FileMaker Enters Applications Business

With two new applications, Recruiter and Meeting, FileMaker expands beyond database software and into the business applications market.

FileMaker Inc. is expanding beyond database software this week by entering the business applications market.

On Wednesday, FileMaker, a subsidiary of Apple Computer Inc., plans to announce two of a series of forthcoming applications—FileMaker Recruiter and FileMaker Meeting—that will sit atop its FileMaker Pro 6 database.

FileMaker Recruiter is targeted toward helping recruiters manage searches, identify and track candidates, and communicate with clients and hiring managers. The application also provides reporting capabilities.

FileMaker Meeting is aimed at improving the management of meetings from the initial invitations to post-meeting follow-up. It includes the capabilities to develop agendas, take notes during meetings and track action items after a meeting.

Both of the new applications include an e-mail template engine that allows users to generate standard e-mails using information from the FileMaker database. The feature supports common POP3 e-mail clients, including Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Entourage, Qualcomm Inc.s Eudora and Apple Mail, said Product Manager John Dasher.

With its new applications, FileMaker is not trying to compete with the major ERP vendors but instead offer more targeted business applications for specific communities of users, Dasher said.

"The target is business professionals and those who use generic Office productivity applications," he said. "These are groups that largely do not receive beneficial IT attention."

Beyond the two initial applications, FileMaker for the remainder of the year is planning to introduce applications for non-profit organizations and higher education to manage donations and fundraising, for sales professionals to manage contacts and introductions, and for project teams to manage tasks, Dasher said.

Part of FileMakers strategy is to motivate its users to upgrade to its latest database version, Pro 6. All the applications run on that version. Dasher said FileMaker also hopes to attract new database customers through the applications business and to cultivate a broader developer community seeking to customize aspects of the applications.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company also provides XML import and export features in the applications so user data is not locked in the database and can be integrated with other applications, Dasher said.

FileMaker Recruiter costs $299 and FileMaker Meetings costs $49, and both are offered at a discount with the purchase of the FileMaker Pro 6 database. The applications run on both Microsoft Windows XP and Apple Mac OS X 10.2.

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