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Questions from an old FM Developer about Web App


scrumpto
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Sorry this is so long -- I'm having a difficult time explaining what I need without some background.

What I need:

  1. A app which stores client data and makes it available to a team of distributed web users.
  2. A place to host the database so that it's available on the internet.
  3. User-level access so that when a staff member leaves we can lock them out.

Questions:

  1. Do you know of an app which would work or do we need to create a custom solution?
  2. If not, is FMPro the right platform for us to be developing this solution on?
  3. If FMPro, do you know of a good developer to handle work like this and would you mind sharing their info with me?
  4. Also if FMPro, where should we host the db where we'll have great support?

Background:

I was a FM developer from around 1986 - 1996 but switched over to fully relational databases around the time of the release of version 4 of FMPro. As my company grew I gave up db development to focus on my true love which is marketing. 

I run an online web design and marketing company for the lodging industry. Over the last twenty years, I have struggled to find an app which my distributed team can use for keeping and looking up client data. So we use BaseCamp for client communication, Asana for internal project management and FreshBooks for billing. But I'll be darned if I can find a single app out there which will allow us to store any custom data on a client in a structured manner. So you can put all your clients' name and address info into FreshBooks but you can't put a link to their TripAdvisor listing anywhere but in the notes field. Same problem for BaseCamp and Asana -- they just don't think that you might need any more info on your client than their name and then everything goes in a notes field.

With this in mind, I need an app where we can store lots of structured data. A client rep should be able to easily click on a link to their blog (without having to remember the url), a link to their TripAdvisor listing, etc. They should have a place to make notes about these entries. See where I'm going? I honestly cannot believe that out of all the systems out there nobody has ever thought to create the ability to have custom searchable fields but after years of searching none of the major apps do.

Any feedback you can provide to this old developer would be much appreciated!

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You would need to define "client data" before we can recommend any existing applications.   Something like SalesForce.com comes to mind since it is entirely prebuilt.  Not cheap though.

Is FM the right platform?  Probably, but again we'd need a lot more specifications to say yay or nay.  Unlike salesforce you don't get anything pre-built so your cost is going to be in building it / having it built, and then either setting up the infrastructure to host it yourself or pay a monthly fee for the host.

As to finding good FM developers, start here: http://developer.filemaker.com/search/

and narrow it down it  your area...

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