FileMaker Starts '09 with 10

With a legacy that dates back to the dawn of the personal computing era, FileMaker today upgraded it's workgroup database software with the launch of FileMaker Pro 10.

Timed to coincide with this week's MacWorld show, the upgrade sports a dramatically redesigned interface, including a customizable top toolbar that will be quickly familiar for users of web applications and recent office suites. Rick Kalman, FileMaker 10 product manager, recently demonstrated the product's new interface for ChannelWeb editors, and explained that, in addition to an improved user experience, the toolbar also provides improved search and reporting functionality.

For some time, FileMaker has been touting itself as a front end interface and report generator for enterprise databases, including Oracle, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL server. The new upgrade includes improved support for the latest versions of those databaes, and for access to Microsoft Excel 2007 data, as well.

In addition, the upgrade contains improvements to FileMaker's scripting functionality, greater error handling and recovery capabilities, and improvements to the products' family of pre-configured databaase solution templates.

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In a statement, FileMaker president Dominique Goupil said, "The new FileMaker Pro 10 interface is the result of years of in-depth research into how people actually interact with databases... Also, the new customization and scripting features in version 10 will save both end users and developers time and money."

In recent Channel Affinity Index research on SMB Database solutions, conducted by Everything Channel's Institute for Partner & Education Development, FileMaker held a small but significant channel presence. While dwarfed by giants Oracle and Microsoft, FileMaker accounted for 3.6 percent of SMB Database deals closed in the first half of 2008. FileMaker also has a far more sizeable presence in the direct market for consumer and small-office databases, competing directly with Microsoft Office's Access.

The FileMaker Pro 10 upgrade covers both the Standard and Advanced versions of FileMaker--the Advanced version includes a runtime engine and other developer features--as well as the Standard and Advanced versions of FileMaker Server. FileMaker Server Advanced supports additional web publishing and data access options.

Windows XP and Vista OSes, are supported, as are Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5. Pricing ranges from $299 ($179 upgrade price) for FileMaker Pro 10, to $2999 for the Server Advanced product.