FileMaker 15 marks the first release on the company's new annual development cycle. "Everything gets incrementally better" with each release, FileMaker consulting engineer David Head told iTWire.
Designed to make it possible for 'citizen developers' to develop custom applications while including features expected by professional developers, FileMaker can be used to create applications for iOS, OS X, Windows and the web.
FileMaker 15 recognises that "mobility is front and centre" for customers, and so includes "a lot of cool stuff" for iOS, FileMaker managing director Joel Katz told iTWire.
In addition, improvements to FileMaker WebDirect make it possible to create responsive web interfaces that work well with smartphones. "We encourage people to design for the device," said Head.
Developers' work is simplified by error highlighting and multiple undos when scripting, along with support for additional SQL data sources including PostgresSQL and IBM DB2.
Ease of use features include an additional collection of four simpler starter solutions (for contacts, inventory, content management and tasks) designed to provide more appropriate starting points for beginner users, web-based help for faster retrieval (with a downloadable PDF version for offline use), and a redesigned status toolbar.
Security is "very important for businesses... [and] very important to us", said Head, but it is an area that is sometimes overlooked by those citizen developers. So FileMaker 15 includes proactive security warnings in various situations, including the use of a FileMaker Server admin account without a password, or connections to hosts or websites with invalid security certificates. The new version also makes it clear that the sample security certificate supplied with the product is only for testing use, as well as supporting SSL certificates (including intermediate, subjectAltName [SAN], and wildcard certificates) from a broader range of providers.
In addition, a new concealed edit box is available in forms so that sensitive information needn't be displayed onscreen.
To help developers optimise app performance, data filtering and sorting is performed without blocking other activities, and a new logging feature helps identify server processes that take a long time to complete.
FileMaker 15 also introduces simplified licensing terms for teams of five or more to access databases hosted on FileMaker Server from FileMaker Pro (for User Connections), FileMaker Go, or FileMaker WebDirect.
Prices start at $1,085.