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FileMaker® Pro 9 Bible by Dennis R. Cohen, Ray Cologon

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Chapter 2. Putting FileMaker Pro in Perspective

FileMaker Pro is the dominant (in other words, best-selling) database in the Macintosh market; simultaneously, it is a strong contender in the much more crowded windows market. In this chapter, we discuss what differentiates FileMaker Pro from many other many other database managers and the user and developer community surrounding it.

FileMaker has been around since the mid-1980s and was one of the first database products available for the Mac. In fact, the first version of FileMaker was the wedding of a DOS-based database engine called Nutshell with a new graphic user interface (GUI). Originally, it was a nonrelational product, but even in those early days a nod was made toward multi-table capability with the inclusion of a feature called look-ups, where a field could reference a field contained in a different database file (in those days, it was one table per file). FileMaker continued to evolve and, in 1990, added Pro to its name. In the autumn of 1992, FileMaker Pro went cross-platform with FileMaker Pro 2, where a single database could be shared by Mac and Windows users. The very next year, FileMaker Pro 3 added relational capabilities, a second watershed moment in a very short time frame. FileMaker continued evolving through versions 4, 5, and 6. The release of FileMaker 7, in 2004, marked another revolutionary change, significantly increasing the amount of data a single field or file could contain and removing the one-file/one-table ...

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