The venerable Mac database solution, Filemaker Pro, has received a whole new look for 2009. I have had a chance to kick the tires a little prior to release and this is certainly the biggest visible change to Filemaker in years.
Filemaker Gets a Facelift
The first thing that you’ll notice with the update is that the familiar left-hand sidebar is completely gone. Now there is a whole new Status Toolbar that runs across the top of your database window. Because this is a standard Mac interface toolbar, buttons can be customized and rearranged as you like by command-clicking and dragging them around. Toolbar sets are configured for each mode, so that the appropriate buttons show up as you move into Find, Layout, or Preview mode. You have to give up some vertical real estate on the screen for the new horizontal toolbar, so layouts may need to be redone. You can hide the toolbar completely if you like, but I bet most users will welcome the changes once they get used to the new buttons.
The net result is an interface that feels a lot more current and more representative of what a Mac application is supposed to look like. From an interface perspective, Filemaker has finally entered the 21st century.
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