Thanks to a twitter post from Jason Thomas, I enjoyed a rather interesting discussion on LinkedIn about FileMaker status / credibility. LinkedIn in a business community forum and has a number of special interest discussion groups. Being a FileMaker Developer group, you can imagine the discussion was largely positive and it had some interesting viewpoints in the 20+ comments that make up the discussion thread.
Although I encourage you to read the entire thread (link right here), here are some snippets that I found interesting on one level or another.
FileMaker continues to lead its competitors in the workgroup database development space because of its robust design, yet approachability and ease of use. It can be used easily by novices and expand to support large workgroups with complex needs.
What might take a week or two to implement in some environments, takes but a few minutes in a FileMaker environment. It is very robust, very forgiving, and I have seen files that have been "mistreated" for years still open and run for days on end without issue
Another thing to consider is that whilst FileMaker is used by both PC and Mac users it’s most enthusiastic users are undoubtedly from the Mac fraternity.
"The IT overhead for a FileMaker solutions is WAY LOWER then any other comparable solution because just like the Macintosh it's a self contained environment not dependent on multiple technologies from different vendors to all work together to create a solution. "
I think the FileMaker platform would be a great solution for your firm but just as important is finding the proper development group who will work with you in an open manner.
Last Devcon I attended, as every other, FileMaker speaks of its numbers, and it sells FAR MORE PC licenses than it could ever hope to have MAC users. I think MACs are great, but highly over rated. I can do both, but PCs are my bread and butter, as for almost all developers, it's simply a matter of fact, the number don't support the idea that a vast number of comments here are made based upon zealous MAC enthusiasm.
FileMaker developers are plentiful... and get the largest proportion of their work from windows clients. FileMaker itself has no limitations on windows... apart from the OS and it being pretty inconsistent between versions and machines.
You claim that "FileMaker developers are plentiful" well this may be so, but in relative terms when compared to many other leading database applications we are sadly a scarce bunch and anything that I have said is intended to reflect this position.
I have to agree, the idea of using FileMaker as a primary web platform is simply not effective. That functionality begins its usefulness when extending a solutions capabilities to the web.
This seems to be a conversation about which technology religion you believe it. FileMaker is a very stable development environment and is going nowhere other than far into the future.
As you can see, some very interesting comments but I have to say that I don’t know how closely it hugged the main topic of FileMaker current and future status/credibility. In my opinion, FileMaker is a great choice when you have decided the path of MAKE in a MAKE VS BUY database decision. I do continue to worry about the how viable the MAKE decision will be in a world in which software as a service applications are sucking less every day. I am hoping topics such like this might come up in the Portland Pause On Error FileMaker conference on January of 2010.
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