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Published in July 22, 1986, PFS: Professional File was a reasonably powerful, easy-to-learn database filing system. Part of a series of products known as the PFS: Professional Series, PFS: Professional File was an upgraded version of the original PFS: File. Interestingly enough, PFS: File was also an upgraded version of Software Publishing Corporation's (SPC) original product, PFS. All three of these products were flat-file databases with the intention of being easy to pickup and use. PFS: Professional File ran fast and had extensive documentation, tutorials, and troubleshooting help, giving it an edge over the competition. However, it was not as powerful as most popular database systems such as dBASE and Q&A. This wasn't much of a problem for the software though, as it wasn't aimed towards corporate use; it was aimed toward private and hobby use.
Reviews for PFS: Professional File were fairly positive, mostly only noting the lack of power and pricing as a weakness. The New York Times' review in 1986 recommends it for the "sophisticated novice" and claims "The truth is that the flat-file managers, as the simpler versions are often called, are sufficient for probably 80-90 percent of what users of data management personal computers want their machines to do." Mainly praising the simplicity of the software, the New York Times' only complaint was the high price. In InfoWorld's 1987 review of PFS: Professional File, they state "Although competing programs offer more features and power, Professional File delevers what it promises - to be an extremely easy-to-use flat file database manager, one that will run on a 256K system." The review's praises include increased speed due to lack of indexing, incredible ease-of-use and ease-of-learning, superb support and documentation, and the best error handling that they've ever seen. Despite that, InfoWorld cites many faults, including no macro editing capability, slower complex searches, faulty networking, difficulty with report generation, and lack of features. Overall, PFS: Professional File earned a 6.5 out of 10 on its InfoWorld report card, rating it "satisfactory." PFS: Professional File was an extremely good jumping-off point for personal database use, but simply couldn't handle bigger operations such as company usage.