FileMaker announced at its developer conference in Phoenix the launch of FileMaker Pro 8. This version features the Adobe PDF Library, which the company licensed from Datalogics.
With the upgrade, users will be able to quickly convert graphic-rich reports of data into PDFs, which can be e-mailed to and viewed by recipients regardless of whether theyre running FileMaker. The upgrade also has an Excel Maker that works the same way, enabling users to save data as a Microsoft Corp. Excel file.
Beyond the ability to save files in the PDF format, the upgrade also allows users to specify elements such as subject, author, password or privileges. This enables users to send unique PDFs that are customized via access or printing rights, among other things.
In addition, the company has redubbed its FileMaker Developer edition, which it is now calling FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced. FileMaker President Dominique Goupil said that this change came about after the company determined that some one-fourth of users described themselves as "advanced."
With the update, users can create custom menus, for example, or can provide guidance to readers as they mouse over report elements.
The company also plans to roll out FileMaker Server 8 and FileMaker Server 8 Advanced in the fall. The server upgrade will offer file sharing for teams of FileMaker users. The Advanced Server upgrade will also deliver Web publishing and external connectivity options.
In the Server Advanced product, the Instant Web Publishing feature has been updated to offer more security and functionality, as well.
Also in the fall, FileMaker plans to ship FileMaker Mobile 8. The version is designed for Palm OS and Pocket PC handhelds and supports Palm OS 5 and Windows Mobile 2003. Mobile 8 supports FileMaker Pro-based runtime applications and can synchronize devices to the desktop database.
No file format change is planned, in spite of all the upgrades, Goupil said. "Instant gain, no pain," he said.
Pricing remains the same as well.
FileMaker Pro 8 is available now for $299 or $179 for the upgrade for FileMaker Pro 7 and 6 licensed users. FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced is $499. Licensed users of FileMaker Developer 6 and 7 may upgrade to FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced for $299. Licensed users of FileMaker Pro 6, 7 and 8 may upgrade to FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced through June 30, 2006, for $299.
FileMaker is also offering a free productivity kit that requires FileMaker Pro 8. The kit and a free 30-day trial of FileMaker Pro 8 are at www.filemakertrial.com/bpkpr.