Updated: Jun 7, 2019
New FileMaker Pro 16 release kicks it into high gear with cURL support, JSON functions, OAuth2 support, a REST API, and more new features than you can shake a stick at.
What a difference a year makes, 26 little bi-weeks. This marks the third year in a row that FileMaker Inc. has released a major new version of their software on an annual basis. And oh, what a release it is.
FileMaker's new version 16 is the most significant technical upgrade since version 7. Offering a wealth of new features and improvements across the entire platform (UI, Web integration, Security, Mobility, and Scalability, just to name a few), this release is a great leap forward for the platform.
There are far too many new features in FileMaker 16 to cover in a short blog, so rather we will highlight what we believe to be some of the most significant new under the hood features. We will revisit FileMaker 16 in future blog posts to comment on other important FileMaker 16 features relating to scalability and user interface (UI).
Time for some cURLs
By far the strongest new feature is built-in support for cURL commands across the entire platform (front to back), enabling FileMaker custom apps to fully integrate with the thousands of third party web services and web applications available out there.
This means FileMaker custom apps can now directly exchange information across the internet with everything from DropBox, to MailChimp, to FaceBook, to Google, to WordPress, to Lyft, to literally tens of thousands of other web services. This opens up a wealth of opportunities to create even more powerful custom apps that solve all kinds of real-world problems for many different types of customers.
Most of the web services FileMaker can now talk to communicate using an http standard called REST (Representational State Transfer). In addition to becoming a great consumer of web data, the FileMaker server family is also introducing trial features allowing servers to also become web data sources.
FileMaker Server 16 now includes a brand new FileMaker Data API that allows other web services to access data in hosted FileMaker custom apps. This new hosting feature conforms with REST standards, thus making FileMaker 16 Server a REST compliant web server. Now, with the flip of a switch, any hosted FileMaker custom app can become an instant web data source.
Setting some boundaries
Last year, FileMaker 15 introduced support for iBeacons on the iOS platform, making it possible to detect nearby iBeacon antennas and execute custom workflows on iPad and iPhone. Some years back FileMaker also provided Geolocation functions to determine the geographic location of an iOS device. Now, Filemaker 16 is expanding upon that by adding the ability to actively monitor the location of an iOS device both indoors and outdoors, and take action when a device enters or exits an predefined region.
New Region Monitoring functions in version 16 allow you to automate workflows based on the location of your iOS device. You can now automatically perform an action when an iOS device detects a nearby, predefined iBeacon. Or automatically pull up location-based information when entering a predefined geofence.
Rounding out our top list of new features is the new support for OAuth2. A great new feature of FileMaker Server in version 16 is the new ability for users to log into hosted Filemaker apps using third party credentials.
With OAuth 2.0, hosting providers like ourselves can simplify access to hosted FileMaker applications by allowing users to login using their existing Amazon, Google, or Microsoft Azure account credentials. This is the third major web integration feature which completes the puzzle to making FileMaker a full citizen of the Cloud.
A wider new world
All in all, FileMaker 16 is a feature-packed release that literally opens up a whole new world of opportunities. As we wrote last year, we look forward again to the next release with even greater enthusiasm.
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