By Stuart Woodhouse, 24 February 2016
Firstly, FileMaker is a fantastic tool that allows you to develop your own apps and use them in your workplace/workspace. There are thousands and thousands of businesses throughout the world that run on ‘homemade’ apps, which is awesome because it goes to show the power of FileMaker.
There is also a plethora of help out there for you, including our own blog where we give tips and tricks to get your over any hurdles you might find as you progress through development. FileMaker themselves are bringing out ‘how to’ guides on the process of developing apps, starting with the very awesome ‘planning your app'
But sometimes the DIY approach doesn’t make sense.
And this is where I hark back to my previous life as an account manager at British Airways.
As you can imagine, working for British Airways, we were locked into the ‘beast’ of all systems when it came to IT (although I will say they were ahead of their game at the time)
Being an outpost in NZ we thought there must be a better way to do some things, starting with being able to report on clients based on a monthly basis.
We had the data but we just couldn’t pull it out of the system in a legible manner, nor display it in a way that made sense.
So off to Excel I went, building a fairly crude ‘database’ that allowed us do things ‘our way’.
This fairly simple database took me three solid days, with much frustration plus many interruptions of others to get their thoughts.
If I look back now, what I achieved in three days would have been knocked off pretty quickly by our developers in a matter of hours.
To look at this from a financial perspective, because at the end of the day tha'ts the thing to weight up between the DIY/Paid approaches…
Three days of my time = $2000
2-3 hours of developer time = $400-500
There's also the fact that a developer will have done a far better job, the interface will be so much nicer, the structure of the app would withstand further development in the future, and the stress levels of myself would have been greatly removed.
Case in point...
The point of this post is not to persuade you from giving the DIY approach a crack, by all means buy your FileMaker licenses, start developing and see how you get on.
All is not wasted if you then come to us to have us add-on or develop a new app, we can use your work as a proof of concept and a template for our development.