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on May 5, 2012
Just to tell you where I'm coming from, I've been a FileMaker user and Developer since 1997 so I'm pretty familiar with it.

Much of what v12 offers is what I call 'skin deep' and is mostly for developers: laying out fields while in Layout mode is a lot easier with visual guides to help you line up fields; the product comes with a handful of pre-built "themes" (most of which are, unfortunately, kinda blah so you'll have to replace their color schemes with more appealing colors and textures. [I don't know why some of them are so gray and dingy-looking]), and there are some improvements with graphics capability--but there's nothing really substantial in the new version that knocked my socks off or blew my hair back.

Looking for new commands for coding scripts and such? Not much under the Sun, there--only a few of them. Perhaps my biggest gripe is that formatting text and rules is still as crude as ever. *sigh* C'mon, guys--databases not only have to crunch data but have to look visually appealing as well (that includes text, rules [vertical as well as horizontal], easy-to-make grids for charts, etc.)

Perhaps the biggest caution I have for upgraders is that with v12 you'll be requested to save any pre-v12 FMP file as a v12 file when you open it; you won't be able to open it with a pre-v12 version again after the conversion so .fp7 goes bye-bye in favor of the new .fp12. The file conversion only takes a few seconds--and so far I've had no problems--but the real problem comes with the number of users of the product. If it's just you alone using the product at home or work, fine, but if there's more than one user then each one will need to upgrade to v12 to open the converted files. Where I work we have hundreds of people using FileMaker so that means every one of them will have to upgrade to v12 if we DAs (Database Administrators) upgrade from the current v11 to v12...which ain't cheap! For now, we're not going to upgrade to v12--it's just too expensive. So, definitely keep that in mind before you consider upgrading.

In closing, I'd say that if you're not a Developer then wait for the next version--there's simply not enough cool, additional utility, or new commands in this version to warrant upgrading if you're a casual user.
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on May 1, 2012
I upgraded from Filemaker Pro 9, because of the time limit on upgrading from 9 to 12. I installed the program, and converted all of my databases to Pro 12. My Contacts database kept crashing after being converted to Pro 12, usually when I pasted text into a text field or sometimes when I clicked in the text field. Called Filemaker tech support who told me to use the Recover command, then export the records to a different file, clone the Contacts database (with no records), then import the exported records to the new cloned database. Even after doing that twice the database kept crashing. I then used the Contacts database which came as an example template and imported records into their own template database. The file still crashed often. Tech support said that Filemaker Pro 12 is much more sensitive to database corruption than Filemaker Pro 9, and that causes these errors and crashes. I finally decided that I liked Filemaker Pro 9 much more since it never crashed, and did everything I needed my Contacts database to do, and did not need the new features of Filemaker Pro 12. I returned the program because it was too unstable and highly inconvenient for day to day use. I would not recommend FIlemaker Pro 12, and I have used Filemaker for more than 20 years on Windows and Macintosh platforms. This upgrade was the worst that I can remember in many years.
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on May 27, 2012
I have used Filemaker for probably 15 years. I always recommended the product to others, at times when Filemaker struggled to survive. My attitude now is that the new 'versions' they come out with are merely minor updates, priced to reward users' product loyalty with ripping them off for $180. If it was $99, it probably wouldn't be worth it really (vs. just keeping v. 9, 10 or 11), but the sense of being ripped off wouldn't be so strong. At $99, Filemaker would be making a good profit - as this is merely an upgrade - but they are now arrogant in their strong market share. Time to tell FM to piss off, as far as I'm concerned.

For Windows users, MS Access is a great deal compared to FM, especially bundled in Office 2010 Pro. Unfortunately I recently bought Office 2010 Business, not realizing that then was the time to dump FM. For small biz and home users, bail out of FM and get yourself OpenOffice Base - it's F-R-E-E!
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on May 9, 2012
Was really hoping for a significant usability & functionality upgrade. Things like dynamic portal sorting and more analytic functions were hoped for, but nowhere to be seen in this version. This is really all about cosmetics...a few more templates and a few tools that are supposed to help in layout design. I found that the design tools are really minor refinements in how commands operate, rather than real new improvements. Graphing is a little more robust, but far from a quantum cant even change the orientation of text labels in a scattergram chart, should the labels overlap (making the graph useless). Speed is no faster. Reliability is similar. File format has changed so backwards compatibility is gone. Ultimately, I agree with other reviewers and would call this a very disappointing minor upgrade. If I had to value the upgrade, I would say that its worth about $29 -$49, not the $179 that they want. To me, its an expensive upgrade for a few "Apple-esque" visual bubble gum. Cmon Apple/Filemaker, you can do better...this is not much different than v9!
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on January 29, 2013
Filemaker 12 does not have a lot of critically new or ground-breaking features from Filemaker 11. Most of the new stuff allows easier development of Filemaker solutions for iOS/mobile use with templates that already take into account screen sizes, etc for the iPhone and iPad. Of course it means paying a significant amount for the upgrade from v11 to v12 and it also means getting new versions of the iOS Go apps to run, respectively on the iPhone and another version for the iPad. These new versions are "free", as opposed to the $40 each for the previous iOS apps.

Moving data between an iOS instance and a Mac instance is fine but synchronizing of data between iOS and the Mac version is still not implemented. Interoperability with Bento and Bento templates is still not addressed and looks like it never will be.

Overall, not a bad evolution -and thankfully, pretty stable (maybe because not much has changed) however it's a lot to pay Filemaker to call it a full version upgrade. So it's a great product but not a great deal for existing Filemaker users to upgrade.
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on December 3, 2012
Are you into MySQL? Do you enjoy the flexibility of command-line access to your databases?

If so, then go have fun with that. For the rest of us, then Filemaker is for you! I've been using Filemaker since the 'Filemaker II' days on my Mac SE and I love the continued improvement. Its so easy to create and edit databases, yet its powerful enough that I've created solutions to run multiple offices on for all their customer / user management needs.

I use FMP as my own contact manager, and its great to be able to add new fields on the fly and be able to search and sort on them right away.

I do have to admit that I haven't gone whole-hog into the FMP 12 upgrade yet, because they've changed the file format again, so its not backwards compatible. I still need that compatibility for working with other clients, so I'm holding off on moving everything to v.12 but I feel comfortable knowing it will be there when I'm ready.
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on July 1, 2012
I have Filemaker pro from it's beginning and I upgraded up to vers. 11. I made up my mind not to upgrade as I feel I am being screwed by this company. Every two year or so, they make a few rather cosmetic changes and ask 300.00$ for that. Filmaker Advanced in my case.

That is enough. I will not upgrade anymore.
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on February 13, 2013
The newest version of FileMaker was released in April 2012 after nearly 2 years in the making. With it has come a slew of new features and many things that the FileMaker world has waited for with anticipation. Here are 12 ways FileMaker 12 will affect you and your business:

1. FileMaker 12 is a major release. Along with it comes a new database file format change...the first since FileMaker 7. Although conversion of your existing files will be fairly painless, there must be testing and planning in the upgrade of this software. If you haven't yet converted old databases from FileMaker 5 format, you've got two file format conversions to do to get up-to-date. If you remember the migration from .fp5 to .fp7 as being painful and expensive, the migration from .pf7 to .fp12 will be nothing like that. FileMaker 12 is a release that builds the infrastructure possible for even more future innovation.
2. You must upgrade your FileMaker server, clients, and databases all at the same time. Everyone will need to be running FileMaker 12 to access your updated databases. No more mixing and matching of server and client 9, 10, and 11. There may also be increased system requirements. For example, FileMaker 12 will not run on any older PowerPC based Macintoshes anymore. You may need to upgrade your operating system to a more recent version before you can install FileMaker 12.
System Requirements for FileMaker client:
Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard, and 10.7 Lion (Leopard and PPC no longer supported on the Mac OS.)
Windows XP SP3, Vista SP2, and Windows 7
3. If you run any plug-ins or other software that integrates with FileMaker, you'll want to wait until new versions are released that are fully compatible and tested with FileMaker 12.
4. The pre-built themes are one flashy new FileMaker 12 feature. You'll need to find a balance for using them. They are easiest to use with new solutions that are built from the ground up. Old solutions may need a lot of work to take advantage of the theme features. If you're testing the themes always work on a backup copy of your solution.
5. The new starter solutions will provide you with better starting points for new databases that you want to develop on your own. Taking advantage of the iPad and iPhone with FileMaker Go is much easier with built-in layouts and support for mobile devices.
6. FileMaker Go 12 on the iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone is now FREE...making it easier to deploy your custom database application on the latest mobile technology. (Formerly, FileMaker Go was about $19.99 for the iPhone/iPod Touch and $39.99 for the iPad.)
7. FileMaker 12 performance enhancements make remote hosting of FileMaker in the cloud an even more attractive option.
8. New development tools make it easier for developers like to create custom business application solutions faster. The result is that you'll save money with their increased productivity.
9. Features like gradient fills, corner radius, etc. will allow FileMaker solutions to look more modern.
10. Some FileMaker 12 features you'll notice immediately after your upgrade, but others will require database enhancements to take advantage of them. So you'll see more improvements over time as we rework fmIgnite features and our other solutions for FileMaker 12 . We'll suggest the improvements to you that will make the most sense for your organization. For example, maybe you've wanted to manage files within FileMaker. The new container field options make this easier and more practical.
11. FileMaker Server enhancements will make hosting more reliable, capable, and speedy. We'll be able to take better advantage of the hardware available on a server. Backups will be easier to maintain. If you're not currently taking advantage of FileMaker server, now may be the time to do so. Configuration of the server will be critical. Look for helpful server 12 technical information from Wim Decorte and Steven Blackwell.
12. Anyone that has purchased FileMaker volume licenses and has a current maintenance plan through FileMaker will automatically receive FileMaker 12 at no additional cost.
Many other features included with FileMaker 12 make it a more powerful, reliable, and useful application solution tool kit so that it can solve even more problems and make your business more efficient, productive, and profitable. Download a free copy of FileMaker 12 for evaluation online.

This release of FileMaker sets the stage for some incredible new functionality in the future. Converting your solutions to FileMaker 12 is a valuable exercise. If you are starting from scratch it's even better.
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on December 28, 2012
This upgrade works only with Filemaker Pro 9 and newer. If you have Filemaker Pro 8.5 or older, you have to buy an additional license key from the Filemaker store for $120. This makes the total cost the same as a full copy of Filemaker Pro 12.
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on March 27, 2013
Ex DB2 and ACCESS user - I'm loving my filemaker pro12
Ease of use - great capabilities - especially great at formating reports
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