ChrisVanBuren

A short simple wishlist.

Discussion created by ChrisVanBuren on Dec 12, 2013
Latest reply on Dec 13, 2013 by ChrisVanBuren

I have no desire to tell FileMaker what to do and I respect their basic business model decisions. That said, I see a few, small simple things that would help:

 

Commercial Points:

-Offer an annual or monthly cost for one license on up. So "AVLA" for one license. This would really help win small projects where FM sticker shock is a problem. I lost a small project this way a couple of days ago. They needed perhaps 1 day of my time but 3 FM licenses. The FM licenses doubled the cost so they are now using Access and the lady's husband is having a go at writing it.

-A much more meaningful price break for larger numbers of licenses all purchased at the same time (say 50%). FileMaker gives away basically nothing for 20 licenses or more. This kills many larger projects dead. The only ones that live are ones that started on FileMaker when they were small (so they have no choice). This will not cause great erosion of revenue from larger existing projects as they will generally buy additional licenses one at a time. Yes it might impact larger upgrades but most of them are getting the upgrade price anyway so are already paying less. It may also be revenue positive as it will encourage buying more licenses than are actually needed. It will also encourage older upgrades (past the upgrade window) to actually happen. There are many projects who basically avoid upgrading for as long as possible just on cost grounds.

 

Technical Points - Have a release (13.5) that just does a pile of small stupid things. The list below has already been done to death but here is my list:

-HTML email - Load of plugins have this! How hard can it be? Just give us the basics. We don't need everything the plugins offer.

-Multiple attachments per email

-Two more custom dialogs - "list dialog" using a value list and "large dialog" that can display a warning message or similar (could be same Show Custom Dialog - just let us specify size and position on screen). Yes you can do this with a layout but it looks bad on Windows as you lose your maximization and also custom dialogs are so much faster to write. Also more buttons and more fields on custom dialogs. Also mixture on the fields (some edit, some drop down)

-A "cut out" that shows a different layout. This way you can make your "standard stuff" (top level tabs that change between layouts) in one place so much easier for maintainence.

-The whole Windows thing on Windows. You more or less have to run maximized to make it look good which is a pain.

-Native progress bar. Troi dialog had this 10 years ago.

-Better access to file system. Loads plugins have this. How hard can it be.

-Dynamic portal sorting without hacks.

-Programmaticly control what is on the Status Toolbar. Just a simple thing "Add/remove Status Bar element" and then you just choose one element. You string together a pile of these statements to build up the Status Toolbar you want. Also needed will be a command "Clear Status Bar" which gives a clean fresh start.

-Drag and drop without hacks. This is a bigger one but every other development environment has had this for years and years.

-Tick box on Install Menu Set - make default for file. This is so annoying. I just want to say "I am developing now, please give me full menus until I say otherwise"

-Charting that respects calendar days. Right now the charting is limited because if I have a data set with a date of 1/1/2013 and another data point 2/2/2013 and a final one of 31 December 2013 then the 3 points will just appear equidistant giving a totally false impression. This is crap. xmChart doesn't do this. This is a obvious and important defect.

 

Just small simple stuff. I am sure others can add to this list.

 

<rant>

Most of this ought to take a good developer a few days. Heck, FileMaker can get a jumpstart on half of it by hiring the plugin guys as consultants to help them. Of course, the plugin guys will worry about FM taking their business away but that is going to happen anyway so I am sure they could find folks who would help or provide source code at a reasonable cost. How can this be so hard when plugin developers who are typically one guy working part time can make most of these things?

</rant>

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