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FileMaker highlights successful deployment of iPads by Austin, Texas

post #1 of 14
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At Macworld Expo's MacIT conference, City of Austin staff members profiled how FileMaker Go has enabled them to rapidly eliminate paper work orders and streamline management of exhibitors in the vast Austin Convention Center using a fleet of iPads.

FileMaker, a wholly owned subsidiary of Apple, developed its FileMaker Go product as a way to create and deploy specialized iOS apps drawing upon its database software.

In a presentation at San Francisco's Moscone Center, Austin's database administrator Jeff Moore outlined how his group is using FileMaker Go to turn work order forms in their billing system into a touch-driven iPad app that allows employees to navigate orders and floor diagrams for city's convention center.

The mobile app for iPad has improved employees' productivity by giving them up to date information for clients and exhibitors operating in the Austin Convention Center, a huge complex that covers six downtown city blocks in the Texas capital and serves as the hub for the city's annual "South by Southwest" music, film, and interactive conference and festival.



Credit: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

The convention center involves miles of fibre optics and Ethernet cables along with the capacity to host almost 6,000 wireless Internet connections simultaneously, as well as providing five halls with over 246,000 square feet (22,000 square meters) of combined exhibition space.

After describing the iPad solution as providing a 200 percent return on investment, Moore outlined how other IT staff can quickly and easily create iOS apps to realize similar business benefits.

Apple's BYOD disruption of the enterprise

Macworld's MacIT Conference highlights "Deploying Apple in the Enterprise," involving the management of Macs and iOS devices in the enterprise, in education and in government, focusing in particular upon the growing trend of BYOD or "bring your own device."

Also described as the "Consumerization of IT," the effect has driven tremendous expansion of Apple's Macs and iOS devices in corporate circles among users and IT managers that have historically preferred the monoculture of Microsoft Windows and a strictly centralized approval of devices and computers.




Apple's former chief executive Steve Jobs once largely dismissed corporate sales as a targetable market for Apple because of the "gatekeepers" that maintained entrenched relationships with PC makers and were thus not responsive to the ease of use and elegance of Apple's products.

Last fall, Gartner described the BYOD trend as an "unstoppable train coming down the tracks," noting in particular that younger employees "prefer consumer technologies like iPhones and iPads over enterprise-provided alternatives."

Apple began aggressively targeting corporations with the iPhone in 2008 when it announced iPhone OS 2.0 with support for Exchange Server, corporate VPNs and other enterprise features. The company has since added regular new expansions of its enterprise management features for both iOS and Mac OS X devices, features that are being exploited by third parties such as AirWatch, MaaS360 and MokaFive to deliver solutions companies can use manage and secure the devices their employees want to use.

Origins of Apple's FileMaker

FileMaker, originally named Claris, originally served as Apple's independent software application subsidiary after the company spun its original Mac applications off in 1987 to avoid an appearance of conflict between the hardware-oriented Apple and its third party software developers.

A year after setting up Claris, Apple purchased FileMaker from Nashoba. The package remained successful in the desktop database market despite intense competition from Microsoft in the form of File, then Fox Pro, then Access.

Toward the end of the 1990s, FileMaker remained Claris' last highly successful application. Steve Jobs renamed Claris to FileMaker in 1998 and effectively canceled most of the company's other products, leaving the company in place as an Apple subsidiary.

However, Jobs took the company's ClarisWorks suite and dusted it off for sale by Apple directly, renaming it AppleWorks. Jobs also presided over the acquisition of a variety of developers in building up first party application suites that included Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, the iLife suite and a new series of productivity apps named iWork, which eventually replaced the aging AppleWorks.




While FileMaker employees are Apple employees, the two companies are effectively run independently. FileMaker has rapidly embraced Apple's initiatives however, adding its iWork-like Bento database to the Mac App Store and delivering FileMaker Go for iOS devices just six months after the introduction of iPad in 2010.
post #2 of 14
Apparently Austin didn't get the memo saying that "iPads are toys" and that "Enterprise hates Apple."

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #3 of 14
Hmm...thought this thing was gimped but it appears it may in fact support live updating on a hosted db.

There is no sync and copying a massive db back and forth like they allude to in their documentation would be ludicrous.
post #4 of 14
Deleted: accidental double post

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #5 of 14
We use filemaker at our office. Yes- a hosted database whether it be though the same wifi or remotely (I.e- I'm out of town and have my iPad in the car- I can access our database via filemaker go if you setup sharing in FileMaker).

Great program and easy (in terms of large databases) to manage and create very nice databases.

Side note: I'll actually be using FileMaker and FileMaker go at that convention center for a convention I'll attend in May.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Side note: I'll actually be using FileMaker and FileMaker go at that convention center for a convention I'll attend in May.

When you get here, let me know if the word huge is an accurate description of the Austin Convention Center...
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

When you get here, let me know if the word huge is an accurate description of the Austin Convention Center...

Im there every year. It's huge to me. I'm from Dallas and its pretty comparable to the big ones here. I think?


Edit: now thinking again- huge is an overstatement for sure. It's big, but I'll bet nationally it's tiny.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

We use filemaker at our office. Yes- a hosted database whether it be though the same wifi or remotely (I.e- I'm out of town and have my iPad in the car- I can access our database via filemaker go if you setup sharing in FileMaker).

Great program and easy (in terms of large databases) to manage and create very nice databases.

Side note: I'll actually be using FileMaker and FileMaker go at that convention center for a convention I'll attend in May.

off-topic: do you use filemaker to open files remotely (by remotely i mean my files are in office computer and i want to open it from my home computer) only on iPad? how does it work from Mac OS X Lion? i would love to do this and have tried everything but i'm not that strong in networking so any help would be appreciate…

my way or the highway...

Macbook Pro i7 13" with intel SSD 320 series and 8GB RAM, iPhone 5, iPad 3 (Retina)

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my way or the highway...

Macbook Pro i7 13" with intel SSD 320 series and 8GB RAM, iPhone 5, iPad 3 (Retina)

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post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutykamu View Post

off-topic: do you use filemaker to open files remotely (by remotely i mean my files are in office computer and i want to open it from my home computer) only on iPad? how does it work from Mac OS X Lion? i would love to do this and have tried everything but i'm not that strong in networking so any help would be appreciate…

Yes. I Use it for two different companies. One is setup to not share anywhere due to security reasons. The other one I have FileMaker installed on a Mac mini at my house. The database is stored on that. I can access it via my home iMac, work iMac, MacBook if I'm out anywhere, iPad, and iPhone (3G or wifi). I also have the database setup to accept files or pictures. Example: if I'm at a wastewater plant visiting a client, and I want to take a picture of their clarifier for my database, I'll open FileMaker go on my phone and go to my server, take a picture through FileMaker and it saves it on my Mac mini at home automatically. You can also "attach existing photo" if you just want to snap a photo. You can add documents or pictures to your server and it installs on your server computer (in my case a mini). It gives you the option to open it or email it from your iPad. All files are accessed from the host computer. But if all you need are documents to be shared, and don't need a database- just use dropbox. It's free and easy as pie. (I use Mac OS lion and FileMaker and dropbox both work beautifully)

Keep in mind though- while one purchase of FileMaker go iPad would install on unlimited iPads you own and FM Go iPhone would do the same, you would have to buy multiple FileMaker licenses for each computer. However- lets say you had 2 licenses, server on a mini, a laptop, and work desktop. You could install it on all 3- but only one can be running at a time per Id. So if you'll never be on home desktop and laptop at same time, just share that license.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Yes. I Use it for two different companies. One is setup to not share anywhere due to security reasons. The other one I have FileMaker installed on a Mac mini at my house. The database is stored on that. I can access it via my home iMac, work iMac, MacBook if I'm out anywhere, iPad, and iPhone (3G or wifi). I also have the database setup to accept files or pictures. Example: if I'm at a wastewater plant visiting a client, and I want to take a picture of their clarifier for my database, I'll open FileMaker go on my phone and go to my server, take a picture through FileMaker and it saves it on my Mac mini at home automatically. You can also "attach existing photo" if you just want to snap a photo. You can add documents or pictures to your server and it installs on your server computer (in my case a mini). It gives you the option to open it or email it from your iPad. All files are accessed from the host computer. But if all you need are documents to be shared, and don't need a database- just use dropbox. It's free and easy as pie. (I use Mac OS lion and FileMaker and dropbox both work beautifully)

Keep in mind though- while one purchase of FileMaker go iPad would install on unlimited iPads you own and FM Go iPhone would do the same, you would have to buy multiple FileMaker licenses for each computer. However- lets say you had 2 licenses, server on a mini, a laptop, and work desktop. You could install it on all 3- but only one can be running at a time per Id. So if you'll never be on home desktop and laptop at same time, just share that license.

ok, i got it… i knew about the server file but i thought there is a way of working from filemaker pro also… anyways thanks…
by the way, my office have 5 macs and we have bought the licence for each one as i knew that we can't use same licence key on the same network with multiple computers…
so now what i'm gonna do is buy a server licence…

my way or the highway...

Macbook Pro i7 13" with intel SSD 320 series and 8GB RAM, iPhone 5, iPad 3 (Retina)

Reply

my way or the highway...

Macbook Pro i7 13" with intel SSD 320 series and 8GB RAM, iPhone 5, iPad 3 (Retina)

Reply
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Im there every year. It's huge to me. I'm from Dallas and its pretty comparable to the big ones here. I think?


Edit: now thinking again- huge is an overstatement for sure. It's big, but I'll bet nationally it's tiny.

246000 sq ft is 25 times the size of the older apple stores, I think. Is this right?
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by tadd View Post

246000 sq ft is 25 times the size of the older apple stores, I think. Is this right?

Its big- but Christoph is right. Heck- just the Dallas Convention center is over 725k Square Feet. Its the biggest in Austin, but Austin isn't that big.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Its big- but Christoph is right. Heck- just the Dallas Convention center is over 725k Square Feet. Its the biggest in Austin, but Austin isn't that big.

No, it's bigger than 245K square feet. From Wikipedia:

Quote:
The Convention Center encloses 881,400 square feet (81,880 m2). The five exhibit halls combined have 246,097 square feet (22,863.2 m2) of column-free space. There are 54 meeting rooms and two ballrooms, including one of the largest ballrooms in Texas with 43,300 square feet (4,020 m2).[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_Convention_Center
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldenclaw View Post

Hmm...thought this thing was gimped but it appears it may in fact support live updating on a hosted db.

There is no sync and copying a massive db back and forth like they allude to in their documentation would be ludicrous.

there is some great work being done to provide transactional model updates of work done in the field, eg GoZync, which along with some well thought out design means that mobile devices can have access to server hosted information and also submit data back the other way reliably over even the shakiest of mobile connections.

Filemaker traditionally has had very strict network loss policy (your database has been disconnected all your open windows will now be closed without saving) which is not the way you need your mobile devices to work.

There are proven methods that are responsive and reliable for doing exactly this with filemaker, ios devices and filemaker go, even with large datasets, which can be hosted on the device file (product catalogues etc) with updates to server based resources.
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