FileMaker Pro

Supported Product

FileMaker, Inc.'s FileMaker Pro is the database program recommended for ISC's clients, including off-campus students and is in common use at Penn. FileMaker Pro can be used to build flat file and relational databases from raw data for form letters, events, reports, and statistical analysis. Features include scripting, interoperability with Microsoft Excel file formats, and word processing with tabs, indents, font control, and embedded data fields in text.

Important Notes: Many Schools and Centers have standardized on the use of specific database applications (such as Microsoft Access, Oracle, etc.) and may not support FileMaker Pro for their faculty and staff. Information Systems & Computing (ISC) strongly suggests that faculty and staff speak to their local support provider to determine which product(s) are supported before selecting database software.

FileMaker released FileMaker Pro 15 in May 2016. ISC plans to roll full support for FileMaker Pro 15 at some point in FY2017.

Windows compatibility

FileMaker Pro versions 13.0.x and 14.0.x appear to function as expected with Windows 10, but only FileMaker Pro verions 14.0.1 and above are officially supported by FileMaker, Inc.

OS X compatibility

FileMaker Pro versions 13.0.x and above are compatible with OS X El Capitan, but only versions 14.0.x and 15.0.x are certified.

Availability

FileMaker Pro is commercial software that can be purchased from the Computer Connection at an educational discount.

Configuration

Configuration instructions are included with the software.

Training

Lynda.com training is available to all Penn faculty and staff with a valid PennKey. Basic and in-depth training is offered for FileMaker Pro versions 13 through 15. For more information, see the lynda.com @ Penn page.

Related resources

Overview

Important Note: Many Schools and Centers have standardized on the use of specific database applications (such as Microsoft Access, Oracle, etc.) and may not support FileMaker Pro for their faculty and staff. Information Systems & Computing (ISC) strongly suggests that faculty and staff speak to their local support provider to determine which product(s) are supported before selecting database software.

FileMaker Inc.'s FileMaker Pro database software is widely used on campus. Because of FileMaker's ease-of-use and low barriers to implementation, it is often used by Schools and Centers for small-to-medium scale departmental databases. These databases often include confidential or sensitive data.

Product history at the University

ISC strongly suggests that Schools and Centers that are still using FileMaker Pro 7.0.x or below make plans to transition to FileMaker Pro 13.0.x or above. These newer versions have many improvements, including significantly improved security features. Fiscal 2006 was the last year of University support for FileMaker Pro 6.0, Fiscal 2008 was the last year of University support for FileMaker Pro 7.0.x, Fiscal 2009 was the last year of University support for FileMaker Pro 8.x, Fiscal 2010 was the last year of University support for FileMaker Pro 9.0.x, Fiscal 2012 was the last year of University support for FileMaker Pro 10.0.x, Fiscal 2014 was the last year of University support for FileMaker Pro 11.0.x, and Fiscal 2016 was the last year of University support for FileMaker Pro 12.0.x.

Various versions of FileMaker Pro have been supported at the University since the early 1990s.

FileMaker Pro 8.5 for OS X was the first Universal binary version of FileMaker Pro.

FileMaker Pro 12 was released in April 2012 and uses a different file format than previous versions. Files can not be shared between FileMaker Pro 12 and older versions of FileMaker Pro, and once a file has been upgraded to the version 12 format it can not easily be downgraded to the earlier formats.

FileMaker Pro 13 was released in December 2013, FileMaker Pro 14 was released in May 2015, and FileMaker Pro 15 was released in May 2016. All of these versions use the same file format as FileMaker Pro 12.

FileMaker Pro versions 13.0.x and 14.0.x are on the supported products list for Fiscal 2017.

Security for all versions of FileMaker Pro:

    • It is extremely important to note that any database application, including any version of FileMaker Pro, can be made far less secure by not following good general security practices. In particular, using easy-to-guess passwords (e.g. password), can remove almost all of the security initially built into FileMaker Pro.
    • It is also important to remember that any database code is only as secure as the laptop, desktop, or server on which it is installed. Thus, providers must ensure the physical security of their databases.

Suggestions

ISC also strongly suggests that Schools and Centers using FileMaker Pro databases implement passwords for all types of users—in other words, not even the most basic user should be able to use a FileMaker Pro database without entering a password.

For more information

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Date Posted: March 14, 2013 Tags: Provider Resource, Supported Product, Database

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