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Advice on FM database as a commercial product.

Question asked by ChrisJones_1 on Mar 10, 2014
Latest reply on Mar 10, 2014 by ChrisJones_1


Advice on FM database as a commercial product.




     I’m not sure where this should go as it’s not really a problem but I do need some advice. Let me explain.


     Last year I developed a social car database for a local Community Transport Charity that matches elderly and infirm people that need to go to various appointments such as doctors, dentists, hospitals etc. with a pool of volunteer drivers. 


     It was developed with FM 12 Pro Advanced and after some help and advice from FM Forum members during its development, it went live last November. The database works really well and has improved the Charity’s Booking and response times and has increased its efficiency no end. 


     Because of the success of it, the Project Manager for the charity invited me to a Community Transport Forum for the South of England to tell forum members about this database as he thought it would help similar charities. The response from the various members of the forum was very positive with the host of the forum, West Sussex County Council, inviting me to the next forum to demonstrate it. The interest was such that forum members said the system would also be suitable for taxi cab companies, bus hire or other transport solutions who needed a client booking system and that I should be looking on this as a commercial venture. 


     As a direct result of the forum one company asked whether it was possible to see the system prior to the demonstration and after having visited the charity’s premises last week and seeing the system in action, have already enquired whether they could now purchase the system.


     My problem is I’m not a professional developer and I did this as a project as I enjoyed doing it and it also helped the charity that I’m involved with. I’m also fairly sure there are probably better ways to improve on the way I have designed it so should probably be checked by someone with more skill than me before being released commercially. I know nothing about how to cost this or charge for it, how to license it and how this sits with Filemaker themselves in terms of distribution etc. 


     So my question is: Has anyone else come across this and how do I turn this into a commercial product if the outcome to the presentation in May, is that more companies / organisations want to buy this? I feel I need to be prepared and ready in case this does take off and that I feel comfortable in selling a product that is commercially fit for purpose.


     Any thoughts, suggestions, help or advice would be greatly appreciated.