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Why Doesn't Apple Reabsorb FileMaker??

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Why Doesn't Apple Reabsorb FileMaker??

I really don't understand their strategy? There are numerous businesses (even Wintel only shops) that use FileMaker Pro and related products. Nobody knows they are owned by Apple. Businesses could possibly look at Apple hardware products if they knew they were using Apple software products successfully.

With the release of Numbers, now is the time for Apple to reabsorb them. Add a simple FileMaker database component to iWork 09 and have a true alternative to Office.

Thoughts??

Dave
post #2 of 11
It would be nice. My father is still using the database module of Appleworks 5.0 on OS9 to do invoicing. It would be nice to be able to import it into some nice new cocoa database app by apple. If Apple does make it, I betcha it will be called "Records"

FIlemaker 9.0 looks aged :/
post #3 of 11
The rumor is that Apple has been trying to sell off FileMaker for a while. It also makes more sense to have it separate from the standpoint that FileMaker Pro needs to appear to be platform neutral exactly because so may of their customers are Windows based.

I love developing for FileMaker Pro, and the strongest point is that cross-platform nature. If Apple does do work in this area (and I sincerely hope that they do so) then I would prefer that they make it based on CoreData and use a lot of MacOS X-only technology. But I don't want FileMaker Pro to go that route.
post #4 of 11
The problem with FileMaker is that it's too middle-of-the-pack. It's neither enterprise enough (e.g., Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server) nor cheap enough. And there are several free solutions (e.g., MySQL), which while not easy to use (and certainly not RAD like FileMaker is), they are well understood and free. So in essence, FileMaker has carved a small niche of royal customers but not much else.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

... So in essence, FileMaker has carved a small niche of royal customers but not much else.

Do you make-up this stuff as you go along or what? FileMaker is the No. 1 DBMS on the Macintosh and the No. 2 DBMS on Windows behind Microsoft's own Access, which is not really a DBMS. Some niche
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Do you make-up this stuff as you go along or what? FileMaker is the No. 1 DBMS on the Macintosh and the No. 2 DBMS on Windows behind Microsoft's own Access, which is not really a DBMS. Some niche

If it was part of iWork and could read and export mdb files, it would complete the productivity suite. I do need to create and edit Access files all the time and upload them to a win 2003 server. If I could do it on my Mac, I would be much more productive.

m

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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Do you make-up this stuff as you go along or what? FileMaker is the No. 1 DBMS on the Macintosh and the No. 2 DBMS on Windows behind Microsoft's own Access, which is not really a DBMS. Some niche

Hey, don't shoot the messenger. I think FileMaker is a fine product for its intended use. I think FileMaker is one of the best databases for non-enterprise rapid application development needs (that's a niche though).

The fact is, outside Mac OS X, FileMaker isn't widely used. As for Access, let's just say Microsoft did a very good job killing/buying all of its competitors (minus FileMaker, which seems to be the only other survivor thanks to Mac platform).

You won't hear much argument on whether Access is a "real" DBMS or not. Personally, I think it sucks and useful only for prototyping and data analysis needs. Then again, FileMaker does not compete with the likes of Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, etc. either.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

Hey, don't shoot the messenger. ...

I'm not shooting the messenger; I am only pointing that his message is wrong.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

Hey, don't shoot the messenger. I think FileMaker is a fine product for its intended use. I think FileMaker is one of the best databases for non-enterprise rapid application development needs (that's a niche though).

The fact is, outside Mac OS X, FileMaker isn't widely used. As for Access, let's just say Microsoft did a very good job killing/buying all of its competitors (minus FileMaker, which seems to be the only other survivor thanks to Mac platform).

You are correct that FileMaker is a "nitch" product, but I think you vastly underestimate how large that nitch is. I have done quite a bit of contracting work for small compainies that are Windows-only but are also FileMaker-only. And with the newest version allowing for external SQL tables over ODBC I think that FileMaker is ready for another growth cycle.

With Access I can't let an office manager make changes to the solution, with FileMaker I can (unless things have gotten very complicated).

Quote:
You won't hear much argument on whether Access is a "real" DBMS or not. Personally, I think it sucks and useful only for prototyping and data analysis needs. Then again, FileMaker does not compete with the likes of Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, etc. either.

I think you have missed some things, and think that Access and FileMaker are in the same space as those. Both Access and FileMaker, and other solutions like 4D, are Database Solution environments. That is they include both a back-end (the database) and a front end (the user interface).

On the high end Oracle also provides that (Oracle Forms for instance), and then the rest of the products are databases "only". They provide no user front-end at all.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

I'm not shooting the messenger; I am only pointing that his message is wrong.

Wrong how? As much as I like FileMaker, it is just not widely used outside Mac. That's a fact. Feel free to correct me with fact and I will stand corrected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl Kuehn View Post

You are correct that FileMaker is a "nitch" product, but I think you vastly underestimate how large that nitch is. I have done quite a bit of contracting work for small compainies that are Windows-only but are also FileMaker-only. And with the newest version allowing for external SQL tables over ODBC I think that FileMaker is ready for another growth cycle.

In over 10 years developing client/server/web applications, I have never seen FileMaker (or Access) used in enterprise environment. I have seen it used for internal use (e.g., bug tracking, data warehouse), but never for production environment. Heck, until version 9, FileMaker wasn't even considered as a "real DBMS" due to limited SQL capability.

The fact is, not even Apple use FileMaker for anything but small scale projects. That is not to suggest desktop database market is dead. Business analysts depend on them and for many SMBs (and even some mid-size), they are entirely suitable (especially given their front-end RAD capabilities). It's just that like Office and Windows, Access owns majority of that market.

For FileMaker to breakaway from that Microsoft's hold, I would love to see low cost or open source edition of it (perhaps bundled with iWork). But as it stands, it is priced to compete directly against Access and for all practical intent and purpose, is designed to attract existing FileMaker users rather than new.
post #11 of 11
Of course neither Access or FileMaker is suitable for an "Enterprise" solution. Competing with the Enterprise platforms (Oracle Forms, WebObjects, iPlanet, etc) is not inside the purview of either one of those products. But the vase majority of businesses are not "Enterprise" environments. And for about 30 users the best solutions out there for non-web database solutions are (in this order in my mind): FileMaker, 4D, and Access.

And yes, more people probably use Access, but for the same reason they use PowerPoint to make posters: it is what they already purchased because they "had to" buy MS Office.

And I am not sure why people get in the midset that the only thing worth being is number 1. FileMaker Inc. turns a nice little profit every year, and is in no danger of going away.
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