Troi Automaterising has released the URL 1.0 plug-in for FileMaker 6.0, enhancing FileMaker's Web services support.

Industry observers suggest the trend toward Web services provision is heading for a growth spurt.

Troi Automaterising's new plug-in matches the trend: it lets FileMaker databases fill in forms on the Internet from within FileMaker, and retrieve data from any HTTP URL.

The capacity to retrieve data from a URL lets users get online data such as stock quotes, weather reports or currency fluctuations from within FileMaker.

For example a source explained: it would be possible to develop an automatically self-updating database of UK cinema events sourced from individual cinema company Web sites.

This database could be published as HTTP, and conceivably made available as a Sherlock plug-in to repair the lack of UK-specific information from within Apple's Web services tool.

The URL plug in can automatically add information to listings and online databases; and search the Internet for specific terms.

Other features include: SSL (Secure Socket Layers) support; password protection and the ability to encode text directly into HTTP. The plug-in ships with examples and a user guide.

The developers say: "This plug-in opens new possibilities to interact with the Internet in powerful ways."

A fully functional demo version is available for download. Licenses cost $59 each.