Conventional data application development is typically a two-part process. Its starts by first setting up a database backend (like SQL databases and tables), the storage db where your data will be maintained. Part two, is a front end, also called the user interface or application. It's the business side of the process that is developed, defining the process and business logic that the system adhere to while users are creating, managing, updating and reporting on the data being stored in the database.
Because of its versatility and flexibility, the Filemaker platform is a great match for small businesses. Its a Rapid Application Development (RAD) environment that includes both back and front ends in one tidy product. Applications can be developed, run-time files created (EXE file) for single system use or in a small office environment, the file can be hosted for small office access or if needs require more access (concurrent connections) there hosted server options too. Upwards of 500 connections, across clients and web direct can be achieved for the fraction of investment of the time and cost to develop enterprise class solutions using SQL and .NET or some other application development. The Filemaker Platform levels the playing field for small businesses by meeting the needs of today's on the go professionals, quickly deploying solutions for virtual office environments.
● Connect Quickbooks to your database and access customer records in your solution, or grant your sales manager the ability to pass in finalized order details that are staged for review by your AR person before billing, removing the need for duplicate data entry.
● Integrate your contacts and email with Outlook and develop customer mailing lists, email them fright from your application, capturing the task and its details as activities while adding some automated workflow, generating automatic followup entries.
● get your clients signature on a change order while on site, or snapping a picture of a delivery confirmation or an invoice and uploading it to a job record is a snap using Filemaker.
● Generate invoicing, emailing it to clients with a web link to a payment portal connected to your merchant account for ease of payment.
There are several 3rd party plug in providers that enhance Filemaker functionality. Offline systems can be developed for remote locations without service. The data can be synced to the database once back in the office or over the web.
Whether on the road, or in the office, users can access your solution via filemaker client or web page, documenting business as it happens.
Below is a partial list of some of the filemaker solutions I've developed:
Customer System (CRM) that included: Account and Contact Management Email Marketing integration Sales activity entry and reporting Goal vs Actual Quotes and Proposals Contracts Sales and Runsheet reporting Publication, Issue and rate card management Production Schedules Subscriptions
This Filemaker system was developed and deployed to replace an aging Goldmine product and also another web based SaaS product. It spanned multiple divisions and departments. It was highly tailored to meet unique business processes inside the magazine publishing industry.
Commissioning System a Filemaker app that managed sales commission calculations and reporting at time of invoice payment. The system accessed a SQL view created from various Great Plains AR tables. The commission payment records were also stored in SQL database. It calculated and reported manager level group commissions. The system was developed to accommodate varied commission rates based on media, type of product sold and other exception type payouts. Each pay cycle it would calculate and report commission data for payroll purposes. It generated department level and end user reports to displaying commission payments received and paid for the current period as well as a list of outstanding AR for each sales person.
Event Expense Tracker - tracks event related expenses against budgets and generated event revenue.
A/R Data Archives (2) - stored historic transaction details from older AR systems that were decommissioned. the archive made historic data available to accounting staff, readily able to search customer by name, order, or account number and retrieve older AR detail that was not to be migrated to newer systems.
OMS System (Operations Management System) Filemaker database app developed that captured daily flight impression data from ad server service. A SQL db was created to store the raw flight impression data. The OMS tied digital ad flight detail to the CRM System providing daily updates on flight statuses, flight pacing and delays in campaign launch. It also produced a month end detailed billing report for the accounting department.
Forms / Template Systems - A web based lead creation for that replaced a paper form.
It was a lead generation system that passed lead information on to a set of clients based on types of services the lead was interested in.
Migration Systems - staged data from the older system. Develop scripts that modified datasets in various ways to make the data compatible with new system. Using key field values, applying newer system id's to the record sets to prepare the data for import into the new systems. I've migrated to/from Salesforce.com, magazinemanager.com and also various accounting systems and A/R billing systems.
Alternate Access Systems - create small db's with SQL tables mounted inside, to create "back door" access to tables for updates outside the main system using the SQL data.
Data Parsing Systems - one that parsed HTML page text, scavenging page text data to recreate the database system for a national parks website. Another system took downloadable state registered business records and parsed the fixed length data files into easy to access records for lead generation and marketing purposes.
Email Management System - an intermediary system that sat between a web based permissive marketing list (mySQL) and the sales CRM system. It provided daily updates to emails in the CRM System, synchronizing OPT OUT settings between the two systems providing sales detailed information about a clients opt out detail, when and where the request was made.