Filemaker chose the Macworld conference to launch version 10 of its SME-focused Filemaker Pro database. Rather than concentrating on new features, the firm revamped the user interface in a bid to woo new users to the product.
Rick Kalman, senior project manager at Filemaker, explained that because the firm hadn't refreshed the interface for a long while, there was already a barrier for people used to interacting with browsers and modern applications when it comes to using an application like this.
But Filemaker is coming up increasingly against browser-based technologies like Zoho Office, which now offers a free online database that can be configured using simple online options.
Enhancements to the Filemaker system include dynamic reporting, which enables users to configure reports on the fly, and a status toolbar that puts commonly-used functions in an easily-accessible place. The system also includes script triggers that let users tie automated sequences of actions to events such as editing a particular field.
However, because the system is still a cross-platform database for both Windows and the Mac, Kalman explained that the company cannot fully exploit the Core graphics functionality of Windows or the advanced graphics capabilities of Windows.
It has reserved more modern graphics capabilities for the Mac-only Bento program. That exploits the Mac's graphics engine more fully, but unlike Filemaker it is a single user-only product.
Author: Danny Bradbury
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