FileMaker today announced the immediate availability of FileMaker Pro 9, an all-new version of its award-winning database software for Windows and Mac OS.

The company calls the release its, "most dramatic new offering in years." Available versions include FileMaker Pro 9, FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced, FileMaker Server 9 and FileMaker Server 9 Advanced.

Improvements focus on the needs of both end users and FileMaker developers, with a focus on database sharing, reporting and automation.

For new users, the new Quick Start screen is designed to help new users get quickly to grips with the application. A new Conditional Formatting function will highlight data based on user-assigned parameters, this also lets users email a link to others, which they can use for instant access to a database.

This version also offers easy-to-use tools for the integration of SQL server, MySQL and Oracle databases as if data from these were in FileMaker data format.

FileMaker Server 9 now boasts a modernised Admin Console, facilitating easy set-up and administration of the software.

"FileMaker is the acknowledged leader in easy-to-use database software which empowers workgroups," said FileMaker president, Dominique Goupil.

"With FileMaker 9 we go further. We make it easier than ever for developers and users to manage information in amazingly productive and creative ways. For example, our goal is to make FileMaker Server 9 so easy that FileMaker Pro customers can install it in 20 minutes or less, and quickly share database solutions," he added.

FileMaker Server 9 and FileMaker Server 9 Advanced deliver one-click integration with the web using PHP, a simple 20-minute or less install time for basic installations, and a significantly redesigned server interface. These improvements mean users can generate a fully working PHP website using FileMaker data without writing code in "just minutes," the company claims.

Other features include PHP Custom Web Publishing for creating dynamic data-driven websites, shared access to live data from external SQL sources, and a web-delivered server console.

All versions of FileMaker Pro 9 are available now (all prices exclude VAT):

FileMaker Pro 9 costs £219;
FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced, £329;
FileMaker Server 9 costs £650;
FileMaker Server 9 Advanced costs £1,650.

A variety of upgrade paths are also available.

Existing users of FileMaker Pro 7, 8 and 8.5 may upgrade to FileMaker Pro 9 for £131. Existing users of FileMaker Developer 7, FileMaker Pro 8 Advanced and 8.5 Advanced, and FileMaker Pro 7, 8, 8.5 and 9 may upgrade to FileMaker Pro 9 Advanced for £197.

Existing users of FileMaker Server 7 and 8 may upgrade to FileMaker Server 9 for £390. Existing users of FileMaker Server 7 Advanced and 8 Advanced may upgrade to FileMaker Server 9 Advanced for £990.

FileMaker also offers license discounts for volume purchasers as well as for education and non-profit organisations.