Thursday, February 29, 2024
HomeBusiness SystemWhat is FileMaker? Easy-to-understand explanation of basic knowledge and what you can...

What is FileMaker? Easy-to-understand explanation of basic knowledge and what you can do

filemaker
FileMaker

Companies need “database management software” to manage huge amounts of data.
Among the many management software, do you know “FileMaker” provided by Apple’s subsidiary Claris International Inc., which is easy to operate without IT expertise?
This time, I will explain the basic knowledge of FileMaker and how to install it in an easy-to-understand manner.

 

table of contents

  • 1. What is a database and low code?
  • 2. What is FileMaker?
  • 3. What you can do with FileMaker
  • 4. Benefits of deploying FileMaker in your enterprise
  • 5. What are the disadvantages of FileMaker?
  • 6. Main types of FileMaker
  • 7. How to deploy FileMaker in-house

 

What are a database and low code?

In the first place, a database is a “collection of collected data”. The tools and software that manage this collected data are called database management systems. In the modern IT society, the amount of information handled by companies such as customer information, order history, and employee lists tends to be enormous, and it is difficult to manage without creating a database of information.

If you use database management software, you can easily extract detailed data such as “I want to extract only customers in Tokyo from the list” and “I want to check last year’s order history in order of sales”. To put it simply, it is a database that can manage multiple data at once, even for lists and lists created with “Excel”, which is familiar as spreadsheet software. To give an analog example, a paper telephone directory or a job information magazine can be said to be a database of telephone numbers and job information.

In addition to being used in system and application development, this database may also be used to analyze collected data for sales strategy planning and marketing. There are many database management software that boasts a high share of the world, such as “Oracle database”, which has excellent extensibility, and “MySQL”, which is also used to build search engines.

However, when dealing with such a database, in addition to learning the SQL language, VB.NET, HTML, PHP language, etc. necessary for designing the user’s operation screen (UI), as well as automatic processing (automatic processing ( You can run an application only after learning advanced programming languages ​​such as Java and C # for building scripts). Programming is also called coating because developers write code so that they can understand it on their computers. If the language used by professional developers is expressed as pro code, the tool for coding with almost no programming language, that is, mouse operation (drag and drop) or creating an application with general keyboard operation is a low code tool. A tool that completes an application without writing any code is a no-code tool.

The low-code and no-code concepts help people in the field who are familiar with the field of business to create applications that contribute to their achievements. For example, at one airline, active pilots have created low-code applications for proper training and screening, and more than 2,000 pilots are working on safe operations using iPads. In addition, doctors have created a questionnaire app for their clinical department, and visitors can enter it on their iPads to achieve paperless operations.

 

What is FileMaker?

FM is a database management system developed by Claris International Inc., a subsidiary of Apple. Although it is software with a long history released in 1985, it is still being upgraded even in the present age of Reiwa, and it is used by more than 200,000 organizations in Japan, and its popularity can be seen. Similar to other systems, it can store and manage the collected data, but FM has the feature of being “easy to operate” among many systems and has a good reputation as the best database management system for beginners.

FM is suitable for beginners because it requires “less expertise”. For example, even if you create an application form based on the data prepared in Excel and publish it to the outside for input from a mobile terminal, you can simply operate the mouse and keyboard without programming (coding). It is possible to complete it. This is called no-code development.

You can also use FM functions and scripts to automatically display your address when you enter a zip code, automatically enter katakana when you enter Chinese characters, and automatically display your age from your date of birth with minimal coding. You can also do it. This is low code development.

Furthermore, by using FM and development languages, such as linking with tools such as SNS, linking with programs such as AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning, and linking with FM using JavaScript, which is the development language, Professional developers can also complete their apps faster.

Many of the database management systems mentioned above, such as Oracle and MySQL, operate using a special language called the “database language” to operate system. In addition, developing applications using databases requires knowledge of programming languages ​​such as Java and PHP, as well as coding skills. To put it simply, you can’t run a database management system such as Oracle or MySQL without the expertise and skills.

Even in a database management system that tends to give such a difficult impression, there is no need for a database language or programming language to operate FM. You can build a database or system with just intuitive mouse operation and Japanese input.

 

What you can do with FileMaker

Customer list
Customer number Company Name address Department in charge
001 〇〇 Co., Ltd. Tokyo City System Development Department
002 △△ transportation Osaka Prefecture △△ City System Development Department
003 □□ Products Kanagawa Prefecture □□ Town Production department
004 XX Mfg. Co., Ltd. Akita Prefecture XX Village Production department

FM falls into the category of “relational databases” within databases. This is a database management system that uses columns (columns) and rows (records) as shown in the figure, and has the feature that “it is easy to manage and extract the input data”. Since it is easy to add information after creating the database, it is suitable for developing business systems and mobile applications that are frequently updated and used daily.

  • “Personnel management system” that performs personnel evaluation and labor management
  • “Budget management system” that manages expenditures and expenses for each department
  • “Customer management system” that organizes business negotiations and company products together with customer information
  • “Inventory management system” to check inventory status and delivery status in real-time from outside

In recent years, on-premises used in-house and systems in the cloud environment are increasingly coexisting, but FM is also useful in hybrid environments where both are used. Some people may wonder, “Is Excel enough?” If you simply create a database for management, but with Excel, the more management items and data volume, the more complicated the input and output of data. It will be easier. As a result, it tends to be a difficult database to handle, such as saving old and new files on a personal terminal and not being able to access them at the same time by multiple people.

In that respect, FileMaker can set detailed processing methods such as “import conditions” and “output conditions” for data. You can also synchronize master data with various related apps in real-time. For example, if you change the employee information in the master, it can be automatically reflected in the personnel system, expense settlement, customer management system staff, inventory management system staff, etc., and can be managed collectively. In addition, if you set permissions, even when accessing from outside, a limited number of people can access only limited information, and there is no worry about data leakage. If it’s a simple database, Excel will suffice, but using FileMaker will make it easier to create a database that meets your detailed needs.

 

Benefits of deploying FileMaker in your enterprise

Databases and systems created with FileMaker can be shared by multiple people, so it’s not difficult to use the same database within a department or team. If a company that does not have an IT professional such as an engineer or a programmer realizes DX (digital transformation), we recommend FileMaker, which has excellent no-code and low-code development, free screen design, and high operability. increase.

In addition, FileMaker is a database compatible with multiple devices that can be operated on Windows, Mac, web browsers, iPads, and iPhones. Even data saved in multiple file formats such as CSV and XML can be automatically imported by building a scheduler with FileMaker, making it an ideal database for companies seeking a seamless development environment. You can say that.

In addition, FileMaker also has a function that can be linked with Web APIs such as “Google”, which is useful when you want to develop a management system using an external Web application that is difficult to realize with Excel. In addition, FileMaker provides templates for each database such as “employee information” and “invoice”, so you can easily create a database or system just by entering items. Another advantage of FileMaker that Excel does not have is that it is easy to reduce the man-hours and costs required for production.

[Reference] Sample template by industry / occupation (https://content.claris.com/jpapps)

 

What are the disadvantages of FileMaker?

Although FileMaker has a low technical threshold and a reputation for high operability, it often requires specialized knowledge and skills to make minor modifications to the completed database and system. Also, compared to other databases, FileMaker has the disadvantage of slow processing speed, such as when processing millions of records, so system development that requires responsiveness such as convenience store POS systems and bank ATMs. It is also unsuitable for building a website that is accessed by thousands of people at the same time.

Low-code development tools for companies located in industries where the business environment is changing drastically, organizations that cannot decide the completed model at the development stage and proceed with agile development through repeated trial and error, and companies that require development speed. It is also a good idea to adopt FileMaker as a tool.

With FileMaker, developers can accelerate and accelerate the development process that reflects user feedback. In the case of the United States, companies that are no longer busy with development can think about ways to solve their problems in a short period, spend time creating innovation, and even months. It seems that some companies develop with FileMaker and perform user tests before starting production development with Oracle etc., which requires a development period, and absorbs the feedback.

 

Main types of FileMaker

type Features
FileMaker Pro Basic development and client system running on Windows / Mac
FileMaker Server Dedicated server software for publishing FileMaker data
FileMaker Go A system for operating FileMaker on iPad and iPhone
FileMaker Cloud FileMaker that can be operated on the Internet (cloud)
FileMaker WebDirect Ability to run the created database on a web browser

Another feature of FileMaker is that you can create one app and use it in various environments and devices. You don’t have to make them separately for Mac, Windows, iPhone, etc. App development is done in FileMaker Pro. If you want to use it on your iPad, use Filemaker Go, which is free to download, and if you want to share it with multiple people, use Filemaker Cloud or Filemaker Server. If you want to operate with a web browser or Android device, use WebDirect.

 

How to deploy FileMaker in-house

FileMaker can download the system from the official website, but you need to register your name, phone number, email address, etc. from the input form. When deploying FileMaker in a company, enter the company name (or organization name) and the number of employees. Claris, which releases FileMaker, is an American company, but you can input Japanese on the official website, so you will not have any trouble getting the system.

[Reference] Single license purchase site: https://store.claris.com/individuals
Volume license estimation site: https://sales.claris.co.jp/v19/index.php

Essentials plan Standard plan
Monthly usage fee (1 user) ¥ 1,950 ¥ 4,000
A user 5-10 users only 5 to 99 users
Maximum number of shared apps 3 125
storage 2 GB per year (1 user) 6 GB per year (1 user)
API usage 2 GB per month
upgrade Impossible Possible
Compute 2CPU, 8GB memory Varies according to the number of users

Reference: How to purchase Claris FileMaker

You can use FileMaker for free for 45 days, so it’s a good idea to consider a full-scale introduction after trying out the usability. If you want to continue using it after the free period, you will have to select the above plan before making a contract. Make sure to choose a plan according to the size of the company and the number of people. By the way, if you install FileMaker individually, you will purchase the usage right in the form of a single license, but since the fee changes depending on the purchase or upgrade, please check the official website of FileMaker for details. ..

It’s undeniable that FileMaker has a minor image when compared to well-known databases such as Oracle and MySQL. However, FileMaker continues to be upgraded even in the modern age of Reiwa, and features have been added and refurbished. Nowadays, the image of “database for beginners” is being dispelled, and many companies are adopting FileMaker as a development environment because of its excellent operability.

There are many low-code development tools out there, but if you don’t choose the right low-code platform for yourself, it can be more costly. There are many tools with simple functions and low prices, but there is a possibility that the necessary functions will be insufficient during development and it will hinder the execution of the project and the realization of DX that should be the original purpose only for digitization. , It may not be possible to pursue efficiency. If so, choose a platform that continues to evolve in functionality.

If you ever want to know about similar things, check out the Facebook page Maga Techs

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Posts

Most Popular

Recent Comments