The FileMaker Platform — Work faster. Share more.
Overview and resources for business managers and IT professionals
FileMaker Platform - Architecture
The FileMaker Platform is designed to help the non-programmer become more productive in collecting, analyzing and processing information. The award-winning FileMaker Pro provides the tools to build a customized user interface with a relational database and business logic in a single unified Windows and Mac application. Incorporating these three elements into one product has proven to be very effective and places a light cognitive load on the knowledge worker or other users.
Traditional technologies = Formal programming skills needed
In order to implement a project using traditional database technologies, the first thing you must do is define the data tables and how different types of data will be related (for example, employees to companies, people to tasks, and so on). This is typically done by a database administrator (DBA) trained in Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and other similar products.
In order to get meaning from the data, a programmer is then needed to build business/application logic in a development environment that integrates the data, bit logic and interface. In most situations, the programmer does not have intimate knowledge of the business and must interpret a static specification document written with input from the the subject-matter expert.
Finally, the programmer must build a user interface that includes forms, lists, and reports that are (hopefully) easy to use. The user interface is not flexible or easily customizable. Simple changes, like changing the search criteria for a query or adding fields onto forms requires programming intervention, which is not needed with the FileMaker Platform.
The FileMaker Platform is unique
Let’s use the scenario above to illustrate the differences with the FileMaker Platform. The FileMaker Platform is unique because it encapsulates data structure, business logic and the user interface into a single environment.
The data structure, relational joins, tables, and schema, are defined in a graphical point-and-click interface and can include tables defined in FileMaker Pro as well as data tables or views in Oracle, MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server.
Business logic is easily integrated with the point-and-click script editor that can easily handle simple to complex navigation or present a sophisticated user experience, complete with custom menus, variables, looping scripts, and more.
The user interface makes it possible for the subject matter expert to build ad hoc and custom forms and reports.
Knowledge workers can start simply, and as their skills increase, or with the assistance of professional developers, can build large effective systems that bring significant returns on investment for the organization.
Simple to understand, yet powerful to use
Many programmers who are well versed in those traditional “big iron” databases prefer to work in FileMaker because it’s much faster to prototype large, complex applications. With the robust relational capabilities, script engine, and new live SQL support, many more programmers are choosing to use FileMaker to handle all of their tactical or data-driven solution needs.
Even with the newer features that have made FileMaker more appealing to programmers, FileMaker has not strayed from its user-friendly roots. Business managers can still approach the tool and focus on their organization’s data and workflow needs, not on the various technologies required to build and share databases.
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