FileMaker Mobile

(12/12/2000) – For nearly a decade, the FileMaker Pro moniker has been associated with the simple-to-use database program that worked with both Macintosh and Windows machines. With the release of the $75 FileMaker Mobile, though, the simplicity that made FileMaker Pro so popular extends to the truly portable Palm platform.

FileMaker Mobile is designed to work with the latest version of the $375 FileMaker Pro 5.0 v3, which supports sharing databases with both FileMaker Mobile and the Web. (Current users of FileMaker Pro Version 4 can upgrade their software via the Web for free.)

Once the FileMaker Mobile software is installed on the desktop, all you need to do is complete a HotSync to set up the software on the handheld. From there, you’re ready to prepare databases to be used on any device running Palm OS 3.1 or later, including the Handspring Inc. Visor series and Sony Corp.’s CLIE.

A caveat: FileMaker Mobile works with systems running FileMaker Pro on Microsoft Corp. Windows 95 and 98, Windows NT (Service Pack 3 and up), Windows 2000, or Mac OS 8.1 to 9. FileMaker Pro 5 doesn’t run on Windows Millennium Edition, so FileMaker Mobile is out for Windows Me users.

‘Port-able’ Data

Porting an existing FileMaker Pro database for use on the handheld is simple and intuitive. A configuration dialog box allows you to set parameters for synchronization. A button lets you choose up to 20 fields to move to the handheld; however, you can’t include relational fields that appear in the selected database but aren’t actually stored with that particular database.

You can also select whether you want all records in a database to be transferred during a synchronization, or just a found set. FileMaker Mobile and FileMaker Pro can synchronize changes between one another; you can select from a host of conflict-resolution rules to determine which records are kept if a record is changed on both the handheld and on the desktop.

Once we set the parameters, we simply completed a HotSync with the handheld, and, voil