why FileMaker?

The development environment most used by Fletcher Data Consulting is the FileMaker family of products: FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Pro Advanced, FileMaker Server and Server Advanced, and FileMaker Go for the iPhone and iPad. And there are good reasons why this is of benefit to anyone seeking to get a handle on a wide range of workflow, data, and intelligence needs.

show me the data!

FileMaker is first and foremost about data. While it can be used to create applications to perform other functions, FileMaker really proves its mettle when called upon to handle large data sets, or collect data from a variety of sources, or perform complex visualizations of dense data, support a far-flung salesforce, or simply keep track of the daily comings and goings of the unique needs of a business or organization, large or small.

rapid application development

FileMaker is a very high-level application development environment, enabling many data management tasks that would require thousands of lines of code in other environments to be completed in a fraction of the time. Companies that have employed FileMaker-based solutions report cost savings of as much as 90% over solutions written in more traditional programming languages or employing other high-end database products. FileMaker's page-layout-like interface builder, data table tools and intuitive scripting environment empower the creation of elaborate data-focused solutions in less time and for less cost.

cross platform

FileMaker works natively on Windows and the Mac. Files created on one platform work perfectly on the other. Files can be hosted on Mac or PC servers and those files can be accessed from PC and Mac desktops nearly identically.

on the web

FileMaker data can also be accessed from the web in a few very handy ways. FileMaker can be used as a data source "back end" for a variety of web technologies, including XML, PHP, Ruby on Rails, SOAP, and many others. FileMaker can also be used as its own web server to host its own entry and reporting layouts, giving a very faithful representation of your desktop applications on the web, indeed in some cases with no more than a click of a preference setting. There is no faster way to put data on the web in an easy-to-use, attractive solution.

on mobile devices

In addition to supporting most desktops, FileMaker also has versions of its client that run on Apple's iOS. This enables the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad to run applications created for the desktop versions of Filemaker. A copy of FileMaker Go (as it's called) can also access a server-hosted FileMaker file, making any "iDevice" a powerful, secure (and wireless) "thin client" for a networked data management solution.

"back-end" integration

FileMaker can speak Structured Query Language (SQL) to a variety of the most popular "big iron" databases. This is achieved in two powerful ways:

  • SQL queries can be directed through ODBC connections, enabling FileMaker to retrieve from and post data to a SQL source.
  • SQL data sources can be added to FileMaker's entity-relationship-diagram-like "relationship graph," and employed in any way a native FileMaker table would be. This enables even complex data access scenarios to be set up in minutes.


FileMaker can solve the needs of the single user. Indeed, solutions written in it can be deployed as license-free "runtimes" to as many single users as desired. Then, one step up from that FileMaker very economically serves small workgroup data access with peer-to-peer sharing built in to every copy of FileMaker Pro client. For better speed and security, though, the ideal way to serve up your data solutions is with FileMaker Server. Capable of handling hundreds of users accessing it locally on a LAN, remotely via your desktop virtualization products, on a handheld device, or on the web—all at the same time—FileMaker Server is a robust, industrial strength data serving product. And when that isn't enough, you can use a FileMaker file as a user-facing interface to your SQL assets wherever they may be.


FileMaker solutions benefit from a full complement of security-enabling technologies. To start with, all file and server access is secured with 128-bit encryption. Then, both server and application access have very robust and granular user account and privileges management. As a result, you can always be sure that everyone is only performing the tasks and accessing the data that you want them to.

professional community

The FileMaker community is an active and engaged group of individuals and companies focused on raising the standards of professionalism on the part of its member developers. Training, certification, conferences, forums, and extensive product support on the part of FileMaker, Inc. ensure that an investment in FileMaker is an investment for the long-term. The community of people devoted to promoting FileMaker is large and constantly growing. In order to provide you with the very best that FileMaker has to offer, Fletcher Data Consulting takes every opportunity to stay engaged with that community through communication, continuing education, conferences and certification.

FileMaker, Inc.

Selling more than a million seats of FileMaker a year and having nearly every company in the Fortune 500 counted among their customers, FileMaker Inc. is constantly evolving to meet the technological changes and data management needs of a wide range of companies, organizations, dedicated developers and users. More information can be found at their website.

why FileMaker again?

Why, because it's powerful and secure and, best of all, FileMaker allows you to do way more with your limited IT dollars.