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FileMaker aims for office niches

Two new database applications target professionals in human resources and anyone who has to run corporate meetings.

Database software specialist FileMaker released on Wednesday two new specialty applications aimed at office workers.

One new product, FileMaker Recruiter, is aimed at human resources workers who need to track and manage job candidates. FileMaker Meetings uses FileMaker's database software as a foundation for organizing corporate meetings.

John Dasher, product manager for FileMaker, said the new specialty applications are intended to boost FileMaker's customer base, prompt customers to upgrade to the latest version of the database and provide new opportunities for developers.

FileMaker Recruiter was inspired by interviews with personnel workers who needed a database specifically tweaked to their needs, such as managing potential hiring sources and organizing contacts to match job leads.

"At the end of the day, recruiters live and die by their people network," he said. "We've delivered a product that not only does wonderful contact management but gives you contextual information, so you can identify where your most productive relationships are."

FileMaker Meetings helps office workers create agendas for meetings, record and distribute minutes and assign action items. "Most people try to be organized about meetings by setting agendas, take minutes and sending out action items, but they don't do it in a truly organized way," Dasher said. "It seemed like it would be pretty easy to develop an application in FileMaker that would do all that."

Both applications require the current version 6 of FileMaker Pro, the company's main database application, and work with the Windows XP and Mac OS X operating systems. FileMaker Meetings sells for $49; FileMaker Recruiter is $299.

Apple Computer trimmed its Claris subsidiary into FileMaker in the 1990s and has struggled to boost market share in the face of competition from Access, which is part of Microsoft's market-leading Office productivity package.