Cross-Platform Issues

FileMaker Pro is 99% cross-platform compatible. You can design a file on a Mac (my own preferred platform) and have it perform just the way you'd expect on a Windows machine, and vice versa.

The 1% exceptions are minor. Here are some of them:
  • Windows isn't as efficient as the Mac OS at rendering fonts.
  • Windows allows for dialing a phone from right within the database, but a Mac won't.
  • A Mac allows the computer to speak in synthesized voices, but Windows doesn't.
  • Windows interacts with the rest of your computer system using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), whereas the Mac uses AppleScript.
  • Color rendering is subtly different on the 2 platforms, but I don't find that to be as significant as the difference between either platform and the way the colors come out on whatever printer you're using.
  • Windows makes all its FMP windows behave the same way, which can lead to a lot of screen flashing as they resize. FMP windows on the Mac behave independently of each other.
  • The Mac keyboard has a backspace key mislabelled "delete"; the Windows keyboard has a return key mislabelled "enter". FileMaker Pro cannot resolve these stupidities, and neither their documentation nor mine is going to waste space by mentioning the problem every time it's necessary to refer to those keys.
  • The Mac has a "command" (⌘) key that Windows doesn't, which means FileMaker usually uses "ctrl" for the equivalent operations under Windows. This limits what FileMaker is able to use the "ctrl" key for on the Mac.
  • In general, wherever Windows uses the "alt" key, the Mac uses the "option" key, and vice versa.
  • Some plug-ins only work on 1 platform. This is of no concern to me, since I don't use plug-ins.
While not strictly a cross-platform issue, FileMaker Go works only on handheld devices running iOS, which as of early 2013 means only hardware from Apple. But the FMP databases running under FileMaker Go can have been designed on a Windows machine.

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