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I'm trying to figure out FileMaker's new developer programs, specifically TechNet, a paid membership that gets you access to "a community of FileMaker enthusiasts that includes users, designers and developers," and "exclusive access to technical info, software and other developers."

This $99 membership apparently is the new way to access Teck Talk, their online forum. I wasn't part of FSA (or "FBA"), but I thought Tech Talk was part of that.

I think it's good that the average Joe can now get access to this forum, but I'm wondering who the experts are going to be. Will former FSA members be in there too? Will experts agree to pay a yearly fee to give their time?

I wish FileMaker would move to an even more open forum, like the Apple Discussion forums (and our lovely FM Forums), where anyone can get in to find answers. Somehow I don't like the idea of having to pay for support without knowing if it's really worth it. I know FileMaker seems to like this model (look at how their phone support works), but it's frustrating if you're looking for support and don't know if you've stumbled across a bug, have a major design flaw, or just have a simple syntax error. Of course, it takes time and expertise to figure out which category a problem might fit into, and somebody ends up paying for that somewhere along the line (TANSTAAFL!).

At least with open forums like this, people seeking help can take advice with a grain of salt. Since it's free to get in, you don't feel so bad getting conflicting advice or even bad advice.

Maybe the other perks of TechNet will make it worth it for experts and "enthusiasts". I know beta software is always fun to play with. And the Graphics pack will be available again.

Any thoughts?

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I have found in my few years using Filemaker that between this site and the Cafe I have pretty much found the answer to every question I could possibly have.

Maybe I would pay the fee if I KNEW that there were major benefits to joining.

How could they possibly spell Calculations without the "c"?

http://www.filemaker.com/technet/popups/scn_techtalk.png

Edited by Guest

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That bald guy (#4 in row) looks like he knows what he's talking about...

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How could they possibly spell Calculations without the "c"?
LOL! Not a very promising start eh?

I only REALLY want to buy it for the sake of the server dev license and the ability to play with Beta's ... though paying to debug someone's software? Oh well...

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Lol, the guy second from the back looks kind of like a Mac ??? He'll be the one helping you out with graphic design while i sit here and calculate how much time he's wasting ahahahaha.

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the guy second from the back looks kind of like a Mac

Only to you, PC.

Since you brought it up (and you are over 18)???Link

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Lol i've seen that once before but oh it cracks me up so much.

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How could they possibly spell Calculations without the "c"?

Well, typos happem. But I wouldn't hold that against them.

That bald guy (#4 in row) looks like he knows what he's talking about...

Anybody you know? Is he worth $99?

I have found in my few years using Filemaker that between this site and the Cafe I have pretty much found the answer to every question I could possibly have.

Yeah, I'd like to think we've covered just about everything.

But there does seem to be a void of actual FileMaker company input in these forums. There are times when it would be useful to hear an official reason on why things are the way they are. Maybe an engineer's perspective on what the optimal configuration is for this or that. We hear these sort of details at DevCon, but not so much around here.

Is this the kind of expertise we'd find in TechNet? Does FileMaker Inc. have a voice there, or is it the same kind of thing as we have here?

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Is he worth $99?

It depends: are you looking for a developer or a bouncer?

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Hi Mike,

IMO, this is just FM trying to capitalize their money and further alienating their developers. We recently came up for a FSA renewal, so I called over to FMI to ask why the heck I would pay for the FSA renewal for much more when in a few days, the FSA members would be converted to TechNet members for much less. I asked what the difference was.

Here is basically what I got back...

Along with Tech Talk, there will be a tech forum. In these forums, there will be certified users from FMI that basically troll around there as well as moderate. There will NOT be dedicated resources to answer forums questions though. Along with these folks from FMI, there will also be some outside expert developers as well. They do not have a list of who the names of all these folks are because TechNet is still "new". So this means that we dont know how capable this person from FMI will be. It may not be an engineer.

Also neither TechNet or Business will distribute pre-release copies anymore of Mobile and Pro. This completely stinks! TechNet members will still get a limited development license version of FileMaker Server Advanced.

Everyone who is currently FSA will still get the links to the pre-releases until their FSA membership expires. So for us, it was good to renew now so that we can still get pre-release copies of 9; being good until around this time next year when we lose that privilege.

Furthermore, it includes things such as predesigned applications that they used to have such as: Work requests, Meetings, Tasks, Donations, Recruiter. I could be wrong but I thought that these templates used to be downloadable for free. Furthermore, there is supposed to be exlcusive access to some tech briefs. WTH is that about.

So let me get this straight now... It seems as though that the average user will have to pay for what used to be free and on top of that developers will lose pretty much all of the prelease software that they used to get except a limited 5 user license of server advanced. Way to *** off the community that is trying to showcase your program.

As for the the FBA Business program, this appears to be what the old FSA "partership" level morphed into. It is a means for vendors to showcase their products via a FM link. IOW, its like paying to advertise with FMI. Its almost the same things as the old FSA partnership agreement except that you lose the above mentioned privileges that came with being FSA.

Again IMO, nothing came out of this change to benefit the developer. It seems as though the only one benefiting from this model is FMI's pockets. It practically crippled the developer. It will bring in more subscribers as the price point is much cheaper that FSA, so I am thinking that they assume qty over a higher price. Definately not developer friendly.

Edited by Guest
Added paragraph

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But there does seem to be a void of actual FileMaker company input in these forums. There are times when it would be useful to hear an official reason on why things are the way they are. Maybe an engineer's perspective on what the optimal configuration is for this or that. We hear these sort of details at DevCon, but not so much around here.

Is this the kind of expertise we'd find in TechNet? Does FileMaker Inc. have a voice there, or is it the same kind of thing as we have here?

That's a good point. Having input from the actual engineers would be valuable. Which brings up the next question.

How active would they be involved with discussions on a forum?

Edited by Guest
Forgot to quote.

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Also neither TechNet or Business will distribute pre-release copies anymore of Mobile and Pro.

Seems to contradict this:

Receive beta FileMaker software up to 30 days in advance of commercial release for limited use and testing.

In either case, i never really relied on FMI for any decent information, they're knowledge base sucks like nothing i've seen before.

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I am not sure what the bullet from the website means in terms of pre-release software. Maybe they mean that you will get Server. lol.

All I know is that I talked to two different agents and they both told me the same information. They were pretty precise that Pro and Mobile would not longer be included.

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I listened to their webinar... Everything points to pre-release beta software being distributed to technet members...

BUT... lol, when asked what was better about their forums then any old "public forum", the answer was something like "ummm, ahh... it's moderated by a FileMaker employed person, and it's exclusive to those people who pay $99 to access it, and every once and a while an engineer may drop through"

1) I don't really see a FileMaker employee moderator as a good thing -- Sort of lets them remove negative comments towards FM and regulate in a biased fashion.

2) Neither do I see exclusivity to people who pay for access as a good thing. a) this probably leads people to EXEPECT (as opposed to appreciating) a response given that they paid to access the forums and }:( the number of members available to answer a question is much more limited.

3) Given how busy FileMaker engineer's are, I doubt they will read more than a couple of posts a month... though it could still be worth it.

Anyway, point is, I don't think it's great, and its a bit of a money making ploy, but on the other hand its only $150AUD ($99USD).

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Without mentioning names directly ;-), I talked to the person with the initials DD over there, prior to this Webinar and confirmed that indeed mobile has been dropped, as well as FMP, and the maintenance release of Advanced from the old FSA structure.

Members will however be getting a pre-release Beta copy of Advance and the limited Server Advance with TechNet.

With the FBA program you get will only get Pro Advanced at time of release Only. IOW, if you joined after the release you dont get it. You will not get a copy of Server. So, you would need to sign up for TechNet as well.

I will just reiterate my opinions that I posted earlier.

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Lol, who wants mobile anyway.

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