FileMaker Pro 11 Adds Charts, Productivity Features

Apple subsidiary FileMaker offers up Pro 11, the latest version of the database application, which includes new features such as "on the fly" reporting and charting. The solution works on Macs and Microsoft Windows-based systems.

FileMaker, the popular cross-platform relational database application (and Apple subsidiary), announced FileMaker Pro version 11, which sees productivity features such as "on the fly" reporting and charting added to the application, which is compatible with Windows and Mac computers. Version 11 allows users to make reports in a spreadsheet-like fashion, group and summarize information on the fly directly in Table View and modify reports by adding, sorting, or hiding fields and records. An upgrade to Pro 11 from versions 10 or 9 is available for $179, and the full program is available for download or via a shipped box for $299.

Also included is an enhanced Layout/Report Assistant with an updated, streamlined interface that guides users step-by-step in building reports with grouped data and allows users to select styles and themes and add headers, footers, subtotals or scripts. Acknowledging that sometimes users need a report where a set of records stays the same but the details change, FileMaker Pro 11 lets users create a Snapshot Link file to save a specific set of records and also preserves the same layout, view, and sort order. Any changes made to the file will be updated in the database.

In FileMaker Pro 11 users can establish a Recurring Import from Microsoft Excel, CSV or TAB files. Once the feature is set up, every time a user opens the database, the data from the Excel spreadsheet or data file will update automatically in FileMaker Pro. The imported data is read-only and can be used to create sales reports, track workflow and collaborate with others. In FileMaker Pro 11 users can search for information just like in a Web browser. Enter a word or phrase in the search box and FileMaker Pro will search all fields in the layout, right in Browse mode. The feature can even be customized to search only certain layouts or fields.

Another added feature is Inspector, a master tool palette that organizes all the layout objects and properties in one convenient place, putting users' favorite design tools right at their fingertips. Object Badges allows users to visually identify different properties in their layouts with new color-coded icons, allowing them to spot fields and objects that contain Conditional Formatting or Script Triggers. Users can determine which fields are searchable via Quick Find.

The Invoive Starter Solution may be particularly attractive to small to medium-size businesses (SMBs), as it allows midmarket companies to track all customer and product details, as well as create, manage and print customized invoices for every order. Finally, the Quick Start Screen in FileMaker Pro 11 has a new, streamlined interface allowing users to create a new database, manage favorite files, or find helpful resources all from one screen.

FileMaker evolved from a DOS application, but was then developed primarily for the Apple Macintosh. Since 1992 it has been available for Microsoft Windows as well as Mac OS, and can be used in a heterogeneous environment. It is available in desktop, server, and web-delivery configurations.