FileMaker Pro is a cross-platform relational database application from FileMaker Inc., formerly Claris, a subsidiary of Apple Inc. It integrates a database engine with a GUI-based interface, allowing users to modify the database by dragging new elements into layouts, screens, or forms. Current versions are: FileMaker Pro 11, FileMaker Pro Advanced 11, FileMaker Server 11, FileMaker Server Advanced 11, and FileMaker Go for iPhone and iPad.
FileMaker evolved from a DOS application, but was then developed primarily for the Apple Macintosh. Since 1992 it has been available for Microsoft Windows as well as Mac OS, and can be used in a heterogeneous environment. FileMaker server briefly ran on Linux, but Linux support was abandoned with FileMaker 7, and the server currently only runs on Windows or Apple servers. It is available in desktop, server, iOS and web-delivery configurations. Dolphins Facts| Tiger Facts| Penguin Facts. A defining characteristic of FileMaker is that the database engine is integrated with the forms (screen, layouts, reports, etc.) used to access it. In this respect, it is closer in operation to desktop database systems such as Microsoft Access and FoxPro. In contrast, most large-scale relational database management systems (RDBMS) separate these tasks, concerning themselves primarily with organization, storage, and retrieval of the data, and providing little to no capability for user interface development. It should be noted, however, that the storage capacity of recent versions of FileMaker far exceeds most desktop database products, and indeed approaches that of many dedicated back-end systems.
Until recently, each table of a FileMaker database system was stored as a separate file (with relational links to other files) and each file had its own built-in interface capabilities. Version 7 introduced the capability of building multiple tables into one document. Compared to other RDBMS products, it is fairly easy to develop quickly and to make changes on the fly as the data structure is altered. More complex systems may introduce some separation of interface and data files and FileMaker provides the flexibility to accommodate this, but not for the full 100%.
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