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Showing posts from December, 2013

Secret Santa

In my family, we decided to do Secret Santas this year. My wife and I have three daughters, and the two older daughters got married in the last year, so there are seven of us in the immediate family. We all agree that Christmas is really about something rather more important than shopping or gift-giving, and we agree that keeping it simple is a good idea.

So somebody said, How do we do this? Although we're all in Dallas, we weren't together on the day that this decision was made and weren't going to be all together until Christmas day, so writing names on paper and drawing them from a hat wasn't going to be practical. Without thinking, I said I could build a database that would make make the Secret Santa assignments and email them out anonymously.

My wife looked at me like I was crazy (which, as it happens, she knows me to be). The first concern she voiced had to do with security. She worried that I was going to know who all the Secret Santas were. I assured here that …

WP's FileMaker 13 Review

My review of FileMaker 13 is finally live at

Macworld/FileMaker 13 Review

This is a big release, as you will see from the review.

Should you upgrade? There are two possible answers, the easy one, and the hard one.

The easy answer is, yes — yes, you should upgrade.

The hard answer is, of course, more nuanced. As a technologist I more or less have to live near the bleeding edge. But for most of you, it may be reasonable for you to ask, Is what we've got now broke? And if it ain't, then don't "fix" it by upgrading. I understand that.

Just one reassurance for those already using FileMaker 12: FileMaker 13 uses the same ".fmp12" file format at its predecessor. So if you need to add a seat to your current network, and if you're already using FileMaker 12, then by all means, buy a copy of 13 and throw it into the mix.

And if you are still using FileMaker 11 (or earlier) and you've been thinking about upgrading, jumping to 13 might make sen…

CMAssistant progress report

As of mid-December 2013, the latest version of CMAssistant is 8-point-something. Somewhat confusingly (to me, anyway) we're working on two tracks here: There's still a version that runs in FileMaker Pro 11 and I've made a few improvements to it. But there's a different version that runs in FileMaker Pro 12 (or 13) which has more — but somewhat different — improvements.

I can't keep this up for long. I'm about to cease further development of the FileMaker 11 version.

As soon as I finish adding support for adding locations via iPhone to CMAssistant 8 for FileMaker Pro 12, I'm also about to cease work on that line of development — in order to work on a complete, from-the-ground up rebuild in FileMaker 13.

It'll probably take a month or two to complete this rebuild. But when I'm done it's going to be fantastic. 

FileMaker 13 has arrived

FileMaker 13 was released today (December 2, 2013). There are new versions of all the products in the FileMaker product line:

FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Pro AdvancedFilemaker ServerFileMaker Go for iOS Much more can be found on FileMaker's website.
One bit of good news: FileMaker Pro 13 uses .fmp12 file format that was introduced with the previous version, so if you have some computers on your network using a FileMaker 12 database and you need to add a seat, you can buy a copy of FileMaker 13 and just add it to the mix. You won't have to upgrade everybody immediately.
But you may want to. I've been working with version 13 for a while as I work on a forthcoming review, and it seems a solid and impressive upgrade. I'll have much more info after my review is released. In the meantime, clients of Rucksack (or Polytrope) who have a question, should feel free to contact me directly.