]> SUNRISE Contacts 2019

SUNRISE Contacts 2019

FAQs

Can I use SUNRISE Contacts on a secure web page of my choosing?

Yes you can, and highly desirable too where security is a must. Once you have established a secure web server (using an SSL certificate to create an https connection — ask your IT professional or ISP for assistance here) preferably on your own premises, you would run FileMaker Server 16 or higher to access SUNRISE Contacts. Excellent choice!

Please note that there is one slight downside to this approach. It has to do with the costs. In particular, purchasing FileMaker Server for the simple task of "publishing" and presenting your data (and layout designs) in a web browser for yourself and anyone else to see is still seen as a privilege given the high price tag to run the software. A kind of, "Are you trying to make a profit from delivering your data? Oh well, we might as well take a slice of your profits, or else you must pay heavily to properly own the software outright and use it for as long as you like". This is the attitude Apple presents to the community when selling FileMaker Server.

Apple would still like to capitalise on any profits you may make in delivering information online and not just in purchasing the Server app. Thus, it will cost you $1,000 to purchase FileMaker Server 16. This may not seem too bad at first until you realise Apple also wants you to pay a monthly or per user subscription fee. If the aim of the server is to be accessed by as any people as you can for a web site (the usual aim in using a server), it isn't exactly the most cost-effective solution (1) for consumers. Only businesses may consider this option and only if there is a guaranteed profit from taking on this "bleed me financially dry" approach by Apple.

Too expensive to buy FileMaker Server 16? We hear your pain. That is why we think it is better for you to find a trusted third-party FileMaker Server hosting solution for a minimal monthly charge (usually around AUD$59.95). The license key for the Server is already supplied and you can focus on the data (and/or layout) delivery to your customers or other stakeholders. However, it will not be the most securest option.

Can I use SUNRISE Contacts on an iOS device?

Yes. In fact, as soon as Apple removed the free web publishing feature in the standard FileMaker Pro app some years back (and would have been the ideal solution for budding and budget-conscious families and small businesses in delivering data online), the company introduced the much cheaper option (actually, it is free) of running your databases on any number of iOS devices. Thanks Apple! You are too kind.

For Android users, no such option exists at the moment. Sorry guys. Apple has yet to be kind to you. The only thing you can do is set up the secure server option to access the databases on a web browser of any smartphone or tablet device.

However, there is still yet another catch to keep in mind. Plug-ins to enhance the features and functions of SUNRISE Contacts will not work on iOS or Android devices because Apple wants to use a different microprocessor for its portable products and likewise for Android manufacturers compared to the desktop and laptop versions. Furthermore, Apple can technically gather data coming out of a FileMaker Pro databases through an iOS device to the Apple servers by pushing data through as a means of syncing data with different devices unless the data is properly encrypted. Oh well, never mind. Better still, we recommend that you use our PC version of SUNRISE Contacts and run it on your combo laptop/tablet device using the proper Intel processor, and enjoy the full power, including all the plug-ins we supply as standard (which includes high-level encryption). But keep in mind the fact that any data you wish to transfer from your PC to any Mac user will be noticed by the Apple servers. If you have sensitive data and need users on a Mac or iOS device to access it, make sure you use encryption (2).

Perhaps not surprisingly, Apple has no combo tablet/laptop product that utilises the Intel processor (the requirement to run all the features of SUNRISE Contacts).

Protecting your privacy — the power of encrypting data

Apart from not connecting to the internet or a phone network with your portable device as the number one solution to perfect privacy and security while having more direct person-to-person communications, encryption technologies is the next most effective way of protecting your privacy and ensuring communication is directly with the intended recipient.

SUNRISE Contacts will encrypt email messages, notes and any text you need to keep secure at a high level. Then you can send any encrypted information when you want.

Encrypted data — the double-edged sword

Encrypting data is a major problem for governments, law enforcement agencies, intelligence organisations, and the military. The technology have been classified as a weapon by those who feel entitled to look at everything you do, and that includes all your personal and business confidential data.

As of June 2018, Australian, French and some American (e.g., the FBI) law enforcement agencies have worked hard to get Apple and other major commercial software companies to provide some kind of a secret backdoor to their own form of encryption technologies and/or the software they produce and have it quietly send out data (before the encryption is applied) as an easier means of accessing your data. This means that once the data in certain lower quality FileMaker Pro databases or other software tools goes through the Apple servers, encrypted or not, there is a high probability some people you don't know, including the software companies offering the encryption technology or the software you use, can still read your data from the servers.

As of 3 June 2018, the Chinese government has realised this fact and has jumped on the bandwagon of snooping around and requesting their own Chinese software companies to provide similar backdoor solutions so it can monitor the activities of its citizens. And all done under the umbrella of Anti-terrorism laws. It does not matter if you have sensitive business confidential or personal information and you are definitely not involved in any illegal activity, or just happen to be one of those unfortunate people who the Chinese government feel must be targeted and sent to the world's biggest open prison. The burden is going to be on you (with the help of software developers and vendors) to prove you are supporting the Chinese government, or support the economic system, and have nothing illegal to hide.

About our encryption technology

Our encryption is not based on Apple or other big software companies' tools. We are independent, and have no intentions to provide any special "backdoor solutions" to our encryption. Any attempts to do so would only compromise your security and privacy and can render our product ineffective at protecting your privacy as well as make the internet on the whole useless for economic purposes, such as consumers purchasing online with their credit cards. This is particularly true should any "backdoor solutions" get accidentally leaked onto the internet for hackers and organised crime syndicates to exploit.

Should some authorities still feel worried about not knowing what is happening in the community because people are using these encryption technologies, the only effective long-term solution to the problems arising from those few selected individuals and/or groups who may cause trouble for authorities is simply this:

  1. Establish a minimum wage for all.
  2. Can't afford it? Then it is time to start a new world order consisting of the establishment of a new non-economic system for people to live and work. This system should complement the current economic system with principal focus on protecting the environment and growing enough natural foods. By doing so, it will have the unexpected side benefit of helping to protect all citizens of the economic system during a depression period or severe recession where people need to find alternative ways to survive until new jobs are created. All rewards in the alternative system, should not be monetary but based on supplying free food and the supply of free housing and a plot of land to work on for the contributions people provide on the land to grow the food, the recyclable building materials, and to restore the natural environment to pristine conditions as required to solve climate change and maintain financial economies. As they say, without a healthy environment, there is no economy.
  3. Provide a safe place to live and grow.
  4. Provide free education for all.
  5. Give extra rewards to people who provide brilliant new ideas that work in reality and will solve the problems of the day.

Or, to sum it up, show true love for one another. That is the only way to achieve true security and a bright future. If the current economic system fails to provide it, then it is time to change it. If we cannot afford it for the number of people alive today, the time has come to start a new world order.

It is as simple as that.

Can I use SUNRISE Contacts with Cloud services?

SUNRISE Contacts and the Cloud (i.e., a place to host your databases on online servers) are a match made in heaven. Our recommendations for good FileMaker Server 16 web hosting (3) are:

  1. FMPHost
    As Carl Horton said: "Our FileMaker 16 Dedicated Database Hosting service starts with a 15 day free trial and can host up to 125 databases.". After the trial period, it costs $59.95 per month. (4)
  2. Foxtail Technology
    Comes with a 30-day trial. Costs US$50.00 per month for shared hosting of 5 FileMaker databases, or US$100.00 per month for 10 FileMaker databases.

Web hosting services such as these do not require that you purchase your own FileMaker Server 16 license key from Apple, Inc. And the service providers can update FileMaker Server automatically to the latest version as its comes out of Apple on a yearly basis.

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ALL FILEMAKER SERVER 18 USERS

It has taken a while, and just before the upcoming release of FileMaker Pro 19 (which suggests Apple/Claris has known about the bug since the beginning of last year but have chosen to keep quiet and not provide an update with the likely aim of affecting some competitors' CRMs made in FileMaker, and so encourage users to see the benefits of Apple's own free CRM in macOS which, incidentally, seem not to have bugs at the moment. Either that or Apple/Claris does nothing to fix the bugs until around the time of the next release of its software, and then it is to encourage users to see the benefit of upgrading to get the fixes), but there is a bug in FileMaker Server 18 (not FileMaker Cloud 18) where the "startup restroration" feature is turned on. The most common complaints of the feature are the slow performance of the server, unusual numbers of crashes and unexpected quits of the server, and more seriously some FileMaker databases have been damaged. It appears to be a new feature of FileMaker Server 18 with insufficient testing performed by Apple/Claris developers. Now that the developers are aware, we should see an improvement in FIleMaker Server 19 (and should be fixed more quickly than the GetNthRecord function bug which remains a long-standing issue lasting more than a decade despite FileMaker developers telling Apple/Claris to fix it, including the latest FileMaker Pro 18). For those sticking to Server 18, you should turn off the feature (it is defaulted to "On" when installed first time):

  1. Open Terminal.app in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder.
  2. Type the following: fmsadmin set serverprefs startuprestorationenabled=false
  3. Press Return key and type in the administrator password to accept the changes.
  4. With the Startup Restoration feature set to "false", it means the feature will not run on the server. One less buggy feature to worry about.

If you intend to host SUNRISE Contacts within your organisation or at home for a long time, the most cost-effective and secure long-term solution is to buy a perpetual license of FileMaker Server (roughly three times the cost of a yearly subscription) and purchase a cheap second-hand Mac or cheaper PC of reasonable speed to act as the hardware server for running FileMaker Server and host the databases. Then all you need is some IT support to set it all up, which should be a one time labour fee of around US$150 (if the support is good and the IT specialist has experience with setting up FileMaker Server, it should be easily done in a little over one hour).

If maximum security is not critical and you prefer to pay-as-you-go (with the advantage of upgrading to a new server software version every 12 months) and want to avoid all the IT-related problems and costs of having an IT specialist in-house to handle the server hardware and software problems (if they occur), try FileMaker Cloud. This server software solution is dedicated to working with the hardware servers located in the data centers at Amazon.com. If you choose this option, pay for the yearly (or perhaps monthly, but we do not recommend choosing an hourly) subscription when running FileMaker Cloud. Certainly if you intend to be online for a long time and reduce the costs to the lowest, choose the longer subscription periods. And if you want maximum security, then purchase an outright license for FileMaker Server.

What about performance on the server?

FileMaker, Inc. recommends a maximum of 100 simultaneous users accessing SUNRISE Contacts on FileMaker Cloud. You can have up to 1,000 users logged into SUNRISE Contacts, but performance drops dramatically when performing lots of sorting on a million records or more. If you stay within the 100 users limit, performance should be excellent for millions of records.

Or if you are certainly you won't go into the millions of records but, say, 10,000 records, then performance for all functions should work very well.

Common Problem 1: Why do I see a Mac message on first launching SUNRISE Contacts suggesting that the software could be unsafe?

Are you seeing the following dreaded message on your Mac computer?

Welcome to the strange world of the macOS ecosystem created by Apple.

Don't worry. This is seen by Apple as an allegedly normal notification introduced since OS X Mountain Lion. It is there to let you — or more notably the Mac novices — know that Apple has not checked SUNRISE Contacts for malware and is unaware that we are a trusted software developer. This is not a problem. Our software has been checked against the world's best antivirus tools. These include VirusTotal.com and Kaspersky Anti-Virus. If these tools cannot find viruses or other malware in our software, neither will Apple. Furthermore, if your own anti-virus software on your Mac can't pick up a malware in our software, you can be assured SUNRISE Contacts is safe. If you don't believe us, we offer a free license key to anyone who can find a virus or other malware in our software. And you can benefit from a cleaner software once we address the malware.

For the safest copy of our software, you should only download it from our web site. See instructions on how to install from this page.

The key to determining if the downloaded file from our web site is safe is to check the file size. We have officially provided details on the file size that it should be. Use Get Info in the Finder's File menu for Mac users to confirm the size of the download file. For PC users, right-click on the downloaded file and choose Properties.

In addition to this, when you open the DMG file containing our Mac version of SUNRISE Contacts, it will be verified on your system. Any unexpected changes to the DMG file will stop the DMG from being opened and will be described as corrupted or unrecognised. Only the original version of our DMG file will be fully verified and open safely.

As for us being described as an "unidentified developer", this is our choice. We don't think it is necessary to pay US$99 a year to Apple just to let them know we exist, we can be trusted, and to stop an annoying GateKeeper message. Mac users are intelligent people and should be treated accordingly. They will know where to find good quality and safe software. Still, Apple remains unconvinced about your ability to make such reasonable decisions (or more likely it is to control software piracy by forcing all users to purchase software from the company's dedicated Mac App Store, or MAS for short, to help maximise its own profits). As a result of this lack of confidence in Mac users in making their own decisions, Apple has decided it is in the best interest for all Mac users not to consider running a wider range of high quality software outside the Mac App Store (MAS). And to make sure of it, in the most recent macOS versions (namely Sierra and High Sierra), there is apparently no option to select "Anywhere" in the Security preference pane to stop the nagging message.

This kind of condescending behaviour from the company on all Mac users is certainly unnecessary and not a good look for the company. It is like having a virtual Nanny watching over you all the time because it thinks you are forever a child with the inability to think on your own and make reasonable decisions (especially if you have nothing to hide). This might be fine for novices of the Mac platform with absolutely no knowledge of computers and the internet. However, for more experienced users, Apple is doing far too much to restrict people from making their own decisions.

The effort to force developers to pay Apple for the privilege of using the MAS and stop Gatekeeper messages on downloading the software is remarkably similar to how iPhone users are being forced to purchase iOS apps from the MAS. The only slight difference is that the U.S. Supreme Court has recently (June 2018) ruled against Apple's claim that it is doing nothing illegal in creating its own closed system of Mac software apps and only the developers control and decide on the price. The reality is, developers have no choice but to be on the MAS because iPhone users are forced to go on the MAS to find all their apps and Apple provides no easy way for users to put apps on iPhones for those developers wishing to set up their own storefront and sell apps outside the MAS. The MAS is no longer a storefront where iPhone users can check the apps and prices and later shop around elsewhere for the best price. The company is effectively telling developers how to sell and acting as a monopoly by getting all Mac software to be sold on the MAS and no where else. And with this move, Apple takes a sizeable share of the profits from developers for the privilege of being on the MAS.

But it isn't just money and monopolising the Mac software market that Apple is seeking.

As certain developers have discovered, even if they pay their annual subscription fees to Apple to receive a code signing certificate to put into our software, Apple can easily delay and choose to deny certain software from being sold on its online store. We see this with our software through the interesting anti-competitive practices the company has applied to reduce the success of competitor's products and in gaining any traction on the Mac platform (as there is a reason Apple prefers users to use its own "free" contact solution and other Apple apps), undermining our price for instance, using its marketing power and brand awareness to get its own cheaper competitive product (i.e., Bento, before it was removed by Apple) out to users, adding bugs to FileMaker Pro with no aim to fix them even when notified over the years of those bugs and so make it harder for developers to offer alternative and well-designed and workable products, and to force FileMaker developers to move onto the latest macOS by controlling where FileMaker Pro can be run because it wants to gather details of all developers through its servers. Given the considerable effort by Apple to reduce competition in the Mac versions of certain CRMs by third-party developers (because Apple wants to discriminate certain developers by getting Mac users to use the company's preferred contacts.app supplied with macOS and iOS), it would not be too surprising if Apple finds a way to affect the success of some developers in selling their products even if they pay the subscription costs to go on the MAS.

In a sense, it would be seen as a waste of money.

Consequently, there is a divide in the Mac developers' sphere. On one side we have those developers who have to choose MAS and follow Apple's rules based on the way the iOS and macOS are designed to force ordinary Mac users (mainly those who are not sure where to buy software and are somewhat described as "novices" in using the Mac) to use only the MAS for all their software needs. And on the other side are those who sell independently and provide tools/advice to Mac users on how to run a wider range of Mac software on their computers, just to give them the choice. But for the latter group of people, there will always be at a distinct disadvantage in selling their software on macOS computers when they are not on the MAS.

At the end of the day, it should be up to you to decide which software to use, and to apply common sense techniques to the situation of deciding what is the safest high quality software to run on your computer.

Can I stop the annoying GateKeeper message?

You certainly can, and highly advisable to follow the installation process shown on this page in doing so. Later you can decide whether it is worth turning back on the GateKeeper protection mechanism.

Of course, no such problem exists for PC users. Just unzip and use — the way software should be.

Has your software been tested for malware?

Most certainly. Our product has been fully tested for malware using VirusTotal.com and Kaspersky Anti-Virus (we recommend users purchase this software for your computer) and has a clean bill of health.

If you are worried about viruses and other forms of malware, don't expect the Mac App Store (MAS) to be any better than what we can do. Apple cannot guaranteed software downloaded on its MAS will be perfect and not affected by malware. Apple can only do so much to check with an anti-virus tool and beyond that the user must effectively take a risk with any software obtained from the MAS or anywhere else on the internet. Should you be concerned about this possibility, you are better off purchasing an effective anti-virus software solution of your own and do the checks yourself. And even then, you are no better than Apple. Your best protection is to listen to people, read their blogs, and get reviews of sites that offer software outside the MAS. If there is no evidence of any malware, you are no better off downloading the software from the MAS. Apple will never find any malware. At the end of the day, and with experience, you will decide where to find the best software on the planet.

As a special offer, if you should find any viruses or other malware in our product with your anti-virus software and we can reproduce the results, you will receive a free license key (and a cleaned up version of our software).

Common Problem 2: Why is my database showing only some records on launching even though I had already applied Find All in the last launch session?

It is likely you are running SUNRISE Contacts on different user accounts on the same computer.

What has probably happened is that after finding your selected records and quitting in one account, you went ahead to re-launch it again on another account. You tried to apply the Find All records and so far everything looks okay. However, after quitting and re-launching once more, the database was unable to remember the change you had applied. The cause for this is the file permissions are not set correctly for the database. On a Mac, quit SUNRISE Contacts. Select the entire SUNRISE Contacts folder containing all databases. Press Command I to see the Get Info dialog box. At the bottom click the lock icon to unlock the file permission settings, and type your Administrator password. Now press the + button and add the accounts you want Read & Write privileges to be established and set it to this. Alternatively make sure "Everyone" has Read & Write privileges if the databases will only be accessed by you on your computer. In the Gear icon popdown menu, select "Apply to enclosed items...". This should solve the problem.

Common Problem 3: How come I can see this black container field for holding my PDF documents inside?

Adobe Reader or your Adobe Creative Suite/Creative Cloud package will naturally install two plug-ins for viewing PDFs in a web browser or any other app with PDF display capabilities. However, OS X/macOS already has PDF viewing capabilities built right into the system since version OS X Leopard. As such, the OS and Adobe PDF viewing technologies are interfering with each other and causing the container field in SUNRISE Contacts to display a black background. Rest assured your PDF document is still in the container field. You can export the document as usual with no ill-effects, but it is not pretty to look at and will not help you to see the contents of the PDF's first page. To solve this problem, log into your computer as Administrator, and find the following plug-ins:

AdobePDFViewer.plugin
AdobePDFViewerNPAPI.plugin

These plug-ins can be found in one or both of the following locations:

Users/[yourusername]/Library/Internet Plug-Ins
/Library/Internet Plug-Ins

Move the plug-ins into the Trash.

Finally, quit and re-launch SUNRISE Contacts and go to the container field again. You will find the field will now correctly display the first page of the PDF. Proceed as usual in deleting the plug-ins as they are of no further use.

Common Problem 4: There is this continually annoying message claiming AdobePDFViewer cannot find a compatible app to view my PDFs in SUNRISE Contacts despite having selected the Adobe PDF viewing app. Why?

Sounds like you are seeing the following message appearing again and again each time SUNRISE Contacts has been re-launched and you go to a container field containing a PDF:

"AdobePDFViewer cannot find a compatible Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader to view this PDF. Please select one."

Rest assured, the solution is the same as before for black container fields. Get rid of those silly Adobe plug-ins and you should be right to use SUNRISE Contacts without any further problems.

Common Problem 5: I get this message in FileMaker 18 when running SUNRISE Contacts that your plug-ins are not signed. What should I do?

You are probably seeing this message with FileMaker Pro 18:

Don't worry. The plug-ins will work fine in FileMaker Pro 18. In the Preferences section of the app, click the option in the message that says "Always load the plugin". There will be six plug-ins in total to load up for SUNRISE Contacts (on a Mac, they will be named clipboard.fmplugin, Encryption.fmplugin, FileManipulation.fmplugin, FileZip.fmplugin, System.fmplugin, and Web.fmplugin; for the Windows side, the difference is fmplugin will be substituted with fmx64). For your peace of mind, the plug-ins are perfectly safe to use and you will never have to be bothered again with the message for these plug-ins once you load them in permanently.

Should the plug-ins be code-signed?

Apart from being a financial drain to the developer in annually or bi-annually renewing the certificate with some agency or software company (worse if one is only providing open source or freeware apps) and forcing users to download again the software (eventually even users will get annoyed by this code signing and re-signing nonsense for developers, and if there is any unexpected disabling of apps because of an outdated signed certificate, you can be sure users will resent Apple and other companies and decide to go outside MAS and other places to get their software working forever), having code-signed plug-ins are only there to give greater assurance to people that what they are receiving is original and untampered with. In truth, it is not critical to have code-signed software just to run them. About the worse people should experience from receiving unsigned software is get an annoying message about something not being "signed". Whoopy doo! As if everything in the world must be signed off before we can ever release and do anything in the world. We would be lucky to get anything done if we followed this approach all the time. The reality is, it is impractical in most cases. The same is true of software. So, if you do see this alert pop up out of the blue, just tell whatever is complaining about it that it is okay. Seriously, you are smart enough to know if the software is okay, right? You are intelligent. You know what software is safe. You know where to find a broader range or higher quality software outside of the MAS. Why should Apple dictate where you should get your software? You decide for yourself.

This brings us to the situation of whether it is necessary to code-sign everything. Perhaps, if you are in the business of making money issuing certificates to every Tom, Dick and Harry who wants to be a developer. And easy way to make a profit. Indeed, one smart entrepreneur named Carl Schwarz is doing just that. If you have a burning ambition to have another developer code sign your application and installer and "save your time plus the fee of an Apple developer certificate", visit https://schwarzsoftware.com.au. But if you ever want to do is create freeware or very low cost software to give to customers, probably not. So maybe the real question you should ask yourself is, do you apply common sense techniques to ensure the software you are getting is secure and from trusted sources (e.g., the original developer's web site)?

If you have downloaded SUNRISE Contacts from our web site, there is virtually no way a third-party middle-man can interfere with the digital download and insert some carefully-crafted malicious code into our software. No hacker can be superman to uncompress our software during download, insert malicious code (and not affect the download file length), and re-compress the file all at the same time you are downloading the file (and somehow put it back on our web site, not unless the ISP we have is corrupt). It does not happen. However, if our software is downloaded from a third-party web site not affiliated with SUNRISE, then there is a small chance that our software could get tampered with. In this situation, always verify by looking at the file length of the downloaded file.

Of course, one could argue about the possibility that some developers could be hackers. Well, let us put it this way: the reputation of developers are on the line every day whenever they release software to users online. Any funny business detected in the software will be quickly determined. And before you know it, not only will developers lose their code-signed certificates and memberships to Developer sites, but those without a code-signed certificate will be forced to disappear as people turn away to search for better software. The Darwinian approach to software evolution will apply. Where the software is not code-signed, check the length of time the developer's web site and software have been around. If it is more than 10 years and still no signs of anything to suggest the apps and/or plug-ins might be suspicious, this is a very good sign that the developer and the software produced can be trusted.

As SUNRISE has been online since 1999, you would think by now that someone would have found something terrible and devious with our software. No one has, so that in itself should speak volumes about our integrity to provide a quality software for your own use.

With paranoia now running at an all time high in 2020 for businesses and some consumers concerned about the security of certain software apps (and now plug-ins), and Apple and others are happy to cash-in on this paranoia, it is understandable that more and more software are receiving the code-signing certificate treatment. Unfortunately, it comes at a continuous cost to the developer (as the certificates have to be renewed and paid in the hundreds of dollars each time). We think it is not necessary to have software code-signed to the nth degree right down to the plug-ins themselves if simple security precautions are implemented by the user, the biggest of which is to always download the software from the original source (in the case of SUNRISE Contacts from our web site only). Anywhere else and you would check the file length at the very least. But really? What's wrong with 100 per cent security and certainly by downloading directly from the developer's web site? It is the only way to be sure, and safe.

Is it true that Apple wants to remove the Runtime feature of FileMaker Pro to prevent your database solutions from running without a full copy of FileMaker Pro?

Yes. To reduce competition from FileMaker developers, such as SUNRISE with its CRM, Apple wants any means to have an advantage over Mac users and to "encourage" developers to join the Developer's Apple club (for a regular fee). Even though Apple offers the free Xcode for developers to create any software they like, and sell it (even if it competes with Apple's own apps), somehow FileMaker Pro cannot be allowed to do the same in the future. The Runtime feature has been earmarked by Apple as deprecated and will be removed at some point in the future. At the moment FileMaker Pro 18 can produce Runtime apps to run SUNRISE Contacts and will continue to be offered while there are enough multi-million dollar contracts at other companies that require the Runtime feature to be available. Despite being stated as in the deprecation phase (since FileMaker Pro 13 was released), it is likely to be a very long time before Apple can remove the feature.

Is this deprecation effort from Apple a cost issue for the company? There is no evidence for this. According to Richard Carlton Consulting, Inc., there is nothing to suggest that Apple is struggling financially speaking in the sale of its software. Quite the contrary, Apple has been making a hefty profit for the last 20 years in selling FileMaker Pro Advanced, and continues to do so for the latest FileMaker Pro 18 version while it retains the Runtime feature according to this YouTube video?

Mr Carlton claims in the video that it is because the Runtime app can't get all the latest features of the full FileMaker Pro app, such as exporting as PDF (even though users can print as PDF and developers can create plug-ins to fill in the shortfall in features), so it is better for developers to join Apple on a program to bundle their database apps with a copy of a discounted price FileMaker Pro, and sell enough of the FileMaker Pro apps and databases to users. Rubbish! The real reason for doing this is because Apple does not want to have the Runtime feature. Full stop. It means extra competition for Apple. And the company wants to get lazy in not providing the latest features into the Runtime solution until fewer and fewer people use it until one day Apple has an excuse to remove the Runtime feature. Furthermore, the company wants to turn developers into its own salesforce to sell more FileMaker Pro copies and get more of its fingers in the financial pie of the developers when selling the database solutions for the sake of a bigger profit even though they are already making substantial profit every year in selling FileMaker Pro with the Runtime feature.

The other problem is that Apple does not like FileMaker developers selling too cheaply or making available for free any Runtime apps of a CRM to compete with Apple's own free CRM. By removing the Runtime feature, soon FileMaker developers must find ways to convince users to buy their apps at a much more inflated price (with a copy of FileMaker Pro bundled with the solution). And all the while Apple wants developers to create apps for the Macintosh and iOS platform so the company can sell more Macs and Apple mobile devices.

So what's the point of providing Xcode to Apple developers? Indeed, what's wrong with the Xcode approach of letting FileMaker developers create free or low-cost "runtime-like" C++/Swift apps to work on Macs and iOS devices (without needing FileMaker Pro or another app from Apple to run them, other than to have macOS or iOS present) and leave it as that? Profit is already there in selling FileMaker Pro. Enough people are buying Macs and iOS devices. How much more profit is needed by Apple by removing the Runtime feature just to force developers to sell more copies of FileMaker Pro?

The only good thing to come of this news is that the current versions of FileMaker Pro with their Runtime feature will continue to work with all Windows 7 to 10 OS versions. Compare this to macOS whose version will change annually and eventually stop Runtime apps from working (probably in late 2020s), but not for the Windows side.

While there is a need for the Runtime app by enough users, SUNRISE Contacts should continue to run on Mac and iOS as a Runtime solution for at least the next 5 years, and more than 10 years on the Windows platform.

Beyond that time, we can only hope there is a petition by enough developers and users to keep the Runtime feature in the Apple product.