FileMaker Inc. has released
FileMaker Tasks, a task management application built to help workers manage common business chores more efficiently. It’s the latest in the series of FileMaker Application business solutions.
Based on the FileMaker Pro 6 database,
are designed for simple installation and require no expertise in how to use a database, John Dasher, product manager, FileMaker Applications, told MacCentral. Each application generally includes built-in e-mail and reporting templates that allow users to personalize and automate communications and the sharing of information.
FileMaker Tasks lets you create, assign and track everyday tasks; it’s also used to communicate deadlines and deliverables to workgroup colleagues. The solution is designed to offer users a comprehensive view of their tasks, next steps and deadlines, and to provide a way of managing everything needed to achieve a project’s goals, Dasher said.
With FileMaker Tasks, you can create and store all tasks in a single, centralized location, assigning responsibilities, due-dates, access and priorities. You can assign responsibilities to specific people and track the status of assignments, deliverables and deadlines. FileMaker Tasks lets you create reports for managers, team members and customers.
With its recording engine you can identify the records upon which you want to report (a database or a subset) and define sub-summaries through a pop-up menu. All this can be done via a single screen, Dasher said.
“It’s designed as a horizontal application, not targeted to a particular industry, and works for both individuals and teams,” he said. “We think it will be very useful for people who need to be on the same page, so they can agree as to who owns what, what deadlines have been set, etc.”
Today most workers deal with such situations with handwritten notes or e-mail at the most basic level. Or else they go full tilt in the other direction and use dedicated project management tools such as FastTrack (for the Mac) and Microsoft Project (for Windows), Dasher said.
“Until now, there’s been nothing in the middle ground to take up the slack,” he added. “We think FileMaker Tasks does that. It’s a simple, straight-forward solution to a straight-forward problem.
Since FileMaker Tasks is powered by FileMaker Pro database software, you can easily track down info by employee, assignment, deadline or deliverable., Dasher said. And since FileMaker Tasks supports major office applications and Internet and data standards, you don’t have to change your current computing environment. What’s more, the application’s e-mail template engine works with most e-mail clients. It’s been tested with Microsoft Entourage, Outlook, Eudora and Apple Mail, but should work with any POP 3 compliant e-mail application, Dasher said.
FileMaker Tasks costs US$69 and is sold through
FileMaker’s Web Store; it’s currently available in North America only. It can be downloaded or purchased on CD-ROM.
FileMaker Tasks requires FileMaker Pro 6 and runs on Mac OS X (10.2 and higher). If you don’t already have FileMaker Pro 6, you can get it and FileMaker Tasks together for $333. Volume licensing is also available.
Other FileMaker Applications are in the works, including one to handle donations and contributions. Response to the applications have exceeded expectations, Dasher said. End users like the fact that the applications don’t lock them into a proprietary format, he explained. And they can extend the applications or hire someone to do so, if they wish.
Developers like them because they come in unlocked form, so can be extended, Dasher said. They also provide examples of what well-crafted FileMaker applications can look like and do so in a “non-threatening” way, he added.