4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 23, 2009 5:08 PM by DLW-BPEX

    FM solution presentation question



      FM solution presentation question


      This is a rather broad question, so no definitive answer is expected. I just would like to hear opinions from folks dealing with a similar situation, which is:


      A solution designed for workgroup collaboration, or a champion or third-party consultant who integrates and manages the information on behalf of an organization.

      We started out intending to provide this database as IWP, runtime, local FM native, and hosted FM native. We are (or I thought we were) aware of the limitations of Web-published FM solutions. Still, early testing shows many more glitches than the normally expected formatting, graphics, reporting, record-committing, etc. limitations.


      So... my question:

      With such a solution intended for business folks to collaborate, relatively how important is the "Web published" option? How much (%?) coverage could we expect from the combination of runtime, FM local, and FM hosted? All of these being cross-platform and avoiding browser issues, it is tempting to drop the Web-published version. Of course, all but the single-user runtime option require the appropriate FM licenses/hardware -- not an insignificant expense in many cases.


      We want to ensure we can support the large majority of needs with the least risk. So, if you were a small enterprise and had to decide whether or not to expend the time and effort to support a Web-based version also, what would you do? 


      As I said, very broad question.

      Your thoughts?


      Thank you.


        • 1. Re: FM solution presentation question



          Thank you for your post.


          A Runtime solution will only run on a single-machine, so if you decide to go that route, you will need to collect the data from each person on a scheduled basis, aggregate the information, and then send the information back to each of the Runtime Solutions.


          With Instant Web Publishing, you can have up to five users access the database file simultaneously, and all up-to-date information would be available to each of those web users.  However, there are some limitations since you are now using a browser to access the data.


          If each person is running FileMaker Pro, then you can have up to nine users accessing the file at one time.  Again, all information would be up-to-date.



          FileMaker, Inc. 



          • 2. Re: FM solution presentation question


            Thank you for your reply.

            Yes, I understand the limitations of both runtime (single-user) and IWP, and how each one might be used. Actually, since we use a FM db hosting service with FM10 Server, more users can be accommodated simultaneously with either IWP or fmapp.


            The gist of my question, though, was more to the mix of users for which the various solutions would be preferable/acceptable. Ideally, we would like to finalize and support just one version of the database solution -- a reasonable approach for both runtime and native FM solutions; much more of a stretch for all versions to be "ratcheted down" to only features and techniques supported in IWP, especially since existing FM users may not be satisfied with that.


            We would like to get a rough idea of the breakdown of potential business users who would (a) be satisfied with a runtime solution; (b) be inclined to go the easy route with a browser-based solution; and (c) be willing to commit (or already are committed) to the full-blown native FM environment with licenses, server(s), expertise, backup regimen, etc. as well as all available features and user interface possibilities.


            As mentioned before, I realize it is a terribly broad question. I was just hoping to hear perspective from anyone who may have gained some insight into this. And since ultimately the solution's greatest value is as a collaboration tool, it makes the question tougher.


            Thank you again.


            • 3. Re: FM solution presentation question

              You can have a database with simplistic IWP interfaces and a more complex interface for those that are accessing with Filemaker.

              The question boils down to the sophication of the IWP users and whether your database can provide them adequate data access. They can always upgrade to using Filemaker.

              Usability testing with users would be the next step. 

              • 4. Re: FM solution presentation question

                Thank you, David.

                The database can be finalized under IWP to meet the intended needs and usage. However, having both a simplistic and a more complex interface is exactly what we want to avoid. If we were to forego the IWP version altogether, then fuller advantage can be made of all native FM features and techniques, and we wouldn't need to do several things differently in order to accomplish basically the same thing under IWP.


                It really is more a question of whether or not to expend the necessary time, energy, and resources on the IWP version in the first place. It's the old Pareto principle: not wanting to spend 80% of our effort to address potentially 20% of the market. So our quandary is: what portion of our potential market can be addressed ONLY through a Web-based alternative like IWP?


                Thank you for your insight, as always.