Is FileMaker Always the Right Tool for the Job?

A lot has been said about FileMaker lately, and even though the tool is not that new, it has been enjoying quite a lot of attention in recent years. A quick look at the current state of the business world can give you a hint about the reason – the kind of functionality that FileMaker offers is becoming more and more valuable for companies in the modern age.

Data is invaluable, and it’s everywhere around us. Having good capabilities to handle the large volumes of data that your business will invariably generate before that happens is a good idea, and working with something like FileMaker can make that quite straightforward. Is it always the best solution for the Job though?

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Ease of use can be a great money saver

Having the ability to set something up quickly and effortlessly can be a great asset in itself, as it can let you focus on other aspects of your business. Many business owners tend to underestimate the importance of this factor, and focus too much of their efforts on ensuring that they do everything right with their own hands.

But the old motto “if you want something right, do it yourself” is hardly always true in the modern world, especially when it comes to digital technology. A tool like FileMaker can significantly improve your workflow and save your company money in the long run.

You can rely on strong community support

FileMaker is very popular and used in many industries, and many people appreciate its great features and discuss them on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter what kind of help you need – whether it’s with development, picking the right FileMaker host, or getting your application up and running in the first place – you should always be able to find someone to help you.

There are lots of online communities revolving around FileMaker, as well as lots of professionals that offer paid services related to it. Some companies can go above and beyond in providing you with an adequate host for your applications, and as you’ll quickly find out, this kind of service can be invaluable when you want to ensure a smooth experience with FileMaker. Good FileMaker hosting is easy to come by, and not expensive in most cases, which can matter a lot.

Great for prototyping more complex ideas

Even if FileMaker is not the right tool for your current job, it can still allow you to test the basic components of a more complex idea easily so that you won’t have to waste any time in implementing that idea later on. If you are planning to build a complex application to organize the work of the entire company, there’s nothing better than the ability to prototype each part of that application in a smaller form and see it in action.
Once you’re done with that, you can easily transform those prototypes into an actual product with the help of competent developers, or even on your own if you’re more experienced with the development process.

When is it not ideal?

Of course, FileMaker is not a universal solution for every problem you’ll encounter in running your company, and in some cases there will be more adequate solutions available. This is usually the case when you move either up or down on the complexity chart, as there are better tools for simpler applications, as well as for more complicated ones.

For example, an Excel sheet may do just fine if all you need is to analyze small sets of static data without too much user input. It’s also not a bad option in cases where there’s little possibility for mistakes when inputting the data, as Excel is not very good at performing sanity checks in a user-friendly way, especially for more complex data types.

On the other hand, sometimes you may need a “real” application built from the ground up, possibly connected to a heavier database like a MySQL server. In these cases, you may need to spend a lot of time analyzing the requirements of the application and coming up with a strategy for its development, and you should have some patience until the job is done. But the final result usually more than justifies the extra development time, and you will appreciate the ability to control how things are done in every single aspect from start to finish.

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