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PWAs: Reason enough to kickstart FMGo solution sales?


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I must state upfront that this is not a technical question and has certainly been asked within other contexts but which is one which I feel represents an ever larger elephant in the room.

Although it may be early days, Progressive Web Applications, as opposed to native mobile Apps, seem to be looming on the not too distant horizon (see the post on Medium entitled "Native Apps are Doomed" by Eric Elliott). Is this not reason enough  for Filemaker to become less stringent with respect to promoting the sale of FM solutions other than via their Business Alliance?

I have been an FM developer since the Claris days and, although I don't do this for a living, I have established both clinical and research solutions in my field, including for FMGo, and I am not shy to say that I believe my skills are more than pretty good. Apart from this though, I have developed some really good solutions outside of this field which I know to be novel, packed with features that rely on Camera, GPS, Barcode Scanner and App Extensions to produce single 'App' solutions which are highly polished. Part of their value is my experience in the actual areas of use, which I feel is essential for producing excellent solutions. Such FM solutions would be difficult to replicate as native Apps and yet could attract a significant number of users worldwide.

However, as I am not in the business, joining the FMBA is not possible and leaves only the option of setting up my own site (which is not impossible for me). However, in the greater picture, this is a messy solution if each freelance developer would do likewise. Surely an Apple/FM controlled site, where solutions are vetted to provide sufficient control over quality, would promote the IOS/FM platform especially now, before PWAs give Android a push that may prove highly competitive to the IOS based marketplace? I realise the question has been asked before, but the times, they are a changin'.

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I'm not entirely sure what point you are trying to drive home:

- you mention FBA a few times and it sounds like you feel you are missing out on sales because of not being a part of FBA.  I think that is a misconception; FBA is not about generating sales primarily.  You may get the odd referral here and there but it is largely about getting close to FMI and sharing in some of the advance information.

- you mention Android at the end and we all know that FM Go is iOS only, is that a pain point and you are pleading with FMI to change that?

- PWA: is your main point that you want FM to give us tools to build PWAs?

 

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Thanks for your reply, and apologies for the ambiguity and hope I don't add further to the confusion with my reply.

As I understand it, to be a member of the Filemaker Business Alliance, one needs to have a business track record in FM development for at least two years. Although I have many decades under my belt as far as FM solution development is concerned, I have never sold any of my solutions since I deploy them in my area of influence within my own institution as added value, in addition to my principal role which has nothing at all to do with IT.

It occurred to me that, as app developers (on competitor platforms) perhaps move away from Native Apps to PWAs, that this may take away some of the edge that FM enjoys through its FMGo App which as we know allows, together with FMPro, for rapid development of what could be construed as virtual Apps on IOS, thereby attracting users to IOS. In other words, if PWAs offer another route for software developers, other than FM developers, to perhaps even more easily create custom apps as opposed to building native apps on other platforms (I believe IOS is not yet fully compatible to run PWAs, despite being proposed by the late Steve Jobs a few years back, but that may change), then that may undermine the drawcard that FM represents to users towards the IOS platform. I am assuming here, hopefully correctly, that PWAs offer faster development times compared to native Apps.

It is worth saying that I am perhaps one of the most ardent supporters of Apple and Filemaker and have been since before the Apple-sans-Jobs days. I am also not looking for FMGo to be released for other platforms (a veritable pipe dream) but thought that by FM/Apple making it easier for, let's call them casual but experienced, FM developers, as opposed to those whose business it is to sell FM solutions, to market solutions for IOS, that would answer a lot of appeals for the same that I have seen on FM forums such as this one.

Although there are some very professional FM solutions on the FBA site, there are also some pretty basic ones. If Apple sees in FM the ability to enhance sales of iPhones to the business or other professional arenas through custom built 'Apps', then it would make sense to increase the pool of available FM solutions on IOS by giving developers a platform to showcase their solutions. By screening solutions that are proffered, quality 'could' be ensured.

So, In short response to your points:

- If FBA does not primarily represent a site for solution sales, wouldn't it be prudent for FM to consider establishing one?

- FMGo for Android: No this does not make sense.

- PWA tools in FM, No, I can't see how that would be advantageous to Apple, at least not while PWAs cannot be launched on IOS.

Lastly, I know this argument is analogous to a stuck record (vinyl mind, not a FM one) but I thought the PWA argument represented a new age slant that was worth considering.

Again, thanks for your answer, much appreciated!

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