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FileMaker Pro 14 in the DIY mobile app war – FileMaker Today

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FileMaker Go Launch Center


 Image: Will Kelly


The rich text editing options let you choose the size, color, and font of your text including bold, underline, and italics. Figure B shows the rich text editing options:


Figure B


 

figure-b-filemakerpro-14.png


Rich text editing options


 Image: Will Kelly



Admittingly, I didn’t get the inclusion of video support in FileMaker Pro at first, but the support does open up some interesting options for iPad apps. You have the option to play videos within a FileMaker container field or in full screen. There are also controls to interact with videos during playback in FileMaker Go. The latest version of FileMaker Go includes new scripts for starting and stopping video and audio.


There’s also a script for enabling whether the touch keyboard appears.


The start of my interest in FileMaker Pro as a mobile solution came about because I could see it grow into a platform for mobilizing simple to moderately complex workflows. This latest release moves it closer to that reality. The latest FileMaker Go enhances the Insert bar code feature (no scripting needed) and Enhanced signature capture in portrait and landscape views. With the latest version of FileMaker Go, you can use scripts to add more information under the signature line including a title and descriptive text. You could do some interesting things to trick out the signature area of form that could impress customers signing a FileMaker-created form using an iPad.


FileMaker Pro 14


FileMaker has shown some love to FileMaker Pro 14 that should make it even easier for non-programmers to use for cobbling together a mobile app. You still have the option to create solutions from a starter solution or completely from scratch. Figure C shows the available starter solutions:


Figure C


 

figure-c-filemakerpro-14.jpg


FileMaker Pro 14 starter solutions


 Image: Will Kelly



There are some marked improvements in FileMaker Pro 14 for would-be mobile app developers including:


  • Launch Center on parity with FileMaker Go

  • Improved mobile browser support via FileMaker Web Direct

  • Expanded design tools including a button bar, button icons, top and bottom navigation parts, in-field labels, color selection, and improved object styles

  • Automatic app reconnect with FileMaker Server


There’s also more focus on automating development tasks in FileMaker Pro 14. It might take some users a bit of time


While a discerning eye will still be able to tell it’s a FileMaker Pro application, I give FileMaker a few more iterations for it to be hard to tell that it’s a FileMaker Pro app.


Pricing


FileMaker does a great job of explaining FileMaker Pro pricing based on its various deployment options. Because my personal history with FileMaker dates back, I like that FileMaker focuses on the details around their pricing since FileMaker Pro has grown much since its inception.


Final recommendation


No, I don’t think FileMaker Pro is going to replace mobile app developers anytime soon. I do think that tools like FileMaker Pro will help mobilize small to medium enterprises and even some independent consultants who need to mobilize a simple workflow but don’t have the programming talent in-house.


Empowering knowledge workers and other power users to create mobile apps is the wave of the future. I consider FileMaker a shadow enterprise mobility leader in a growing “DIY mobile app war” that’s happening right now.


About


Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing. Follow Will on Twitter: @willkelly.

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