How to make mobile apps with FileMaker 15

The venerable database application has become a popular tool for creating your own business apps. Now you can use those apps wherever you go.

The business world is full of inventories, catalogs and other lists that sit in spreadsheets or databases that would be more useful if you could take them out of the office. With FileMaker Go and FileMaker WebDirect, you can.

FileMaker has long been a way of creating database applications that combines powerful tools for professionals (you can connect to Oracle, SQL — including PostgresSQL and DB2 — ODBC and XML data, create workflow and business logic, set up scripts and do data validation and conditional formatting) with an interface that’s no more complicated than Excel.

“Over the years, FileMaker has gone from a single user list manager to a full-fledged business environment,” says Andrew LeCates of FileMaker, Inc. “Since we introduced support for iPhone and iPad, the impact of allowing anyone to build custom apps has been significant. It's about being a custom business app development platform for teams, end-users and what we call citizen developers.”

That’s not about helping employees work around official processes, he points out, but about acknowledging that the formal processes don’t cover everything. “Rigid technology is essential in helping steer the ship but getting work done with custom workflow allows your employees to be more productive and your business to be more competitive.”

A real iOS app

FileMaker 15 adds new iOS features like 3D Touch, iBeacon and Touch ID in FileMaker Go (available for free on the App Store), and adds support for smartphone browsers in WebDirect.

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