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Using FileMaker Web Tools to Organize Your Business

Jennifer Betts
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There are different programs available to help businesses organize data and create apps. Filemaker is one of these programs, offering an easy-to-use interface and multiple versions.

What Is Filemaker?

At its core, Filemaker is a database application software. It helps you create apps and databases for inventory, invoicing, and other database needs. It can also help you organize your meetings. What most businesses like about Filemaker and its tools is ease of use. You don't need a computer programming degree to use the application. This is helpful for those running a small business. While Filemaker was first designed as an Apple product, it is available for PC users as well.

Pro, Pro Advanced, Server, and Go

Before May 2018, there were three different Filemaker applications available: Filemaker Pro, Pro Advanced, and Server. However, Filemaker Pro will be replaced by Filemaker Pro Advanced. Filemaker Server is still available. Rather than a creator for making database applications, this is a server that holds your data. Likewise, if you are mainly working from your phone, you might choose the Filemaker Go application, which is an app you run from your phone allowing you to manage apps and data and create reports from mobile devices.

Understanding Filemaker

To understand Filemaker, you need to look at what it does and examine the features. This helps you to understand why some people love it and others don't.

Creating Apps

Filemaker makes developing apps for your company easy. The program does this through the starter apps. There are six available, and all are easy to use. Additionally, the My Apps window allows you to launch and use the apps easily. While it is easy to use for new users, more advanced developers with greater skills can connect to the RESTful API to customize script. However, reviews for this software aren't always great; some people do have issues with crashing and slow load times, especially in Android environments. While the layouts offer a seamless way to switch between windows, difficulty linking layouts can get frustrating when creating apps.

Reports

Another key feature of Filemaker is its reporting tools. Reports aren't limited to summary reports. You can get dashboards and charts created from your data. This is handy for small businesses because it can help you track revenue, inventory, and customers. Likewise, the layout of the information is easy to read and follow. You can also import all your data from files. It should be noted this can take some trial and error for someone new to the software.

Security

Your data is important to you, and Filemaker offers a nice security feature that relies on encryption, but you can also integrate third-party monitoring for tighter security. Likewise, when you are talking about protecting customers, this is important. Additionally, Account Lockout ensures your account will lock after too many failed attempts at logging in, but this new feature only works for internal accounts. Using third-party applications also requires its own scripting.

Sharing and Integration

Not only can you share information with your teams through your apps, such as calendars, management resources, and meeting agendas, you can connect your app with other popular apps. While this does take more advanced developing knowledge, the fact you can create live connections with other data sources like SQL and Oracle can make your apps more user friendly.

Pricing

If you want to create web apps for your data, Filemaker is a helpful software to get you started, but it's not cheap. A team subscription costs around $15 per user per month, while an individual subscription costs about $540. With the software constantly coming out with a new and improved version, getting the upgrades may also be cost prohibitive.

Apps Make the World Go Round

Creating your own apps can be an exciting way to collect, store, and configure data about your business or website. Creating your own apps may seem daunting, but Filemaker provides an easy-to-use platform that helps you do so, especially as someone new to apps. However, the cost can be prohibitive for some. Therefore, you need to assess the different features and see if the benefits outweigh the cost.

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Using FileMaker Web Tools to Organize Your Business