In multicultural Australia, the opportunity for home cooks to expand their culinary horizons is too tempting to resist.
Filemaker Pro 9.0
Alpha Five offers more choices for extending functions with scripts and Web software, but most users will likely want to spend the extra money for the more-intuitive FileMaker.
- Browse and edit live SQL data, Send Link, conditional formatting
- More expensive than Alpha Five
FileMaker's ease of use, rich template library, instant Web publishing, and designer-quality layout tools make it our choice for typical home and small-business users.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
FileMaker Pro 9 does a good job of helping ordinary people create useful and good-looking database applications. Both FileMaker and Alpha Five Version 8 Professional let you create desktop and Web databases for everything from e-mail marketing campaigns and online storefronts to media libraries and Christmas card lists. But the programs have different strengths: FileMaker is more intuitive, while Alpha Five offers more extensibility via scripts and Web apps.
FileMaker Pro 9's biggest addition is direct integration of SQL data sources within forms and reports. You can now browse and edit live SQL data just as easily as you can native FileMaker data, after creating a one-time link to the SQL data source. Workgroups can then easily access and update central SQL databases, such as for inventory or personnel data. The new version also offers a friendly splash screen that links to excellent tutorials and help files, as well as to templates and recently used databases.
I particularly liked the new Send Link feature, which adds a link to your database within an e-mail message whose body text instructs the recipient how to access the database over a local network. No more futzing around figuring out IP numbers — just click.
The new conditional-formatting feature makes it a snap to call attention to significant data points or trends. You can use it to define different fonts, sizes, styles, or colours that will be used based on certain conditions. For example, an inventory field could display in large red type when the number drops below a specified level, alerting you to order more of that item. Other useful goodies are the autoresize tool, which lets you create layout objects that resize automatically to fit different screen resolutions or paper sizes; multiple undos and redos when editing field text; and field-level spelling checking, so you can turn checking off for fields containing proper names, for instance.
Additionally, you can publish forms to the Web with one click, so others could use a browser to view, for example, updates to an ongoing project or a customer feedback form.
The dozens of included templates should cover most common database needs, such as expense reports, personnel records, and inventories. Several add-on template packs are also available. Everything is compatible across the Windows and Mac platforms, too. Plus, you can benefit from the third-party ecosystem that has built up around FileMaker. Turn-key solutions for vertical markets such as real estate offices, nonprofit organisations, and healthcare management are readily available, and developers are available to build custom projects that you can then tweak and manage yourself.
Overall, Alpha Five is less expensive than FileMaker, but its high-end versions are especially so. Comparing list prices, Alpha Five Enterprise version with SQL support costs only $US349, compared with $499 for FileMaker Pro Advanced (however, even the $299 FileMaker Pro 9 offers SQL support). If you require many people to pitch in on the design of your database, you'll need FileMaker Server to get more than nine simultaneous client connections. Alpha Five's Application Server is more of a bargain at $399 for the basic version, compared with FileMaker Server's much heftier price tag.
FileMaker's somewhat easier learning curve, rich template library, SQL capabilities, and instant Web publishing make it the better choice for typical home and small-business users. Also, businesses in need of SQL support could benefit from that feature's presence in the Pro version. But Alpha Five has the clear edge in extending basic functions via script building and Web application development tools, and its lower cost of ownership makes it an attractive alternative.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Adobe announces next generation of Creative Cloud
- Logitech announces Logitech Rally
- Access thousands of movies for free thanks to Telstra TV Kanopy App
- RMIT Online and AWS offering course in VR and AR
- Apple set release date for iOS 12, watchOS 5, tvOS 12, and macOS Mojave
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Hands on with Huawei's Mate 20 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies