FileMaker has announced version 5.5 of its eponymous database software, which the company says is another step in making the suite run on as many OSs as possible. FileMaker is popular with Web designers for allowing the creation of back-end databases without needing specialized programming knowledge. Version 5.5 adds native support for Mac OS X and has also been certified with Windows 2000. FileMaker 5.5 Server will be updated to OS X, along with Windows 2000 and Linux, in the summer. Other future developments will include support for Microsoft’s PocketPC standard and phone-based protocol iMode in the first and second halves of next year, respectively. The OS X version of FileMaker makes it more stable, according to the company, through the platforms protected memory environment and faster due to pre-emptive multitasking. It also adds support for PDF files in containers. However, some features found in other versions of the software have yet to be added, including ODBC import, toolbars and a Send Mail script. Other new features include faster Web performance through a new multithreaded HTTP server and more faithful rendering of forms, layouts and buttons so that there are less differences between standalone and Web-based front ends. FileMaker 5.5 also adds a dynamic SQL query, which allows the tool to act as a front-end for SQL databases. This could even be used to create Web interfaces for SQL databases at a much lower cost than usual. FileMaker, http://www.filemaker.com