Notes from March 10 Product Briefing. FileMaker 11 debuted Monday! This group is mostly running versions 7 and up but many are still running 5 and 6.
FileMaker bought and embedded into FileMaker. More charts will be added in subsequent versions. Assign x and y axis to fields. Oooo, nice color palettes! The chart is live depending on your found set. You can even chart summary field values based on a break field. All you do is sort, the same as if you were preparing a table.
Can filter based on a field value or a calculation. You don't need extra indexing. Basically, you can use one relationship to show many different data sets. This is really going to streamline the relationship graph. Go To Related Record script step will not consider filters.
Variables at the UI Level
Nice! Now you don't have to create a field in order to show it on the layout. Something I've wanted in FM since I worked in FoxPro in the early 90s. Bill just showed a cool technique that combines portal filtering, charts and script triggers. Essentially, the chart's X and Y are set to variables. A script trigger walks through the portal and builds the value.
Another tool just for developers. But there's more, you can do lots more in the Manage Layouts dialog - including set script triggers and go to the layout. Also new in layout mode are badges that mark field that have script triggers, conditional formatting, etc. Do we need stinkin' badges?
A handsome, google-like find window is now up in the status bar. It will conduct a search on all of the fields on the current layout. And what's more...
- You can turn off Quick Find on a layout
- You can disable a field from being searched by the Quick Find
- You can also hijack Quick Find and tie it to a script
- You can import Custom Functions.
- Can use variables in Perform Find
- Nice trick where you build a complex query that progressively thins the record set
- Now there's an Inspector
- Security - can better manage who can pull a table occurrence
- Snapshot Links are pretty cool, an easy way to send a found set to another user with access to the file while preserving the layout, sort order, current record, etc.
Ad Hoc Reporting
FileMaker's been turning over more tools to the user for searching and reporting. As a developer, you can give users a view only layout and let them "go to town" because the user can:
- Save finds
- Sort and subtotal in browse mode
- Control what fields are on a layout
- Continued performance improvements especially when FileMaker is an ODBC source.
- Can make clones as part of your backup routine
- Statistics tab logs lots of stuff which helps in trouble-shooting
- Can turn over a folder to a group for management
Get yourself into 10 at the very least. If you host your solution on version 11, client versions 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 can connect. If you host your solution on version 7, client versions 7-11 can connect but not take advantage of any functionality in a version higher than the server. If you're running clients earlier than version 9, read this caveat from a FileMaker staffer on the Technet Forum:
FileMaker Pro 9, 10 and 11 clients are the only clients "supported" to work with FileMaker Server 11. However, FileMaker 7, 8, and 8.5 clients are not blocked from connecting to FileMaker Server 11 BUT you are "swimming without a lifeguard" if you choose to do so. Probably won't have an issue, inasmuch as you would have doing similar things with Server 10 - but [FileMaker]Technical Support will more than likely tell you that isn't a support configuration if you call in with issues.
More 11 Coverage
List member Marc found a page someone put together of all of the release-day coverage of the FileMaker 11 release on various blogs, including videos, technique files, etc. http://fmprandom.blogspot.com/2010/03/listing-of-announcement-day-filemaker.html. Thanks Marc!
For a complete list of new features in version 11, read this "What's New" list from the FM11 help files. Thanks Elleni!