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New UK FileMaker Developer Questions

Simon Wolf

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Hi. I am both new to these forums and also fairly new to FileMaker itself but I am hoping that someone will take pity on me and answer a few questions I have about turning my interest in FileMaker into a business.

However, before I ask my questions I think that it may be useful for me to post a brief summary of my background and experiences. I started working with MS Access 2 back in 1995 (I think!) and continued to develop applications with it until 2000. I worked for both medium-sized companies and large corporations and also ran an Access web site for many years before 'retiring' and handing the forums over to someone else to manage. In 2000 I switched over to developing software using VB6 and this is what I am still doing as my day job. However, a couple of years ago I bought myself a Mac to use at home and I recently bought a copy of FileMaker Pro 8.5 Advanced to build some databases for myself. I am really enjoying worhing with FileMaker and I am now considering whether I should turn my hobby into a business and become a FileMaker developer and start to work for myself.

I am encouraged to discover that FileMaker is widely used in a whole range of industries and therefore there is presumably a decent demand for good developers. However, are pre-build solutions also popular or do most of you guys make your money from developing bespoke applications? I have a few database solutions that I am working on which may make good stand-alone applications but if there is very little interest in this kind of thing then I would rather concentrate on the consulting side of things.

I am also somewhat confused about the status of the FSA in the UK. Looking at the American site it seems that the FSA is only applicable to the US, Canada and Latin America. Is this right? Is the FSA worth joining at this point or should I be concentrating on gaining accreditation. I am thinking of joining for two main reasons: the support of the community and the ability to test databases against FileMaker Server without spending a huge amount of money buying a boxed copy. Are there any other benefits to the basic subscription package?

Thanks in advance.


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