FileMaker 12 Ships with New Templates, Charts, 64-Bit Support

FileMaker announced the immediate availability of FileMaker Pro 12 on Wednesday, unveiling several new features such as 64-bit support, new chart styles, and built-in database themes for the iPhone and iPad.

Version 12 includes five new chart styles along with a new Quick Charts feature that lets users create charts on the fly even if they don’t have layout editing permission. New chart options include Bubble, Scatter, Positive/Negative, Stacked Bar, and Stacked Column.

FileMaker Pro 12FileMaker Pro 12

Database makers now have 40 layout themes to work with along with 16 starter solutions with touch-based layouts for the iPhone and iPad. The included templates and themes can be used as is, or edited to fit your needs. Database themes can be changed after creating a database, too.

Version 12’s layout features now offer stencils for more easily making iPhone and iPad layouts, guides and dynamic alignment guides, grids, and rulers for precise object placement, the ability to add object states such as button color changes on mouse rollover, support for image slicing, and gradient fills in objects.

FileMaker now sports improved container fields with drag-and-drop support for documents and multimedia content, support for streaming videos, music and PDFs via FileMaker Server, the ability to show thumbnail previews for high resolution images. Files can be stored in database fields, or linked through FileMaker Server.

FileMaker Pro 12's new layout featuresFileMaker Pro 12’s new layout features

FileMaker Server 12 supports streaming content to users, auto-creates thumbnails for images displayed in database fields, and can encrypt content on the fly. Thumbnail images are sized appropriately for the target device, streamed files are auto-converted to appropriate formats as needed.

Thanks to the radical changes under FileMaker’s hood, version 12 uses a new database file format — the first major change to the format in years. Unfortunately, that means all of your earlier FileMaker databases must be converted to the new format before use, but the conversion process leaves your files looking exactly as they did before updating.

Since FileMaker 12 doesn’t offer backwards file compatibility, multi-user environments will need to upgrade all users — including FileMaker Server installations — to version 12 at the same time. FileMaker Pro 11 will, however, still be available through the Mac App Store for users that aren’t ready to make the move to version 12.

FileMaker Pro 12 is priced at US$299, or $179 as an upgrade, and FileMaker Pro 12 Advanced costs $499 or $299 as an upgrade. FileMaker Server costs $999, or $599 for the updated, and FileMaker Server Advanced is priced at $2,999 or $1,799 as an upgrade.

The company also released FileMaker Go for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch as free downloads through Apple’s iTunes-based App Store.