Filemaker Pro and Sonoma

I’m an outlier because I just use Filemaker 15 for personal not professional databases, but I am a bit of an addict. When I switched to Sonoma I found every time I tried to access an FM field with a drop-down list the program crashed. If I changed the field to pop-up menu it still shows a drop down list but works fine. I’m good for now but Claris did not test FM15 compatability with Sonoma. I’m not sure how many other glitches might exist. FM23 at $600 is out of my price range and FM15 is not eligible fo upgrade, I’m wondering if there is a safe, legitimate source to buy FM19, I see it listed on Amazon and eBay but i’m leery about the suppliers and don’t want to end up with an unusable product. Can anyone recommond a source? Thanks.

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Compatibility (or lack thereof across macOS versions) and high cost are the reasons I reluctantly abandoned Filemaker. These days if I needed a real database for personal use, I would use Panorama X. However my current needs are modest and I get by with Numbers spreadsheets and Notenik collections.


I’ve been using Collections, primarily because I have little to no knowledge of databases generally and don’t want to hurt myself… if your needs are simple, you may want to check this one out

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Thanks for the suggestion. Panorama seems quite comprehensive and flexible. Several of my databases are highly dependent on container fields where I insert photos, for example, a DB of plants in my garden. I did see the airport maps but couldn’t figure out how they got inserted.

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Give Tapforms a shot. People use it for personal and also their small business. I’m using it to store information about to the health and state of my pets, but I’m surely will get more involved.

Here are a couple of links that should be helpful. Friendly users as well as @provuejim, the developer himself, chimes in with useful suggestions.

Need help with images - Panorama X - Panorama Discussion Forum

Storing images directly in Panorama X - Panorama X - Panorama Discussion Forum

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I have been an on and off FilemakerPro user since version one. A few years ago, I jumped back in but my FMP was not eligible for an upgrade. I searched online and took a chance on an older upgradable version for sale. The version was new (unused) and I was able to upgrade through Claris to the latest version. In August 2022 Claris announced a freemium version of FMP (or Claris Pro) for individual users. In September 2022 in a Claris webinar, they announced that it was coming soon. Still not here. So there’s that. I have since hopped off of the FilemakerPro platform. Don’t think I’ll go back even if the freemium version comes tomorrow (but reserve my right to change my mind :grinning:).

I have explored and have decided, for various reasons, against these: Panorama X, Ninox, Connections, Tapforms,and maybe a few others. I have also used AirTable and Notion - both worked well but I wanted something on my computer.

I now use Apple Numbers for simple flat-file databases and use (because of the MacSparky Filed Guide) Obsidian for relational databases. With Obsidian I created reasonable versions of relational databases for my plants and my books. Both are still works in progress but I am happy with both.

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@neonate - interesting history - why do you prefer FM over Panorama X?

Rather than inserting them into the database itself, Panorama displays images directly from your disk. So instead of inserting the image itself, you just put the path of the image into the database (this can be a full path or relative to the database - so if an image is in the same folder as the database all you need is the name). There’s no point in having super large images in the database where they would tie up large amounts of RAM memory, with no benefit because they can’t be searched, sorted, etc.

The links supplied by @karlnyhus are good, also here is a link to the main help page on this topic in Panorama’s own documentation.

Jim Rea
President, ProVUE Development

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It’s just that I have used Filemaker for so long. I did explore Panorama X and it looks really good. Panorama X is Mac OS only. It does not have an iPad OS version. Filemaker has a version (Filemaker Go) that works on iPad OS but it does not sync with the desktop version (using a single user license). For now, Obsidian seems to fit my simple needs and works well on iPad OS.

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Man, I used to love working in FMP! Sorry to hear about your upgrade woes.

Thanks @neonate

Filemaker seems to me to have the most opaqe - maybe even intentionally evasive - licensing structure among any software I have seen

It seems like useful software but also seems as if they are only interested in enterprise customers and not at all interested in individual users. This seems odd for a company owned by Apple.

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That’s certainly the vibe I get.

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Here at ProVUE (Panorama) we’re definitely interested in individual customers as well as businesses. And we have a unique subscription system where you only pay for months where you actually use the software, which is great for occasional users. You can watch a video about this here:

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I’ve downloaded the trial of TapForms. It seems to be the closest to what I’m looking for - photos that reside in the file, user created forms, not a subscription, available for Mac and iOS, easy to use and a much more affordable price. Thanks for the suggestion. I agree with others, FM is business/programmer oriented. I love it’s flexibility and appearance but it also has a lot of bells and whistles that are beyond my needs (and skills).


Thanks, that explained the process clearly.

Glad you like it. It’s always good to support indie devs that make for me the Mac ecosystem worth it.