FileMaker 18: The End of the Beginning

Todd Geist
May 23 · 6 min read

The Beginning

Two years ago I wrote about how important FileMaker 16 was. I called it the Biggest Change Since FileMaker 7. We got full cURL support, JSON parsing functions, a REST API and lots of others features that enabled FileMaker to become a first class citizen of the world wide web. It is hard to imagine being able to build apps today without access to those features. But it was really only the very beginning of what was to become a major transition for FileMaker and the community. We are now well into that transition. In fact I’d say we have reached “The End of the Beginning”

First Class Web Citizen

Modern Cloud Server

FileMaker 18 Server is the first version that has been built with core support for using multiple processors. While some of the benefits of this will take some time become obvious, we need to recognize how important this is. Re-writing a database engine for a new feature like this is not easy. It’s not like just adding a new script step or a new layout control. It is messing with a database’s highly optimized core job of writing data to disk correctly.

Workplace Innovation Platform

I am now into my 3rd decade developing on top of FileMaker and for the first time, I feel that I am in sync with–and have an essential role in–FileMaker’s strategy. FileMaker is and always has been a Workplace Innovation Platform. But there was never a common understanding even within FileMaker, Inc., never mind within the broader community of what it was. Now there is. The time of figuring out what FileMaker is over, and the time to grow into that category is now in full swing.

Changes at the Top

Dominique Groupil as CEO kept FileMaker relevant and profitable for two decades, a truly remarkable accomplishment. But even more amazing to me is the fact that he had the foresight to kick off this transformation and make sure it was on the right track before announcing his retirement and turning over the reins to Brad Freitag.

The End of the Beginning

The new FileMaker 18 Platform is the world’s leading Workplace Innovation Platform used to help problem solvers address their unique business challenges. It includes great new features for developers to create, share, and integrate custom apps.

Future Challenges

This all great news. FileMaker needed to rise to the challenge being presented by the market today. In my opinion the challenges that lie ahead have a lot to do with developing the right language to describe what it is that Workplace Innovators have to do everyday. We have a good description of the problems people face trying to use technology to solve problems, and we now have a good set of low level capabilities like cURL, REST, WYSIWYG forms etc. So we know the goal, i.e. where we are trying to go, and we have a good tool that can get us there, but we need to make it even easier for people to pull it off.

https://www.filemaker.com/learning/devcon/2019/index.html
https://www.filemaker.com/learning/devcon/2019/index.html

FileMaker DevCon 2019

I intend to share more thoughts on this topic at the FileMaker DevCon in a couple of months. I am giving two talks on Workplace Innovation Platform. One will be focused on where we are right now. The other presentation will be on where I think we are headed in the next few years.


Geist Interactive

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    Todd Geist

    Written by

    FileMaker Developer. Founder of Geist Interactive, a California based software consultancy. Co-Founder of the One Spark Foundation, an educational non profit

    Geist Interactive

    Article and Videos from Geist Interactive