One of the principle features of FileMaker Pro 12 is how container fields have been re-engineered, permitting new features when storing files or media inside them.
Previous versions of FileMaker permitted audio, video, image or regular files but storing them meant either the file had to be contained within the field or a link could be stored to the file’s location but all users needed to have the same “path” to the file in order to access it.
The new improved container fields permit a number of new features.
Drag and Drop
Inserting a file into a container field is as simple as dragging its icon onto the field. No more dialogs forcing you to navigate to the file’s location.
Streaming Audio and Video Content
Previous versions of FileMaker had to download the entire media file to the local machine before it could start playing the content. In FileMaker 12, the content will start playing immediately while the rest of the file is downloading.
Better Performance Through Optimized Thumbnails
In the past, images had one size which meant, even if you were showing a scaled-down version of an image, the entire image was needed to show the scaled-down version. Now, thumbnails are generated automatically and optimized for the size they are displayed at. This will make lists showing images perform much better.
Remote, Secured Storage
Not only can the location and content of a file be encrypted, the file can be stored in a location relative to FileMaker Server so that all users can have access to files stored as links. This has the advantage of keeping the file size down by storing the files in your file system on your server but secure so users outside FileMaker can’t access them. Of course FileMaker security is extended to these files so users within your system have the access you define.
Lots of great features to play with in FileMaker 12 and these new container fields really open up what’s possible – in the hands of a skilled developer of course!
PS. FMI recently released 12.0v3 updates for FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Pro Advanced and FileMaker Server. Check out the downloads section of FileMaker Support to download the updater.