FileMaker has announced FileMaker Pro 8.5, which the company promises is faster than before.

The release is also Universal, meaning the application works on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. The software carries new support for integrating live web data - meaning a web page can be added to a record in a database.

"Delivering web data on demand continues our tradition of setting new standards in the database market," said FileMaker president Dominique Goupil. "We expect to reignite the workgroup database category with this breakthrough benefit," he added.

The re-vamped product range includes FileMaker Pro 8.5, FileMaker Pro 8.5 Advanced, FileMaker Server 8.0v4 and FileMaker Server 8.0v4 Advanced.

The company promises users of Intel Macs will experience up to 116 per cent faster performance in comparison to that of the application on PowerPC Macs.

A new Learning Center feature appears in this iteration of the databasing product. Learning Center includes free video tutorials, how-to guides and other resources to help users learn the application.

The software has also seen a series of smaller enhancements, including new object and scripting capabilities: Layout Object Names, Go to Object script steps, Layout Object calculations, Set Web Viewer script step, and List function all feature.

Existing users of FileMaker Pro 8.0 and FileMaker Pro 8.0 Advanced may upgrade to FileMaker Pro 8.5 for £69 (U.K. suggested list price). FileMaker Server 8 and FileMaker Server 8 Advanced users can get Universal CDs that support Intel-based Macs for only £35. New users may purchase FileMaker Pro 8.5 for £219.

Look out for Macworld's exclusive review of FileMaker Pro 8.5 in the next issue of Macworld. In newsagents this Thursday.