Sounds to me like there is more at work here than the proper choice of application/database platform.
Are you trying to solve a knowledge/skill deficit in the org by switching platforms?
Filemaker + WebDirect can provide a satisfactory web application experience if engineered, developed, and supported right.
Right development + right server hardware & deployment + right network infrastructure and WebDirect can be very nice.
Alot depends on complexity of requirements of the system and the need for customization of the user experience.
I would generalize by saying simple to moderately complex apps can work very well in WD.
Complex to enterprise level web applications should be handled by a webstack.
I'm sure others will have differences of opinions and you should carefully consider them all.
Great info - thank you!!!
The DB we have, was built 8 years ago and is still not complete. The developer still doesn't have things working like calculating wages. It's beyond frustrating and we are trying to decide if starting over is a better way to go. We have invested so much time and money into it.
Thank you for the detailed reply - I appreciate it.
FileMaker sounds like a good fit for your needs. You said your current app is web-based but that may just be an artifact of the platform choice -- do you actually need access via web? Or is this only used in your office? If the latter, or even mostly the latter, then FileMaker's web capabilities are less of a factor.
Unfortunately, the responsiveness of the developer you choose is a whole separate issue. But one of the nice things about FileMaker is that you may not have to rely on an outside developer for everything.
The FileMaker platform would seem to be a good fit for what you describe:
- Desktop, Mobile and Web √
- Scale of project easily handled by the FileMaker platform √
- Rapid Application Development √
- Strong security model √
You might want to go with a "hybrid" approach...small web application + FileMaker tied together with ESS or
FileMaker integrated with the file uploads using a RESTful API.
Your spec seems to describe FileMaker's sweet spot.
8 Years is at least 7 years more than it should take to build a useful system.
Is there any documentation for the project (ERD, process flows, simple bullet point list of needs, etc.)?
I would suggest hiring a competent FMP developer to evaluate your current system + must have requirements and give you a estimate cost and time to build with FM.
I would also get a competent PHP SQL developer in there to estimate how much time and $$ to finish the work the other guy started.
With those numbers as a guide you can make an informed business decision
"We have invested so much time and money into it."
I don't know if FM is a good choice for your company.
However, one mistake I have seen business owners make again and again is the 'sunk cost fallacy'. Don't stick with something because you've already spent money on it. It's natural to not want to waste, but that money has been spent. It's gone. Look forward.
What will it cost (in time and $$) to get the system you have to an adequate place? What will it cost to build a new system? Compare those two costs.