OK, let's get it out in the open.  Alternatives?

Discussion created by jjfcpa on Jun 14, 2015
Latest reply on Jun 1, 2016 by Benjamin Fehr

I've been reading with great interest the thread on Tim Dietrich's "goodbye" to Filemaker.  I've also read his blog posts and the comments posted there.  Throughout, there are people who both agree and disagree with his reasoning.  I, for one, don't believe that being dissatisfied with a vendor is a good enough reason to say "goodbye" UNLESS you have an alternative.  So I would love to see a list of what others have looked at, considered, and why they opted not to make the jump away from FM.  Or, if you did depart the friendly skies, why?


If nothing else, this may save current users a lot of wasted time considering products that just don't meet the hype or have other faults that become apparent after a closer look.


I do think we should limit this to applications that you've actually used rather than just a list of web links.  No restrictions on platforms or OS's.


I've used Visual Foxpro extensively for year and years and it is still viable for desktop applications.  Not intended for web or IOS development.  Too bad Microsoft didn't continue to support it because ti was very much a superior Windows desktop development system.  If you were just considering it now, I'd say that ship has sailed because you would have to invest too much time in building your own framework for too little (desktop only) in return.


I've also used XOJO for the last 4-5 years and it is a very robust and flexible cross platform development system.  Support for SQLITE database is built-in, but you can use any database as the backend that has a supported plugin.  XOJO provides a number of plugins and there are some provided by 3rd parties.  You can also use ODBC.  Very easy to get started with and build an application for desktop, web, and IOS.  Yes, you can build applications for the Apple app stores (desktop and IOS).  We have used it for a number of applications that were converted from Visual Foxpro.  We were able to duplicate much of the functionality of our Visual Foxpro applications and in many cases, make those features more flexible and robust.  Something I never thought we'd be able to do.  Great community support and nice size 3rd party support with plugins.  The downside is the time investment.  You end up writing a lot of code to do some rather simple things.  If you want import and export in your applications, you've got to write your own.  Built in support for reports is very weak.  Most users use a 3rd party product.  Forget about using one code base for desktop, web, and IOS.  Their framework (classes) are too specific to allow for this. 


My personal situation is that I still use Visual Foxpro (one of our big, big client has all their applications written in VFP), and I use Filemaker for internal solutions because I can get them done in less than half the time it would take with VFP or XOJO.  I will also use Filemaker to prototype a new application that might eventually get re-written in XOJO.  And, of course, I use XOJO for applications that we sell to our clients.  We also wrote our own internal CRM and shopping cart in XOJO.


I should add that there are actually 5 developers in our office and I've had a tough time convincing some of them that it's worth investing time in Filemaker.  Their impression is that it's just too limiting for real application work.  I disagree, but I understand and respect their opinions.


What's your story?