FileMaker Pro 8 released

FileMaker today announced the immediate availability of FileMaker Pro 8, the newest version of the most-awarded desktop database, featuring new ways to work faster, share and manage information of all types, and be more productive.

The new PDF Maker in FileMaker Pro 8, featuring the Adobe PDF Library licensed via Datalogics allows users to convert attractive graphic-rich reports of their data into PDFs, which can be quickly emailed for sharing with non-FileMaker users. The new Excel Maker works the same effortless way. FileMaker Pro 8 users can save data as a Microsoft Excel file, and just as painlessly include it as an attachment ready to send via email.

FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced (previously FileMaker Developer), also available today, boasts many powerful new features designed to allow advanced users and developers to add greater customization to their databases than ever before.

At the FileMaker Developer Conference, attended by more than 1,000 database and web developers, the company also unveiled the rest of the FileMaker 8 product line: FileMaker Server 8; FileMaker Server 8 Advanced and FileMaker Mobile 8, which are planned to ship this Fall.

Because FileMaker Pro is one of the most popular databases for small businesses, FileMaker also announced the FileMaker Business Productivity Kit as part of the FileMaker Pro 8 trial download (see related announcement), featuring several ready-to-use solutions designed specifically for small businesses; available now for download at

“With FileMaker Pro 8, it is now even easier to manage and share information of all types even with non-FileMaker users,” said Dominique Goupil, president of FileMaker, Inc. in the press release. “FileMaker 8 has set a new standard for the database market by delivering the ultimate combination of power, ease of use, and sharing. By making it easier to create, learn and use shared information solutions, FileMaker 8 will bring even more new users into the database category. Customers can now work faster and share data with more people and office applications than any other desktop database.”

FileMaker Pro 8, for Windows and Mac OS X, is even easier to learn and use, and features many new capabilities to make information-sharing more prevalent.

Other new features include:
• Fast Match — Select information from the current field, and with one mouse click, find all matching records – even refine your search or broaden it – all without typing!
• Fast Send — E-mail the contents of virtually any field, including images, documents, Excel files, and more – right from within FileMaker.
• Auto-Complete — Get faster and more accurate data entry by adding the ability to fill-in field content automatically based on previous entries or Value Lists.
• Calendar field format — Enter dates quickly and more accurately by adding a simple point and click Calendar drop-down to any field.
• Email Merge – For fast, personalized emails to individuals or groups.
• Tab Panel Control — Build a layout with multiple tabs in a single step rather than having multiple layouts – each with their own tabs.
• Visual Spell Checker — Check spelling of data entry with the new visual spell checker that underlines misspelled words and allows you to edit and correct on the fly.
• Mouse Wheel support – Scroll through records or fields faster and easier using a mouse-wheel-including Apple’s new Mighty Mouse.
• Improved Table Import — Add a new table to a database by simply importing the new data.
• Improved Relationship Graph — Easier ways to create and manage tables and associated relationships

FileMaker Pro 8 comes with 30 ready-to-use Starter Solutions, including a new Email Campaign Management solution that can quickly import data from other formats, such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access or other software formats.

New FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced
To meet the needs of the growing number of professional developers and advanced database creators, FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced includes all the features of FileMaker Pro 8, plus breakthrough development and customization tools. With the ability to customize menus and add custom Tooltips, as well as robust troubleshooting and database analysis tools, developers and advanced FileMaker users alike can efficiently build more powerful, more customized databases. It is available now.

New features include:
• Custom Menus – One of the most highly requested advanced user features, Custom Menus provides maximum customization of FileMaker Pro solutions, including the ability to execute scripts from menus; add, edit or delete menus and menu items; and create custom scripts for toolbars, context menus, window options and more.
• Custom Tooltips (static and calculated) – For providing guided data entry guidance, pertinent information related to a particular record, and enhanced training tips for new users.
• Data Viewer – For monitoring fields, variables, and expressions when debugging scripts or general troubleshooting and testing calculation formulas without modifying the database schema.

“We renamed FileMaker Developer to FileMaker Pro Advanced because we found that growing numbers of our users were building advanced solutions but did not consider themselves traditional developers,” said Ryan Rosenberg, vice president, Marketing and Services for FileMaker in the press release. “With FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced we deliver the tools needed to customize and manage powerful databases, while retaining the ease of use that has made FileMaker a market leader.”

FileMaker Server 8 offers high-performance, reliable file sharing for teams of FileMaker users. FileMaker Server 8 Advanced provides all that FileMaker Server 8 offers plus powerful web publishing and external connectivity options. In FileMaker Server 8 Advanced, the extremely popular Instant Web Publishing (IWP) has been updated to offer even more functionality and security. Both Server products are scheduled to ship this Fall, the company said. Users can find, add, edit, and delete information faster using the newly optimized FileMaker Server 8 database engine. All of the features offered within FileMaker Pro 8 are supported by FileMaker Server 8.

FileMaker Mobile 8, also scheduled to ship this Fall, is a companion version of FileMaker Pro 8 designed specifically for Palm OS and Pocket PC handhelds (supports Palm OS 5 and Windows Mobile 2003) that lets users take their information on the road. FileMaker Mobile 8 supports FileMaker Pro-based runtime applications and can synchronize multiple devices to the desktop database.

FileMaker Pro 8 is available now at ( $299/$179 upgrade (for both FileMaker Pro 7 and 6 licensed users) (U.S. Suggested List Price). FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced is $499. Licensed users of FileMaker Developer 6 and 7 may upgrade to FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced for $299 (U.S. Suggested List Price) and licensed users of FileMaker Pro 6, 7, 8 may upgrade to FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced through June 30, 2006 for $299. All five FileMaker Applications, including FileMaker Tasks, FileMaker Meetings, FileMaker Recruiter FileMaker Donations and FileMaker Work Requests, are compatible with the FileMaker 8 product line. Full purchase options, which include the Apple Store online, are at

More info about FileMaker Pro 8:
More info about File Maker Pro 8 Advanced:


  1. Its, Slow and buggy. The only nice thing about it is the speed at which you can develop a DB and UI. There is the undeniable whiff of poop coming from its general direction. There’s a plethora of reasons, mostly due to the fact that its typically installed on OS X (or 9) Server and yet, the windows server version outperforms the Mac version. Go figure. The last descent version was 5.5 and even it was a pile of poop. I guess for a small organization it could be a good solution, but as a DB for the little masses (little masses meaning 300+ concurrent connections) it’s a dog. In other words, it just too slow. You want spead, try Oracle or SQL with a web front end.

    We layed Filemaker Pro to (mw) “Rest” years ago.

  2. Sorry anyone who says FMP “sucks ass” either knows nothing about databases, has never used FileMaker or worse, used someone’s poorly designed FMP database that was built with FMP2, or just wants attention. FileMaker isn’t the end all and be all of databases (though nothing is), but it is a great, cross-platform, multi-user database development system that is accessible to both developers and novice alike.

    I admit to doing far more with MySQL and Postgres these days, but FileMaker always holds a space in my heart and mind. As a desktop database engine it rocks. Designs in it can suck or amaze; but the engine is definitely, the “little engine that could”. I’m excited to see FMP8.

  3. “You want speed, try Oracle or SQL with a web front end.”

    Or really even MySQL for a lower cost solution. (than MS SQL or Oracle)

    The only thing I can say positive for FMP is price and its ease of use…But as you Mac heads
    would say “you get what you pay for”

  4. You can’t compare FM and Oracle. Oracle is a much more robust product with a lot more resources behind it. It runs some of the largest DBs in the world. FM is not a competitor of Oracle and vice versa.

    FM is a workgroup database for departmental use and smaller types of biz. You can certainly compare it with MS Access which is a more fair debate.

  5. I know small businesses that still use MS Access. Access may be getting a little long in the tooth, but Oracle is certainly NOT the right comparison for Filemaker. I agree, though, that when your database needs get big (someone mentioned over 300 concurrent connections), FM is not it.

  6. FM is not and is not aiming to be a product like Oracle. It is a desktop databaae that has grown to be a shared solution in small-ish groups.

    Your granny could pick it up and have her recipes in database format in an afternoon flat. ‘Ease of use’ is the key concept for FileMaker and it is unbeaten in that field. (Seriously, in that respect it pees from great heigth on even Access, which is a relatively simple program, but does have awkward OLE object embedding and C+ like statements, none of which you will find in FileMaker – the most difficult area in FileMaker would be scripting, which is basically the creation of Macros.)

    That does not mean it is a product that is only fit for simplistic little databases, however. If you put it in the hands of a capable developer, FileMaker allows for creating highly complicated, quick (!) and very appealing-looking solutions (also publishable as HTML or serving as a source for XML/PHP pages or putting and pulling data from other sources through ODBC), which are totally cross-platform, ideal for use in a mixed environment.

    Anyone saying ‘FM sucks’ has simply not understood how to use FM.

    One more thing, just for the purpose of trolling out the zealots: the very first version of FileMaker was a DOS ONLY product called Nutshell. 😀

    Yes, I’m a FM-fanboy!!

  7. How bout doing a major revision to a multi-relational application with over a hundred-thousand records and an average of 100 concurrent users

    – all without taking the files down or disconnecting users – and the revisions are applied instantly.

    Try THAT with Oracle or SQL!

    FileMaker does not compete with Oracle or SQL – it is not intended to. FileMaker was/is designed for desktop and workgroup solutions. No all database needs require a sledgehammer, just a fly swatter.

    The proper tool for the job.

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