FileMaker Pro can do what you describe but can YOU do that with Filemaker?
FileMaker is a development tool for creating custom databases. There are some sample solutions included with the application and some third party developers offer templates for sale, but most users of this product use it to develop their own system suited to their needs.
While easier to use than many other database tools, it still makes a big difference if you have prior knowledge and experience working with relational databases or creating scripts or computer code. If you haven't, be prepared to invest some time and $$ in training materials to get up to speed on how to use FileMaker to get what you want. we'll be glad to help you here, but such additional training (There are a number of resources available, even YouTube videos) will help you get the basics down and help you better understand any suggestions made here in the forum by fellow users.
You might want to download the 30 day free trial to see what the product is like before investing any $$ in it. If you do decide to buy, get FileMaker advanced if at all possible unless you intend to pay for someone else to create the solution for you. Advanced can provide the "Kiosk" interface you need as well as providing some additional developer tools, such as a script debugger that can save you hours of time when you are trying to figure out why a script you created did not work as expected.
Can I do this with Filemaker? No, of course not. If I could, why would I be asking? :)
All kidding aside, I do sincerely appreciate your reply and your time.
When the time comes, I have training solutions at the ready.
My goal at this time is to make sure I'm spending time and resources with the right software solution. With this in mind, I have a few more questions to make sure this is the right path.
- Are there user based permissions? When we come to the kiosk situation above, we would need the kiosks to have read access on some material and no access on others depending on if our institution has the rights to that media or not.
- Is everything we need able to be done with Filemaker alone, or do we need to create custom software with certain funtionality that connects to the database?
- Would a web content management system such as Drupal be able to connect to FM's live database?
Are there user based permissions?
Yes. You can define accounts and passwords with privilege sets that control what a user can or cannot do with specific records.
Is everything we need able to be done with Filemaker alone, or do we need to create custom software
Most likely all can be done with FileMaker. It is possible to create a plug in to extend FileMaker's functionality and a number of these are offered by third party developers, but nothing that you've described to this point sounds like any such would be necessary.
Would a web content management system such as Drupal be able to connect to FM's live database?
Possibly. I am unfamiliar with Drupal, but FileMaker can be published to the web, PHP, XML, ODBC, JDBC are all technologies that, to some degree can be used to link FileMaker with other applications. You can research this issue further here at this sight. The downloads link above links to a "documents" section where you can download a PDF on publishing FileMaker to the web.
To be clear on my end, how would a user create an audio cd, data cd, or dvd direclty from FM, is this functionality built in? We could have images of the required media ready to burn but when users need individual songs from wherever in the database what would a common workflow be for mac / pc?
I have the FM trial and with go through some training to get a feel for this as our solution.
It looks like we could start with FM pro, and scale up as our needs grow.
audio files, or a reference to them can be stored in container fields--a special type of filemaker field that can store either copies of a file or a reference to a file stored separately.
Export Field contents can export a copy of that file to a specified location such as a CD or DVD drive with the ability to burn disks.
Thus a scritp can export copies of the selected files to the drive.
At which point you can eject the disk--which triggers the OS to burn the files to the disk, correct?
Please note that I haven't actually done this, but this would appear to work--though ejecting the disk would need to be done manually or via a system script performed by Filemaker. (FileMaker can use Send Event to execute windows batch files and other types of system scripts so it should be possible to fully automate the needed OS interaction to burn the CD and eject it.
I would recommend that you get one copy of FileMaker Advanced to use for your development work.
Thanks for helping me cover the bases, this is a huge step.