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FileMaker revealed a major update to its FileMaker database platform that allows users to access FileMaker databases through a browser. The marquee feature of the new FileMaker 13 is FileMaker WebDirect, which allows FileMaker to be used through an HTML5-compliant browser. Changes made through the Web are updated to the FileMaker database in real time, so you can see up-to-date information regardless of which client was used to make the updates. Other new features include AES 256-bit encryption, and an HTML5 administrative console in FileMaker Server 13. FileMaker also has several new features specific to database developers.
In its 2012 Editors' Choice awards, Macworld says, "A few products truly stand out as impressive examples of quality, value, and innovation ... FileMaker has been a longtime favorite for business users, and for good reason—the database program keeps getting better with age. The latest version has a great set of starter solutions for novice users who want to create a new database. The program's 40 new themes help users quickly build attractive and useful databases that are also designed to work on iOS devices. And just when you think FileMaker can't get any more dynamic, the company makes welcome improvements to container fields and the charting tools."
Will Kelly, TechRepublic, walks through the basics for creating a mobile database app for iPad using FileMaker Pro Starter Solutions. He concludes, "FileMaker Pro is worth checking out if you're making your first move into iPad app development for your organization, because it doesn't require extensive resources. If a team inside your larger organization spends some time upfront to learn the FileMaker tools, you can develop and deploy apps without taxing already stretched IT resources."
ZDNet Education's Christopher Dawson looks at FileMaker solutions in use by Berklee College of Music and Leon Goldstein High School in New York, integrating iPad apps and with desktop systems. He finds that "FileMaker (Go, Pro, and Server) are incredible tools for pulling together all of the disparate data that teachers are expected to use to drive instruction in their classrooms. Even if you don't have the time or resources to build your information systems within FileMaker, there are plenty of developers and vendors with solutions built in FileMaker (and who can host the server end of things) that bring a variety of tools and benefits to the education vertical. Not the least of these benefits is the Go App that makes data collection, reporting, and interpretation particularly easy for teachers and administrators."
On his ForwardThinking blog on PCMag.com, industry luminary Michael Miller discusses advances in creating databases for iPad and iPhone with FileMaker 12: "What stands out to me, though, is how much better it works for taking your database with you on an iPhone or iPad. The previous version started this trend, but the new version just works better. The key to this is a number of new themes that are really designed for the touch interface. You can start with one of these themes and create a new database, or take an existing database and apply the new theme."
Government Computer News, the online authority for government IT professionals, reviews FileMaker Go 12 for iPad and iPhone and awards it Reviewer's Choice and A+ grade for Value. "One thing that impressed us was the real-time aspect of any changes to the database information or structure. When we created a new record remotely, that record instantly showed up in queries. Conversely, if we made a design change on a query, form or report, the change would get pushed down to all devices running Go immediately. The responsiveness in the speed of updates pretty much eliminates version control concerns, as every instance is always looking at the current version."
TechRepublic's Erik Eckel looks at the FileMaker platform for iPad apps: "The beauty of FileMaker's database platform is in the elegance of its simplicity. FileMaker Go offers an incredibly powerful application - the Austin Convention Center eliminated paper-based work orders to achieve a 200% return on its investment, vascular specialists Lee Medical improved patient outcomes while reducing healthcare costs, and pet products manufacturer West Paw Design developed a custom automation solution to save hundreds of thousands annually and encourage 10 percent annual growth - that even the smallest organizations can afford to buy and customize, thanks to prepackaged templates and good design."
Reviewing the new Bento 4 for iPad in TabTimes, Ray Aquilera writes, "Databases aren't often described as 'simple', and they're not known for being much to look at. FileMaker's new Bento 4 for iPad aims to change that, improving its design tools, and adding tons of new Retina-ready templates and themes to its outstanding iPad database app ... Whether you're tracking parts, products, or people, Bento 4 for iPad is the best database solution available for the iPad. Creating new forms is simple, and easy sync and sharing options offer plenty of flexibility for managing your data."
Macworld notes the debut of the new Bento 4 for iPad: "FileMaker on Tuesday released the newest version of its consumer database, Bento 4 for iPad. Past versions of the Bento for iPad have limited creation tools and have focused on acting as a means to access and modify existing databases that were initially created on the Mac. The new Bento 4 for iPad adds a complete set of tools to allow for the creation of Bento databases on the iPad itself."
PC Mag praises the new Bento 4 for iPad for it intuitive layout, attractive themes and new features, and makes it the Editors' Choice: "If you're looking to keep contacts, inventory listings, or any number of other potential database entries organized in an attractive, easy-to-use application, Bento for iPad is well worth the $4.99 price of admission and a clear choice for the Editors' Choice designation."
On AppStorm.com, Jeremy Seiner writes, "Ask anyone in the office what the best database software for the Mac or PC is and you will hear FileMaker Pro. FileMaker Inc's top of the line database app has been winning awards and praises for years and now the power of your entire company's database can be on your iPad. FileMaker Go 12 for the iPad does exactly what you think it does - takes exactly what you see on your desktop's screen, and makes it available on your iPad. Your company is about to get extremely mobile. Read more to find out how."
"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."
Writing in TabTimes Daily Update, Doug Drinkwater includes Bento for iPad among the 7 best iPad apps for personal organization: "Bento is a very versatile personal organizer. Using the iPad app, you can organize contacts, track projects and tasks, plan events, record voice memos, send emails and even browse web links without having to leave the Bento application. The app can be used as a standalone application and can also be synchronized with Bento 4 for Mac, which is sold separately."
Covering the major new features in FileMaker 12, Information Week reports, "FileMaker 12 database software tilts the scales toward Apple's iOS devices in both design and features, makes mobile Go apps free ... A wide range of new features in the database software's latest release includes 16 'Starter Solutions,' or ready-made templates for a variety of business uses such as content management and invoicing. The update also includes 40 new 'themes' that enable users to instantly update the look-and-feel of their databases. The menu offers 'touch' themes based on various iOS design elements, built with the iPad and iPhone in mind."
In his CIO.com blog, veteran mobile tech journalist James A. Martin writes, "FileMaker, a database program, has been around in one form or another for nearly as long as the PC. But you'd never know that based on its latest incarnations: FileMaker Pro 12 and the FileMaker Go 12 iOS apps. "The FileMaker Pro 12 software for Windows and Mac, which starts at $299, lets you create databases that look great on iPhone and iPad screens. The application includes 16 new "Starter" templates for different types of databases. And each of these templates includes screens that are optimized for display when opened using FileMaker Go 12 for iPhone or FileMaker Go 12 for iPad. (The iPad and iPhone apps are different but share the same functionality.)"
The new FileMaker Pro 12 has won PC Mag Editors' Choice award. In its review, PC Mag said, " 'Visually stunning' and 'databases' are two words that you may not think of as going together, but FileMaker is changing that. FileMaker Pro 12 still has all the ease of database creation for which previous versions were known, to which are added new features and capabilities that make it a tool for creating some truly visually stunning and interactive databases ... You would be hard-pressed to find another database product that is so polished, eye-catching and fun to use."
William Porter, reviewing the new FileMaker Go 12 for iPad and FileMaker Go 12 for iPhone, in Macworld, writes, "FileMaker Go 12 is the best thing to happen in the FileMaker world in a long time ... I'm having trouble finding something to dislike about Go. With FileMaker Go 12, you can now take your FileMaker Pro database with you everywhere - down the hallway, across town, or even out-of-town - and you can interact with the database almost exactly as you would if you were using it on your desktop computer back in the office. Not to mention that FileMaker Go 12 is free: its predecessor sets you back $20."
Computerworld on new FileMaker 12: 'eye-catching databases that move seamlessly from desktop to mobile device.'
Computerworld reports on the new FileMaker 12 software line: "No matter what device you're using to access a database, FileMaker wants the finished product to look good. And so the latest update to the software maker's flagship database product puts an emphasis on design features regardless of which platform you're using. "The new FileMaker 12 lineup ... updates the company's Mac and Windows database offerings while introducing new free apps for the iPhone and iPad. Chief among the changes are additions specifically aimed at helping FileMaker users build eye-catching databases that move seamlessly from desktop to mobile device."
Bento for iPad "is like a meeting planner's personal database, with 25 available templates" says Bedouk.com, the online resource for worldwide meeting planners. "Bento allows you to easily organize your contacts like digital business cards; include a photo so you never forget a face! Record a conference or a client meeting so you never miss a beat. Plus, you can track and manage all your events and projects, including images, tasks and key contacts. Then when you're finished for the day, synch with Bento for Mac!"
PC Mag awards its prestigious Editors' Choice to Bento 4, saying, "This is the most useful and appealing version of Bento yet. Bento 4 is a great tool for managing the information of most interest and importance to the average person, without exposing them to the usual complexity of relational databases such as FileMaker Pro ... Bento 4 may be the only high-profile consumer-end database available for the Mac, but it's a superb one, and more than worthy of an Editors' Choice award."
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