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FileMaker Pro for Mac User Reviews

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  • 5.0 stars

    "FileMaker is an awesome app!"

    October 4, 2013  |   By FileMakerGeek

    Version: FileMaker Pro 12.0.4.403

    Pros

    - Cross-platform; Win/Mac/iOS (one file works on all)
    - FileMaker Go for iOS is FREE!
    - Easy learning curve.
    - Fastest database dev tool. i.e. Days and weeks months, vs weeks, months, years!
    - Searching is extremely fast!
    - Wide array of great template starter solutions in bundle will serve the needs of most beginners.
    - FM Pro/Advanced may be used as an ad-hoc db server (9 clients/5 IWP).
    - Support for SQL Select queries! (Use free BaseElements plugin by Goya for Insert/Update/Delete)
    - FM Server Advanced IWP (Instant Web Publishing) serves 100 virtual web clients with little to no changes to layouts and scripts.
    - FM Server/Server Advanced gives you Custom Web Publishing which allows you to write PHP web pages to link to your filemaker databases to serve up to 200 web users.
    - Native ODBC JDBC allows access to external SQL databases.
    - Using Actual Technologies driver(s) allows FileMaker a live connection to most SQL databases (MySQL, Postgre, SQLite, Oracle SQL Server, Sybase).

    Cons

    - FileMaker GO cannot be used to create files (But it is FREE after all!)
    - Learning relational database theory and filemaker training should be a serious consideration for complex solutions.
    Searching related data should be scripted carefully to prevent decrease in search performance or SQL should be used as an alternative.
    - FM Server/Server Advanced sweet-spot is <=250 users. Advanced removes this cap, but good hardware and good database design becomes important. HD and RAM I/O are key, so SSDs and good RAM can help a LOT. Using multiple servers and mirroring/syncing data to distribute the load is preferable for very large deployments.
    - File size is limited to 8TB. But if you only store 1 table in a file, (server allows unlimited files) 8TB is quite a large.
    - FM Server was never designed to be a web server to thousands of users at a time.
    - Filemaker Pro should not be used only as a front end to an external SQL database due to performance/load issues.

    Summary

    Unless your needs are complex from the start, the learning curve for FileMaker is very friendly compared to anything else out there.

    3rd party plugins allow you to go far beyond what FileMaker is normally capable of. Example: web services, REST, Ajax, Ruby, Etc are all possible. You can even tie PBX phones into FileMaker.

    Great community support: FileMaker Technet, FM Forums.

    Other Dev Resources: filemakerstandards.org, modularfilemaker.org

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Escape from Excel Hell!"

    May 28, 2013  |   By beefsurgeon

    Version: FileMaker Pro 11.0.4.401

    Pros

    -It's a real relational database platform.
    -Good connectivity to external datasources (in and out).
    -You can build very presentable user interfaces very quickly.

    Cons

    -Like any professional database system, it has a learning curve.
    -There are a few interface idiosyncrasies. For all the power it gives you, sometimes your objective seems just out of reach.

    Summary

    FileMaker is a pretty unique product. While it's marketed as being easy to use, it really is imperative to have some basic knowledge of relational databases before embarking on a big project. Fortunately, there is a large community of dedicated users who are happy to share their knowledge.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Crashes Constantly"

    February 15, 2012  |   By Bonesnbraids

    Version: FileMaker Pro 11.0.4.401

    Pros

    Generally very flexible and much more useable for the novice if you buy "The Missing Manual" for it. Highly modifiable, and they offer decent online support if you sign up for their FileMaker Pro forums and knowledge base.

    Cons

    I'm running FileMaker Pro 11.0v4 on two mac mini's. One runs Snow Leopard (10.6.8) and the other Lion (10.7). The biggest issue is stability. I manage 10 students on a NSF grant to database a collection at Cornell. It is not a complex database, but many fields are required for the specimens we are digitizing. Each student uses their own database and rarely has over 3000 entries. The databases are saved off-site on a server. Regardless of useage via the server or directly on the hard drive, I have found that FMPro 11 crashes constantly, especially at the start of data entry. Once a student has been entering data and has 100 or more entries it tends to crash less. Crashes can lose up to 20 entries at time (about an hours worth of work). Options are limited. Open Office Base isn't as powerful, Microsoft doesn't make Access for Mac, and FMPro users don't like to hear that their favorite (and only) databasing program for Mac is flawed.

    Summary

    FMPro 11 certainly is useful in some ways. If you are adept at scripts and programming this software is for you. However, basic essentials like the ability to select multiple records at the same time and saving your work are missing. Those are two examples of many. FMPro 11 autosaves constantly, but that that is useless if the program crashes as data is lost as are people hours.

    The online FMPro 11 community is helpful but loyal to the program to a fault, being somewhat too brainy for its own good. They are more adept at answering complex program questions than helping you figure out why FMPro 11 doesn't offer the most basic and useful tools that you can find in Access, Excel, or Base software.

    The Missing Manual for FMPro 11 is very useful for beginners, but doesn't solve why this program crashes so much. I think it would be very useful if it was more user friendly or more intuitive to the beginner or novice.

    Experts will find this to be a powerful databasing tool that is highly flexible for whatever they want to produce. It offers several different views to manipulate data and create forms, and is nearly limitless in what you can create a database for. I give it 2 stars out of 5 because all of that is moot if the program is so unstable it can't help but crash at least once an hour.

    It does offer recovery options, but the databases are often hopelessly corrupt, so the only safeguard is to constantly back up, via copy and paste, into a safe folder. Having a simple "save as" option would be incredibly useful, but becomes another example of a basic and useful tool that this program is lacking completely.

    You should try it out, but be wary of it crashing. Maybe you'll have better luck, but don't trust your data entry to this program until a stable build is made available.

    Updated on Feb 22, 2012

    Honza. You are biased in your response. Read my review more carefully. I work at an Ivy League university. The problems are real. I've used two versions of the program over two OS's on 6 different computers for over 2 years with the same problem. Having a developer fix my problems is moot since a well-oiled and coded databasing system shouldn't need that much repair. All of your excuses for why the database crashes have been troubleshot and are not the issue here. It's just a glitchy program. Also, going through the menu to "save a copy as" is a lot different than "control or command" + S. And when you are working on thousands of entries where time is important, it's useful to have simple options like that. Finally, I don't need to know why you think tools aren't offered. I need the tools. Period. As for a 99% satisfaction rating, maybe you should check out the other ratings. FMPro does not get stellar reviews and for good reason.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Best database for the Mac."

    May 25, 2011  |   By dfbishop

    Version: FileMaker Pro 11.0.3.312

    Pros

    Full featured, web integration, ease of programability, flexibility in layout and robust data protection.

    Cons

    Past updates have made some earlier versions incompatible or required much reprogramming. Hopefully, this will not be the case in the future.

    Summary

    Outstanding product

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Good for big users I'm sure"

    February 21, 2011  |   By clandise

    Version: FileMaker Pro 11.0.3.312

    Pros

    Many features

    Cons

    Be prepared to rewrite old scripts because they don't seamlessly update

    Summary

    For the small business user. Bento is too stripped down, Filemaker is too complicated

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Easy to use powerful database system"

    February 11, 2011  |   By Martin Turner--2008

    Version: FileMaker Pro 11.0.3.312

    Pros

    Ridiculously easy to use and format, ideal for 'fast and dirty' database programming, and can also be scaled up for robust bigger systems, or issued as runtime through Filemaker advanced

    Cons

    Slow! On most databases on modern computers you won't notice this. However, the code is not compact or optimised for an enterprise level solution. Migration to MySQL etc is data-only.

    Summary

    Most databases these days are Excel spreadsheets -- a highly risky strategy for any data of more than passing importance. Filemaker is vastly more powerful and functional, and only marginally less 'obvious'. It has a very high degree of control over forms and relations, as well as strong calculations and a serviceable scripting system. Filemaker has worked hard to create enterprise versions of it, using Filemaker Server. Although this is a robust solution, the speed doesn't match high-end enterprise solutions, although the costs are a lot lower. Vastly preferable to Access for many applications, and makes construction of a database as part of a project solution a fairly easy step, which can itself save months of work and specification. However, you have to take your own steps to ensure data robustness, as the 'anything can relate to anything' ease of use can easily produce results which are unexpected (ie, illogical).

    Updated on Feb 11, 2011

    Not had any problems installing any version.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Updater Doesn't Work! Over priced application"

    December 28, 2010  |   By ilgaar

    Version: FileMaker Pro 11.0.2.220

    Pros

    This is a great software but...

    Cons

    The updater doesn't work, it gives an error message telling that it can not find a valid copy of FileMaker Pro, even though I have it installed. Too expensive to buy.

    Summary

    This a great application and I can do a lot with it, but I never had the chance to buy it, I just tried the trial version, It's way too expensive.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "Was no good for opening old version files"

    November 11, 2010  |   By Rob Morley-Smith

    Version: FileMaker Pro 11.0.2.220

    Pros

    no good for required purpose

    Cons

    no good for required purpose

    Summary

    Discarded it since it was of no use opening my old filemaker files

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Updater does nothing."

    August 19, 2010  |   By abelragen

    Version: FileMaker Pro 11.0.2.220

    Pros

    None. Since "none" is too short a comment for CNET's system, let me change that to "absolutely none."

    Cons

    Doesn't install.

    Summary

    I don't like seeing a notice for an updater in CNET Tech Track and then finding that the updater doesn't update.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "updater didn't work"

    August 12, 2010  |   By Mark Pavlick

    Version: FileMaker Pro 11.0.2.220

    Pros

    This category does not apply.

    Cons

    I wrote and called FMP. They could not help me get the updater to work.

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Results 1-10 of 24

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