For the first time, The Gorilla Foundation has a fully integrated database system — an integration made possible by the flexibility and ease of development of FileMaker Pro 8.5. "Reducing the number of files, by table integration, during a period of rapid growth has enabled us to develop an integrated database for the entire organization," emphasizes Gary. "It would have been too expensive to develop and maintain otherwise. We now have a system that we can share with select organizations, using a password protection system that gives them just the right amount of access to our collective data. And, we don't have to wonder where to look for specific organizational data — with our new FileMaker Pro 8.5 database, it's always just a few clicks away."That integration of data is vital to the Foundation's work. "One of the most important benefits of using FileMaker Pro 8.5 to develop a customized, integrated database for The Gorilla Foundation," Gary continues, "is that the database will serve as a "simulation testbed" for education and training. Students and new employees can experience what it's like to be a great ape researcher/conservationist by using the same tools we use and analyzing the same data. The FileMaker database represents a dynamically archived model of TGF that will allow people to build on our experience for generations to come. And we wouldn't have attempted
this feat without the extreme ease of use and development offered by FileMaker Pro 8.5."
Powerful multimedia capabilities in FileMaker Pro 8.5 mean enhanced efficiencies in the storage of essential research data. "We're now able to maintain our complete library of Koko's signs and photos, importing about 300 new images into the database each week," Gary continues, "along with videos and text in a database that's shared by all staff. This makes it easier than ever to train them in sign language — and to share our multimedia educational assets selectively over the Internet."
With FileMaker Pro 8.5 come dramatic new plans to increase the Foundation's use of the web, plans which rank high on the priority list for 2007. Use of the FileMaker Pro 8.5 Web Viewer functionality figures prominently, with Gary anticipating it will permit much more rapid exchange and processing of research data. "I think the automatic/scripted data charting using Web Viewer will provide one of the most powerful features for our users," he predicts. "We'll have the ability to visualize data quickly, make comparisons, and do analyses — without having to post–process the data in Excel. This capability will be used both for our fundraising database applications and for our interdisciplinary research in gorilla communication, health, nutrition, and behavior."After five years of successful use of FileMaker Pro, The Gorilla Foundation looks enthusiastically toward future developments for their database system as well as their relationship with FileMaker, Inc. "FileMaker's dedication to significantly improving capabilities for users and developers and integrating with the web to multiply the power of their products makes FileMaker exactly the sort of partner we need," declares Gary. "It's been an especially fruitful relationship — and we expect it to grow!"