The January 2024 Claris Platform User Group meeting provided an informative presentation on Enterprise FileMaker by Tim Cimbura, CEO of LuminFire, joined by Mack Richardson, Solution Architect, and Shawn Krueger, Solution Engineer (also from LuminFire).

The meeting focused on the role of FileMaker in an enterprise, and the challenges of implementing FileMaker in these environments. Highlights included bids and negotiations, compliance, scalability, funding challenges, and being required to complete enterprise-specific training before development can begin. Also discussed: the complexities of maintaining security, the challenges of remote access, and the role Agile plays in an enterprise environment.

AI Summary of the Event:

FileMaker’s Role and Challenges in Enterprise

Tim discussed the role of FileMaker in the enterprise, highlighting its challenges and potential benefits. Tim explained that the enterprise refers to large companies with a larger team size, a potentially large customer base, and more complex legal and compliance issues. FileMaker is often used in departments or work groups where IT staff are unable to fulfill certain needs. However, Tim also emphasized the challenges of implementing FileMaker in the enterprise, such as selling it to leadership, working with IT staff, and navigating politics and access issues. Tim concluded by outlining the benefits of FileMaker in the enterprise, including customization, ease of use, accessibility, and connectivity.

FileMaker’s Potential and Challenges in Enterprise Settings

Tim discussed the potential of using FileMaker in enterprise settings and the challenges associated with it. He highlighted the need to check IT-required security, compliance, and encryption requirements. He noted that FileMaker now has the ability to handle larger work groups and provide data access more easily to other groups through APIs and data access capabilities. The discussion also touched on the scalability of FileMaker and its ability to be in the cloud or on-premises. The cost of implementing a FileMaker solution easily exceeds the cost of the licensing. Tim suggested solutions to enabling FileMaker in the enterprise such as educating stakeholders about FileMaker, finding an internal champion, and involving the right players from the beginning. Tim also discussed the potential for FileMaker to be SOC2 audit compliant.

Enterprise Challenges in Bids and Negotiations

Tim discussed the challenges faced when working with large enterprises. He highlighted the importance of accurate bids as well as the need to adjust thinking to suit the enterprise’s scale. Also discussed the legal challenges, such as contract negotiations, and the importance of understanding and accommodating the unique security needs of different industries. Tim then mentioned the challenges of payment flexibility and the need to prioritize projects within a large company.

Security and Access Challenges in FileMaker Enterprise Work

Tim discussed the complexities and challenges of maintaining security and access in their work with FileMaker. They highlighted the difficulties of accessing client systems as a contractor, particularly when using remote desktops or VPNs, and the issues that can arise from system slowdowns or server issues. They also mentioned the need for specific training and the extra overhead involved in meeting client training requirements, which can sometimes be unrelated to their work. Tim also discussed the importance of having backups and the shared responsibility in maintaining servers.

Tim discussed the challenges of a developer transitioning from a macOS to a Windows remote workstation, with a focus on system integration and data access. They emphasized the importance of IT support in managing ongoing subscriptions and simplifying processes for clients. The conversation also touched on the use of various tools like Claris Connect and BrilliantConnect for FileMaker integrations. The potential for increased admin tasks in smaller businesses was discussed, as well as the challenges of coordinating updates with different user schedules and the need for more detailed documentation in larger organizations. The discussion highlighted the benefits of deploying tools in various business settings and the importance of staying current with FileMaker client and web direct, utilizing external authentication methods, and employing Agile development methodology. They also emphasized the importance of security and single sign-on systems.

Agile Coding Challenges in Enterprise Environment

Tim and Mack discussed the challenges and considerations of Agile coding in an enterprise environment. Tim emphasized the importance of simplifying processes, using standard themes and naming conventions, and documenting the application and its use for future reference. Mack added that even standardizing on a theme can be complex in large organizations due to varying design and branding standards among different departments.

Tim concluded by assuring that FileMaker has a place in the enterprise and offered help for those who need it.

Reference is made to some additional information available in our previous Enterprise FileMaker blog article originally released at FileMaker DevCon 2019.

If you are interested in enabling the power of FileMaker in your enterprise organization, let’s talk about how we can make it happen.

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.