Well, as you have probably already heard, FileMaker Pro 11 was released last Tuesday. In case you haven't, here's a list of the main features and a few comments I have about them.
The big feature is FileMaker Charts - charting built right into the application without any plug-ins. In FMP 11 there are some limitations for heavy duty chart making people, but it's a nice start. The charts work with FileMaker's Instant Web Publishing, too, although I always recommend that you share a special database used for the web only.
Layout Folders - At last! I don't know how many times I've scrolled the list of layouts wishing I could just put most of them somewhere that I didn't have to look at them - or scroll through them all. Now you can!
Recurring Imports - Automatically import data from Microsoft Excel or other data sources, such as Tab and CSV, into FileMaker Pro 11. Updates in the source file are reflected in the FileMaker Pro table. The data is read only. In other words, you're not making changes to the external file.
If you do a lot of work with Excel, you'll like the feature that lets you work with data in a spreadsheet-like format - Add fields and records in Table View using a very familiar format. Sort, delete, and hide fields; change a field's data type; and set field options. You can also create a grouped report by adding a leading or trailing group by field-all from Table View.
Quick Find - You can search across all the fields on a layout in Browse mode. Just add a new tool to the Status Area and define which fields you want it to look in. You'll be able to search in all those fields at once sort of like a Google search in your file. Very clever.
Inspector - Most editing tasks that you do in Layout mode can be done with the Inspector, which allows you to view and modify object settings in one convenient place. Previously you needed to look in many dialogs to make the changes you can now make in this helpful tool. It takes a little getting used to, but it's pretty smooth.
Portal Filtering - Add a filter to a portal to specify the related records that are shown in a portal. Previously this required much complicated programming. It still takes some knowledge of creating calculations, but reduces the work quite a bit.
The new Snapshot Link saves the found set, layout and sort order of your current view in a FileMaker Pro Snapshot Link file. You can send the link to another user (who must have FileMaker Pro 11 and access to the database) who can open it and instantly see exactly what you were looking at - as long as the data hasn't changed and no records have been deleted. You can use them instead of creating a script for groups of records you need to look at regularly.
Text Highlight - You can highlight text in the fields in your layouts. I've been doing this for a long time by changing the text color. This is a little different (at least for FileMaker) in that a filled in rectangle surrounds the text you apply it to, just as it would if you used a magic marker.
There are many more smaller changes and improvements, many of which are aimed at the experienced developer, but helpful, timesaving tools all around.
Click this link to go to FileMaker's website for more lengthy explanations and some nice screen shots.
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