Top critical review
30 people found this helpful
Nice upgrade from v11.x, but it's not one I'd rush out to buy
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.