Put Your Database on the Web – Software Review – Evaluation
FileMaker Pro 5 Unlimited HOC RATING: 8
Requirements: Win 95/98/NT 4.0 (PC); Mac OS 7.6.1 (Mac); 16MB RAM List Price: $999 Manufacturer: FileMaker Inc., 800-725-2747, www.filemaker.com
Filemaker pro 5 unlimited is a powerful, easy-to-use database that’s rock-solid across both Mac and PC platforms and incredibly easy to network. Out of the box, you can have a basic contact database linked to your product list in a matter of minutes.
That’s true of the regular $249 FileMaker Pro 5 package too, but the $999 FileMaker Pro 5 Unlimited adds the option to share your information over the Internet or across a company intranet. (The base package allows up to 10 users to tap into a FileMaker database within a 12-hour span, but the Unlimited version lives up to its name for busy intranets or e-commerce sites.)
Using the Instant Web Publishing feature, it’s simple to create Web pages that allow read-write or read-only access to your databases. Designed to support XML, which is becoming the standard for sharing data over the Web, FileMaker Unlimited not only allows an infinite number of Internet Protocol (IP) hits, but comes with Web Server Connector–a Java tool that lets you run FileMaker Unlimited with most commercial Web servers. It also includes SSL, allowing secure Web connections.
On the downside, on-the-fly page creation tends to be sluggish, so if you’ve got a high-traffic Web site, you may want to set up multiple servers–each with its own copy of FileMaker Unlimited installed–to make sure you don’t lose customers to slowdowns.
For most home office workers who need to collaborate only with select partners, FileMaker Pro 5 is an outstanding choice (and a $149 bargain upgrade for Microsoft Access users). If you need a database that’s as scalable as it is powerful, the Unlimited version is a capable if costly solution.
[up arrow] Extremely stable and capable database
[down arrow] Needs hefty support for Web publishing
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