FileMaker Banks on Ease of Use, Flashy Interface with FileMaker Pro 10 Database Software

FileMaker Pro 10 has a redesigned interface and a number of feature enhancements that FileMaker hopes will power adoption of the database software.

FileMaker is hoping a new interface and several enhancements designed to improve ease of use will build a following for Version 10 of its flagship database software.

The company announced the release of FileMaker Pro 10 the week of Jan. 5 in time for the Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco. The enhancements start with the much-ballyhooed interface, which includes a number of new features designed to make users' lives easier. An example of this is the customizable Status Toolbar, which allows users to make commonly used features accessible with a click rather than only through the main menu.

The company has added a number of new features beyond the interface, as well. Chief among them are what FileMaker is calling "script triggers." Script triggers launch scripts based on a user's actions. For example, users can now specify that a FileMaker Script will run whenever users take a specified action in Browse Mode or Find Mode, such as clicking in a field. The software comes with five object-based and seven layout-based script triggers out of the box.

"The new FileMaker Pro 10 interface is the result of years of in-depth research into how people actually interact with databases," FileMaker President Dominique Goupil said in a statement. "The result is a major new version of FileMaker Pro that brings the power of databases to everyone whether they create their own databases or use one from someone else. Also, the new customization and scripting features in Version 10 will save both end users and developers time and money."

FileMaker Pro 10 also includes the ability to create live, dynamic reports and to save the results of a search automatically. In addition, FileMaker has added enhanced SQL support that enables users to access data from even more SQL sources, including SQL tables in Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Oracle 11g and MySQL 5.1. Users can also now send e-mail directly from FileMaker Pro via SMTP, as opposed to having to open up an e-mail client.

In addition to FileMaker Pro 10, the company announced the availability of FileMaker Server 10. Both products are available now.