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Database accessibility path of database built with Filemaker


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Hi all,

I am wishing to plan a development path as follows in order to reach certain levels of accessibility to a database built first with FileMaker:


I'm currently building a database in FileMaker Pro 16 Advanced. I could upgrade, but have no need at the moment. I am unaware of something that would cripple my goal of providing accessibility via internet means down-the-line if I continue using FM Pro Advanced 16?

I believe I should first get a properly functioning database working within my means of development, and with intermittent help from those knowledge either via forum posts for help. This will leave me with areas not functioning properly due to my skill level. I will need to work with a skilled FileMaker developer who can tackle all of the areas that exceed my capability. The goal here is to have a sound database capable of providing the functionality needed AND that I have a pretty good understanding of the nuts and bolts. I do not need to become an expert, even though that is highly desirable, becoming an expert is not my first priority. The priority is a solid database where both myself and the developer can agree it is solid and in order for that validation on my end to emerge, I need to at least understand the "back-end" and "front-end". 


  • If a single interface for "tablet" could possibly satisfy the "desktop" needs that would be great. But, I don't think that possibility exists because of the "touch" aspect of "tablet" and "phone" is different that "desktop" interface development, do I understand that correctly?
  • If it is NOT possible to build a single interface for "desktop" and "tablet", then I would focus on "desktop" first because a laptop is mobile and is something I would need above "tablet" functionality. I suspect, once in operation for say.... six-months, issues will arise due to errors, revisions, requirement discovery, etc. that will require database revisions. Perhaps it is prudent to work these kinks out before making a "table" interface, and a subsequent "phone" interface?


Initially, a number of people (5 and under) need access to the database anywhere in the world via an internet connection: desktop, tablet, or mobile (in that order of preference). I am looking for solutions that are reliable (excluding internet connectivity issues that always vary on wi-fi, etc.).

  • What Filemaker product(s) and configuration(s) should I be researching to understand better?
    • FileMaker Pro  >>  FileMaker Server hosted by third-party  >>  FileMaker WebDirect
    • FileMaker Pro  >>  FileMaker Cloud
    • ???
  • What product and configuration do you have experience with and are you able to make a strong recommendation?


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Some thoughts:

It’s not something you must do from the start, but consider a model-view-controller structure. That is, three files: data, UI (may be one per device type) and a file for all crud operations. We published an example implementation here: https://www.geistinteractive.com/products/karbon-filemaker-application-framework/

learning to develop using an api approach both simplifies and consolidates the implementation of complex business logic. You also get the benefit of ensuring data integrity because creates and edits are transactional. 

if you haven’t already, consider attending https://hopin.com/events/autoenter-live/registration. Many sessions focus on deployment and scalability. 

as for updates, we offer a hosting platform that includes our migration tool, Otto. I couldn’t develop without it. I always work in a development environment and push to production using Otto (it’s a button click). 

our approach to offline sync is to use the data api. I recommend challenging the need for offline requirement. It’s a complicated deployment and today, Wi-Fi is often available. 

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