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Top 11 Misconceptions About FileMaker

Since FileMaker’s first days under the Claris banner up until today, they have accomplished quite a lot; they have not only become a subsidiary of the ever-powerful Apple Inc., but have released many versions of their database application software which has culminated to their newest release, FileMaker 13.

Whether you are a current FileMaker user or your last experience was back on FileMaker 7 (released more than 10 years ago), you’ve probably heard some misconceptions about what FileMaker can and cannot do. Today, we thought we’d clear some of these misconceptions up for you. So, here it is, CoreSolutions Presents: “Top 11 Misconceptions About FileMaker”

1) FileMaker is Mac only software. FALSE

Contrary to what some believe, FileMaker is compatible with both Mac and Windows. For example, some of the supporting FileMaker Pro operating systems include: OS X Yosemite v10.10, OS X Mavericks v10.9, OS X Mountain Lion v10.8, OS X Lion v10.7, Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 7 Professional, and Windows 7 Home Premium, among others.

2) If you cannot code, you cannot use FileMaker. FALSE

There are plenty of FileMaker users, who have zero experience coding, who have mastered the functionality of FileMaker. New development tools have made it the easiest it’s ever been to transfer your paper and Excel sheets into a FileMaker database. Much of the creation of databases revolves around simple drag and drop functionality and FileMaker Pro 13 is loaded with prebuilt starter templates, so you don’t have to start from scratch. The starter solutions include everything from simple contact and task management solutions all the way up to content management systems.

3) FileMaker is much too simple to handle my database needs. FALSE

Alluding to the previous point, FileMaker is very user-friendly and an easy to understand software. However, this simplicity and easy to use nature should not take away from the true magnitude at which FileMaker can operate. As they say, looks can be deceiving; it may look simple, but it can more often than not handle your database needs just fine.

4) I can do it all on my own, I don’t need a developer. FALSE

Some think that FileMaker is so simple that they would never need to hire someone else to build something they could do themselves. Developers who are experts with FileMaker often have numerous years of experience that can help you build and deploy your solution faster and mitigate many challenges before they arise. Additionally, expert developers will be able to help with your systems analysis and workflow discovery. This saves you money in the long run. To ensure you are truly hiring a FileMaker expert; FileMaker has a certified developer program in which they vet potential members and have benchmarks that developers must reach to maintain their certified status.

5) FileMaker is a non-relational database. FALSE

FileMaker is not only a relational database; it is a relational platform. Since version 7, FileMaker allows multiple users to contribute to the same project from different locations. Cross-platform relational databases allow for teams to construct and build databases in an ever-interconnected workflow.

Top 11 Misconceptions About FileMaker

6) FileMaker only has single-user software. FALSE

FileMaker has countless features that utilize multi-user functionality. A few examples include:

    • I. FileMaker Pro allows users to manage and share important information with their teams. It allows you to share data and materials, using iPads, iPhones, Windows or Macs, through a network with up to five other users.

    • II. FileMaker Go 13 allows iPhone and iPad users to receive up-to-the-minute information through the FileMaker Server using mobile communication.

    • III. FileMaker Server 13 allows FileMaker Pro users to instantaneously share information with their team; there is not even a restriction on the number of networked clients you can have.

  • IV. FileMaker WebDirect (available in FileMaker Server 13) allows you to run and share your solutions directly on a web browser.
7) Any third party backup software can be used to backup information on the FileMaker server. FALSE

To ensure everything has a proper backup and none of your data is lost, the built-in backup scheduling feature in the FileMaker Server must be used. It is the only way to properly backup data and ensure everything is saved correctly.

8) FileMaker can run in a small office, up to 5 users in a peer to peer user environment. Technically True

While this is technically possible and this technique may have been used in the past (peer-to-peer sharing), it is in your best interest to not share peer-to-peer FileMaker databases. FileMaker Pro cannot backup to the database automatically, FileMaker Server can. The risk of losing data is so much higher in peer-to-peer sharing. Don’t make this mistake and risk losing hours of time spent working, pieces of data inputted, and potential profit for your business.

9) FileMaker is just a database application. FALSE

As mentioned earlier, FileMaker is a platform which allows for the collaborative construction of databases throughout a team of FileMaker users. FileMaker can be accessed via Mac, PC, iOS, and Web browsers.

10) You cannot create your own custom themes on FileMaker. FALSE

You bet you can! You can get creative and make your own theme or modify existing themes. FileMaker has inherited a simple and elegant design focus from Apple Inc. Some of the tools FileMaker has added include gradients, patterns and effects (emboss, engrave, drop shadows, etc.) to fit all your customizing preferences.

11) FileMaker is NOT a secure system. FALSE

FileMaker Server uses powerful AES 256-bit encryption. So, what does that mean? Advanced Encryption Standard is the design that the US government has used since 2002 and was the first encryption algorithm that was publicly created to be approved for the NSA and all their top secret information.

So there you have it. Hopefully, you have learned something new and you have enjoyed the read.

CoreSolutions Software Inc. is an industry leading custom software solutions firm based in London, ON. We have 25 years of experience building innovative customizable software applications, alongside our exceptional service and support. We create solutions that simplify complex data and solve complicated problems; we give you the tools which empower you to manage your solution. CoreSolutions Software – Going Beyond Software.

Do you agree with our misconceptions list? Feel free to send us an Email, send us a Tweet, send us a smoke signal… however you need to reach us, we are willing and ready to respond. Our website is

Thanks For Reading.

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  • Roelf Woldring
    Roelf Woldring 21 April 2015 Report

    I will add another misconception - Filemaker development is easy to learn


    I have been working part-time at file maker development for 3 years now. I have pages and pages (fortunately all stored in Evernote) of tips, techniques, ways of doing so. I have bought and read a number of Filemaker books.

    Filemaker is more a developer community than it is a well established development environment supported extensively by a large company. Without the large variety of material available and shared by Filemaker developers on the web, and well as the Tech Community, I would not have the skills that I have today. It all takes time. And sometimes, the stuff is so strange and estoric (e.g. the need to use Exit Script (false) in ST script triggers to Go to Field to work.

    I personally believe that this is FM's biggest strength and its biggest weakness - the lack of a well organized, shared repository of all of this FM developer stuff that I have had to access to solve problems. Without people sharing freely like this, I would have given up on FM a long time ago, simply because it is so frustrating to solve problems like the one above.

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  • Michael Rocharde
    Michael Rocharde 21 April 2015 Report

    Mike, the price you are quoting is for FileMaker Advanced. FileMaker Pro is around $329 a copy and can be bought directly from

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  • Mike  Corona
    Mike Corona 16 April 2015 Report

    I had a lot of trouble finding an inexpensive FileMaker PRO 13, Some way up to $600.00.
    Dose Apple sell FMP 13?

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