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New FileMaker Line Adds Web-Based SQL Data Features

By Jack M. Germain MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
Jul 10, 2007 8:38 AM PT

FileMaker announced Tuesday a new version of its desktop database product line for Windows and Mac OS that includes over 30 new design changes and features.

New FileMaker Line Adds Web-Based SQL Data Features

The new FileMaker 9 product line includes FileMaker Pro 9, FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced, FileMaker Server 9 and FileMaker Server 9 Advanced.

A key new feature allows users to connect to company and Web-based data residing in external SQL data sources such as MySQL, Oracle SQL and Microsoft SQL Server.

"FileMaker has been pretty much a black box until now. We wanted to open it up for input/export capabilities," Jon Sigler, vice president of product management, told MacNewsWorld.

Product Scope

FileMaker Pro 9 includes many new features for end users and developers to simplify creating, automating, sharing and reporting from databases. For example, a new Quick Start screen for new users jump starts their productivity. The Conditional Formatting feature highlights data based on parameters the user sets.

Another new feature allows users to e-mail a link to other FileMaker users. This lets recipients click to instantly access the database. The new version also offers enhanced tools for workgroups. For example, the new version supports up to 250 user connections.

The new Server 9 products enable workgroups to share databases over the network and the Web. Server 9 comes with a completely modernized and streamlined Admin Console so FileMaker Pro users can easily set up and administer Server software.

Small and medium businesses with less than 250 workers comprise 40 to 50 percent of the FileMaker installed user base, noted Rick Kalman, senior product manager. Schools, non-profit organizations and government agencies comprise a big percentage of FileMaker users, he added.

New Features

Using the new one-way or two-way live connectivity to popular SQL sources, FileMaker Pro 9 users within any business or organization can securely create custom reports, add calculations and other fields and build relationships with existing FileMaker data.

The new PHP features of FileMaker Server and FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced allow both users and Web developers to publish information to external Web sites, gather information from Web visitors and create new solutions combining a Web-based front-end with a rich, FileMaker Pro back-end.

New data integration and easier database design features in FileMaker Pro 9 let users access new videos in the FileMaker Learning Center and send to a PDF file. This allows users to consolidate multiple data reports into a single PDF file.

Database design changes include script grouping and editing tools, auto-resize, enhanced layout objects, enhanced tab control and an improved Web Viewer.

Pricing and Availability

All FileMaker Pro 9 products are immediately available. New users may purchase FileMaker Pro 9 for US$299 and FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced for $499.

Existing users of FileMaker Pro 7, 8 and 8.5 may upgrade to FileMaker Pro 9 for $179. Existing users of FileMaker Developer 7, FileMaker Pro 8 and 8.5 Advanced and FileMaker Pro 7, 8, 8.5 and 9 may upgrade to FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced for $299.

FileMaker Server 9 costs $999 and FileMaker Server 9 Advanced is $2,499. Existing users of FileMaker Server 7 and 8 may upgrade to FileMaker Server 9 for $599. Existing users of FileMaker Server 7 and 8 Advanced may upgrade to FileMaker Server 9 Advanced for $1,499.

FileMaker offers license discounts for volume purchasers as well as for education and non-profit organizations.

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