Already using FileMaker? We’re pleased to tell you that you can now get all that data-crunching, form-filling functionality in a (free!) portable form…
What is FileMaker Go?
If you’re already using FileMaker Pro on your Mac or PC, you’ll know that it’s a pretty powerful business tool, containing everything you need to create usable, attractive forms and databases for anything from sales floor surveys to stock inventory. FileMaker Go (FileMaker, Inc., free) is a free app that allows you to extend FileMaker functionality to your iPad or iPhone. You can view and edit existing data on your iOS device, with any changes or additions being immediately reflected in your main FileMaker database back at the office.
How does it work?
If you’ve used the desktop version, FileMaker Pro, it’s basically like that, but with a set of templates, fonts and forms that are all optimised for iPad, so anything you create will be easy to view and use on an iOS device. You can also create and share the same reports and charts that have proved so helpful in the desktop version, so anyone who works on the road can always run off the most recent data before a meeting.
For anyone new to the world of FileMaker: you use the customisable templates to create forms to capture any data you can think of. (FileMaker, Inc is a fully owned subsidiary of Apple, so their templates are all very clean and work brilliantly on iPad and iPhone-sized displays.) You can then share these forms with other FileMaker users on your company network, no matter what device they’re on, and any data they add will automatically be synced to your main FileMaker server back in the office.
Using your iPad’s FaceTime camera, it’s possible to record audio and video and then add them into your database too. We can see this coming in particularly handy if you need people to collect customer testimonials or feed back to the office about a site visit.
Who is it for?
Anyone who needs to access, record or present business data in a simple, customer- and user-friendly way, without slouching when it comes to security. FileMaker have an impressively broad list of use cases here, with courtroom aides, salespeople, teachers, film editors and wine aficionados all making an appearance.
One favourite feature
As a company who spend a lot of time waving warranty documents and scopes of work under people’s faces, we’re big fans of the fact that FileMaker Go allows you to capture a client’s signature directly on your iPad screen – they just use a finger or a stylus to write across your iPad’s touchscreen, meaning you can get sign off on an easily sharable electronic document, rather than carting round three copies of a 60 page document.
How much is it and where do I get it?
Anyone who’s already using FileMaker can download FileMaker Go from the App Store for free now and begin syncing with their existing FileMaker system. You can also download a free trial of FileMaker here.