It’s good to see this kind of coverage in the press for FileMaker:
The recent release of FileMaker Pro 14 is the latest volley in the growing DIY mobile app war….
FileMaker Pro 14 could be the start of the first real do it yourself (DIY) mobile app war of our time. While exciting things are happening with Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) and other application programming interface tools for mobile app development, FileMaker serves the needs of a knowledge worker (non-programmer) who wants to develop their own mobile apps….
No, I don’t think FileMaker Pro is going to replace mobile app developers anytime soon. I do think that tools like FileMaker Pro will help mobilize small to medium enterprises and even some independent consultants who need to mobilize a simple workflow but don’t have the programming talent in-house.
Empowering knowledge workers and other power users to create mobile apps is the wave of the future. I consider FileMaker a shadow enterprise mobility leader in a growing “DIY mobile app war” that’s happening right now.
The author, Will Kelly, does a good job evaluating FileMaker Go, but left out or lightly skipped over some key points:
- There is no Android app, but WebDirect is supported on Chrome 38 or later for Android 4.4.x
- FileMaker Go can exchange data with other machines in a variety of ways. Here are three: FM Server, WebDirect, and via URL
- FileMaker’s great strength is adapting a database (or app, in this case) to handle custom workflow situations, bypassing the need to make your processes fit off the shelf (or cloud based) solutions
- The custom workflow solutions can be developed by someone other than a professional programmer, though a robust solution would require the services of a trained FileMaker developer
- FileMaker Go is able to interface with Enterprise solutions
- The cost to develop a custom FileMaker Go solution with a custom workflow is much lower than other development platforms
The last point is critical. Business people are willing to invest in technology that improves their business and saves money. Your job as a developer/entrepreneur/in-house expert is to sell the cost savings, not the cost of the solution. For example, improving a particular process might save 5 minutes per interaction, improve accuracy, and improve data on the production side, with a savings per transaction of $3. Not much if they only do a few transactions per year. But if they do hundreds or thousands of transactions, the savings and increased efficiencies are substantial.
All done more quickly and less expensively than with other development platforms.
Show the value to the client, and the sale makes itself.
One more thing: Kelly will be evaluating FileMaker Server 14 soon.