Just five weeks after releasing a
major new version of its flagship database application, FileMaker welcomed 1,000 developers from 30 countries to its annual developer conference. Held in Orlando, Fl. The focus of this year’s show for FileMaker and its developers was a new feature called Web Viewer Control.
“It was received extremely well,” Jon Sigler, vice president of Product Management, told Macworld. “Version 8.5 was a very targeted release for us that revolved around the scenario of Web integration. I’m very interested to see what our developers can come up with using this feature.”
Sigler didn’t have to wait long as developers came to the show with products in hand that take advantage of the new features. iSolutions brought its Flash-based charting tool that can be easily integrated with the Web Viewer Control in FileMaker.
“It’s a blessing for our company because we have been using Flash and FileMaker for a long time, but they were always separate,” said Cris Ippolite, President of iSolutions. “Now that they can be combined into one, it makes things much better.”
As a FileMaker developer Ippolite couldn’t be happier to see a feature like the Web Viewer Control. Not only does it help developers, making it easier to implement solutions, but it also helps better define a direction for FileMaker.
“What’s important here is that FileMaker is always trying to catch up or define their marketplace, but now, for the first time, they have something that nobody else has,” said Ippolite. “It really changes the personality of the product. They have put some distance between themselves and the competition.”
FileMaker has always been known as an easy to use application, but it has also always had a strong developer base behind it. Sigler said that releases over the last few years have been aimed at satisfying both of those groups.
“Starting with version 7.0 you can see the progression of steps we are making,” said Sigler. “We have a broad user base and we make tradeoffs to be an easy to use tool. It’s not just for new users, but they can get up and running quickly. Version 8.5 is a great example of our thinking of how you can build great solutions.”
Sigler and Ippolite both feel that the Web Viewer Control will bring FileMaker to more users because of its mainstream appeal. While it’s too soon to see how developers will innovate on the technology, Sigler believes we will start to see applications within the next six months.