3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 25, 2011 10:17 AM by philmodjunk

    Need advice on computer and upgrade



      Need advice on computer and upgrade


      It's been a while since I was on this forum.  In the first part of 2010 I was here constantly while trying to develop a database for documenting and analyzing certain technical inspection procedures regarding international airports.  I'm doing this on my own with hopes of eventually licensing it to foreign governments as part of their quality control programs required under international standards.  No such software exists now.

      However, for the last seven months I haven't touched FM as I went on a project in Africa and was living on my laptop and too busy to work on it.

      I have some questions I hope some of the FM gurus here may be able to provide some guidance on.

      1.  Computer: I'm going to need to replace my aging Dell PC that I've been using to work on this database.  The big advantage for using it is the 24" monitor, but the box is seven years old and starting to have some problems.  I wonder if replacing it with a Mac would be in any way advantageous?  However, 99.999% of potential users of this database will be running PCs with WinXP.

      2. Upgrade:  I'm currently using FMPro10Adv.  Although I think the database would work fine in FMPro10, I chose the Advanced because of Kiosk mode.  I want to be able to provide them the database in Kiosk for evaluation.  I'm wondering if the changes in FMPro11Adv are significant enought to warrant the $300 for an upgrade?

      3. Training:  If FMPro11Adv is recommended, would the $99 training CD from FM be worthwhile?  Last year I did the entire training course on FMPro10 on www.lynda.com, and it helped quite a bit.

      I would appreciate any advice or comments from folks on this forum, many of whom graciously and expertly answered my many (sometimes basic) questions.

      Best regards,


        • 1. Re: Need advice on computer and upgrade

          The "advanced" features in FileMaker 11 advanced are identical to the "advanced" features in FileMaker 10 so you won't see any changes there when it comes to things like setting the file to run in Kiosk mode, runtimes, custom menus, custom functions etc.

          FileMaker 11, however has some nice new features for developers: The inspector, grouping layouts in folders, portal filtering. While primitive and "early days" it also offers some simple charting options.

          Since these new features will be in both FileMaker 11 and FileMaker 11 advanced, you can download the 30 day free trial and check these out for yourself.

          If your only reason for acquiring a Mac is for developing FileMaker databases, I'd stick to XP--especially if it's the most common platform that your customers will use. Text on a windows system takes up a little more horizontal and vertical space than it does on a Mac system. Thus, layouts developed on a Mac often have to be adjusted slightly the first time they are brought up on a windows machine. The reverse is generally not true.

          I wouldn't spend more money on training unless I find I can't get the trial version of FMP 11 to work for me the way I expected. I'd predict that 90% of the content will be the same as what you already paid for for the version 10 training.

          • 2. Re: Need advice on computer and upgrade


            Thanks for the thorough reply.  It is kind of what I thought (although I did not know about the text sizing difference between PCs and Macs).

            When I get the new PC I'll trial FM 11 Advanced on it.  Many potential users will actually be running the program on a plain vanilla 14" laptop, but I tried to work in FM 10 on a 15" laptop and found it too hard as I couldn't keep multiple screens up simultaneously and see anything.



            • 3. Re: Need advice on computer and upgrade

               I tried to work in FM 10 on a 15" laptop and found it too hard as I couldn't keep multiple screens up simultaneously and see anything.

              I don't think you'll see any difference here between 10 and 11. I generally try to avoid using mutiple windows--limiting my design to a maximum of just two at any given time and one those would be a small window pretending to be a modal dialog with scripting and custom menu tricks to keep it always to the front until it is dismissed.