@Richard D what interesting story about FileMaker???
Most of this is from memory, with a couple double-checks into wikipedia to confirm dates. As such some of it may be a bit inaccurate, as it was a long time ago and while at the time most of this was news there's not a lot of digital records (or easy to search ones).
Also, as this is seriously off-topic, I'd be OK with it being deleted...
FileMaker is the successor to Nutshell, developed by Nashoba Systems but distributed by leading Edge. Nutshell was a popular DOS-Based database in the early 80s.
When the Macintosh popped-up Nashoba decided to get into the GUI bandwagon and developed a form-building front-end for Nutshell. Leading Edge passed on what they saw as a passing fad and Nashoba got Forethought, Inc to publish for them this new version. They called it "FileMaker" to distinguish the new GUI product from the DOS "Nutshell" they used to have.
Forethought famously also was working on a presentation software for Mac and Windows at the time and, through a cash injection from Apple (through an Apple venture fund), debuted PowerPoint for mac in early 1987. The software was an immediate success, which along with FileMaker put forethought in the map.
Microsoft had been shopping for a presentation product to complement Word and upon seeing FileMaker and PowerPoint they decided to drop their then-current candidate (the absurdly excellent and unjustly forgotten MORE outliner from Dave Winer) and arrange an acquisition, looking to build a suite of applications to complement Word and Excel.
Less than half a year after Apple pushed PowerPoint and Sculley directly presented PowerPoint and called presentations as the next killer application, possibly even bigger than Desktop Publishing; Microsoft purchased one of the biggest players for Macintosh.
For Microsoft, who'd been trying to put Microsoft File on the map as a consumer-level database, Forethought solved several problems. FileMaker solved the Database Problem and PowerPoint solved the slides problem (at the time PowerPoint was created to present on screen or by printing slides, as presentations were mostly made through overhead projectors).
Interestingly, during negotiations Nashoba (the real owners of FileMaker) refused to relinquish the rights to Microsoft and started to self-publish (starting from FileMaker 4). It would take a few years from Microsoft, who had to go back to the drawing board, to get MS Access 1.0 supporting their JetRed database platform, which was barely in R&D when FileMaker was in negotiations.
FileMaker, on the other hand, continued getting popular and when Apple created Claris, a company that existed to give confidence to third-party developers that there was a future in developing for the mac even if you were not Apple. Claris offered consumer-level applications (MacWrite, MacPaint and MacDraw, as well as AppleWorks). The spectacularly phenomenal ClarisWorks came from AppleWorks, which in turn was a package developed by StyleWare that Apple got for Claris. The database in the early ClarisWorks was clearly a "lite" version of FileMaker.
(Apple created another company for developing software, ACI –later ACIUS and nowadays 4D–, which in turn had the spectacular 4D database engine, still being sold today. The 80s was a great time for Databases. Helix also came around the same time and still exists today)
After the years passed Claris discontinued or sold most of their software but kept FileMaker, which has never stopped being strong (and suffers from a similar fate as Xojo: Extremely powerful and tremendously easy to use, but marred by not being free or famous outside its market) and Claris eventually renamed to FileMaker, inc. which persists to this day.