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Frequently Asked Questions
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  1. Why should I consider a customized FileMaker solution rather than buying an off-the-shelf program?

  2. Does NightWing Enterprises support the current version of FileMaker Pro? What about prior versions?

  3. Are discussions with you about our business processes and our business data confidential?

  4. What options do you provide for technical support for FileMaker Pro?

  5. Where can we see what your work looks like - do you have any examples we can look at?

  6. Who will own the copyright to FileMaker Pro custom databases developed for us by NightWing Enterprises?

  7. Does NightWing Enterprises have any special credentials or industry recognition?

  8. How do your FileMaker consulting and FileMaker development rates compare with other developers?

  9. Does NightWing Enterprises configure or sell computer hardware or systems?

  10. You are in Melbourne, Australia, and we are not. Are you able to provide FileMaker Pro consulting and development effectively long-distance?


 




FileMaker Developer Tools




 
Q1

Why should I consider customized FileMaker solution rather than buying an off-the-shelf program?

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If your business does not work in precisely the same ways as all other businesses, yet you have the same software as everyone else you may be working inefficiently. What are the real costs of squeezing yourself into other people's shoes, year after year? What are the lost opportunities?

There are many commercial software products such as MYOB or QuickBooks that promise low-cost - but they rarely provide the most efficient or, ultimately, the most economical way of organizing your business when viewed overall. Also, they usually cover only part of your operations leaving other parts to be handled by some other system. If you are using off-the-shelf programs, your business model is almost certainly dictated - at least in part - by the way the programs work. This in turn diminishes your competitive advantage, while opportunities (for growth as well as for economies) are forfeited.

It does not have to be so difficult. At NightWing Enterprises, we are specialists in building software that works the way *you* work - that provides the data you require *when* you require it. We offer FileMaker Pro custom Development services because we know the value of custom software. We understand that your business is not like every other business and we know that custom software can transform your business and put you back in the driving seat.

Our select clients benefit from our extensive skill set as well as our consistency in delivering leading-edge FileMaker Pro consulting and development services. We pride ourselves on being able to bring innovation, know-how and a rigorous work ethic to every project we undertake. We make a point of keeping abreast of the latest technologies and industry best practice because we believe that a custom FileMaker solution you acquire now must serve you for many years.

To make a change and to do things differently it will be necessary for you to substantially invest in the future of your business. When you are ready to do that, we're ready to build the systems to carry you forward.

You will find additional information on why we think that FileMaker Pro is the best tool for this job on our Why We Recommend the FileMaker Platform page.



 


 
Q2

Does NightWing Enterprises support the current version of FileMaker Pro? What about prior versions?

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Not only is NightWing Enterprises a FileMaker Certified Developer for versions of the platform from version 7 (released in 2004) to and including the current version, but each of our team leaders has also extensively used every successive version of FileMaker Pro over more than two decades. We therefore have a depth of accumulated knowledge of the behavior of the platform. We are pleased to make this deep expertise available to our clients.

As FileMaker consultants, although we have the skills to help you with any recent (or not so recent) version of FileMaker Pro, we nevertheless encourage you to stay current and to upgrade to one of the current or recent versions of the product. There are many reasons for this. One is that as a beneficiary of FileMaker technology, we believe that as a matter of principle you should invest in the product and its ongoing development. Your contribution to the future of the product on which you depend takes the form of upgrading periodically. However there are other imperatives. Not only do the most recent versions work best with today's computers, they also provide up-to-date features, improved power and increased flexibility - all of which contribute to the best outcomes for you.

We therefore mandate that all new development should be in the current shipping version of FileMaker Pro. While we will offer support for existing solutions (including limited expansion or further development of existing solutions) in the immediate past format of FileMaker Pro, we recommend that this occur within the context of a responsible migration plan to bring your solution up to date within a reasonable and manageable timeframe. Such a strategy is the best safeguard against changes in technology, as well as a form of future-proofing for your business.



 


 
Q3

Are discussions with you about our business processes and our business data confidential?

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Yes, absolutely. We place the highest premium on the security of your data and all our discussions with you will be held in strictest confidence. We understand that all our clients are deserving of our care and discretion. You can count on it.

As a standard part of our service terms as FileMaker consultants and as part of our commitment to your protection, we observe secure data handling and data storage methods and procedures. In addition, our equipment and facilities are designed to offer protection for your valuable information. This is simply part of our service.

If you are in any way concerned or if you are operating under legal constraints or requirements, we will, on request, enter into a formal non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement with you. This is standard procedure and is available to all our clients as a matter of course.



 


 
Q4

What options do you provide for technical support for FileMaker Pro?

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We cannot guarantee FileMaker technical support unless you are a current client of NightWing Enterprises with funds on account. If you send us questions which are not covered by account funds, we will respond if and when time permits, but paid-up clients always get priority.

We encourage you to establish an account with us for support. This can be done in several ways, but the simplest is an ad-hoc account where you deposit funds and then ask questions as you find the need. The time we spend researching and responding to your questions is then debited against the funds on account and when the funds are exhausted you have the option to extend.

If you will require ongoing support and desire priority service, we offer the option of a support level agreement. This enables you to set in place a retainer arrangement to reserve a fixed amount of time per month. The twin benefits of this approach are that it is economical and it guarantees our availability to attend to your needs within the shortest timeframe, as SLA clients always receive highest priority in the handling of their support requests.

If we have developed (or are presently developing) a solution for you, it is wise to plan ahead for support. We recommend that custom database clients enter into a support level agreement for ongoing support and maintenance of their solutions, including during development if an existing FileMaker system is in place.



 


 
Q5

Where can we see what your work looks like - do you have any examples we can look at?

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There are many samples and examples of our work available for download from the demos sections of our web site. A majority of our demos are unlocked and provide insight into advanced or innovative techniques we have developed, enhanced and/or extended. We make these resources available for the benefit of prospective clients and also as a service to fellow developers within the international FileMaker community.

Our philosophy as professional FileMaker Pro consultants is one of encouraging the increase of skills and the advancement of the art of programming - especially with respect to FileMaker Pro. We know that contributions we are able to make to this end serve to make a great product even greater. We benefit, our fellow developers benefit - and you benefit. We have therefore made a practice of publishing a selection of techniques, discussion papers, articles, white papers and resources, as well as participating in a number of forums and lists relating to FileMaker Pro.

You may already be aware of the various resources we make available, but if not, feel free to browse our FileMaker Products page, our FileMaker Resources page and/or our extensive archive of FileMaker Demo Files, where you will find abundant examples of our recent and previous work and innovations.



 


 
Q6

Who will own the copyright to FileMaker Pro custom databases developed for us by NightWing Enterprises?

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In general, international copyright laws vest the copyright ownership of custom computer software in the developer of that software. Therefore unless otherwise specified and mutually agreed, NightWing Enterprises retains rights to code and designs in software we develop. This includes the rights to reuse, resell, or otherwise modify or distribute the code in your solution in whole or in part.

In practice, we design any given solution specifically to meet the requirements of a given client and we avoid the use of prefabricated code or templates - so any system we create for you will be a substantially original work. As a matter of course, your contract with us will provide you with a non-exclusive, non-transferable ongoing license to use the completed work and all its components' associated deliverables. Although in general (i.e. without a negotiated agreement with us) you will not have the right to on-sell or sub-license the system/s we create for you, you will be permitted unlimited use of the system/s for your own purposes. You will, of course, retain ownership of any logos or other designs you provide to us, as well as any and all of your own data as loaded into your database system.

If in due course you decide that you would like to acquire the full rights to the system we have built for you (for example if you would like to redevelop it independently or on-sell it as a commercial solution), you should first negotiate an arrangement with us for transfer of copyright of the solution.



 


 
Q7

Does NightWing Enterprises have any special credentials or industry recognition?

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Yes. NightWing Enterprises is proud to be a Platinum member of the FileMaker Business Alliance, an international organization that represents the best professional FileMaker developers throughout the world. As a Platinum Business Alliance member, we have been through a process of review by FileMaker Inc. to ensure that we meet the requisite standards of technical proficiency, client service and professionalism to the highest levels.

NightWing Enterprises has also presented Master Classes for expert FileMaker developers at locations around the world and is the designated training provider for FileMaker in the Asia Pacific region.

The NightWing Enterprises team includes FileMaker Certified Developers for all versions of the FileMaker platform from version 7 onwards to the present. This means that we have undergone rigorous independent testing processes to demonstrate the breadth and depth of our knowledge of the full range of technical, theoretical and practical matters that are the stock-in-trade of true FileMaker Professionals. We are proud of these achievements as a demonstration of the skills and expertise of our team leaders.

In addition, NightWing Enterprises' Director of Development, Ray Cologon, was recipient of an award for Leadership and Technical Excellence in FileMaker Pro. Ray was nominated by his peers among the FileMaker developer community for this honor, which was announced at the 2005 FileMaker Developer Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Ray has also authored two Fileaker technical books (published worldwide by Wiley and Sons) and created the Infinite Skills FileMaker Training video series' for FileMaker 12 and 13 for O'Reilly.




 


 
Q8

How do your FileMaker consulting and FileMaker development rates compare with other developers?

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Our rates are competitive and offer value for money. As part of that, when you hire us, you are paying for our expertise, acquired over many years, as well as for our time 'now'. We encourage you to compare the prices charged by different developers, bearing in mind that we have taken great pains to be leaders in our field with regard to skills and the resources we bring to your project. The value we provide for a given period of billable time is likely to be multiple times greater than you may find elsewhere.

We are one of a select few companies providing leading-edge FileMaker consulting and development expertise and FileMaker training worldwide. We are mindful of the international marketplace and set our rates accordingly, so you will find that our rates compare favorably with those of other developers who provide services and expertise at a comparable level internationally.

Some of the solutions we have designed have been in use for over a decade. Our extensive experience in the creation of professional class FileMaker solutions for businesses in various parts of the world enables us to develop quickly and deliver greater functionality and greater depth and quality than our competitors. This means that, over time, the costs vs benefits of a solution we design and build can be expected to work in your favor.

Your investment in a custom solution that equips your business to move confidently and efficiently into the future can be expected to pay off both directly and indirectly over the life of the solution.



 


 
Q9

Does NightWing Enterprises configure or sell computer hardware or systems?

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No, we do not in general sell computers, operating systems or general computer software. Nor do we sell networking or other related equipment or technology. However as part of our service we will, on request, provide our clients with advice and recommendations about the configuration of systems to run their custom FileMaker applications. In addition, by request, we can offer services to source and manage licensing of FileMaker products for current clients.

We recognize that it is important that the environment you operate within is optimized for the best results and so we take a holistic view of our relationship with you. If we believe that your systems may be compromised by inadequacies in the hardware or operating systems of your computers or networks, we will draw these to your attention and recommend measures to address any shortcomings. We understand that software cannot do its job in isolation.



 


 
Q10

You are in Melbourne, Australia, and we are not. Are you able to provide FileMaker Pro consulting and development effectively long-distance?

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Our clients are located in all corners of the globe and many of those who are located on other continents have never met with us in person. Yet our track record of delivering first class service to clients is the same whether they are located ten miles or ten thousand miles away from us.

As we are accustomed to working with clients in remote locations, we are adept at using a variety of methods to exchange information over long distances, while still getting the job done efficiently. We use email for much of our communication with clients and find that this is an excellent medium because it is rapid, yet creates a ready reference of information exchange that aids clarity.

We routinely transfer FileMaker databases and associated files via email (as attachments) and via secure connections (ftp) using our server facilities. There is rarely a need to exchange physical media. Moreover we will utilize various technologies for remote access and/or screen sharing to gain direct access to databases running on your workstations if the need arises.

As a client of NightWing Enterprises you will receive the highest quality of service and will achieve results that equal the best-of-breed, regardless of your proximity to our headquarters.



 




Flight to FileMaker DevCon, Phoenix 2004

Image taken in transit to the US for the FileMaker Developer Conference.





The NightWing Enterprises team includes multiple FileMaker Certified Developers

FileMaker 16 Certified Developer
FileMaker 15 Certified Developer FileMaker 14 Certified Developer FileMaker 13 Certified Developer FileMaker 12 Certified Developer FileMaker 11 Certified Developer FileMaker 10 Certified Developer FileMaker 9 Certified Developer FileMaker 8 Certified Developer FileMaker 7 Certified Developer