Looking for some advice really before I make the leap into Filemaker. I have used this product many years ago and it seems to have moved on significantly since then however I still have some concerns whether this would be the correct choice for my proposed solution.
I am looking to make a salesmans analysis tool that can be used remotely (with no network connection in many cases) so that it can be taken to a customers site for salesman to use as tool for driving new opportunities and account reviews. The industry is primarily trade related in the construction industry with salesman assigned to a range of customers across a branch network of shops/yards.
We are talking around 500K sales transactions per month across all customers - getting the data out of the trading system is relatively straightforward - scheduled CSV exports can be created for the key tables.
My concerns are as follows:
- The cost of the solution - I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that server would be the best option for loading the data from the trading system. How do I get it onto the mobile device (FileMaker Go on iPads) - what if the salesman want to add notes, prepare quotes onsite in the future - how can I get these synced back to the master database.
- The market is moving to SAAS solutions - how is FileMaker in this arena. My clients will not typically be used to running and maintaining servers and databases. The majority of them use hosted trading systems, Office 365 etc so are likely to want a similar solution.
- Using Filemaker to create dashboard type interfaces - I have seen a couple of examples floating around - how good is FileMaker at graphs etc - can the graphs be drill down capable?
- Can the imports from CSV files be scripted so this is not a manual process?
I guess my main worry is that perhaps I should invest my time learning the new web technologies - I do have experience of database programming over the past 20 years but not in web related interfaces. Is opting for FileMaker limiting my future options - could it be a dead end?
Any help appreciated!