About FileMaker


FileMaker is an app development solution that lets users create and deploy apps. Users can make apps across mobile, cloud and on-premise environments, and no programming skills are required.

FileMaker provides built-in templates to create apps for contact management, content management, inventory and task management. The solution can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud.

FileMaker allows users to customize their apps with their company brands, logos and colors. It provides reporting and charting tools to make summary reports, charts, graphs and dashboards. Users can export data from the dashboard in Excel and PDF format.

The solution helps users create two-way connections with Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL and IBM DB2 data sources. It provides 256-bit encryption to protect data stored in a server. Support is provided via online forum and phone.



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Supported Operating System(s):

Mac OS, Web browser (OS agnostic), Windows 10

113 Reviews of FileMaker

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.42 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.5

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(62)

4 stars

(39)

3 stars

(10)

2 stars

(1)

1 stars

(1)

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

Very likely

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Showing 1-20 of 113 reviews

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October 2017

Alison from The Prairie School

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2017

Overall ease of use if familiar with WYSIWYG programming, otherwise can be difficult to manipulate.

We are able to build our IT assets database using this software. We are able to replicate our insurance claim form within it to pull information from our asset record and have another layout for the repairs. We are able to seamlessly find a record, make a new insurance repair record, click a button to email our insurance provider, print mailing and asset labels, and communicate back to the user with just three layouts including the labels. Our previous database, before being rebuilt was 53 layouts but was able to be streamlined to just the three using some slick little boxes that keep a record of repairs on a single device, and by using buttons. This makes filing insurance repair claims much quicker than filling out their excel and PDF forms by hand and also gives us a location to keep our own record.

Pros

I like the granularity of the software and the fact that it can be almost limitless in the possibilities. We use this software to keep our IT asset database, and when we lost the member of our team who managed our database to retirement, we found ourself in a quandary the first time it did not function as needed due to a change in our insurance company's requirements. I was able to figure out the software on my own and rebuild our database in simplified form within three weeks, and fully import all of our assets. Layouts are easily modifiable and integrate well into other applications, like mail. Scripts were easily definable through a little trial and error for this novice. Additionally, the fact that multiple people at our organization can be viewing a single record at once is quite helpful, even if only one can edit at a time, which is easily understandable. Overall, a solid product.

Cons

In terms of cons, Filemaker, while robust, is not very friendly for new users. It is easy to override data that is not locked, and when items are locked, they tend to not be able to function in scripts as well as unlocked data. Additionally, while the data in fields may be requisite for locking, with the chance of change being a rarity, it is not fragile enough to warrant it be locked and unlocked in layout every time. A protective middle-ground would be nice to be able to implement with the click of a button rather than having to write a script to go "Are you sure?". Additionally, my IT director of several years was unable to rebuild or modify our database without issue despite 16 years of IT experience and many more years than myself with FM. My background in WYSIWYG programs like Adobe GoLive prepared me for their natural, if sometimes clunky, nature. I wish the software was less clunky, and more user-friendly, because it would be great for general IT users.

June 2017

James from Storganise Ltd

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

June 2017

Simple database software, that can be used for so much more

Organisation, and minimising of repetitive tasks

Pros

Filemaker is extremely adaptable. It can be used by a small one-or-two computer setup, right up to a huge conglomerate. The software remains the same, and enables your business to grow without having to keep changing software.

They are constantly updating the extra functionality; with the latest revision there is more possibility for engagement with other applications, enhanced security, and a re-designed interface for PC users.

I have been using FMP for the last 10 years, first as a tool in my business, and latterly as a developer with many companies. It is as robust today as it was when I started, and keeps getting better.

Cons

Enabling the use of FIlemaker on a large-scale for a small company is very difficult. Let me explain...

Company A provides security guards to Clubs, Shops, Companies, etc... They have a full-time workforce of 10 employees, and then 400 security personnel on their books as either casual or part-time employees. The 10 full-time employees utilise Filemaker Pro to book jobs for the part-time and casual employees, the software is also used for vetting potential new recruits, invoicing companies, and keeping a history of who has worked where, and any comments from either side about that.

An extra function would be to allow the part-time and casual employees the ability to see part of the Filemaker database, so they could access their upcoming jobs and leave any comments. With iBeacons, a safety system could also be utilised to make sure they are on patrol at a certain time in a given location.

With Filemaker's current structure, each casual worker would need their own license to make this extra functionality easily happen, which of course is prohibitively expensive.

But if that is the only drawback I can think of, then they are doing just fine!

June 2017

Jim from ESU 1

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

June 2017

Filemaker has brought to light data service saving hours of data manipulation producing tears of joy

Keeping Data secure and yet available to our employees gives them a sense of in control. We use the data to produce a daily log of their activity and then use that data to bill our customers. It is so much better than trying to find the data from their individual reports and then creating the reports on a monthly basis. Now we simply hit a button and the reports are done. I love how as a developer we can see our users appreciate the software because it makes their jobs easier and gives them the sense that they can concentrate on other things rather than the record keeping. Our users are happier and excited about bringing the qualifiers of the data to light so they can justify their work. In an app that tracks trouble requests, a log is created to show all that the tech people do to facilitate repair issues. No longer are those in charge wondering what their subordinates are doing. They can just open the app and see what they've accomplished.

Pros

I love that if you can think it, Filemaker can produce it. Given the time to develop motion, you can get the software to repeat that motion over and over. That saves time and time is money. I love how it provides mental exercise while developing but also is intuitive when it comes to building a custom application that the whole business can take advantage. After an introduction to a new "app" built in Filemaker, it isn't long that all departments ask "what could it do for us?" And the answer is "what do you need". It is so versatile. Integration with things like email, Google, Office can lead to great productivity.

Cons

The think I like least is the capability in reports to do some word processing capabilities. But it's still a great Form library. But I wish it could insert a page break that would be understood while printing a report.

July 2018

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

July 2018

Filemaker Pro Developer for many years

Pros

Filemaker Pro allows you to prototype and built database production grade applications fast. The nicest thing about Filemaker Pro is that you built the database structure, scripts and layouts in the same application. Building lay outs is as easy as drag and drop and doesn't require extensive design skills or knowledge of secondary technologies such as HTML/CSS/JavaScript. Personally I think anyone who's willing to dedicated some time for training is able to become a Filemaker Developer. Another nice thing is that database applications can easily be integrated with mobile platforms.

Filemaker applications can be hosted online (cloud), on premise on Filemaker Server and locally on the Filemaker client. The applications that I've build with Filemaker run for 10+ years already on a Filemaker Server multi site environment and is in use by 25+ people on a daily basis.

Filemaker is regularly updated (major versions usually once a year) which introduces new features. These updates make Filemaker better each round, for instance the latest upgrade introduces sensory perception for IOS devices and a new administration console.

Finally, the development and implementation costs of Filemaker Pro applications are very low compared to enterprise database solutions making it really attractive for SMB. The licensing is server and client based and there is also a subscription based license to be paid annually.

Cons

The pros of Filemaker Pro heavily outweigh its cons but here is a few:
- Performance of applications is nowhere as good as that of enterprise solutions, especially when multiple clients from different sites connect to an on premise hosted server.
- Filemaker has its own scripting engine, which is pretty good, but some functions/operations can be a bit difficult to implement due to its limitations which is easier in SQL.

March 2019

Anonymous

Verified Reviewer

Company Size: 1 employee

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Functionality

4.0

March 2019

Useful but complicated

It's solving my inventory problem. I ended up using an off shoot of filemaker pro which was organized by a fellow artist for my inventory needs. This was exceedingly useful because she had already sat down and done all the complicated set up work and I'm reaping the rewards. This has allowed me to organize all the work I have physically in my apartment as well as the work that is consigned. It has helped me keep track of the production costs so that I know how to price the pieces for sale. It has helped me easily pull up the titles when sending out proposals. The list could go on and on. It's a vastly useful software if you can get over the initial hurdle of making the database a reflection of your personal needs.

Pros

I regularly use this software for inventory reasons, especially in relation to art. With that said, it allows you to build your own layout and database to adapt it to exactly what you want it to be. When fully adapted it works beautifully. Using it in the context of galleries or other spaces where it has been set up is a dream. It allows relatively easy searches in many categories, allowing you to create very specific, isolated keywords to find things later (such as their price, year created, subject matter, title, name of creator etc). It's very useful.

Cons

This software is not easy to set up. I did a trial run at my house, as an artist myself, to see if I could use filemaker for my own inventory needs. Once I had the software downloaded, I found it exceedingly complicated to begin to create the boxes/ qualifiers with which I wanted to be able to add data. I don't consider myself a novice with softwares. I think I'm fairly capable on a computer and even after watching a few YouTube tutorials I ended up giving up on the prospect of using this at home. It seems more relevant for businesses where there is someone well-versed in database softwares to adapt it to yoru specific needs.

May 2018

Joel from OneStrand

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

May 2018

The Best Database Software for Small to Medium Businesses, AND for Beginners Starting Out

We have done our timekeeping in FileMaker for over two decades. We developed numerous other business solutions that have had a significant impact on our ability to be profitable and become more efficient at everything we do as a company.

Pros

I tried learning databases with SQL and MS Access. It wasn't until I started using FileMaker that I really began understanding how databases work. Although FileMaker is VERY powerful, it caters to beginners in a way that no other software does. The ability to grasp how databases function, how to build them, how to maintain them, and how to develop a solution for yourself, or others, is unmatched. I learned databases with FileMaker and that has helped me understand how SQL works and how databases in general work. All this to say that the thing I like the most about FileMaker is how easy it was to learn along with how powerful it is to develop in. I can make something small for myself, or something huge for a client.

Cons

FileMaker's weakest spot has to do with user interface (layout) tools. Although there is a very good selection of controls available, it pales in comparison to what you can get with other software. Even a free version of Visual Studio will provide you with a lot more layout controls than FileMaker. Although this is FileMaker's biggest weakness, it also means that you aren't overwhelmed with options when designing layouts. That feeds into FileMaker's strengths of being easy to learn.

November 2018

David from University of Alaska Foundation

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

5.0

November 2018

Easy, powerful do it yourself solution

I have used FileMaker for 22 years and am continually impressed with its evolution. It has leap-frogged passed Access as a "home database" and now competes with top-level professional data solutions. FileMaker Go is a pleasure to use. I have built my own Contacts solution that is years ahead of anything in the iOS app store. I wish a customer portal could be built to make dealing with support issues easier. The single biggest request, an Android version, falls on deaf ears; likely because FileMaker is owned by Apple Inc.

Pros

The FileMaker platform (desktop, server, cloud, FileMaker Go mobile app) is lightyears in simplicity ahead of Microsoft Access - which I often hear as the "go-to do it yourself" solution. FileMaker is ridiculously simple to use, especially when using a built-in starter solution. FileMaker scales to almost enterprise levels of use. The scripting functionality make creation of custom apps (no longer called "solutions") a very quick affair. FileMaker works with Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, and the iOS FileMaker Go App. Pricing is very reasonable considering all it does.

Cons

Development of the platform usually runs slower than emerging technologies can be incorporated. There is no Android version of the mobile app. The web app is an acceptable solution for simple solutions, but usually not a good option for apps using complex scripting. Support can be challenging. There is no customer portal to manage keys and payment information.

October 2017

Stefany from Manhattan Residential Group

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

October 2017

Complex Relational Databases for Non-Complex Creators.

A simple way to throw a database together in minutes for a mailing list or tracking inventory. With the same ease of use, you can have a complex structure for a relational database. Filemaker has allowed me to create what I need myself. Without hiring or outsourcing, I was able to save a great deal of money.

Pros

I've been a user of Filemaker on and off since it's early days as a Claris product. The number one pro in my opinion is the ease in which you can start using Filemaker Databases. The templates out of the gate are well built, have a nice UI and give you the freedom to make them yours easily. Beginners can use the templates to get a taste for the Filemaker development structure while not having to climb a steep learning curve to get an app or database off the ground. Deployment is one click for simple web use and a few more clicks to deploy on a hosted solution like Amazon Web Services. For the expert user, complex systems can be made in a shorter amount of time and a GUI can be in place at the same time. Single developer and teams can all just in can create some thing truly functional and efficient.

The ease of use allows you to really create what you wanted not what you are able to achieve due to a learning curve. Help is readily available in the forums and through their customer support. I have received database files as example of how to fix a problem I was having. They really go the extra mile to get you up and running fast.

There is a vast library of plug-ins from third party vendors that close the gap on development time. Days if not weeks of time can be saved with one plug-in. They don't come cheap so be sure you need it. There is are also a multitude of free add-ons and plug-in to add functionality to your databases.

Cons

Licensing is a little steep for a small business or single user. The add-ons are also a bit pricey. When looking at the cost to develop, you really need to budget and make sure you only buy what you need.

December 2017

Matthew from Our Sunday Visitor

Company Size: 201-500 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

December 2017

Excellent database platform. Easy to use and easy to develop for.

After switching to FileMaker Server from another horrible piece of software, we are now able to easily do the development of our databases ourselves. This makes it a very flexible system for us.

Pros

FileMaker is incredibly easy to work with, offers generally well documented online help docs, and has a huge and active community of developers you can learn from. We have used FileMaker Server to host about 20 different databases with great results. I don't think I can overstate it enough that it was very easy for us to learn the software. We migrated from an outdated and ill-supported database system where development was only officially supported by the company that made the software. Contrast that with FileMaker where you are expected to do the development yourself because it's so simple. Very glad we switched to FileMaker.

Cons

I suppose my least favorite thing about FileMaker Server is that upgrading to a new version requires you to uninstall the current version first. This means you have to take some steps to preserve your server-specific settings before the uninstall/upgrade process otherwise you'll be starting from scratch with your server settings. Some settings can be exported to a file, but for others you have to take screenshots to preserve the settings which is a slight pain. This doesn't affect the databases you've created, but would affect scripts that are scheduled to run from the server.

June 2017

Julio from Automation USA, LLC

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

June 2017

The best cross-platform rapid application development framework out there!

We have been developing custom B2B apps extensively on this platform for over 15 years and use it internally for our own business.

Pros

You can quickly and easily design powerful and sophisticated custom applications that run on Mac, Windows, iOS, and the Web. You develop once and deploy the same base code on all platforms, customizing your forms according to each platform's needs.

Their iOS runtimes take great advantage of Apple technologies like:
the buit-in GPS hardware and external iBeacons for location/geolocation based workflows
 the built-in camera for snapping photos and reading 2-D Barcode (barcode scanning)
multi-touch, for gesture-triggered actions and capturing on-screen signatures

Their Server and Cloud products are among the easiest to deploy and maintain.

Their proprietary WebDirect technology is the easiest and fastest way to deploy web-based applications for workgroups that I have ever seen.

Their suite of built-in web-integration capabilities spans the gamut: PHP, cURL, REST APIs, XML, and WebDirect.

Cons

Lack of a built-in push notification mechanism, either thru their Servers or via the host OS. Also, their Cloud product could benefit from Load Balancing support.

June 2017

Jeff from Lord & Murphy, Inc.

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

June 2017

Powerful database system with easy to learn/use interface, but also powerful development back-end.

The feature I enjoy most is the capability to use the product cross platform. I have a Windows 10 PC running at my desk, I use an Apple MacBook Pro on the road, along with my iPad where ever, and FileMaker gives me the ability to use my database applications on all those platforms.

Pros

Import your Excel spreadsheet, place a few fields on a form, within minutes you have created a user interface as a starting point for what can become a very powerful business application. Using the database manager, you can create links between data tables quickly and visually. Cross platform capable! Run the application on a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, or use a web interface (requires the server product). Once you start using this product, and it becomes an integral part of your business operation, you can either teach yourself the advanced features, or hire a consultant to help you out as there is a very strong developer community. The development language is a easy to learn scripting language.

Cons

FileMaker still struggles to gain acceptance in IT departments, and yet it is a legitimate application development environment with very powerful capabilities.

April 2018

Duane from Dray Design Studio

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

4.0

April 2018

I have used the product as both a user/administrator, and as developer.

Pros

The software is easy to use and relatively easy to learn from a developer's standpoint. It has all of the functional capability one needs to develop a useful database application, such as contact/client management or - in my case - management of an art gallery's permanent collection.