FileMaker today unveiled the new FileMaker 9 product line, the companys desktop database for Windows and Mac OS.
The new FileMaker 9 product line includes FileMaker Pro 9, FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced, FileMaker Server 9 and FileMaker Server 9 Advanced. FileMaker officials have added a number of new features for end users and developers to simplify creating, automating, sharing and reporting from databases.
The enhancements include a new Quick Start screen, conditional formatting that highlights data based on parameters set by the user, and the ability to e-mail a link other FileMaker users can click to instantly access the senders database.
Most importantly, company officials said, the new products allow FileMaker Pro users and workgroups to talk to external SQL data sources: MySQL, Oracle SQL and Microsoft SQL Server.
"Thats a huge step forward for FileMaker," said Jon Sigler, vice president of product management at the Santa Clara, Calif.-based Apple subsidiary. "In the past FileMaker was kind of a black box…weve now opened up FileMaker to talk to these external data sources, so if I want to get sales information coming from a SQL back-end source I can do that and integrate it into my solution."
With the new one-way or two-way live connectivity to SQL sources, FileMaker Pro 9 users can securely create custom reports, add calculations and other fields and build relationships with existing FileMaker data, company officials said. Mac users of the new FileMaker products can connect to SQL sources with the Actual ODBC Pack version 2.7, now available from Actual Technologies LLC.
In addition, the new PHP features of FileMaker Server and FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced give users and Web developers the ability to publish information to external websites, gather information from Web visitors, and create new solutions combining a Web-based front-end with a rich, FileMaker Pro back-end. With FileMaker Server 9, users can generate a fully working PHP website using FileMaker data in minutes without writing code, officials said.
The Server 9 products, which enable workgroups to share databases over the network and the Web, come with a completely streamlined administrator console as well. Other major new features include PHP Custom Web Publishing for creating dynamic data-driven websites and shared access to live data from external SQL sources, officials said.