1 2 3 Previous Next 30 Replies Latest reply on Oct 19, 2015 8:38 PM by bigtom

    FileMaker awareness... no comments

    ibrahim_bittar

      Hi all

       

      Just some food for thought...

       

      This month I joined a Coursera specialization course for Agile development and one of the things we have to do is introduce ourselves.

       

      This is one response i got to my introduction:

       

      BasicTutorial 2015-10-13 at 3.09.03 PM.png

       

      The good news is he liked FileMaker, the bad news is few people knows about it .

        • 1. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
          Menno

          FIleMaker is a real nice DBMS and FMI has a nice website and advertises herself pretty good inside the FileMaker community. However outside of that there isn't much presence at all. If you search for desktop DBMS you'll hardly find FM, but for some FBA-members who are willing to spend money on advertising on a search-engine. If FMI would have more presence there, it would be much better known, sold more often, prefered over other DBMS for desktops etc. etc.

          • 2. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
            user25183

            It is true Filemaker was well know a few years ago, was powerfull yet simple.

            It is now much more powerful, yet a bit complicated, and to expensive for many has a simple desktop DBMS.

            It is cross platform a big plus, example file are well done but not easy to understand.

            Love the product for my usage across Mac, iPad, iPhone and on Windows.

            Still feel that a set of progressive example would make product evaluation much more effective, from beginner to solid DBMS developper.

            A difference pricing scale could also help

            • 3. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
              RickWhitelaw

              i'm not going to quote the numbers because I don't know them, but filemaker has a huge installation base. I recently spoke with a friend who hadn't used FileMaker in years. He wan't aware that it still existed . . .

              • 4. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
                bigtom

                Nobody I know has heard of filemaker except one of my friends that had an old university database dropped on him to fix. He asked my thoughts on what to use and I recommended FM. He said the existing thing was FM4 and he checked into FM13 at the time. He decided to use something else.

                 

                I know so many people in the small to medium business database world and a few enterprise people as well. When I first got into FM I was showing it around and no one had heard of it. The only reason I found it was the fact I had used Bento in the past.

                 

                Even small businesses I know running only on Macs have never heard of it.

                 

                I know some of the local Apple Business Stores run a demo on FM every couple of months to get people into FM and Apple hardware, but they always seem to make it seem more confusing than it is and the "big" developers they have onsite seem to see it as a way to throw out overpriced quotes to unsuspecting business people.

                 

                I recall doing a search for "OSX Database" on google and nothing but a couple references to FM popped up. I understand FM is bigger than OSX but it is one of the only options for OSX and they should be showing up in searches. FMI has some horrible SEO for sure. Whenever I do search for something about FM I usually get a result that takes me to a "help" search page on the FM site and the topic that was in the search result is not even there. Big waste of time.

                 

                I walk the streets and see ads for Oracle, and Microsoft database products everywhere.

                 

                FMI seems to rely on developers to get people in the door, but developers do not want to spend money to advertise and then have a prospective client shop the other FM developers for a better product/price.  So that holds up getting the name out there.

                 

                 

                Below is a slightly unrelated rant

                 

                Another problem is that many developers I have seen are getting too expensive for the product they provide and this just hurts everyone. Business owners and managers are not stupid people, most of the time.

                 

                Before I got into developing for FM I decided it might just be better to pay someone else to produce something for me. I contacted five "reputable" developers. I received a response back from one. That developer quoted me over $30k and 6-9 months wait for what I wanted (with no real after sales support), but they could get something basic running in 6 months for about $20k. I figured $4-6k would be reasonable. I got it all up and running in less than 3 weeks and had full function by 6 weeks and at a very low cost with only me working on it part time. I am not sure why it takes a team of seasoned developers so long to produce something so simple. I am also not sure why no one else responded to my emails. Overpricing development services will either drive people away from the product or drive them to develop in house. Neither thing is good for a development company.

                 

                I understand that there is a reason that some developers need to charge a premium for their experience especially on larger solutions that integrate with other systems. This is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the small companies with less than 25 users that need a simple database for business operations. It seems these clients tend to end up in a web apps running on MySQL because the web developers have figured out how to properly price things. Although there are a few pirates in that arena as well.

                • 5. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
                  davidhead

                  As a former FileMaker developer running my own business, I ran into exactly that question – FileMaker, what's that?

                  Here is something that may be a useful discussion:

                   

                  If you could enable ONE thing to increase the awareness of the FileMaker Platform among potential users and developers, what would you do?

                   

                  Clearly, FileMaker Inc., is working to increase awareness of the platform is a whole range of areas. We are seeing evidence of these efforts working for us in increasing the number of leads we are getting and in turn leading to greater sales. But it would be interesting to know what you might do if you had the power. Thanks!

                  • 6. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
                    ibrahim_bittar

                    Hi David

                     

                    If you could enable ONE thing to increase the awareness of the FileMaker Platform among potential users and developers, what would you do?

                     

                    What I've been doing so far: evangelize, show, talk, teach, whatever I can. I've worked at an Apple Roadshow, ran webinars, etc.

                     

                    I certainly understand how slow processes can be, especially when you are short in resources (that's the soundtrack of my life ). I've seen efforts to increase awareness and FMI falls short when compared to other companies like Microsoft, Adobe and Apple. But that's an unfair comparison. May be a better comparison would be to compare what FMI is doing against what 4D is doing in terms of brand positioning.

                     

                    I think that the fact of being owned by Apple adds a lot of noise and expectations because we imagine that FMI has a pocket as deep as Apple's and of course that's not the case.

                    • 7. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
                      siplus

                      davidhead wrote:

                       

                      If you could enable ONE thing to increase the awareness of the FileMaker Platform among potential users and developers, what would you do?

                       

                       

                      Change the design of the box.

                       

                      When you go to

                       

                      Software - Mac Accessories - Apple

                       

                      you see:

                       

                      - Microsoft Office (everybody knows what that is)

                      - Parallels (what it does is written on the box)

                      - Filemaker (what the hell does that product ?)

                      - Cyber Security Pro (name gives a hint, on the box photo you see more)

                      - LoJack (no hint in the name, but on the box you see what it does)

                       

                      just write something on the box, even a sticker will do it for existing boxes. Something like "easily create your own software"...

                      • 8. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
                        Extensitech

                        - Filemaker (what the hell does that product ?)(+1)


                        Obviously, it "makes files"... like just about every other application in the world.


                        I'm a huge fan of FM software. I'm proud of the work we do with it. I'll confidently go head to head with any "competing" software regarding the things FM does best. I think the combination of price, stability, flexibility and most of all speed and ease of development, is an unrivaled package.


                        Every time I have to say the name, though, I cringe and blush internally (or at least, I hope no one can see it).


                        If, as it seems, the brand isn't exactly a household term, we need to get it out there. I certainly hope we do. I contribute to that wherever I can. At the same time maybe the weak name recognition is an opportunity to ditch the ("duh, I make file thingies") name. If there isn't (and there may not be) a name that more accurately reflects the amazing things FM actually does, then let's at least come up with something that sounds cool (i.e. "Chrome", "Google", "Trillian", "Excel"...) , and doesn't inadvertently make us sound like hopeless computer noobs.


                        I've been doing this long enough to remember FM 2, when maybe "I make files" was the boldest claim we could make, although even that was somewhat competitive back then. That's most emphatically not the case now, but when someone hears of "FileMaker" the first time, that's the expectation we're setting. Worse, if someone's familiar with the name but hasn't seen it in the last decade or two, we're setting similarly low expectations. Someone who last saw FM that long ago doesn't know, and wouldn't believe, that several versions (3, 5, 7, 8, 12 and probably others) were in some ways completely new applications that swallowed their predecessors whole, and they were in no way just "more of the same".


                        If we are going to get better known, then let's do it with a name that doesn't make it sound like the product, and it's users, just figured out what "file" means and how to add one to one of them-there computer thingies. IMHO, it's an unnecessary obstacle to being taken seriously, and considering the poor name recognition we have now, what's there to lose?

                         

                        Chris Cain

                        Extensitech

                        • 9. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
                          ericjungemann

                          Could that be why RealBasic is now Xojo? <rhetorical question>

                           

                          I'm fine with FileMaker and the installed base, heritage and like the 'subsidiary of Apple' tag that is now in use.

                           

                          I would also add, for those that do not use Google Adwords, Apple has restricted a bunch of terms for use in Adwords (for very very good reasons).  So OS X can be a tough one.

                           

                          Eric

                          • 10. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
                            SteveMartino

                            I came to FileMaker about 3 1/2 years ago completely by accident.  My situation was similar to bigtom.  I needed a industry specific database for just one user-me.  I had previously cobbled together QB, Excel and MS Works (yeah 'Works').  The only databases available were pre-made for 16k-28k.  Customization extra, and annual subscriptions for support.  I was ready to just learn and construct a DB in Access.  I googled Microsoft Access, and the 2nd hit was this title (or close to it):

                            "Why is FileMaker better then Microsoft Access?"

                            Turns out it had everything I needed.  I learned, created, got much help from these communities, learned some more, recreated, etc...then took some nice vacations with the savings & bought my wife something pretty.

                            Anyways...my 2 cents

                            • 11. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
                              siplus

                              See Steve, you knew you needed a database. But many people just have a problem to solve and no clue about the fact that a database and interface creation tool like Filemaker can be the right answer to their problem. And that's just the kind of people that need to be pushed into downloading a Filemaker demo.

                              • 12. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
                                bigtom

                                davidhead wrote:

                                 

                                If you could enable ONE thing to increase the awareness of the FileMaker Platform among potential users and developers, what would you do?

                                 

                                 

                                Have a FM Lite package that ships bundled with OSX?

                                 

                                May not be very useful on its own but it would get the name out there fast. Bento was a big user gateway to FM and having a similar intro product would be great.

                                • 13. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
                                  Extensitech

                                  bigtom, Yes, I agree. This time, though, could there at least be a pc version that's downloadable, even if it doesn't ship with Windows?

                                  • 14. Re: FileMaker awareness... no comments
                                    srzuch

                                    Yes!  Bundle the "run-time" application with a few productivity databases, and allow for downloads to Windows PC.  If the user wants to modify/expand/allow for multi-user access, then they could upgrade to a full version. It is incredible that Apple completely ignores FM in any of their pre-loaded environments.  Even FM Go needs to be separately downloaded on an IOS device.

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