linked in an encrypted format. Thumbnails are generated so it’s easier to deal with large files, and in the case of FileMaker Server large files can be streamed to connected clients. When running on the iPad or iPhone users can now record video and audio directly into container fields, and can stream out content using AirPlay.
While databases sound a bit too corporate for most iPhone users, if any database is going to succeed in this market it will be FileMaker. You can try FileMaker Pro 12 free with a 30-day trial here.
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