Why use Filemaker 8.5?

Why use Filemaker 8.5?

I am the kind of guy who likes everything organized and in one place. My original plan was to use mysql and a locally running installation of Drupal to track everything from advertising ROI to logging content changes on websites, but that involved building modules. And what I really lack is time.

I did play around with the idea of using Filemaker 7.0 but since all of my business involves the internet, I trashed that idea. I use the software at my day job and know its ease of use to power ratio is huge. You can get started right away creating databases as long as you have a plan in place. Scripting Filemaker takes a while especially if you have been writing object oriented PHP code. But once I went back to my procedural spaghetti coding past, its a snap.

Getting Filemaker to do what you want involves creating layouts and databases and scripts that are useless for presentation.  The result is usually an iceberg application where the results you see are only about 10% of what’s going on behind the scenes. But after tearing apart a few Filemaker databases created by respected developers, I realize that it’s just the way you have to do it.

Version 8.5 is killer. With the web viewer and more advanced scripting options, there is not much you can’t do with it. With the OBDC connection, I no longer need the overhead of extra database tables on my active sites just for reporting functions. I can download stats into Filemaker and let it do its job. I can track hits to my site and open the landing page and the referrer page in the web viewer.

One thing I do know about Filemaker is that it is hard to find good info on how to do very specific things with the software. That’s why I created a new category. If I discover something about Filemaker that I consider important, I will post it here.

Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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