FileMaker has released an update to its namesake database, adding support for yet more platforms - notably Mac OS X and Windows 2000 - and enhancing integration with Microsoft Office.
To encourage customers in Australia to upgrade from previous versions, FileMaker is offering users a rebate carrot of up to $100 - the first time it has done so on the launch of a new version.
Under the Australian rebate scheme, an upgrade to the latest version of FileMaker is available for $284.90 (including GST) with a cash rebate of $100 for those stepping up from Pro version 5. Those upgrading from earlier editions will receive $75 (from Pro 4) and $50 (from Pro 3) respectively.
A full version of FileMaker is currently carrying a suggested single-unit price of $482.90.
FileMaker has used rebate programs before, including last year, as a tool to raise awareness of the change of sole distributorship from the defunct Dataflow to broad-based Tech Pacific.
Steve McManus, FileMaker's general manager, Asia Pacific, said the company "had a difficult transition [from Dataflow] to Tech Pac" and the original rebate scheme had been used to raise awareness in the channel about that change.
McManus described this current product launch-based rebate program as "a genuine, no-strings-attached, good deal" that makes the product available in Australia at a lower price than it is in the US.
Exchange rate fluctuations have been borne by the vendor.
McManus said all registered users on its database have been e-mailed and advised of the rebates on offer if users upgrade to the new FileMaker Pro version 5.5.
He said FileMaker is a database product "for knowledge workers in a workgroup" and that it sells a lot of licences through corporate resellers but has also had some success with the small business market through retail outlets.
New in FileMaker Pro 5.5 are easier Web-form publishing and extensions to make it easier to integrate with other databases, especially on large systems, according to company officials.
The update is available in editions for Mac OS X and Windows 2000. It also supports Mac OS 8.1 and 9.1, as well as Windows 95, 98, Me, and NT 4.0 (Service Pack 3). Support for other platforms, including Pocket PC and Linux, are in development.