Santa Clara, Calif.-based database vendor FileMaker is in the process of remaking itself as a friend for IT departments looking for an easy, low-maintenance departmental product.
In the past, FileMaker could pose a problem when those small-scale, database projects had to scale up to corporate proportions. To address those issues, FileMaker 5.5 adds all the right acronyms, including JDBC drivers to allow connections to Java applications and support for XML-based data sharing, providing an easier migration path.
The product is available in a variety of versions, including FileMaker Pro 5.5, which supports applications running over Citrix Metaframe and Windows 2000 Terminal Services; FileMaker Developer 5.5, which adds development tools such as a script debugger; and FileMaker Server 5.5, which lets corporations host FileMaker applications on centrally managed servers running Windows 2000, NT, Linux and Mac OS 8.6 or later.
“I wouldn’t say, ’Let’s kick out your existing workgroup and department systems,’” says Wayne T. Kernochan, managing vice president at Aberdeen Group in Boston. “But if you’re faced with a choice between this and another system, and cost is a major consideration, it is a valid alternative.”