on 17 October 2011
Once again an expensive piece of software that comes without any printed documentation in English. There is an English PDF file on the DVD but it is very basic. With a program as complicated as FMPRO 11 it is not practical to view the documentation on screen whilst using the program. The licence is extremely restrictive, you have to buy a new copy at full price for each machine you wish to display your database on. Even the iPad/iPhone FMPRO GO application requires you to purchase a separate copy of the program for each type of device. There is no easy way of transferring updated records between mobile devices and the desktop other than copying the whole database across, a major failing considering that even Bento allows this.
Although now retired I was an Oracle database manager for a large organisation in my past life and consider myself fairly database savvy but understanding how to design a FMPRO 11 relational database presented me with a steep learning curve. I purchased this program as a hobbyist purely to keep my brain active during retirement; - it will certainly meet that requirement! Luckily I can spend as long as I need learning the interface. Meanwhile I have ordered 'FileMaker Pro 11 -The Missing Manual' by Susan Prosser. Filemaker would have done well to have included it with the software package!
In summary this is a very powerful program, but with a sometimes illogical and not particularly consistent design interface. For large organisations it is without doubt a program to consider, but it is not really for the small business or hobbyist unless you have a tame programmer to hand and/or the time and budget to spend considerable money on books and training.
on 14 August 2010
Part of my job involves analysing data so I am familiar with a well known spreadsheet package. However, a lot of the data is contained in different documents so I decided a database was more appropriate. Bento, my previous database, was not up to the job. It is good at what it does, but that is it.
So I tried the "Big Two", running Microsoft Access through a third party app (I'm on a Mac) and Filemaker Pro natively.
Filemaker has a steep learning curve, but makes much more sense than the other package- I ran screaming from that one within 30 minutes!
So, why haven't I rated it as 5*? Partly due to the fact I can't use it properly yet! I have several ideas, and more come to mind each time but I am still not comfortable with it at the moment. I have ordered the "Missing Manual" book to go with it and then we will be well away.
If Microsoft is not your preferred choice and Bento isn't powerful enough for you check out Filemaker