Evaluating an Application Development Platform
A new IT guy at a large company in Texas was tasked with finding a development tool for a new application. After doing some research, he went to his manager with a hot-off-the-press product from a well-known software publisher. His manager asked him 3 questions:
- How long has the product been out?
- How many customers do they have?
- What’s their ecosystem look like?
The answers were not very long, not very many, and pretty thin, respectively. There are all sorts of buzzwords flying around the world of fast application development tools these days: no-code, low-code, high productivity platform as a service, and so on. And as soon as the industry analysts anoint a new hot product space, the usual suspects pile in with new offerings to try and catch the wave.
There's a lot to sift through, but the questions above really clarify the landscape, especially when you examine how many products have been abandoned and discontinued over the years. The organization ended up selecting FileMaker.
Why Delivery Speed is Critical
According to Gartner, 80 to 85% of IT budgets get spent on maintenance, so there's not a lot left for expensive application development efforts. Add to that the fact that technology is changing so rapidly that it's impossible for IT resources to stay on top of the snowballing technology stack. There's just not enough time in the day to learn everything they need to know and do their jobs. Being able to quickly deliver applications that are flexible, that can scale, and that can connect into legacy data infrastructure, is crucial. And it's not just the technology that's changing quickly. The business conditions that create the need for new applications are also changing quickly. If it takes too long to develop an application, the requirements can evolve by the time the application is delivered.
Integrates with Everything, Deploys Everywhere
FileMaker is ostensibly a database product, but it can be used to develop applications that can run on Mac or Windows, in a web browser, on iOS devices, on Android devices, and has a rich set of APIs for REST, XML, PHP, ODBC, and even Tableau integration. FileMaker can easily communicate with the APIs of the constellation of microservices that can be found these days.
You also need to select a platform that won't disappear out from under you, that has a track record, and that has a community you can turn to when you get stuck on a technical issue. Application development these days is not unlike cyclists riding in a peloton - the riders take turns riding into the headwinds so that other riders can have it easier. The shared effort makes everyone go faster, and that's true in application development as well. That works best when there's a worldwide community of fellow developers to turn to for help, which is what you find on the FileMaker Community. FileMaker has been around since 1985, has millions of users, and is constantly evolving to stay current with modern application requirements.
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