FileMaker expands reach with new HTML 5 solution builder | ZDNet

By David Morgenstern

Apple subsidiary FileMaker this week released FileMaker 13, the latest version of its “business productivity platform,” expanding its previous Windows, Mac and iOS database tool to encompass mostly everything else. The major upgrade lets professional FileMaker developers and even novice users create powerful and elegant custom solutions for desktop and mobile clients.

In the previous Version 12, FileMaker focused on support for iOS clients. With Filemaker 13, the database solution builder expands its reach with FileMaker WebDirect, a database tool that will allow users to create custom HTML 5, browser-based solutions. For a number of years, the software support Web services via PHP tools. However, these were primarily for viewing data, rather than a rich, bi-directional solution. That changes with FileMaker WebDirect.

Senior Product Manager Eric Jacobson said in a briefing that “WebDirect brings everything that customers love in FileMaker, but with the accessibility of a browser.” The software offer what Jacobson called “desktop style” interaction; on a desktop browser, users will be able to drag an image into a field, which will then be pushed out to all users.

“So, [customers] won’t need to learn PHP, or JavaScript, or how to write a CSS style sheet. But in fact, everything is browser technology, there are no plug-ins or add-ons. Everything will run in the browser,” he said.

In the initial release, FileMaker 13 will support desktop browsers. Jacobson said the company is actively working on bringing the technology to mobile browsers. This latter support would open FileMaker mobility solutions to non-Apple tablets and phones. Can we say: Android?

“It’s definitely part of our roadmap to extend [WebDirect] to all the types of devices that you would expect that customers would want it to run on.”

Of course, FileMaker will offer native clients for Windows tablets and desktops, Apple Macs and iOS devices (iPhones and iPads). If that doesn’t suffice, then customers will be able to run the database solutions in the browser.

However, FileMaker as an Apple subsidiary isn’t standing still on its rich iOS client apps. Jacobson said there were more than 800K downloads of the iOS app. The app will continue to be a free download.

The new iOS version is upgraded and support more iOS behaviors such as gesture navigation, popovers and slide controls. It also understands rotation and can automatically adjust the layout for different aspects.

More…FileMaker expands reach with new HTML 5 solution builder | ZDNet.

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