Solutions

Facts on File

The Associated Press

Information is their business — supplying news, fact, and figures to newspapers and broadcasting outlets all across America. That's the mission of the Associated Press. And now subscribing outlets can access a mother lode of information directly from AP over the web, with FileMaker Pro, the award–winning database software from FileMaker Inc.

Overview

  • Keeping member news organizations up to the minute is the mission of the Associated Press, and FileMaker Pro 6 is the latest technological tool helping to accomplish that mission.

Industry

  • Printing/Publishing
  • Entertainment

FileMaker Pro 6 is going to make my job a lot easier!

— Bob Weston, Systems Editor, The Associated Press

Business Challenge

From telegraph to teletype to satellite to the web, the Associated Press keeps on technology's cutting edge. And since 2000 they've taken advantage of FileMaker Pro's powerful web–access features to provide useful data to subscribers. "AP uses FileMaker Pro to make editorial databases available to member news organizations who link to these databases to provide information via their own websites," says Systems Editor Bob Weston. "So if you were to go to your hometown newspaper's website, you might find a link to 'the wire,' and you'd follow that link to the information in the database."

Successful Solution

This system allows the easy distribution of vast amounts of raw data. "We've done the 2000 US Census in FileMaker Pro for every town in America, using information from the Commerce Department covering all sorts of demographic information" notes Bob. "We're working now on a database based on the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, which will include crime statistics for most towns in America."

Getting data into the news industry's standard format is another challenge. And this is where Bob hopes the XML Export feature of FileMaker Pro 6 will prove useful. "AP uses 'News Industry Text Format,' or 'NITF,'" Bob explains. "This is basically the default format for all media outlets. We're currently working on an XSLT stylesheet that will eventually allow us to use FileMaker to export to NITF. Once we have that stylesheet written, FileMaker will make it much easier to convert to NITF or any other version of XML."

We've done the 2000 US Census in FileMaker Pro for every town in America, using information from the Commerce Department covering all sorts of demographic information

— Bob Weston, Systems Editor, The Associated Press

Customer Benefits

Faster processing of data means timelier data for Associated Press subscribers. And that means the information is there for readers, viewers, and web–surfers when they want it — easy to search and easy to use. As Bob puts it, "FileMaker Pro 6 is going to make my job a lot easier!"

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For The Associated Press:

Bob Weston
Systems Editor
The Associated Press
212-621-7209
http://www.ap.org