1 2 3 Previous Next 43 Replies Latest reply on Jul 19, 2015 6:16 PM by mark_scott

    Filemaker vs Omnis?


      I used Omnis and Omnis Studio to write 2 Mac applications which are quite complex yet very handy.  The applications grew in usefulness concurrent with need over the last 20 years.  Now I need to write an app for 4 iPhones and 2 Macs - would Filemaker be a better choice even though I must start from scratch learning Filemaker?  .  Though I have mid-level programming ability within Omnis and BASIC, I have no idea how I would use Omnis to write an iPhone Ap though such a capability is certainly in Omnis's wheelhouse.  Would it really be a snap using Filemaker? 


      Does Filemaker implement a Current Record Buffer?  How robust is the framework for parent-child relationships? - a marvelous feature of Omnis.  In my poking around in Filemaker, it seems mediocre by these standards.




        • 1. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?
          Markus Schneider

          FileMaker has a really steep learning-curve - although I recommend doing some readings (manuals, training series,) and checking out the latest example/template databases shipped with every copy of FM.

          For developing, get a copy of FileMaker Pro Advanced (has a debugger, a data-viewer, lets You create custom menues, custom functions, etc.).


          FM is very robust (when a new version becomes 'matured', new versions are -as with every software of today- somewhat beta-test-software..). The transaction model is also very robust (although missing built-in roll back, ). No problems here over more than 20 years.

          The ability to add a FM solution to FileMaker Server with no changes (mostly.. there are one or two exceptions..) is another strenght.

          When it comes to iOS - versions, just get the free FileMaker Go from the app-store and transfer a FM file to the device. Done! Yes, You have to adjust window size, increase field/button width/height, etc. - but this seems clear (to me..) according to the physical dimensions and the differencies in interface elements of the device (touch device...). Creating different layouts for different devices is easy - but recommended.


          There are nuts and belts - but IMHO You are pretty fast as a Developer from other platforms. Just take some time to get familiar with the concepts of FileMaker Pro (and don't search every now and then for identical methods You've had in Omnis/OtherBrands...).

          Starting with version 12, FM has some SQL capabilities, FM has a 'plugin-interface', plugins can increase functionality. Some other SQL db can be 'glued-in' using ESS (external data sources; but not Omnis)


          There is a 30 days trial available, a membership of the technet (has a new name..) is a good idea - one will get a stripped down (only a couple fmnet connections allowed, one iOS-connection) Server what is very handy when developing (automatic backups in the background, no interruption, among others..)



          - There will be no conversion utilities that convert Omnis to FM

          - concerning 'current record buffer' others will chime in..

          - forgot to mention 'Web Direct' for working with browser and the client's ability to serve as a host for small workgroups

          • 2. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?

            lombardi3g wrote:

            Does Filemaker implement a Current Record Buffer?  How robust is the framework for parent-child relationships? - a marvelous feature of Omnis.

            Maybe explain what these features are supposed to be.

            • 3. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?

              Actually, I tend to think that FileMaker's learning curve is not steep... I think it won't take you long to get a solution made, considering you've worked with Omnis.


              I would also recommend doing a training course, I tend to this that this will get you up to speed pretty quickly. FileMaker is pretty easy to get started, but does have a lot of places where simple checkboxed options have MAJOR implications, so learning this is (IMO) paramount.


              I'd offer you a training course of my own, but I'm in Sydney... some on line tuts might be worth looking into.

              • 4. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?

                lombardi3g ha scritto:


                Does Filemaker implement a Current Record Buffer?  How robust is the framework for parent-child relationships? - a marvelous feature of Omnis.  In my poking around in Filemaker, it seems mediocre by these standards.




                When yon switch platform, the best thing to do is to scrape. Don't look for features that maybe were the crown of a faulty foundation, don't fill your mouth with concepts you're trying to find again in a tower of power that does not use and need them.


                Framework for parent-child relationships ? Current record buffer ?


                Don't bring Omnis onanism to our platform, and stick your mediocre where it belongs, i.e. in Omnis.

                • 5. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?

                  I wouldn't call Ominis mediocre, but siplus has a point: leave behind the big concepts of the platform that you are used to, otherwise you are very likely to get stuck at some point.


                  As was mentioned before: explain what you try go get out of those Omnis features and let us get you through the learning curve getting to that same place.


                  You'll find some things a lot easier in FM and some things a lot harder.  The "a lot harder" will very often because you're onot embracing the FM space but trying to force your thinking in Omnis-speak.


                  You'll find this a very friendly environment for this.  Heck, when I switched from Access to FM 25 years ago this is exactly how I learned the ropes.

                  • 6. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?

                    Some of the CRB (current record buffer) function can be handled using Script Triggers for the most part. Omnis had an "edit" and "insert" mode. So when you edited the current record was stored and you could write some code that would run when the user clicked OK to update the record. Extremely handy for duplicate and other error checking. I miss this.


                    It's relationship ability is equally matched in FM and FM has the more visual / helpful relationship graph that I yearned for in Omnis (Classic and early Studio).


                    Moving from Omnis to FM will not be so traumatic - the tables and fields (way more flexible then Omnis) are pretty close IIRC the biggest change from Omnis is the layout editor and the scripting.


                    The FM environment is pretty friendly and there are a LOT more FM learning resources and forums and video's then there ever were for Omnis.


                    Get amongst it!

                    • 7. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?

                      Hi Allan


                      Last time I used Omnis was v3 so lots of water under the bridge since then .


                      I took a look at the Omnis website and it shows an example of a Contacts Manager:


                      Omnis Contacts


                      I know this is just a sample app, but it is equivalent to our starter applications. I can develop this app and deploy it with WebDirect in more or less 15 minutes, so assuming it would take a new developer 10x the time it takes to me, a solution like this contact manager could be created in more or less a couple hours.


                      You as an experienced Omnis developer may have the same benchmarking for Omnis and know if it would be faster or slower.


                      If you take the time to explain in plain English what is a current record buffer or a Parent-Child relationship surely any of us will be able to tell you if there is a FileMaker equivalent, or a FileMaker workaround (believe me, we have LOTS of them ).


                      Best regards



                      • 8. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?

                        afaik, the OP could be anybody at TigerLogic, trying to throw mud on FM and draw attention to their product.


                        A newbie with 5 posts that starts the thread by telling us how great Omnis is and finishing the post with how mediocre FM is makes my b'shit radar beep very loudly.

                        • 9. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?

                          A post by lombardi3g, liked by magic3i – go figure …

                          • 10. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?

                            May be, I, contrary to my culture, assume good faith from any poster until he/she gives me reasons to not to. .


                            I say "contrary to my culture" because in Latin America people has to earn trust, instead of loosing trust.

                            • 11. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?

                              Good call. siplus.

                              Now i see the poetic justice of your first reply.

                              • 12. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?

                                Interesting points and observations siplus and erolst.

                                I also notice that there was not a response to erolst's request for more info, so we could help him.

                                • 13. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?

                                  "trolling" is a subject I'll be covering in my devcon session next week, incidentally.

                                  • 14. Re: Filemaker vs Omnis?

                                    Thanks for your response and the response of (most) all the others.  I will try to leave behind 'ideology' and just present my data model.  And no, I am not a troll.


                                    Basically, I have a dozen child files that are similar in format in that they all have a date field and a time field and a connection to the same parent file.  Each file also has a handful of text and number fields but these are distinct to each child file.  One child file may have 2 number fields with 4 decimal places and 1 text field while the next child file may have no number fields but 10 text fields.


                                    Data is entered into each of the child files using a layout (I would use a window in Omnis) particular to that child file but with the means to connect it to the pertinent parent file record.


                                    Now my central need:  my key report would be a listing of all the child records of each parent record.  The child records would be sorted by date under each parent record but would be a mix of all the different files of child records.   So each item line of the report for a child record would be custom formatted per the type of child record that resides on that line.


                                    Sorry, I will use the term for an Omnis construct here: that would be a list.  What can I use as a list - which is nothing more than a table in memory of all the child records with a single parent field or column which points to its connected parent record?  This list can be sorted by any of the columns and the list then drives a custom report which can custom format each line of the report - usually in code but also can be done with more automated tools in the case of Omnis.


                                    So I hope the above gives focus to the elements of my data model that a FileMaker application would need to implement.


                                    Thank you for you attention.


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