FileMaker Pro 10 Advanced review

We review the next generation of the popular database management software.

The Database Design Report, which lets you run comprehensive reports on the design of a database, has been also been enhanced so is primed to report on the new features (script triggers, dynamic reports etc).

In early April, a new Training Series for FileMaker 10 was announced. This is a self-paced learning programme aimed at users and developers at the intermediate to advanced level. It covers the basics of the new version and also provides the "building blocks" for developers working towards the FileMaker 10 Certified Developer qualification. It comprises 12 step-by-step modules on key topics and is accompanied by a fat manual and a CD with demos, exercises and videos for further guidance.

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The Training Series costs 77.35 (inc. VAT) and are available from the support and trainingsection of Filemaker's website.

FileMaker lets you build small, attractive, highly usable and highly deployable databases. But does that make it the DBMS for you? If you're already using a previous version, the answer's got to be Yes'. You'll value the improved user interface and the various enhancements. If you're not an existing user and you use a Mac, or if you need PC and Mac operating system functionality, the answer is an even more resounding Yes'.

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However, if you're a user solely of PCs then Microsoft Access is a very strong competitor.

It's a closer match to the relational model, has a very strong feature set and the upgrade path to more robust and scalable database engines like SQL Server is likely to be easier. And it is worth remembering that the upgrade potential of a database is often more important than it first appears. Small departmental databases have the irritating, but inevitable, habit of expanding and becoming mission-critical before your very eyes. However, if ease of use is crucial to you, FileMaker is the better bet.

Verdict

With many of the good things we already like about FileMaker made oh-so-much better, it’s very hard to find fault with the latest version of this database management software, which brings benefits to PC and Mac users alike.

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