FileMaker Go In Review – Mobile database management for fileMaker manipulators!

When it comes to database management there’s no question in my mind that FileMaker is one of the best companies out there. A little over a year ago, I reviewed their app Bento for the iPhone and thought it was a great tool for both seasoned databasers and newcomers looking to simplify and better organise their lives. Well recently, the folks at FileMaker have released FileMaker Go catered to those seasoned users for all 3 iOS devices.

Filemaker Go is designed to be your database “home away from home”. Whether you are managing inventory, tracking sales or even something as simple as organizing your contacts, FileMaker Go looks, feels and functions just like its desktop counterpart. The main reason for that is you have the ability to modify/add to any of your existing databases from within the app.

As long as you are running version 7 or higher of the desktop version of FileMaker Pro (higher for some other versions of the software) then you shouldn’t run into any problems. The fact that it can run back and forth with the desktop version would have been enough for me but that wasn’t the case for the developers. Users of FileMaker Server, too, will be able to keep their databases updated literally anytime, anywhere from any of their iOS devices.

Visually, both the iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch versions look virtually identical. Differences are minimal. When working within your databases you should feel quite familiar. Moving from my MacBook to my iPhone and iPad was smooth and visually all databases looked identical.

As far as limitations go, FileMaker currently says that database schema, layouts and scripts cannot be created OR modified on the iDevice. Also, synchronization is not supported at this time but files can be copied back and forth using the file sharing option in iTunes.

On the plus side, a lot of features that users of FileMaker Pro are used to DO work as you would expect. Features such as portals, tab controls and most scripts function well. Now they have said that some scripts do not run and for any interested, you can visit their help section for the specifics on that.

One disappointing aspect is the inability to use the camera to add pictures to a field. For example, I started an inventory of my DVDs and I had wanted to just sit with a pile of movies and type up the info and then snap a pic of the box cover to go with it. Unfortunately that ability was not available. Hopefully it will be added in a future update.

Now I know users of databases are probably asking a million questions right now. “Is this feature available?”, “Does this function work?”, etc., are certain to be asked. I’d love give answers to everything but the simple truth is that there are way too many functions to go over in one review. I would recommend that you visit the FileMaker website and follow the links to get all the info you need. Personally I feel that there are enough of the core features that most users will be satisfied.

I do want to remind everyone though that these apps aren’t for creating databases. If you’re looking for a full on create/edit/share database solution then look at Bento for either your iPhone or iPad. This is meant to accompany your current FileMaker desktop or server solution. Although FileMaker Go isn’t for everyone, those that are big FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server users should definitely be happy with the feel and functionality of the app.

App Summary
Title: FileMaker Go for iPad
FileMaker Go for iPhone
Developer: FileMaker, Inc.
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.2 Min OS Req: iPad – iOS 3.2 or later
iPhone – iOS 4.0 or later
Price: iPad Version – $39.99
iPhone Version – $19.99
App Size:
  • 10.3 MB (iPad)
  • 19.1 MB (iPhone)
    • Instant familiarity for FileMaker users
    • Most scripts function as they are supposed too
    • Access your database remotely
    • Not all scripts and features function
    • Cannot create or modify schema,layouts or scripts ON DEVICE
    • Price tag is a little high


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