FileMaker Inc., the long-time maker of mid-market and departmental databases, is planning to build new features and scalability for future versions, while company executives keep a close watch on the Web software revolution.
"As you look out to the [mid]-2003 timeframe, what we are doing is growing up on the scalability and performance side," Chris Trytten, director of product management at the Santa Clara, Calif., subsidiary of Apple Computer Inc., told eWEEK.
About 65 percent of FileMaker sales are for workgroups, which often fall below the radar screen of larger vendors like IBM, Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp., Trytten said.
A problem with the recently launched FileMaker 5.5, Trytten said, is that its limited to 250 simultaneous users. FileMaker designed the limitation because the system is intended for off-the-shelf computers; future versions wont have that limit but will have multithreading and a new architecture. Also, future versions combine each database tables files into one, he said.
Trytten declined to say how far the forthcoming systems could scale or what they might be called.
Meanwhile, just in case the hosted applications niche succeeds via a service provider or an initiative like Microsofts .NET plan, "Ive invested a lot in following that for obvious reasons," Trytten said. But, "I think what were doing in 2003 is necessary whatever happens in Web services."
FileMaker already supports XML, a key standard for Web services, he added.