FileMaker is a multi-platform relational database application developed by the Filemaker Inc. It is a computer software company - a subsidiary of Apple Inc. This application assimilates the database engine with the graphical user interface and provides high-security structures and has a drag and drop option which allows the user to make alterations to the database.
This relational database application helps in developing, supporting and marketing an application. FileMaker is quite famous for being user-friendly and its capability of serving the dynamic web pages without the use of any external applications. It comes for both Mac OS and Microsoft Windows operating systems with the main focus on providing the businesses and home-users with the best and high-quality experience.
It has several versions released especially for iPhone and iPads such as FileMaker, FileMaker Pro 16, FileMaker Go 16, FileMaker Server 16 and FileMaker Pro Advanced 16.
We have already shared several tutorials on how to code custom mobile apps for a website and I clearly understood how time consuming it is to code an app from scratch when we developed the MBT app for our blog, therefore we will be talking everything about building a custom app but we won’t talk anything about coding because we don’t need coding thanks to Filemaker! :)
How To Create a Custom App with FileMaker?
Creating a custom app with coding is not everyone’s job. It requires lots of efforts and study regarding the programming languages and coding paradigms. Therefore, to ease the burden and get apps ready on the fly, FileMaker came into existence. Creating an app using FileMaker takes less than an hour to bring about the basic picture. The basic steps involved are:
Plan, Create and Deploy
When you start off with building an app, first and foremost, decide on what and how you are going to build it. Figure out all the fields, data and information you need to enter or display and identify all the required items and their types.
Open FileMaker and choose from the given list of databases and finalize a database structure. You can either create your own database using FileMaker or import all the data from the existing database. For instance, if you have the records on spreadsheets or a separate database, drag and drop them on FileMaker to quickly import the data. Once, the database is created or all the data is imported into the FileMaker, open data records and work on the layout. The fields can be added and data types can be changed on the go.
For design purposes, there is no need for the user to be a graphic designer since everything is already built-in and the user just has to drag and drop or choose from the available list of themes from the right panel. All the controls are designed in a way to fit all the screen types and a single click can completely transform the whole app. The attractive design templates, appealing charts and tables, basic reporting and beautiful fonts and designs save up the developer’s time and efforts. All these are customizable and very easily extendable.
After inserting all the data and dragging and dropping the required items of layout and design, the application is ready to share with others within no time. There are two options for sharing the app: either upload it to the FileMaker server or share it with FileMaker clients. Sharing it on the server makes it readily available to a larger number of people thereby helping them in need and allows users to access it using their web browser. However, authentications are required to access it. After all the planning and creation tasks are completed, the custom app is run using the FileMaker Go.
Once the app is ready to use, if any changes are made while using the app, they are automatically updated for everyone who is using the app be it on the iPad, iPhone, Desktop PC or a Mac book.
The data can still be imported, relationships can be defined, fields can be added, records can be inserted and many more. The addition and updating process keeps going without affecting the already developed custom app.
Where To Host Filemaker Apps?
Hosting the recently built custom application using FileMaker is another grave task which must be done after a thorough research and analysis. Deploying the app using FileMaker is quite an expensive option which might not be feasible for various users. The given options by FileMaker include:
- FileMaker Pro 12 which costs around $299.00.
- FileMaker Server 12 costs almost $999.00.
- FileMaker Go 12 is available for free trial.
Although there are a variety of benefits offered by FileMaker when it comes to deployment the overall cost gets so high that it becomes unaffordable for an average person to use such applications for hosting purposes.
Affordable Solution To Filemaker hosting
As per our research and suggestions, Hostpresto might be a better option for deploying the customs app developed using FileMaker. They offer professional FileMaker hosting services to host even the biggest databases on their most powerful servers. The packages offered by Hostpresto are affordable and specially designed for all the versions of FileMaker. Hostpresto offers two amazing packages for deployment which are:
- Shared FileMaker hosting: This is one of the most famous services by Hostpresto and is suitable for FileMaker 14 or lower and costs around £15.00 per month.
- Dedicated FileMaker hosting: This is used for FileMaker Pro 15 which requires a dedicated server and costs £156.00 per month.
Advantages of using FileMaker
FileMaker allows one to create and deploy custom apps for all environments, mobiles and cloud to instantly solve the problems on the go. The benefits of using FileMaker are as follows:
- Cross-platform: This allows sharing of information among all the FileMaker users using Mac, iPhone, iPads, Windows and the web.
- iOS Ready: This creates powerful apps for iPads and iPhones which are ready on the go and completely utilizes all the features of the FileMaker. Also, these apps can be used to capture pictures and signatures, scan barcodes and many more.
- Data security: It keeps the data safe and sound by centralizing all the information on the FileMaker Server and providing authentications to access it. It allows managing user privileges individually.
- Cloud hosting: FileMaker cloud allows sharing of information with the team over the cloud which is reliable, safe and secure without the hassle of administrating all the processes.
- Easy integration: Using FileMaker, connections to the already existing databases such as SQL, ODBC/JDBC, XML or more can be made very easily. This allows a user to key an eye on all the processes and creates information views for all the business.
- Affordable rates: The FileMaker Platform is perfect and quite affordable for all the budgets and is comparatively inexpensive to large enterprises which are providing the same functions at higher rates.
- Built-in reporting tools: It offers the creation of reports on the spot. It provides a step-by-step assistant to easily create custom reports in a spreadsheet form of format with colorful charts and various styles.
It is by far the easiest custom application solution available since it allows young teenagers to build apps as per their requirements within no time and without knowing a bit about complex programming or coding.
If in case you are looking for a tutorial on how to create a custom mobile app without paying a penny for your websites or blogs then please read these tutorials:
- Part 1: How To Set up the Android SDK for App Development?
- Part 2: Create Your First "Hello World" Android App
Kindly post your queries in the comment box below for any queries you may have. Would love to answer them all! :)