FileMaker Pro Boasts Databases to Go

If your business involves managing data, there’s probably a 50-50 chance that you use FileMaker Pro. A wholly owned Apple subsidiary, FileMaker Inc. has arguably cornered the market when it comes to simplified database design and management for Windows and Mac owners.

About three months after releasing what it described that most significant upgrade ever of FileMaker Pro, the company today announced FileMaker Mobile 7, a travelling companion for flagship database manager. FileMaker Mobile 7 is built specifically for Palm OS and Pocket PC handheld devices and is designed to let users take their data on the road and then synchronize it with databases back in the office.

The software is aimed at nonIT professionals and could be useful for any business that has employees on the road, ranging from police departments to medical workers to cleaning services, Ryan Rosenberg, vice president, Marketing and Services at FileMaker said.

The most significant new features, Rosenberg said, are capabilities to synchronize multiple mobile devices with a desktop database, to run scripts either before or after synchronization and synchronize the updates made on the road with runtime versions of FileMaker Pro.

FileMaker sold about 100,000 copies of its mobile product, Rosenberg said, but the new versions offers a higher level of integration. “People have been doing a lot with it even with its limitations.”

FileMaker Mobile 7 has a suggested retail price of $69.

Keep Track of Work Orders
While you can build you own FileMaker application to meet whatever needs your business has, the company also recognizes two things about using databases. One is that some applications run across many industries. The other is that just because you can do it yourself doesn’t mean you want to build it yourself.

With that in mind, FileMaker last fall released four applications — Meetings, Tasks, Recruiter and Donations — designed to provide specific functions out of the box for users who don’t have the time or expertise to delve into the details of database management. Today, the company added a fifth application: FileMaker Work Requests.

The application is designed to let you create, track and report on work orders. According to the company, the application features a submission and tracking system, customizable reports, pre-defined security access levels, re-usable templates and additional tools that quickly improve the way work orders are handled.

“There’s a lot of commonality in how work requests are processed,” John Dasher, product manager, at FileMaker, said. He added that at small businesses, people wear many hats and Work Requests makes it easy for anyone to make a request and track the request to completion. “Say you want a cube erected. How is that request entered and tracked?”

“The work has to be done,” Dasher said. FileMaker Work Requests will help by “eliminating duplicate phone calls, overlooked requests and missed deadlines.”

Specific features of FileMaker Work Requests include the following:

  • A single access point for collecting, approving and tracking work orders. The capability to quickly find work order information such as budget, costs, hours, deadlines, categories of work and work order status.
  • Reports that show the status, cost information, resources and performance details of each work order, giving all the team members involved a clear picture of request status.
  • Five pre-defined security access levels.
  • E-mail templates for approved requests, work-in-progress updates, priority changes and status reports.
  • Import and export features for multiple file formats, and share information over the Web or network with users on both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

FileMaker Work Requests costs $119 and will be available through FileMaker’s Web Store in mid July.

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