Learn a little bit of FileMaker’s history…
FileMaker for Mac FAQ
Dan Knight – 2013.07.13
FileMaker Pro is a cross-platform (Mac OS and Windows) relational database (RDBMS) application published by Apple subsidiary FileMaker Inc.
Born at Nashoba Systems, Concord, MA, in the early 1980s as Nutshell, a DOS-based database, it was adapted to the Macintosh with a graphical user interface in 1985. On the Mac, it was known as FileMaker. FileMaker went head-to-head with Microsoft File, then the dominant database app on the Mac, and within a year it matched its sales. Two years later Microsoft discontinued its program.
Noashoba had three major revisions of FileMaker before the company was acquired by Apple to become part of its Claris* software division in 1986, at which point the software was renamed FileMaker II. FileMaker became a cross-platform app with Mac and Windows versions in 1992. The first version to support Mac OS X, FileMaker Pro 5.5, was released in 2001, and version 6 was the last to support the Classic Mac OS.
FileMaker’s appeal was the integration of the database engine with a forms-based GUI that made it much easier to implement databases than other software available – a distinction it has maintained ever since. FileMaker can easily be used to create small, simple databases, such as personal contact lists or recipe files, but it has the power to enable complex enterprise-level relational systems as well. Its interface has remained essentially the same over the years, so FileMaker users can use new versions right out of the box without having to relearn it.
* The Claris brand was discontinued in 1998, ClarisWorks was renamed AppleWorks, and FileMaker Inc. was born. It’s only product at that time, other than FileMaker, was Claris Home Page 3.0, which was never again updated; it was discontinued in 2001. FileMaker Inc. added a new database product, Bento, in 2008.