Database vendor Filemaker yesterday released Filemaker Mobile, an add-on to its core product which allows single user databases to be synchronised with some mobile devices using the Palm operating system.
Being careful not to over-hype what is the first generation of the product, Steve McManus, Filemaker's general manager, Asia-Pacific, said the main benefit of the Mobile version is allowing users to take their data out into the field.
McManus said Filemaker Mobile will have an immediate attraction to consumers but future generations -- where additional devices are catered to and multi users are supported -- the extension will be of significant interest to developers and solution providers.
McManus conceded Filemaker Mobile has been delivered to market as a bare bones product and that its features will improve dramatically with future versions.
"This is a fantastic foundation," according to McManus. "It must be remembered that this is just the first version. Now we have to look at where the demand is and to which direction we want to go with the product.
"Being first to market is an important thing and we have achieved that," he said of synchronising databases to handheld devices.
Although channel sales of the product are complemented by directly sold Internet downloads overseas, McManus said the product will be marketed 100 per cent through the channel in Australia. He said the company had seen the backlash and heeded the lessons from other vendors and/or distributors who had experimented with direct models.
Filemaker Mobile is available now from national distributor Tech Pacific and sells with an RRP of $109, including GST. Users will need a full version of Filemaker Pro to use Mobile and the vendor's resellers will be able to include it into existing Filemaker channel licensing programs they operate under.
Prior to taking on its current distributor, Filemaker was distributed by Dataflow, a wholesaler which ran into troubles over the suggestion it was involved in competing against resellers through an e-tailing site.
"The channel in Australia is an interesting place," McManus said. "Direct selling in Australia is fraught with danger for vendors. We don't think we will go down that route.
Both Macintosh and Windows versions are included in the one retail box. McManus estimated that on a global basis 70 per cent of the corporation's revenue come from Windows applications and 30 per cent from Mac.