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Claris Ships FileMaker Pro 4.0

Claris Corporation has released FileMaker Pro 4.0, an update to their popular database application that adds a Web server and technology acquired from Blueworld Communications’s Lasso to FileMaker’s established mix of easy-to-use relational database capabilities. FileMaker Pro 4.0 can directly serve databases over the Internet without an intervening CGI program, using Java to build an interface in the remote user’s Web browser. Web authors can also use special tags in their HTML documents (Claris calls these CDML, for "Claris Dynamic Markup Language") to include information from FileMaker databases. FileMaker Pro 4.0 can convert graphics to GIF or JPEG format, plus open some common URL formats and send SMTP mail. Claris is also touting a new ability to import Excel speadsheets via drag & drop. Although FileMaker Pro 4.0 includes numerous interface improvements and enhanced functionality, some areas are still clumsy (particularly windows for calculations and scripts) and in our tests FileMaker can still be remarkably thick-headed performing complex queries. FileMaker Pro 4.0 is $199 from Claris; upgrades from FileMaker 3.0 or competing products are $99 in the U.S.

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