1 Reply Latest reply on Dec 15, 2011 12:03 PM by philmodjunk

    Feasibility Study (or will this work?)



      Feasibility Study (or will this work?)


      Hi all,


      My name is Richard and I'm new to these forums. I run an IT Consultancy company in the UK, specialising in Apple & Microsoft integration. As such, FileMaker appears to be the ideal database solution given it's cross platform abilities.

      As an old Lotus Approach user, I have a fair understanding of relational databases, but wanted some input as to whether FileMaker is going to be suitable for the task at hand.

      We have three engineers, who work mainly at clients businesses, and one Operations Director who is based in the office. Our clients are a mix of monthly contracts who pay a monthly amount for a certain amount of hours and then get billed over this, and ad-hoc clients, who get billed for all work done.

      Our engineers have iPad's and I was hoping to set up a database that allowed them to enter details about the jobs they were doing whilst on site (using FileMaker Go), and then have this data update to the office. This would allow the Operations Director to ensure clients are being billed correctly as well as providing historical data for future use. Ideally I would like to avoid the engineers having to have an internet connection to upload/transfer, as this is not always possible.

      The part I am not clear on is how the interaction between the FileMaker Go and the main database happens, so any pointers here would be much appreciated.



      Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Feasibility Study (or will this work?)

          FileMaker Go enables you to use a database created with FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Pro Advanced on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. This can be a database that is copied to the mobile device or it can function as a client (via wiFi or 3G) of FileMaker Database that is hosted on a server.

          If your engineers will be limited to only adding new records (such as a record of work done on the remote site for billing/payroll purposes), then you can probably get this to work without too much trouble if you choose to invest the time needed to learn how to work with FileMaker and FileMaker Go or hire the services of a consultant to do it for you. The engineers can return to the home office or other site with WiFi or 3G service and then use Import Records to add the new database to the  main copy in the office. Uploaded copies of this updated database can then by copied back to the iPad.

          If your engineers need to be able to change existing data in the database, then the project gets much more complex as you'd need to develop a system for merging the changes back into the main database without losing some of the changes when one user's changes overwrite those made by another.