If you are a developer who has built a significant portion of your business on the FileMaker Platform, or if your business day to day operations rely on software built on the FileMaker Platform, it’s always nice to know that you backed the right horse. Having a glimpse into what is coming down the road gives you the assurance that the platform can grow with your business needs, that it will continue to be a viable tool in your toolset, and that it is keeping up emerging technologies. Previously, FileMaker has never publicly shared their product roadmap. For years, the only way get an inside look was to attend the annual FileMaker Developer Conference (or “DevCon”), where FileMaker product engineers would show some of things that they had been cooking up “in the lab.” Even then, there was always the disclaimer that the things they showed were not guaranteed to make it in the next version of FileMaker Pro… or even the version after that.
All of that changed late last month when FileMaker invited the world to attend a “Product Roadmap” webinar, led by Rick Kalman, Director of Product Management and Design.
The team of FileMaker developers here at Cimbura.com gathered to watch the roadmap webinar on our 150″ screen in our new event space. Going into it, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Would this just be the same content that we already saw at DevCon 2016 in Las Vegas… just opened up to a broader audience? There was the obligatory legal disclaimer that what we were about to see was not binding, was subject to change, and was for informational purposes only. But after that, things got very specific. What followed was a solid half hour of rapid-fire technical features, well organized both by category, and by time frame. We were told what features they were planning for the “next” release, what features were currently in active development for a future release, and what features were currently under consideration beyond that. The geeks among us were pleased. Many items received applause, and there may have been a standing ovation or two.
The roadmap features were categorized into six platform priorities: Development, Mobility, Integration, Security, Cloud, and Performance & Scalability. Without going into the technical details, here is what each category means for us, and for your business.
As developers, FileMaker is giving us the tools to work more efficiently, and build more powerful custom apps.
In order for your data to be truly useful it can’t be a silo, disconnected from the world. With so many online services, FileMaker needs to be a citizen of the web, and speak its language. FileMaker can already connect to any service that has an API, and it’s going to get even easier.
In today’s technology world, security cannot be an afterthought. FileMaker already has a solid security model, and it is getting even more robust.
In the second half of this year, FileMaker released FileMaker Cloud, a new variant of FileMaker Server that runs on Amazon Web Services in the United States and Canada. We first wrote about it here. FileMaker has already released an update since then, and they will continue to add features and expand the availability to other markets around the world.
Performance & Scalability
The engineers at FileMaker are always looking at ways to improve performance. This includes making the tasks that you perform everyday (or several times a day) faster, and making sure that things keep moving as your custom app grows into a more complex and robust solution to meet your expanding business needs.
We are confident that the FileMaker Platform continues to be a solid choice for us and for our clients, allowing us to build custom software efficiently, and to integrate with existing technologies where it makes sense. We welcome the new, more open stance that FileMaker is taking. If you want to read about technical details yourself, or watch a recording of the webinar, first you will need to be a member of the FileMaker Community. It’s free, and it is a great resource that we recommend for anyone who does development with FileMaker Pro. Once you are logged in to the Community site, you can find the Roadmap info and the webinar recording.
If all of that technical jargon is more than you want to deal with, don’t worry. You don’t have to. You are the expert on your business. Our team of brilliant technical experts know what to do with that information. We make sure that your business roadmap is well served by the technology platforms in our toolkit. Just reach out to us and start a conversation to find out how we can help.
Also published on Medium.