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September 27th, 1999

[2:30 PM] FileMaker Pro 5 Comes Out Swinging For The Web

FileMaker, Inc. has released the anticipated update to its namesake product FileMaker Pro. The new version, 5.0, has been retooled as a web database platform and comes with an impressive list of new features. According to FileMaker, Inc.:

FileMaker, Inc. today released the new FileMaker Pro 5, with major new features for sharing databases over the intranet and integrating with desktop and enterprise standards.

The company strengthened its line of workgroup database solutions announcing new versions of its developer and server applications and introduced FileMaker Pro 5 Unlimited, designed for publishing databases over the web.

To strengthen its lead in database web publishing, the company announced that it plans to work with Adobe Systems, Allaire Corporation, Macromedia and other partners to make the creation of custom web sites powered by FileMaker databases painless and professional.

FileMaker Pro 5 adds to the Instant Web Publishing features that have made FileMaker a leading choice for publishing and sharing database information via the Web. With support for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), browser users may now view or edit databases with almost exactly the same design elements in the original layouts. Users, with just one mouse click, can share databases for tracking assets, projects, people or processes.

To fit with corporate desktop standards, FileMaker Pro 5, now Microsoft Windows 2000 ready, features a completely new, yet familiar interface that compliments the look and feel of Microsoft Office. Its menu structure and organization now follow the Microsoft Office standard, enabling Office users to be instantly comfortable with the FileMaker Pro interface.

The four new FileMaker products answer the needs of individuals and teams, ranging from entire small businesses to enterprise workgroups. The new product line announced today consists of:

  • FileMaker Pro 5 is designed to be the ideal database for every desktop. This all-in-one application allows users to easily share FileMaker Pro databases with up to 10 users in a workgroup or via the intranet with just one click of a mouse.
  • For more robust intranet/Internet environments, FileMaker Pro 5 Unlimited, offers the same capabilities and features of FileMaker Pro 5, but lets users share databases with an unlimited number of web browsers. Also included is a powerful Web Server Connector, which will support leading Web servers by using Java servlet technology allowing for increased scalability, security, and support for SSL (Secure Socket Layer). Web Server Connector also allows remote database administration and management via the Internet. Additional copies of FileMaker Pro Unlimited can be added to RAIC (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Computers) server settings for achieving load balancing and fault tolerance.

The FileMaker Pro 5 Web Server Connector will run on the most popular web servers on the market today. In addition, FileMaker Pro 5 Unlimited will work with numerous CGIs, middleware and application servers for large-scale customized web requirements.

The new FileMaker Server 5 is the best way to host FileMaker Pro 5 workgroup solutions, offering increased network performance, cross platform deployment in an easy to use, scalable, relational database server. FileMaker Server 5 supports up to 250 concurrent guests together with remote administration capabilities and automated backups for up to 125 hosted files. For Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 sites, Microsoft Management Console (MMC) will be incorporated to provide easy administration via an easy-to-use graphic-user-interface (GUI) of FileMaker Server 5. The new version of FileMaker Server 5 offers automatic database file backup scheduling. For sites using Mac OS 8.6 and later, FileMaker Pro Server 5 provides a greatly enhanced user interface and better optimization of Open Transport networking.

FileMaker Developer 5 is the essential tool for any developer creating custom FileMaker Pro solutions across workgroup, over the Web, or as a standalone royalty-free runtime application. It includes FileMaker Pro 5, plus design tools, examples and documentation for developing powerful, professional solutions utilizing XML, JDBC, and other APIs.

FileMaker Pro 5 Unlimited (estimated retail price of $999 US) and FileMaker Server 5 (estimated retail price of $999 US) are expected to ship later this year. FileMaker Developer 5 (estimated retail price of $499) is planned for shipment early next year.

Macromedia has announced that they plan to collaborate with FileMaker to integrate Dreamweaver software to allow Web authors to create custom Web interfaces to FileMaker Pro databases based on XML technology. Further support for web designers who want to publish FileMaker Pro 5 data on the Web comes from Adobe Systems, developer of GoLive.

Further support of the FileMaker Pro ODBC Driver has been announced by Allaire Corporation, maker of ColdFusion, the leading web application server.

FileMaker Pro 5 has been priced at US$249. Upgrade pricing is set at US$149, and the company says the product is available immediately. You can find more information on FileMaker Pro 5 at the company's web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: FileMaker was late in delivering version 5 by many months, but that said, they have come out swinging with the shipping version. The heavy emphasis on the web should help propel FileMaker Pro forward.

FileMaker, Inc.

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