FileMaker is a proprietary database system for managing data in databases and the development of database applications, running under the operating system OS X, Apple iOS and Windows ( Microsoft Windows 7). FileMaker is also the name of the company, which distributes the database system.

  • 5.1 The Company
  • 6.1 Germany / Austria / Switzerland

Data management

A FileMaker file contains both the data and the information about the structure of the data. Included in the structure are the tables (relations ) with the corresponding fields and field definitions, formulas and functions of the fields that relate the tables to each other, the layouts, the scripts and the access accounts with passwords and access rights.


In the environment of the Database publishing, for example, for creating database-driven catalogs FileMaker is used for collecting and making-up of data. The data transfer to layout programs via CSV or XML export. Even through ODBC, SQL, access Adobe InDesign plug -ins and QuarkXPress XTensions can be accessed.

With Instant WEB Publishing can be accessed via a web browser released FileMaker databases without additional investment. This allows the use of FileMaker files in the local network or the Internet, must be installed without the need for additional client licenses.

The functionality of a FileMaker database can be extended with external plug-ins from third-party manufacturers. To install a plug- in FileMaker client, it is usually sufficient, the plugin in the directory " extensions " of FileMaker move. Plugins are available separately for the Windows or Macintosh platform. From FileMaker 7, the plugin interface of FileMaker has been revised.

Limitations and criticism

Unlike other database applications, which were designed according to the ANSI - SPARC architecture and separate data, logic and design for safety, FileMaker stores everything in a single file. Data processing takes place through direct read and write accesses; FileMaker has no transaction logic. In contrast, the direct read and write access to SQL databases through ODBC is supported.

A data field in FileMaker can be up to a maximum of 2 GB (text box ) or 4 GB ( media field ) of data. A FileMaker file can store up to 8 terabytes of data.


The roots of FileMaker go back to a running under MS- DOS product called Nutshell, which the company had Nashoba Systems of Concord, Massachusetts developed in 1982/ 1983. Was distributed the product Nutshell by the company Leading Edge, which began at this time to sell PC - compatible hardware and software.

With the introduction of the Apple Macintosh in 1984 and its graphical user interface Nashoba introduced in 1985, the database concept of Nutshell with the menu- and window- driven interface on the Apple Macintosh together. There was a much easier and more intuitive to use database.

Since Leading Edge did not want to go into the nascent Apple Macintosh software market, Nashoba was looking for a new distributor and a new name. As a distributor Nashoba found in the company Forethought, a company that (in PowerPoint renamed later) in the Macintosh market was already with your own presentation program " Presenter " is active.

The name " FileMaker "

As a new name selected Nashoba FileMaker. The name is a combination of the name of the Microsoft database program MS file for Apple Macintosh and -down straight to the market DTP program Aldus PageMaker company. Based on the new Apple Macintosh Model Macintosh Plus followed in 1986 by the version of FileMaker Plus. In August 1987, Microsoft acquired the company and its product Forethought PowerPoint. The mitgekauften distribution rights ( including documentation and packaging) to FileMaker Microsoft wanted to use to distribute FileMaker under his own name. Nashoba as owner on software code but FileMaker now decided, under his own name for the version of FileMaker 4 (June 1988) develop and distribute themselves.

Shortly thereafter, in August 1988, bought Claris ( an Apple subsidiary ) Nashoba and brought the program as Claris FileMaker II on the market.

FileMaker Pro 1.0 to 6.0

With the introduction of Claris FileMaker Pro in October 1990, the version number jumped back to 1.0. FileMaker was at the time the first database program, with which it was possible to change the current mode, the database structure to define new data fields and delete existing ones.

From version FileMaker Pro 2 (1992 ) FileMaker was also available for the Windows operating system in an identical version in addition to the Mac OS.

Since version 3.0 (1996 ) FileMaker is a relational database system in which multiple FileMaker files (tables) can be relationally linked to each other.

With version 4.0 (1997) FileMaker had ODBC import and rudimentary SQL skills as well as their own plug -in architecture. Since 1998, the program is produced and distributed by the company FileMaker, Inc. founded specifically, hervorgegangenem from Claris.

1999 appeared the version 5, May 2001, version 5.5, for the first time (except on Mac OS 9 and Windows) natively ran under the Apple operating system Mac OS X.

In September 2002, the version appeared FileMaker FileMaker 6 This first supported import and export XML data. Existing results were extended for the first time or restrictable.

FileMaker Pro 7 to 11 with a new data model

The 2004 released version 7 was reprogrammed revised the entire data model and extends the functionality. Version 7 supported multiple tables per file and Unicode. In addition or alternatively to relationships between files ( since version 3.0-6 ) were now also complex relationships between tables within a file. Was considerably extended the maximum file size of 2 gigabytes to 8 terabytes and the maximum data contents of individual table fields from 64 kilobytes to 2 gigabytes. Up to version 7 relations (relations) were presented only in tabular form, since only graphically in a relationship diagram ( in the manner of an Entity -Relationship model ).

With Version 8 (2005) was added the ability to define your own functions that support recursive calls. 2006 saw the publication version of FileMaker Pro 8.5, which can be integrated directly as a new layout object via so-called Webviewer elements HTML content from websites into FileMaker databases.

The version 9 brought the dependent from the input formatting for fields and field contents. In terms of access to external databases (for example, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL) possible with the version 9 is a real-time connection to external SQL data sources. Several script window can be open at a time; Scripts into groups and subgroups are grouped. A better fit to screen windows provide scalable elements.

The published in January 2009 Version 10 of FileMaker brought innovations in the areas of user interface, seek, the reports for functions and new import and export formats. The built-in e- mail sent by SMTP allows the direct sending of e- mails from the database. As a new import and export formats the Excel 12 formats are natively supported. For Mac users, also the direct import of database files from Bento 2 is possible.

FileMaker 11 (March 2010) provides a visual presentation of stored data in chart form as well as a cross-field quick search.

FileMaker 12 introduces a new file format and integrated iOS Support

FileMaker 12 (April 2012), uses a new layout design architecture ( internally on Cascading Style Sheets based ), the FileMaker layouts with a command can completely transform into a different design. FileMaker provides to 40 design themes that also contain special touch designs for iOS devices. The " Quick Charts" allows to create a button flexible diagrams to the user. Container fields ( media fields) now support drag and drop for storing documents, photos, videos, music or other files directly into a FileMaker file. Such managed media files (eg PDF files) can be viewed or played within the container box. The changes require a new file format (. Fmp12 ). Existing FileMaker fp7 files can be converted to FileMaker 12 in the new file format and continue to be used without restriction. For the first time not only external SQL data sources FileMaker be addressed using SQL commands, but also their own databases with the version 12.

FileMaker 13 with HTML5 -based core technology and self-created designs storable

FileMaker 13 ( December 2013 ) extends the add Come in FileMaker 12 layout design architecture by additional elements. Design templates can now customize and can be passed if necessary. The appearance of individual controls such as buttons and input fields, the user can make about editable styles better consistent. A change in the style sheet automatically adjusts all associated elements. A new field choices, facilitates the creation of data mask layout. For iOS devices, there are now swiping, popover functions and a built-in bar code interpreter for all major types of barcode and QR codes. Was redeveloped complete the said FileMaker WebDirect core technology, which is based HTML5. This makes it possible to run FileMaker databases without installing the software directly on the client browser, when accessing a FileMaker Server. The version of FileMaker 13 runs on Windows 7, OS X Lion (or Mountain Lion for the server ) and iOS 6 and 7


FileMaker is offered identical for the operating systems Mac OS X, iOS and Windows in different versions:

FileMaker Go

  • FileMaker Go is available in versions for iPhone (iPod Touch) and iPads. This can be edited directly on an iPhone or iPad on the one transferred to the iOS device FileMaker databases. On the other iOS devices can access and edit that are hosted via WLAN or 3G/4G-Mobilfunk on a single computer with FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server on a FileMaker databases. Creating new databases or changing the structure is not possible with FileMaker Go.
  • FileMaker Go 11 works with files of the file format. Fp7 ( created with FileMaker versions 7-11). The respective versions for iPhone (iPod Touch) and iPads were available free of charge from the Apple App Store. On September 30, 2013, the offer was set.
  • FileMaker Go 12 only works with files in the file format. Fmp12 ( created with FileMaker 12). The versions for iPhone (iPod Touch) and iPads are available for free in the Apple App Store. With the availability of FileMaker Go FileMaker Go 13 12 has been replaced by the version 13 in the App Store.
  • FileMaker Go 13 only works with files in the file format. Fmp12 ( created with FileMaker 12/13). The version is the same for iPhone (iPod Touch) and iPads and is free at the Apple App Store and includes functional pattern databases. The new features for iOS devices (such as swiping and bar code detection ) can be performed only by FileMaker Go 13 and presuppose a database created or hosted with FileMaker 13.

FileMaker Mobile

  • The development of FileMaker Mobile version for Pocket PCs and handheld devices was discontinued in 2008.

FileMaker Pro 12

  • FileMaker Pro: the actual database program for stand-alone applications or small workgroups with up to 10 simultaneous users. ODBC access to other databases and for direct publishing databases on the web ( called Instant Web Publishing) is possible in this version.
  • FileMaker Pro Advanced extends the Pro version to special developer features such as Database Design Report, Script Debugger, Installation option for user-defined functions, creating your own menus and menu commands. Self employed executable databases (so-called FileMaker Runtimes ) can be created with this version of Mac OS X or Windows. FileMaker runtime solutions can be distributed royalty- free to any number. The data from the FileMaker Runtimes are any editable, the structure of the database is not. FileMaker Runtimes can be run in kiosk mode (no menu bar ), but must always be used only as a stand-alone solution.

FileMaker Server 12

  • The FileMaker Server version requires a dedicated computer (Windows or Mac OS X ) operating as a FileMaker Server and allows you to work on the FileMaker database in a network with up to 250 users.
  • FileMaker Server Advanced: allows you near the network access and access to FileMaker files through ODBC access. Database solutions can be provided as forms in the Web. This can be accessed with any web browser. The number of users is not limited.

FileMaker is available as a trial version to try out.

The Company

The company of the same name was founded in 1998, is the world in eight branches, and employs a total of 300 employees. The German branch has, while the parent company holds the legal form of a limited liability company legal form Incorporated.

The company is managed by Dominique Goupil.

According to the company over 15 million FileMaker products are used worldwide by home users, schools, universities, and small, medium and large enterprises.

FileMaker, Inc. is 100 % owned by Apple.

Excess profits, the company does not provide accurate information, but claims to be in company history to maintaining its profits.

Developer Conference

Germany / Austria / Switzerland

By 2007, hosted FileMaker Germany an annual developer conference, last 6 to 7 December 2007, Gut Ising am Chiemsee in Upper Bavaria. Since 2010, the developer conference is organized by the specially established club FM Conference ( FMK ). The first conference was organized by the FMK 2010 in Zurich. Hamburg in 2011 was the venue for the second FileMaker Conference. The 2012 conference took place from 11 to 13 October 2012 in Salzburg. The conference in 2013 was held from 17 to 19 October 2013 held in Salzburg.