FileMaker 17 is Here!

FileMaker 17

As promised – a planned release every year – FileMaker 17 is available today!  Let’s take a look at the new features.  First off, there are several new features aimed to help developers (and users, too):

Finally:  Support for multiple email attachments

That’s right, send as many attachments as your email account will allow (based on file size, of course) using the Attach Files option to attach multiple files to each message.

Multiple Attachments

Group Object Selection

The days when you have to ungroup and move objects to make changes to text, buttons, etc. are over!  You can now change the contents of a grouped object without ungrouping!

Built in Inspector

The Inspector now resided in the work space window.  No more searching multiple screens looking for the lost inspector!  But, if you want it the old way…it’s still available.Built In Inspector

Portals for master-detail layouts

Remember making a portal of the same type of records?  You know, a list of account on the left (the Master list) and the details of a selected record on the right (the Detail).  You had to make a self-join relationship and write some scripts.  Now it’s easier to do:  Automatically enable a portal to display records from the current found set. Clicking on a portal row to show the detail record just…works.  No scripts.

FileMaker data migration tool

This is a command-line tool that turns data migration into something easy to do and fast.  Very fast.  With some great new features:

  • It copies Value lists – just set an option
  • There is an option to copy account names and passwords
  • The migration tool copies Container data, too.  Natch.
  • It can migrate data into similar but not identical files (which means it supports migration use cases)

Default fields

When you add a new table, you can automatically create fields that display record creation information for each table. Fields include primary key, creation date, modification date, and more. Better yet, these fields are customizable as needed (just change the XML file) so they import with your naming convention.

New Defoault Feilds

Support for variables in Show Custom Dialog

Say goodbye to global fields in the Show Custom Dialog:  You can now add a variable in an input field to populate and retrieve text.

Variable in Show Custom Dialog

Perform Script enhancement

Check this out: In the Perform Script step, you can use the new “Specified” option to select a script from a list or specify the script name by a calculation.

Copy and paste custom menus

Use standard keyboard shortcuts to copy custom menu sets, menus, and menu items and then paste them into another file.  Very much a time saver.

Custom app creation

Easily create custom apps based on the predefined apps that are built-in the product. Extend these apps by adding predefined apps or Add-on Tables.  (I haven’t tried this, but it sounds good).

Deployment Features

There are two new offering in the Deployment area:

New FileMaker Server Admin Console

FileMaker Server Admin Console now supports a REST-based HTML/CSS responsive UI. It includes a new look and feel and is similar to the FileMaker Cloud console.

FileMaker Admin API

This feature exposes a set of REST APIs to allow for more flexibility in managing and administering FileMaker Server.  Imagine making your FileMaker database available to other databases.  You can write an API with this.


FileMaker is working hard on mobility features:

Sensor support

FileMaker is getting serious about sensor support:  FM Go 17 provides a new calculation function that allows FileMaker Go apps to capture information from sensors in iOS devices including location, air pressure, accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, barometer, and battery level.

Configure Local Notification

You can now use a script step to display a notification alert on a device when FileMaker Go is not running or is in the background.

Auto-complete in text fields

Improve the speed and accuracy of data entry in FileMaker Go with the new Auto-Complete feature.

Keyboard shortcuts

FM Go 17 now supports keyboard shortcuts in FileMaker Go on iPad Pro and external keyboards.

App delegate extension

Create iOS apps using the iOS App SDK that let you use Apple technologies such as HealthKit, HomeKit, Apple Pay, and more.  Integrate Apple Pay features into your custom FileMaker Go app!

Drag and drop

Very nice:  FileMaker Go now supports drag and drop of text, photos, and files in iOS 11.  That will definitely speed things up in some situations.

Other Features:

FileMaker Data API enhancements — Add support for running FileMaker scripts and container upload in the FileMaker Data API.

Account lockout — Temporarily lock account after a few sign-in attempts.

Improved responsiveness while reconnecting — If a network connection to a host is lost, continue working with files that don’t depend on that host while the connection is being restored.

Deprecated features being removed from the FileMaker 17 Platform

  • JPEG 2000, MacPaint, Photoshop, SGI, and TGA formats
  • FileMaker Server support for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (Standard and Enterprise Editions)
  • Connecting to a host via LDAP directory
  • Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11
  • Standby server
  • Current deprecated features*

    • EPS image format
    • 32-bit architecture Support
    • Support for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1
    • EPS files (*.eps) support
    • Container field option: “Store only a reference to the file”
    • The Get(WindowOrientation) function
    • Send DDE and spelling script steps
    • Type 1 fontsDBF import/export format
    • DDR HTML format
    • FileMaker Pro runtimes
  • *Deprecation does not mean the immediate deletion of an API or technology. However, FileMaker, Inc. recommends that you migrate your custom app to use other APIs, technologies, or alternative features of the product because the deprecated interfaces may be deleted from a future version of the application.

FileMaker 17 Platform supported operating systems

FileMaker Pro/Pro Advanced

  • macOS High Sierra 10.13
  • macOS Sierra 10.12
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 7 SP1 Professional and Ultimate Editions

FileMaker Server

  • macOS High Sierra 10.13
  • macOS Sierra 10.12
  • Windows Server 2016 Standard Edition (with Desktop Experience)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition with Update

FileMaker Go

  • iOS 11 and iOS 12 (when available)

FileMaker WebDirect

  • Safari 10 and 11, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge 40, Chrome 58

That’s all for now

But check back in coming days as we explore FileMaker’s new features in-depth!  We’ll also be adding new files to the Free FileMaker Example Files list as we find them.

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