1 2 Previous Next 18 Replies Latest reply on Jun 19, 2017 6:01 PM by gofmp15

    FileMaker History


      As we're coming up on Devcon 2017, it is sometimes fun to wax nostalgic about our history.  Here is a list of FileMaker Developer Conferences:


      • #22  2017  Phoenix, Arizona
      • #21  2016  Las Vegas, Nevada
      • #20  2015  Las Vegas, Nevada
      • #19  2014  San Antonio, Texas
      • #18  2013  San Diego, California
      • #17  2012  Miami Beach, Florida
      • #16  2011  San Diego, California
      • #15  2010  San Diego, California
      • #14  2009  San Francisco, California
      • #13  2008  Phoenix, Arizona
      • #12  2007  Orlando, Florida
      • #11  2006  Orlando, Florida
      • #10  2005  Phoenix, Arizona
      • #9    2004  Phoenix, Arizona
      • #8    2003  Phoenix, Arizona
      • #7    2002  Palm Desert, California
      • #6    2001  Orlando, Florida
      • #5    2000  Palm Desert, California
      • #4    1999  San Diego, California
      • #3    1998  Monterey, California
      • #2    1997  San Jose, California
      • #1    1996  Santa Clara, California


      Wikipedia has a nice article on the History of FileMaker including a summary of what happened in each version upgrade:



      But if you're interested in the very beginnings of FileMaker, there is a great article by Dancing-Data about the FIleMaker Founders.  I did not realize the founders had their roots coming from Wang Laboratories.  Most interesting to me is that Spec Bowers, one of the four original programmers, is cousin to Bob Bowers of Soliant!  Apparently Soliant has some real roots in FileMaker!  Also it is interesting that FileMaker was first named Nutshell Plus.


        • 1. Re: FileMaker History

          Good stuff! 

          I remember using a Wang computer back around 1980.   Cassette tape for memory, keyboard in alphabetical order, no backspace.  Limited amount of lines so you tried to put as much on one line of code.   If you made an error you had to commit the line, delete the line and start over.

          • 2. Re: FileMaker History

            Same old same old. Must be time for one in Australia!

            • 3. Re: FileMaker History

              But Taylor, that was before you were born.  No wonder you don't remember it. 

              • 4. Re: FileMaker History

                keywords wrote:


                Same old same old. Must be time for one in Australia!


                I know there are some FileMaker Developer's Conferences held in Europe, the next ones coming up in October 2017.  But I've never heard of anything in Australia.  There seems to be a reasonably sized developer community there and nearby like New Zealand.  It makes you think that one in Australia would be rather successful.  I know the ones in Europe have been initiated by local developers and FileMaker seems to have followed up with support, but only after it was started locally.  Is there maybe an FMPUG group or something over there that might get something going there?

                • 5. Re: FileMaker History

                  Click the "Learn more..." next to:

                  Find out about European developer events.


                  There are "gatherings" elsewhere in the world, too.


                  • 6. Re: FileMaker History

                    Interesting read on the history of FileMaker. Coincidentally, it reveals why the logo that pops up in the Adventures in FileMaking series shows a Walnut Shell boat with a file folder as its sail... I didn't know the full history, but a FileMaker employee had mentioned the original name of the product and that gave me the idea for the logo.

                    • 7. Re: FileMaker History

                      I was one of the original purchasers of that original FileMaker product.


                      I was relatively new and self taught on MS-DOS computers and had taught myself dBase, Visicalc, and a few other dbs and spreadsheets. They all stunk...


                      I found myself sitting in front of a Macintosh SE in a computer store and was allowed to play. After I drew a large g on screen and triggered print and saw what came out of the Laserwriter, I bought one.


                      I created a complete system for our AC company using the single file non-relational product within two weeks. The biggest problem was getting info from my father on what and how the business worked. It was so good he refused to look at it or use it...  Visical hobbyist...


                      I tried dbase, Foxbase and 4D writing pro dbs in all of them. But the Mac was buggy and AppleTalk networks were a pain and 4D was still buggy. I wound up with FileMaker again.


                      To say that the fact that someone showed me a file with a text object triggering an execute sql that worked like my scripted loop shows how far FMP has come and will continue...


                      I would think FIleMaker needs to deliver a scaled down Citizen Developer starter app and then move up the scale to keep minds from exploding... 

                      • 8. Re: FileMaker History

                        Hypercard, oh yes :-)

                        • 9. Re: FileMaker History

                          gofmp15 wrote:


                          I was one of the original purchasers of that original FileMaker product.




                          I would think FIleMaker needs to deliver a scaled down Citizen Developer starter app and then move up the scale to keep minds from exploding...


                          Cool... I got to see an original box that a professor of mine had.  Nice to know an original user!


                          Regarding scaled down version, that sounds a bit like Bento... which was a failure.  I personally think it would have had a better chance if it really was FM with FM format, but limited features.  Maybe without scripting.  But calcs being the same, layout concept the same, and basic security only. 

                          • 10. Re: FileMaker History

                            id be willing to work on an AUS dev con in exchange to free tuition and one way transportation

                            • 11. Re: FileMaker History

                              i've suggested in various forums and lists that software sellers create different levels of user ability menus much like a Citizen Developer can create menu bars.


                              Starting with a begginer menu one could learn how to use the product with out brain overload. I was trying one of the 3D cad programs but it was so complex I decided to do something else. Had it offered a minimal number of menu options so I could learn and then as I progressed added additional items, I might have stayed with it.


                              FileMaker is getting so complex that a new user can get overwhelmed, especially on a forum after asking a question. But what if the newbie could earn their stripes and after proving proficient a new set of menu items and functions would become available?


                              This idea could also be employed in our apps and is one I am investigating as mine tend to grow exponentially after I promise to keep it simple.

                              • 12. Re: FileMaker History

                                I think anyone over 70 with 30 years of experience should be given free transportation, housing, food and a place of honor in the convention and a new Motor Home, etc. !!!! 

                                • 13. Re: FileMaker History

                                  If, four years from now when I will be eligible for this well-deserved treatment,  I hope that Devcon will be in Las Vegas again where several additional decadent and degenerate perks can be added to what you have already suggested.   Use your imagination.


                                  I would forfeit the motor home unless it's one of those new German models with a garage compartment for a SmartCar or Mini Cooper.

                                  • 14. Re: FileMaker History

                                    I want the new class b with 400 watts of solar cells on the roof and the ac under the chassis rather than on top and no awning. Looks like a regular van.

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