FileMaker Database Gains New UI, Support for SQL Server 2008

Database software vendor FileMaker Inc. released a new version of its namesake product at this week's Macworld Expo.

FileMaker Pro 10 comes with a major user interface (UI) facelift and a new report generator. It has also added support for several key database servers, including SQL Server 2008, Oracle 11i and MySQL 5.1.

Though FileMaker is a subsidiary of Apple, the desktop and workgroup database suite is available in both Windows and Macintosh versions. About 55 percent of shipments are on Windows with the rest on the Mac, according to Senior Product Manager Rick Kalman.

FileMaker also offers server-based editions. Starting with the most recent version (released in mid 2007), FileMaker has gained support for some key enterprise databases including SQL Server and Oracle. "If you have a FileMaker database in your workgroup with your own tables and data, you can mix them together," Kalman said.

Uptake for integrating with enterprise data -- where users can access and integrate data and SQL tables from enterprise databases -- has been high, Kalman said, because FileMaker tends to be installed by small workgroups that may want to bring in data from other repositories.

FileMaker Pro 10 features the first significant update to the UI in over a decade, according to Kalman. The new UI includes what FileMaker calls a Status Toolbar, as well as more Web-oriented user controls. Kalman said the UI refresh will make many of the features FileMaker has added over the years easier for users to find.

Pricing starts at $299 per user ($179 for upgrades) and the server edition costs $999 ($599 upgrade). The Advanced server edition costs $2,999 ($1,799 upgrade).

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.