FileMaker Pro, the easiest fully fledged database program PC Advisor has seen, made a great leap forward with its last release, adding relational capabilities. So what are the developers doing for an encore with FileMaker Pro 8.0?

Well, nothing as spectacular, going by the beta version we tested. But it is easier and faster to use, and there are more options for sharing data with someone who doesn't own a copy of the program. For example, you can send a PDF so they can see the exact look of the database, or you can export data to an Excel spreadsheet.

FileMaker's web-publishing features have also been improved, enabling you to put an interactive version of your database online with a few clicks. And the web interface looks and acts more like the desktop program than it did in the previous edition.

Adding information to a FileMaker database is now easier in several ways. You can put a drop-down calendar on any date field, and you can add an autocomplete capability to any text field. And if you're a FileMaker guru who creates databases for others, you have more options for customisation.

Although the version we looked at was just a beta, it seems pretty close to being the finished article. If any more major improvements are made before the final version is released then it'll be a Gold Award winner for sure. However, we're a bit miffed that our American cousins are paying 40 percent less for the same software.

FileMaker Pro 8.0: Specs

  • 500MHz Pentium III processor
  • Windows 2000/XP
  • 256MB RAM
  • 400MB hard disk space
  • 500MHz Pentium III processor
  • Windows 2000/XP
  • 256MB RAM
  • 400MB hard disk space

OUR VERDICT

The changes in FileMaker Pro 8.0 make this easy-to-use database program even more efficient than the previous version. If you own Pro 7.0, though, you'll have to decide whether the added conveniences are worth the £152 upgrade cost.

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