FileMaker Unveils Advanced Server Edition At Devcon

At the FileMaker Developers Conference in Phoenix this week, the company will announce availability of FileMaker 7 Advanced Server Edition, and boast about the 10 million copies of its eponymous database that have shipped since 1984.

Seven million of that number have sold since 1998, or the modern era of FileMaker, according to Dominique Goupil, president of FileMaker.

While the company, which had its roots in the old Claris Corp., is a subsidiary of Apple Computer, 60 percent of its business comes form its Windows version, a percentage that has held steady for the past few years, he noted.

The advanced server, which brings better Web support to the product line, is the last of several FileMaker family members to ship this year. This version of the database promises to easily convert traditional FileMaker databases to full Web-based application in an automated fashion.

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The current Macintosh OS X version does not support ODBC and JDBC yet. That support will be added later, the company said.

The company already shipped a client-server flavor of the database server--the advanced flavor hosts up to 100 Web-based clients and 250 desktop clients, the company said. The advanced server lists for $2,499. FileMaker is also offering a new license option for that will enable licensed users of the developer edition to run three concurrent users on the advanced server as well.

FileMaker has made a name for itself among creative professionals in media and arts communities but also has found a home in other segments. "We're in small and large businesses, in the government. The Department of Health and Human Services has 68,000 seats," said Ryan Rosenberg, vice president of marketing and services.

FileMaker has been praised by developers, some 1,400 of which are expected in Phoenix this week, for its ability to handle diverse data types.

The company has also sought to capitalize on what many see as a ceding of the PC database market by Microsoft and others. Microsoft this spring unveiled a conversion tool to move recalcitrant Access 97 users to newer versions of that database.

Many observers say Microsoft steers Access users to the higher-end--and pricier--SQL Server database as much as possible.

Goupil estimates there are about 60,000 FileMaker developers in total, 60 percent work within companies and 40 percent are third-party developers including consultants and trainers.