FileMaker Platform Expertise
FBA Platinum

Provider of specialist database design, development, consulting and training services.

Why We Recommend the FileMaker Platform

With the release of FileMaker Pro 18, NightWing Enterprises is pleased to reaffirm our commitment to the FileMaker developer environment. Changes and enhancements in version 18 make the FileMaker platform a better and more robust environment for business applications than ever before!

No doubt you already know that FileMaker Pro is a database application. But perhaps you don't realize that FileMaker Pro is a good deal more than that - that it is in fact a powerful programming environment with intergated relational data engine, graphical presentation environment and powerful querying and reporting -- which just happens to find its way into a lot of places that you might not expect to find any of these tools! FileMaker Inc have now shipped well over ten million licenses of FileMaker Pro worldwide, which provides one indication of the breadth of its use.

There are few other applications which are like FileMaker Pro - it has almost no direct competition - because it combines several key elements that are missing from many other applications, databases and development tools. FileMaker Pro does a fine job of storing data and presenting it in useful and accessible ways, so it finds its way to the desk of many end-users, along side of spreadsheet, accounting and inventory packages such as MYOB and Microsoft Excel - yet unlike these end-user applications, FileMaker Pro is in fact also a powerful and scalable software development platform.

This presents a problem. Many of those who have encountered FileMaker do not fully appreciate its capabilities and may underestimate its scope and power. It may be viewed as a database server or an industrial tool that provides the data engine for corporate data systems - or it may be seen by others as a desktop application which serves a very specific need. Still others view it as a developers' tool for the creation of a diverse range of applications and utilities. Remarkable, all these things are true.

Here are some of the features that make FileMaker indispensable:
  • Legendary ease of use - you've heard it before, but it's true. FileMaker is designed around principles that make it easy to use - so much so that everyday people can find their way around without difficulty. This is no small achievement and sets FileMaker apart from many other programs and programming environments. Many people begin using FileMaker Pro precisely because it gives them some independence and they can start to set up their own software to serve their own particular needs. FileMaker makes it easy to get started.

  • Flexible and powerful - most common functions are built-in in FileMaker Pro which makes it extraordinarily easy to enter information, navigate through a large body of data, assemble queries (FileMaker calls them 'finds'), automate procedures or set up a system that can be accessed over a network.

  • Seamless Integration - FileMaker is designed to work alongside other desktop applications and is capable of exchanging data with most widely used programs, including everyday desktop tools such as Word and Excel, but also extending to industrial strength corporate databases via its support for industry standards such as ODBC (Open database connectivity), SQL (Standard query language), XML (Extensible markup language) and other common and widely used protocols for the exchange of data. This means that FileMaker users can navigate through a larger environment with ease, exchanging information with web and network solutions as easily as with other desktop applications.

  • Scalability - cleverly grafted onto FileMaker's deceptively easy interface is a robust relational data engine which has the power to build and manage vast and complex data structures. And while it is at home on your desktop - masquerading as an inoffensive productivity application, you may be blissfully unaware that those same files you use on your desktop can be copied to a server and instantly made accessible to hundreds of users simultaneously - or served to the web and seamlessly accessed via a browser or over a WAN (wide area network). FileMaker is a truly open-ended application.

  • Durability - there have been many desktop applications, databases and productivity tools that have come and gone since FileMaker was first published in 1985. FileMaker's history over more than two decades is a testament to its core strengths and its inherent value. This is an application that has been with us for the long haul - yet since the release of a new underlying architecture with FileMaker 7 in 2004, as well as a further significant advance with version 18, it is positioned for a life of extended scope and promise.

Beyond these compelling virtues, there is a further imperative. FileMaker Pro is remarkably inexpensive despite its power and strength. This last incentive takes several forms - one of which is the modest entry-level price of the desktop application itself, and the competitive pricing of the developer and server implementations. But alongside of this is the fact that the ease and speed of development and deployment of FileMaker applications is unequalled. For a given budget commitment, you will receive more development value than you can expect from almost any other quarter.

It's tempting to say that the new version of FileMaker Pro is something both innovative and important. But the truth is that FileMaker has always been innovative and its importance may have been underrated. Recent releases from FileMaker Inc. have built on what was already an extraordinarily strong foundation, positioning those who have learned the secret to move into the future with unprecedented advantages.

Ray Cologon
NightWing Enterprises
May 2019