FileMaker 12 offers many intriguing new features, including new windowing capabilities, significant charting and container field improvements, and a brand new design surface. But to my way of thinking, all of these pale in comparison to the exciting possibilities offered by the new ExecuteSQL function.
What’s so great about ExecuteSQL? In a nutshell, it allows us to natively (without a plug-in) perform queries against FileMaker tables using SQL (structured query language). This means that we can now write code to answer questions that previously required adding new table occurrences and special-purpose fields to serve as relational predicates.
Incidentally, if you’re curious about SQL in general, here are some good starting points:
And of course you’ll want to grab a copy of the FileMaker 12 ODBC/JDBC Guide, which offers tantalizing glimpses of what FileMaker is capable of SQL-wise under the hood. Much of the information in Chapter 7 is directly relevant to the ExecuteSQL function.