Many FileMaker databases were created long ago in earlier versions of FileMaker that did not have the modern tools for creating custom themes and styles like those available in FileMaker 13. As such, FileMaker sometimes gets a bad rap for having “tired” or poorly designed user interfaces.

Clients often hire us to redesign, update, and enhance these older databases to take advantage of modern features that make them more functional as well as look a lot better. We can do so while maintaining all the existing data.

As an example, here we provide a before-and-after view of a recently redesigned “calculator” for machine parts used by one of our clients. The original calculations were based on formulas in an Excel spreadsheet. Now they wanted to adapt it for use with sheet metal parts as well for which they had a different Excel spreadsheet.

Old database before redesign…


New database after redesign…a dramatic difference.


In examining the requirements, we found that we could make use of the same fields for both calculators, and only needed to change some of the Setup/Runtime field labels that were different. So we created field labels that were dynamically calculated based on type. This thought and design simplified the user interface and made it more useful in multiple scenarios. An added advantage is that this layout is now more appropriate for use on an iPad with FileMaker Go or the web via the new WebDirect feature.

You can see the awesome difference in the look compared to the old database. FileMaker can create beautiful and clean looking applications. It just requires a talented development team that knows how to take advantage of the tools available.

Tim Cimbura – CEO and Software Engineer

Tim is an expert in creating custom business solutions that make businesses more effective, productive, and profitable. He specializes in rapid application development with the Claris platform including FileMaker and WordPress. He also knows Apple macOS technology inside and out.