Filemaker Pro 10 is a database application, aimed at small to large businesses, which works on both Mac and Windows operating systems. Filemaker is actually owned by Apple, so you get all the user-friendliness, ease of use and attention to detail that we have come to expect from the company that brought us iTunes and the iPod.
This ease-of-use and relatively shallow learning curve means that Filemaker Pro 10 beats its main rival Microsoft Access hands down; in fact after giving Filemaker a go, I can't imagine any previous Access user would ever want to switch back.
In this upgrade, the interface has had a major overhaul. The trademark toolbar (now customizable) has been moved to run at the top of the window rather than on the left hand side, and redesigned to look and feel like other Apple applications such as Mail, Safari, iWork and iTunes. The only downside of this move will be that some databases built in previous versions may need to have their layouts tweaked. The new toolbar has added features and makes designing and using databases simpler and at the same time will not have veteran users tearing their hair out wondering where things have gone.
The Filemaker "Start Solutions", templates for standard database solutions, have also have a facelift. These templates are perfect for the first time user, making the process of designing your first database straightforward, although their usefullness to veteran users is limited.
Filemaker Pro 10 also has a very in-depth Help section built into to the software, so that getting started and learning the applications capabilities is straightforward.
Other new features include the ability to send email's direct from the database, very useful if you have a contacts section in your database or want to automate sending of emails without requiring interaction with an email application.
Scripting has also had an overhaul with the addition of Script Triggers. Scripts allow for automating of various tasks, so, for example, you can define a search and place a button on your layout to perform this search automatically. With the addition of Script Triggers, scripts can be set to run when information is entered into a field. This enhancement is probably worth the money to upgrade on its own.
Filemaker 10 also has beefed up its connectivity with other database systems, such as with Oracle or SQL databases, and also improves the importing of data from Bento 2 and Excel.
Filemaker databases can be shared across a network and also published to the web. They also have the ability to generate custom and automated reports. Installation or upgrading is a very simple process, whether using Mac or Windows.
For a beefed up version of Filemaker Pro 10, there is Filemaker Pro 10 Advanced, which is aimed at experienced database developers. Also available Filemaker 10 Server for improved performance when many users need access to the database, Filemaker 10 Server Advanced, which has specific web publishing enhancements.
In summary, this upgrade to Filemaker 10 is worth it just for the new Script Triggers function. The updated interface is better looking and has better functionality - the only downside is the need to adjust some layout designs, which were created in previous versions. SMTP emailing from the database is also a great addition. In short, this upgrade means that Access is getting left even further behind. For ease of use, functionality and scalability, Filemaker 10 is worth its price, especially considering it is aimed at businesses.
For individual home users though, who don't need and won't use all of the features that the application offers, then Filemaker Pro's cheaper little sister Bento is worth looking at. A scaled down version of Filemaker, it is exceptionally user-friendly and aimed at people with little or no knowledge of how to set up and design databases.
FileMaker Pro 10 is easy to use database software that allows for the creation and collection of data, while also providing a secure solution for sharing information over the network or Internet. The software is designed more for medium to high end businesses as apposed to the home user.
This latest version includes some new features and improvements over previous versions. Included is a status toolbar that's customizable to allow you to place commonly used features at easy reach. The ability to send mail through an SMTP server without the need for an email client allowing in quicker distribution has been added. As well as making the ability to make changes to grouped data easier. The biggest advantage that FileMaker offers is the ability to execute a number of tasks within itself, such as sending emails and importing data without the need to switch between different programs.
FileMaker is ideal for the collection of both personal and business contact details, the tracking of inventory and other products, measuring the performance of different employees, project task management, and finally to organize various projects. You can also import information from external sources such as spreadsheets from Excel, or photographs, and it is compatible with every file type I had at my disposal including those from a MAC system.
Installation of FileMaker was easy and quick, and more importantly actually using the software was easy and painless to learn. The interface has been well designed and laid out in such a manner to ensure various operations are as easy as possible to preform.
The main and pretty much only problem is that the FileMaker is a one trick software package. Despite its undeniable usefulness for organization and collection of data, it's price tag seems a bit high in comparison to other similar software such as Microsoft Office which is far more diverse.
If databases are of great importance to you or your business, then this software is the perfect match as it provides you with everything you need in that aspect. If on the other hand databases are only a small part of your day to day life, and you often need access to other facilities such as complex spreadsheets then look elsewhere.
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)