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MoonShadow

Thank you FileMaker

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MoonShadow

I am quite pleased with 7. They have listened to us and I commend their efforts - even if they didn't hit 100% right out of the gate. They could have provided us with most of the requested features and left the structure alone. Instead, they risked a total rewrite which, in addition to giving us most of the things we've requested, also provides a revolutionary concept in structure.

 

There are a few bugs - All new software releases have them and they are always followed with updaters and fixes. I am sure FileMaker will be no exception.

 

Change is uncomfortable but that doesn't mean it isn't worth the effort. Now we need to figure out how best to take advantage of its tremendous power instead of seeing everything strange (something we don't understand) as a 'bug.'

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FileMakin' Tom

And how do your fonts look on screen?

 

Tom

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MoonShadow

I use Verdana 10 & 11 pt bold for all data (always have) and it looks fine to me, although my sight is very poor. Maybe that's an advantage. But I even showed our Users and they say it looks fine and they find it easy to read. It is true that, when compared to 6 it's a bit 'too smooth' (smile) but if one doesn't compare them side-by-side, the difference is negligible, in my opinion. Windows XP.

 

We do have two monitors that are difficult, but they were with 6 also. The advantages of 7, in my opinion, far outweigh these issues.

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Mariano Peterson

I also agree that FileMaker has made technological moves in the right direction. However, for many they are too little, too late.

 

While the improved structure is good, it doesn't allow developers to overcome many of the obstacles they've faced in the past. A few of the major things they're lacking:

-Vastly improved SQL support and performance

-Embedded layouts (to reduce development time of complex applications)

-Event based scripting (System events, Table events, and Layout events; and no, plug-ins don't fill this void adequately, but that is another discussion)

-Flexible plug-in architecture and enhanced ActiveX API.

 

Further, I've encountered endless performance problems with FileMaker 7. The layout slowness is so bad that I can't afford to waste my client's time working with it. I understand that this problem is averted with lower screen resolutions, but all my computers use a large resolution, and all my clients use these larger resolutions as well. They won't (literally cannot afford to) reduce their resolutions (due to lost productivity) to support what to us amounts as a minor feature release.

 

Yes, in many ways FM7 is far better than FM6, and the new structure, relational model, etc., are all very good improvements. However, to utilize these features we'd have to rewrite quite an extensive application. Further, the end users would not see a large benefit from these technological advancements, but the cost of implementing them would be quite high (in terms of development time, which far outweighs the licensing issues).

 

What the users would have benefited from are the features I listed above. Embedded layouts would allow the developers to change sections of the application far more quickly than ever before, allowing improved work flows to be implemented faster. An event based scripting model would make the deliverable interface far richer, allowing developers to better streamline the work flow. Improved SQL support would allow FileMaker to integrate much more naturally and seamlessly in the enterprise IT environment, meaning more support from enterprise IT and less cost to the company (currently FileMaker can be integrated quite effectively using HTTP/XML, but this is not an efficient means of development for enterprise developers accustomed to working with standard technologies such as ODBC... in case you didn't know, FileMaker's support for ODBC is so incredibly slow is might as well be absent from the product line). An improved plug-in architecture would allow plug-in authors to extend FileMaker far beyond its current limitations. For instance, an improved (and more standard) plug-in architecture would allow programmers to write their own custom portals. This would be immensely valuable. Also, programmers could then link external handlers to internal events. Sure this, sort of thing is beyond the needs of the novice FileMaker user, and is not necessary in the standard release of FileMaker Pro. However, it is almost inexcusable that FileMaker Developer doesn't support this.

 

Regardless of the feature set, the new version of FileMaker is not an option for me because of the layout mode peformance problems, and also browse mode performance while working with a separation model involving a couple of files (to decouple the data from the interface). Who knows. Maybe by summer they'll have released 7.1 to address these performance problems, although it will be surely be long after before they improve the feature set to anything more developer oriented.

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MoonShadow

I totally agree with you, Mariano. I would have loved those features also. However, the tremendous reduction in calculations (particularly the power of Custom Functions), decreased scripts (yet more script steps) and (almost?) unlimited relationship capabilities makes for a very appealing package. Add the frosting like ENTER exiting a field, multiple windows,etc and well ... I'm sold.

 

In one instance of restructure, I eliminated 34 associated calculations, 9 scripts which became much shorter, and the speed increased substantially. For me, Layout Mode does experience a slight hesitation upon initial object movement but it isn't distracting to me nor does it slow me down. I can't wait to take advantage of the new model. Maybe I'm just moonstruck. wink.gif

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Johnny Boy

I have to voice my disappointment in the lack of event based scripting. I will not come off the dime (yet) without that. I'm still quite satisfied with 5.5 and just can't justify the cost for a major draw back like the fact you still have to resort to using a mouse for quick accurate data entry. I think this is a major issue that has been passed by. Is it because of the third party plug ins?

John

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FileMakin' Tom

Not to continue to beat a dead horse, but Mariano's post is quite defined and accurate. (I had not read it previously) regarding the shortcomings of v7.0. Another pet peeve is FMI's refusal to expand graphics capabilities. If one wants a graduated fill or other minor effect, it must be built in a drawing program and then imported into the file (which increases the overhead enormously). Simply being able to draw irregular shapes would save a lot of time for weird shaped buttons. Or the ability to create (or draw upon precreated) arrowheads in all directions and colors would be of great use to many. And on and on and on . . .

 

Plus, I have systems which run as many as 48 modules (files, I refuse to call them tables as that's where I eat dinner and paper offices never had tables) which would take a year or more to convert to the v7 format. No thanks, my time is too valuable for that.

 

Sorry FMI . . . I really think you messed up.

 

Tom mad.gif

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BradStanford.com

If one wants a graduated fill or other minor effect, it must be built in a drawing program and then imported into the file...

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