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This is a great day! Downloaded FileMaker Go for iPhone in the middle of the night, and when I arrived at the office, I connected to our databases and started using them from my iPhone, without any changes required.

Of course there is lots to do, making some customized layouts and scripts, adding a capture for the platform in the opening script, and generally just finding all kinds of new ways to work with our information from iPhone and iPad. We’re having a great time thinking what FileMaker Go can do for our clients. This is a whole new kind of freedom.

There are already lots of resources, and FileMaker is adding sessions to DevCon. Here is just a sampling of links for FileMaker Go …

On twitter, check #filemakergo and #filemaker and #filemakerdevcon and check some of these folks for more …

@AudreyRae @stephenknight @agir @honza24u @FileMakerInc @fmpug @happyten @filemakersecure @filemaker_pro  @ChrisKubica @baseelements

Thank you to all those folks and more for getting us rolling on Day 1. Thank you to FileMaker for making and supporting great software. Check with your favorite FileMaker plug-in and product developers. There is a lot out there! Aloha 🙂

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Several activities and events have had me thinking a lot in recent weeks about how long things last, how long should they last?, why do some things last? how long should you keep stuff? Folks were spring cleaning, taking things to the SPCA yard sale; we were making decisions to keep things or pass them along, or trash them. Everyone is all excited about social media, trying to figure out its role in the overall scheme of things, which service will “win,” where to invest time and resources. The ongoing cycle of things coming and going really came into focus.

Well, what is popular today — be it service, software, app, or style — is either maturing and will continue to be used for a while if it evolves, or it is a fad already on its way out, with a replacement already on the rise. Social media is here to stay (for now), and that is a very good thing, but technology services and tools are ever changing. To get the most out of them, it helps if one is fluid and willing to change as well. The tools must keep up with what we want and need to do, and in turn, we must keep up with the tools and abilities they provide. (See where I’m going here?)

And FileMaker 11 is now available, released Tuesday, March 9, 2010, and here is a software line that is mature and continues to evolve. FileMaker 11, like every release of this software, includes new features for every level of user and moves forward with emerging technologies. FileMaker has become so rich with features, big and small, that it is almost like an operating system in itself. Even if you know every feature, you can’t run out of ways to use them. And of course you can save a search of #filemaker on Twitter for a daily stream of news to help you discover what’s new and new ways to use what has been there a long time.

So now … with great power comes great responsibility  🙂  For database developers and for the people using their FileMaker databases.

Yes, it is truly awesome, but also a little scary, to be able to change, delete, and add new fields in the database directly from the table view of a layout. Wow! And I know FileMaker provides the tools to help me as a developer make sure that users will be able to do that safely. And that means I should review some files to make sure they won’t have pitfalls.

Because FileMaker databases last a long time, and each version of FileMaker software is compatible for a long time, through multiple versions of OS, too. MightyData.com recently mentioned that a lot of people using pre-fp7 databases are ready to convert forward. Yes, there are FileMaker 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 databases still in use, doing their jobs for their people. And the people using those databases know it will be worth the investment to upgrade and update their systems.

Some old FileMaker databases will be converted and adjusted; some simply should be rebuilt. But each can keep all the valuable data that has been collected, and in a better system, too. Databases being used in more recent versions of FileMaker will be easily updated with some great new features, integrated in more ways than ever before. And a lot of users will simply start using the new FileMaker 11 features with no work at all.

Go ahead, click on the table view column heading to add leading or trailing sub-totals on the fly for your report — sums, averages, counts, deviations — without even adding a field or a formula of any kind. Oh my.

Quick Find something in all fields on the layout. It’s never been easier to find what you want in your database. Highlight some data. Add charts; you already have the data!

Me? I’m giddy. I can start grouping layouts, move custom functions from file to file, put variables in merge text on layouts, let FileMaker Server make my backup clones for me. Yes, it is very good, and that’s just a start. I’m a dedicated recycler, and FileMaker constantly improves how I can make the most of everything that comes my way for managing data:  Reduce time and costs to get the job done; Reuse data and structure; and Recycle old systems into solutions for new challenges.

Aloha FileMaker 11, I can hardly wait to see you at DevCon!

The guys were building work tables in the pottery studio, using saws and drills and screws and clamps. We talked about how great it is to have the right tool for a job. I’ve heard that if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail. So I looked it up, and the quote is attributed to Abraham Maslow (thank you , internet), but the metaphor’s been around (thank you, wikipedia). It implies a limited approach to problem-solving. But maybe there’s a flip side.

I’ve said that FileMaker is my hammer, because it can do so much and it’s the tool I know best. But FileMaker software is not just a tool, it’s a vast toolbox. It’s a whole Lowes store of tools, with a network supply chain, and it’s been growing and getting better for over 20 years. I’ve worked continually to use FileMaker more skillfully for over 15 years, studying the masters and innovators, learning new techniques. That’s improved my problem-solving and helps me see the difference between a nail and, well, not a nail.

Dave, my favorite Mac/PC/GovConnection sales rep, lives in Hawaii and telecommutes to home base in New Hampshire. Dave once told me they don’t really say “aloha” very much in everyday life there in HI. I use it all the time, because to me it means more than hello, goodbye, and best wishes. One interpretation is “the joyful sharing of life energy in the present” or simply “joyfully sharing life.” Wikipedia says it means “affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy.” I usually mean it to say that whatever is going on in your world, joyful or difficult, in work and play, wherever you are, I hope it is as worthwhile as it can be and that good things are ahead. But “aloha” keeps it short and light. It can mean what You want it to mean when you receive it, and I like that. My friend Max says “no worries : ) :” On the disc golf course we say “it’s all good.” And it is. Aloha!