Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




FileMaker Pro 7

I fell in love.
Before discovering FileMaker Pro I used to have thousands of PDF's on a folder, with each sub-folder holding pdf's pertaining a certain area: one for C++ books, one for Java books, one for MFC books, etc.

Now, I have one single file. One FileMaker database, where it's all there.

I haven't figured out how to do some tricks with FileMaker, but I'm getting close, and what I already know kicks ass.

Now I'm going to create another one for all the pictures I have in my drive.

RP
Saturday, May 15, 2004

A desktop database apllication?

KayJay
Saturday, May 15, 2004

Yep. Like Access, but less confusing.

RP
Saturday, May 15, 2004

"Now, I have one single file. One FileMaker database, where it's all there."

thats much more efficient :) ...you can lose the lot now with a single mistake...


Filemaker is pretty good though, I agree.

I haven't used 7 yet though, how does it compare to fm5?

FullNameRequired
Saturday, May 15, 2004

Does it finally have anything more powerful than a cheap-ass scripting language?  (Having found Access first, I basically have no use for FM...)

Sam Livingston-Gray
Saturday, May 15, 2004

"Having found Access first, I basically have no use for FM"

heh.  I regularly use various databases with both c++ and realbasic and I _still_ have use for FM.

its _good_ at what it does.

please, no "real programmers use xxx" snobbery here...

FullNameRequired
Saturday, May 15, 2004

There are vertical market applications written in FileMaker (I observed one that my optometrist was using for handling in-office consultations).

What I want to know is - snobbery aside - why use Filemaker in preference to (say) Access?

Bored Bystander
Sunday, May 16, 2004

personally I cant stand Access :) 

Filemaker is _easy_ and _fast_ to use.

Its reporting facilities are superb.

Its web and xml stuff is very powerful indeed.

They are the main strengths of Filemaker IMO.

<shrug> it has as many weaknesses, but for certain types of problems it cannot be beaten as a solution.

(dont lets argue the relative benefits of access and filemaker, I dont hold access responsible for the fact I loathe it with a passion)

FullNameRequired
Sunday, May 16, 2004

Okay, perhaps I was being a bit snobbish... but I've become quite used to being able to whip out some code anytime the prepackaged features didn't do exactly what I want.  It's been so long since I haven't been able to do something in Access that the only reason I consider another platform these days is if I have to use a non-Windows OS (or non-desktop app).  It's clearly a case of "the best/most productive environment is the one you know well," though; I often caution people against just jumping into Access because of its complexity.

The last time I looked at FM was admittedly 2-3 years ago, and I didn't get much further than, "dear $DEITY, there's no programming language!" before recoiling in geekish horror.  It's interesting to know that it speaks XML, though I still haven't had incentive to bend my brain around XSLT.

As for its web stuff... care to elaborate?  I've been doing some ASP this week and have been reminded of how truly appalling the ASP/PHP coding model is.  If there's a better way to do web apps (and for as many nice things as I've heard about ASP.NET, I'm just not ready to wrap my head around the immensity of the .NET libraries at this point), I'd love to hear about it.

Sam Livingston-Gray
Sunday, May 16, 2004

"but I've become quite used to being able to whip out some code anytime the prepackaged features didn't do exactly what I want"

heh, yeah me too.  I do as little as possible in filemaker these days, not because it cant do what I need (in most cases at least) but because I miss the....control(?)...flexibility(?) I get from code + backend database as opposed to filemaker.

The thing is though that its often fine for a particular job, <g> so I always feel a little guilty whenever I dont use it where I should.

"It's clearly a case of "the best/most productive environment is the one you know well," though"

absolutely, lets face it theres very few problems that cannot be solved in some way in both (all?) IDEs.

"I didn't get much further than, "dear $DEITY, there's no programming language!"

<g> well, there _is_ a scripting language of sorts, but I agree its not what it could be.
OTOH it does exactly what its designed to do, and does it pretty well.

"I often caution people against just jumping into Access because of its complexity."

and that is what its designed to do :)  Its easy and fast to use.  anyone with a smidgen of intelligence can make it do stuff.
Its *ideal* for small businesses, where the owner can buy filemaker and roll his own CRM or whatever, or use one of the prepackaged.
With just a fraction more intellect his database can be published directly to the web, literally with about 2 mouse clicks. (once the network stuff is setup of course)

Its _capable_ of a fair bit more, Ive worked in a software shop that was using it as a distributed solution for all of a very large companies database work.

<g> I wont say it was the best possible solution, but it was doing the job perfectly well and it was handling some pretty complex requirements pretty well IMO.

"As for its web stuff... care to elaborate?"

well...basically you can create databases, design the forms you need, then open the preferences and turn on instant web publishing and the webcompanion (matter of 2 checkboxes and specifying which forms are to be available) and those forms are immediately available to the web.
(as html, with the standard html widgets so the appearance of the form is different, although the layout is as identical as possible)
You can also go further if you want and create custom webpages etc etc using its CDML markup language.

From what Ive heard, FM7 goes further and makes this process even better, but I haven't used so I dont really know what its improved.

FullNameRequired
Sunday, May 16, 2004

test

11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
Saturday, May 22, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home