FileMaker Resuscitates Database Market with Pro 10By Frank Ohlhorst | Print
With the release of FileMaker Pro 10, FileMaker aims to breathe new life into the relational database market by incorporating Web-centric features and improving ease of use.
There was a time when the PC market was filled with database vendors pitching their various products. Names like Dbase, FoxPro, Paradox and Clarion were all the rage when it came to relational databases, simply because those products helped to legitimize the PC for business use.
Most of those vendors have faded into the past, and custom-developed databases have been replaced by vertical market applications that accomplish to meet most business needs. Even so, there is still opportunity for those looking to create custom databases. That opportunity is fueled by a simple business axiom—"Make the software fit the needs of the business, as opposed to making the business fit the needs of the software." FileMaker champions that axiom with FileMaker Pro 10, the latest entry in the product’s 20-plus-year history.
The product has an interesting fit in the market; it’s designed as a database that an end user can hit the ground running with, yet it features advanced capabilities that move the product into the software development realm. For end users, that means a database can be created by simply importing in a spreadsheet, while software developers can go a bit further and create complex applications for both the Web and the desktop.
For end users familiar with FileMaker, the latest release brings several new features and a new GUI, which makes common tasks more accessible and much easier to use. New features include:
- 30 updated starter solutions (sample applications, such as contact management)
- 10 new themes (quickly customize the look and feel of a database)
- Dynamic reporting (change report parameters on the fly)
- Script triggering (define events or user actions that automatically execute scripts)
- SMTP integration (send e-mails directly from the product)
- Saved finds (save filtered searches for future use)
Developers will also be pleased with some new additions, which include:
- Enhanced SQL support (Microsoft, Oracle, MySQL, OBDC)
- SMS enhancements (support for remote deployment)
- Improved file recovery (consistency checks and recovery logs)
- Support for IPv6
- Improved field controls (specify fields based calculations in scripts)
File Maker Pro is available in several versions, starting with FileMaker Pro 10, a $299 package that’s geared toward individual users with basic database needs. The company also offers FileMaker Pro 10 Advanced, which offers additional tools, such as enhanced debugging and scripting, along with custom menus and a run-time engine. That product retails for $499. The company offers a pair of server products that support multiple concurrent users over networks and provide the ability to share databases over networks or even the Web.