Filemaker Pro 8 Advanced
- Comprehensive tools for creating and customising database applications.
- Mix of online and offline documentation; overkill for simpler tasks.
If you need to develop database-driven applications, this is a great tool.
Price$ 869.00 (AUD)
A true veteran of the application world, FileMaker has been available for Macintosh users since 1985 and Windows machines since 1992. While some of the product naming conventions has changed with version 8, released in mid-2005, the core of the product - an integrated development environment for database-driven applications that's simple enough to be used by non-programmers - remains very much the same.
For this review, we tested the Pro 8 Advanced package for Windows, known in earlier releases as the Developer version. FileMaker changed the branding because many of its users don't see themselves as fitting into the professional developer category, even if they have built very complex solutions on top of the product.
Designing an application is a straightforward task in FileMaker, especially if you work with one of the templates for common business and personal applications, and the online help will assist even beginning users in getting started quickly. Enhancements that have been added to release 8 include the ability to export data and layouts in either Excel or PDF; the latter is especially useful for distributing reports, and can include optional passwords for added security. Other interface enhancements include a fast match search facility, auto complete options for frequent entries, and an upgraded spellchecker.
The Advanced version also sports several unique additions aimed more firmly at power users. The most notable is the ability to completely customise all menus within the product, a useful enhancement that helps minimise the prospect of end users causing a crash by selecting an inappropriate version. (An alternative strategy is to use the kiosk mode, continued from earlier versions, which produces a full-screen application with no menus, but this can be disorienting for some business applications.) The customisation features work well, although annoyingly the documentation for them is only present in the printed manual and not in the online help. Other developer-centric changes include enhanced copy and paste facilities which make it easier to reuse common elements; the ability to disable certain script steps during testing, a useful feature for testing specific code logic without having to run large sections of irrelevant code; and an enhanced database design report, which can be exported in HTML or XML format and provides an overview of the database structure.
FileMaker remains an easy-to-use product, with an interface reminiscent of (although not directly copied from) Microsoft's Office suite. It doesn't completely eliminate the need for careful database planning -- forethought and some time spent with pen and paper will still pay off. However, its integrated templates and intuitive interface do greatly simplify the task of application development, even in the Advanced release.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
- 2 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 3 Tech21 Evo Xplorer iPhone case review
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Microsoft Lumia 640 review: Honouring Nokia's legacy
Latest News Articles
- What Microsoft is taking away from Windows 10 in the Anniversary Update
- PowerDVD 16 gains 360-degree video playback: Here's how it works
- Microsoft will miss its one billion Windows 10 device target
- Google is working to make every website viewable in VR
- Twitter's new stickers are more useful than Snapchat
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCSolution Designer - Windows UpgradeNSW
- CCProject Manager, Infrastructure Migration, AWS CloudNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (Datacentre Maintenance) 160817/SA/993Asia
- CCAgile Business AnalystNSW
- FTWeb Analytics SpecialistNSW
- FTBid Manager - Intelligent TechnologyVIC
- CCProject Manager - Operational TechnologyQLD
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/J2EE) 160901/AP/781Asia
- CCInfrastructure Project Manager (12-month renewable contract)Asia
- FTApplication Support ManagerNSW
- CCQuality AnalystNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/Oracle) 160902/AP/625Asia
- FTAutomation Tester- C#, Selenium | Cloud Based Finance SolutionsNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JBoss/J2EE/SQL) 160830/AP/193Asia
- CCOracle/Java/Applications DeveloperACT
- CCProject AnalystVIC
- CCSAP Program Manager - CBDNSW
- CCFinance Analyst (Junior)VIC
- CCProject Coordinator (Paying $400-$450 per day)NSW
- CCCustomer Service RepresentativeQLD
- FTDigital Product Owner | Advertising Technology | SearchNSW
- FTBusiness Intelligence Team LeadVIC
- CCDesktop Support AnalystNSW
- CCContract Senior Web Developer (PHP/Drupal/JAVA) 160808/SWD/vtdAsia
- CCData Migration SpecialistSA