The newly shipping FileMaker Pro 8.5 tries to erase the divide between database apps and the Web.
"We take the browser window and embed it in the FileMaker interface and set up a link between the browser and database so information can pass right through," said Ryan Rosenberg, vice president of marketing for the Santa Clara, Calif. company.
This is FileMaker's take on mashups and would enable a developer to say, set up a live link to a Fedex tracking number, or a stock ticker, to get real-time updates. This would let business users link right to "point-in-time" information that they might not necessarily store in the database itself but need to check.
This is an easy way to incorporate live links to critical data. Users can set up links to pull up street maps based on customer address data in the database.
But, where Web 2.0 "mashups" require AJAX-style programming, FileMaker lets users do this graphically, on screen, without coding, the company said.
And the new database now supports the latest Intel-based Macintosh machines. Just over half of FileMaker's business is on Windows but it retains a strong Mac base as well. The company claims the software runs 91 percent faster on Intel-based Mac clients generally and up to 116 percent faster on the server side.
The updated FileMaker Server 8.1 version 4 adds the Mac Intel support, but no other features. It's a free download for most users.