At the recent FMPUG-MN (FileMaker Pro User Group Minnesota) Meetup, Tim Cimbura discussed FileMaker templates and starter solutions.

Some History… First FileMaker had Sample files. Then they created Starter files. Now they are called Templates. Sample files and starter files can be found in FileMaker’s menu. Templates are on the FileMaker website and are available for download along with their associated video tutorials.

The FileMaker Training Series book is also a good resource that includes sample files, but it has not been updated since FileMaker 15.

Notably, older sample/starter files are built to be good demos and easy to understand, but are not built using FileMaker development best practices. Modern Templates do tend to employ best practices. They use Anchor Buoy and have better documentation.

There are some downsides to FileMaker starter solutions:

  • They create data silos that don’t talk to each other
  • Each has a different user interface
  • They are mostly learning examples, and not practical for real-world usage
  • Multiple files add complexity in maintenance and user management

The “FileMaker off the Record” podcast on 3rd Party Starter Files discusses some of the differences between the following starter solutions:

LuminFire’s fmIgnite framework for FileMaker development is an excellent choice among those available. Learn more here: