There's never a moment in a busy school district where there isn't data to organize and information to store. Grades must be collected and collated, forms must be completed and filed, facts and figures must be sorted and indexed, and all that work has to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. And even when sophisticated database solutions are available to do the work — someone still has to prepare those solutions to suit the task at hand. "The biggest challenge is not only having the time to develop a solution," says Scarsdale School District Director of Technology Jerry Crisci, "but also to test it, because oftentimes you design something and you think it'll work one way, but when you do user testing, you'll find that people will use it in very different ways."
The ability to develop quickly and easily — while maintaining user flexibility — is a primary requirement. Well over a decade ago, the district adopted FileMaker Pro as its database application of choice — and has never looked back. "For those of us who've used it for a while," comments Scarsdale Middle School teacher Doug Rose, "we can do some pretty sophisticated things without the hours that another product might require. I've never considered other products — I'm not just a FileMaker Pro user, I'm a real fan!"