FileMaker Fans Rejoice! First Killer App Comes To OS X

FileMaker Inc. today announced the availability of FileMaker Pro 5.5. Packed with new features, the brightest piece of news is that the program is Carbonized to run natively under Mac OS X. FileMaker Pro 5.5 also adds improved ODBC connectivity, making it easier for FileMaker users and designers to allow users from any platform connect to their databases. According to FileMaker Inc.:

FileMaker announced today the U.S. availability of FileMaker Pro 5.5 database software, which adds support for native Mac OS X and Windows 2000 (logo-certified), enhanced connectivity with corporate data sources, and rich new Web publishing features.

FileMaker Pro 5.5 is the worldis first software to both run in native mode on Mac OS X, Appleis next-generation operating system, and gain logo-certification for Windows 2000.

Designed to increase productivity of knowledge workers and workgroups, FileMaker Pro 5.5 makes it easy via dynamic two-way ODBC to connect workgroup and corporate data. Its new record-level security and server-related features also fit with IT requirements. Enhanced Instant Web Publishing enables higher fidelity and increased functionality when working with FileMaker solutions via a browser.

FileMaker Pro 5.5 is the flagship of a new product line including FileMaker Server 5.5, FileMaker Pro 5.5 Unlimited for more robust Web publishing, and FileMaker Developer 5.5.

The new line of software will meet the changing needs of workgroups by adding support for several platforms:

  • FileMaker Server 5.5 will run on Linux;
  • FileMaker Pro 5.5 will support Citrix MetaFrame 1.8 for Windows 2000 Servers, and Windows 2000 Terminal Services;
  • FileMaker Mobile, which runs on Palm OS today, will run on Pocket PC, and will support the i-mode standard for wireless Internet services in Japan.

New Features:

Mac OS X native (Carbon): FileMaker Pro 5.5 is one of the earliest native productivity applications for Mac OS X. It takes advantage of the color and fluid motion of the Aqua interface, and the stability and reliability of Mac OS X. FileMaker Pro 5.5 for Mac OS X also allows PDF files to be stored in container fields, making it easy to manage or archive important documents in a FileMaker solution.

Windows 2000 logo-certified: FileMaker Pro 5.5 has passed the stringent requirements of the Windows 2000 Certification program, ensuring that it is a well-behaved application which runs reliably on the Microsoft Windows 2000 family of operating systems. Certified applications require less administration and downtime, and can help workgroups maximize their Windows 2000 investment by taking advantage of Windows 2000 technologies and features. FileMaker Pro 5.5 also delivers full support for the accessibility features in Windows 2000, providing greater usability for sight-impaired users.

New dynamic SQL query feature: Corporate data sources such as Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle and SAP can be easily integrated into FileMaker Pro 5.5 workgroup solutions. Knowledge workers can automatically run their own reports on corporate data sources, freeing valuable IT time.

``SQL Executeii script step: IT developers and administrators can automate SQL data exchange for users via the new ``SQL Executeii script step. Once a developer has created a script, launched by clicking a button, a user can update ODBC data sources, without writing any complex SQL queries.

Enhanced Instant Web Publishing: FileMaker Pro 5.5 can publish a solution to the Web with higher fidelity and interactive buttons. FileMaker Pro 5.5 Instant Web Publishing now supports relational value lists, multi-step scripts, professional table view layouts, and JavaScript-based button roll-overs. The FileMaker Pro 5.5 Web Companion, with a new multi-threaded HTTP Server (1.1 standard) delivers data faster than ever.

New data exchange features: Easily import and format data from Excel workbooks even if not in one orderly table, and from Excel named ranges; FileMaker Pro 5.5 now uses the standard QuickTime graphics engine to translate foreign graphics formats into formats that can be displayed in container fields; PDF documents can be stored in container fields (Mac OS X only).

Record-by-record access privileges: User access to data can be easily controlled at the record level, adding another level of data security over peer-to-peer and client/server networks and the Web.

Enhanced password security: New ``Change Passwordii privilege lets IT administrators prevent a user locking out other users.

Disable new database: New administrative option for IT management provides greater control over the creation of new databases.

No idle disconnect: FileMaker Pro 5.5 will not ``time outii and disconnect when no user input is detected. This is useful when the software is running as a Web or ODBC server, for example, and can be maintained like other servers.

FileMaker Pro is available for US$249. You can find more information at the FileMaker Web site.