Tag - Database
This may be a first for us: we're examining a new software release in not one, but two separate reviews. It's not because this is going too long, either. It's because this software is FileMaker Pro 15 and it's less an app, more a whole world. If you are an existing user, then you probably love it -- but you also know that any upgrade has to earn its keep, so you'll be looking for details of what's new. Yet if you've never touched it before, the differences between this and the previous version 14 won't really tell you whether it's worth your time and money. So do this for us, please: if you have never tried FileMaker Pro, carry on reading this; if you're an old hand, read the other review -- that one's for you.
We used to think it was an Excel thing that other people would forget it was a spreadsheet and instead use it as a kind of rudimentary database where they listed text in the columns instead of numbers. Now we have to face the fact that it isn't other people who do this, it's us –– and we're doing it all over again in Apple's Numbers. We know we're wasting its strengths, we know, but it's handy and there is a way to both speed it up and to make us feel like we're fine not going off to create databases all the time. You can use popup forms in Numbers.
Like every app covered in Developer Insight so far, FileMaker Pro is deeply popular and a very longstanding success -- but in every other way, it is completely different. Most apps are bought by people who need them to do a certain job, but if you buy FileMaker Pro, you're actually buying it in order to then create your own solution to a job or a problem. It is a development tool just as much as it is a consumer one, and that has advantages and disadvantages -- but it also attracts a gigantic degree of loyalty from its users.
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only.https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=02042016a
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.
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Markzware updates Q2ID for QuarkXPress 12 files
Graphic design file conversion tool maker Markzware has launched a new version of its Q2ID tool. The InDesign plugin enables users to open QuarkXPress files within a new InDesign (INDD) document, without rebuilding the QXP document from scratch -- the new version includes support for QuarkXPress 12 files. Q2ID Subscription members can download the new version as part of their annual plan. A single-user can purchase the plugin for $200, with other licensing options available. http://bit.ly/1Z4dS9t
PopChar X 7.5 arrives
Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 7.5, an improved version of the company's tool for finding and inserting special characters and exploring fonts. PopChar X 7.5 adds support for combined emojis in the Apple Color Emoji font, enhances the "Font Info" view, and adds many further enhancements that improve overall speed and stability. PopChar X 7.5 retails for €30 ($34), and is free for anyone who owns a license for PopChar X 7 or purchased a license for PopChar X 6 on or after March 1, 2014 [4.5MB]
Safari Technology Preview release 5 arrives
Parallels Access 3.1 updated for iPad Pro
Virtualization software Parallels Access 3.1 has been updated with support for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, including Apple Pencil support. The software allows remote access to your PC or Mac from anywhere to control desktop applications from iOS or Android tablets and phones, with native touch gestures, as well as from any computer with an HTML5 web browser. Featuring three resolution choices for your mobile device ("Best for your Device," "More Space," and "Same as Computer") and 3D Touch support for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the update also adds a new Tablet Mode in Windows 10, which makes it easier to interact without a mouse or keyboard. http://bit.ly/1OWZqjg
Hyundai brings CarPlay to more 2016 models
Along with its previously-announced support for adding CarPlay technology to the 2016 Sonata, 2017 Elantra, and 2017 Ioniq, a leaked memo to dealers has revealed that CarPlay-supporting software updates will be available today that bring the infortainment tech to the 2015 and 2016 non-hybrid Sonata models, the 2016 hybrid Sonata, the 2015 and 2016 Genesis Sedan, the 2016 Tucson, the 2017 Santa Fe, and the 2017 Ioniq. Owners can upgrade the system themselves by visiting the Hyundai website, and will need a Mac or PC with either an SD card slot or SD card reader to transfer the update to the vehicle. http://bit.ly/1YZqkqS
Google Paris HQ raided by investigators
Google's Paris headquarters has been raided by dozens of French police. The Tuesday raid was part of an ongoing investigation into possible tax-avoidance practices, stoked by widespread dissatisfaction with the way multinationals like Google are structuring their business operations. Although trading in many countries around the globe, Google reports its international sales only in tax-friendly Ireland, similar to a practice adopted by Apple. According to French law, if it completes any of its sales contracts in France and not Ireland alone, it could be in breach of its laws. Google, for its part, denies any wrongdoing, and said that it is fully compliant with French law. http://reut.rs/1Udk2T9
Apple TV extends universal search to NBC
Apple has extended its universal search function on the Apple TV to now include NBC shows in its results, provided the user has installed the NBC tvOS app. The search results can be generated either through Siri, or through the Search app, and includes support for searches by title, genre, and actor, among other queries. NBC joins CBS, more recently, among other channels including: Disney Channel; Disney Jr; Disney XD; FOXNOW; FXNOW; HBO GO; HBO NOW; Hulu; Nat Geo TV; Netflix; PBS; PBS Kids; SHOWTIME; SHOWTIME Anytime; Starz, and Watch ABC, all of which are supported by universal search. http://apple.co/25lGi5R