Tag - Database
It all sounded so easy one week ago when we revealed that we were going to make a Job Book database in FileMaker Pro and for the most part, it has been very easy. We took a deep dive into fields on Wednesday which meant absorbing terms that might be new and using database calculations that –– to us anyway –– felt like Sudoku puzzles to be solved. Otherwise, though, it was a pretty smooth ride from idea to final working database. That's the key thing here: the database is working. It's a real database that we truly are using every day and as we keep saying, the way to learn something is to have a real project to do.
There is one thing we haven't mentioned in this entire project: we're here to make a Job Book database that records our commissions, but it is only useful if we can actually use it. All the planning we did, and then all of yesterday's detail work about fields and records -- what we want to note about the work we do -- is for nothing if we don't use the database. Full disclosure: sometimes we haven't. So, in this chapter, we're making the database not just usable, but pleasant to use, reducing the excuses to not use it.
Previously on this MacNN project, we realized we had a problem, and that a database would be the solution. To our mind, that means a FileMaker Pro solution. It means FileMaker in part because we've used that application in one-man companies and international media ones; it also means that because we've learned how flexible it is.
First, we realized we needed a database. Then, it took about a picosecond to realize that what we need is FileMaker Pro 14. This is a tool for making databases, from simple ones like ours up on to the tools that international corporations use. Whether you're a corporate level user or starting out, though, the steps involved in creating and using a new database are the same -- they're the steps and considerations we're using in this project to build a Job Book database.
We're building a Job Book in FileMaker Pro: a database that we are genuinely using in freelance work to log and do some basic tracking of the commissions we get. Last week we explained what this was about, and why we know it's the way to take a productive deep dive into the very powerful database app. Today we're doing something that might not sound right: we're leaving FileMaker Pro.
It says a lot about the old Bento personal database app for OS X that people still refer to new, comparatively basic databases as being Bento-like or Bento-style. If only as many people used it as talked about, we might still have that software around, and there'd be little place for alternatives. However, Bento is gone, and for some users, Steward 1.0 is going to be a viable alternative.
We have written previously in our Pointers column, about Smart Things in OS X -- by which we mean Smart Folders (usually found in the Finder), Smart Albums (found mostly in iPhoto or Photos, and other photo-oriented programs), and Smart Playlists (commonly seen in iTunes). We forgot to mention another one -- Smart Groups in Contacts (formerly Address Book), but then it's good to understand Groups first, so here we go.
Here's the thing. FileMaker Pro is a quietly spectacular app: it's for creating databases but for three decades now it has also created careers. There are people whose entire working lives have been devoted to creating databases in FileMaker Pro and they do it for lone freelancers, corner shop businesses and even corporations. Now a new FileMaker Pro 14 has been released for the app's 30th anniversary and, with one caveat, it is hugely recommended. Check our full review to see what we liked, and what we didn't.
In parallel with the Apple spin-off's 30th anniversary of its flagship product, FileMaker on Tuesday announced Filemaker 14, its flagship database program for OS X, Windows, and iOS. New features in the update include a new Script Workspace to speed up common business processes, and also includes a redesigned WebDirect optimization for tablet browsers, a Launch Center for more app-like visual icons for FM-based programs, an enhanced iOS experience, and general speed and interface enhancements.
A new report claims that Apple has purchased FoundationDB for an undisclosed sum. The company was best known for its NoSQL, ACID-compliant database software, which offered super-fast speeds that Apple may want to improve its database-related web services, ranging from Apple TV and iTunes in the Cloud to iCloud generally.