The Support Group Blog

Will There Be an iPad App for FileMaker?

Frank asks:

Is there, or will there be, an iPad app for FileMaker and Server?

My guess?  Absolutely.  I mean, there has to be, right?  Mobile apps are all the rage, and I can’t imagine that FileMaker is not seriously investigating this market (they’ve already done a great job with their Bento app).  But there are existing solutions available today as well.

If you’re looking to access your FileMaker data remotely, the web is the key.  You can very easily publish your FileMaker databases online using FileMaker Server and the PHP Site Assistant, or Server Advanced and Instant Web Publishing.  The PHP Site Assistant even comes with an iPhone theme.  If you need to look up records, make a few edits, and so on, without needing the full FileMaker experience, this can take just minutes to set up.

In fact, going the web publishing route allows you to share with other devices as well.  I love my iPhone and iPad, but here at The Support Group we have a number of people using Android and BlackBerry phones as well.  Deploying via a browser allows us to be flexible in supporting various devices.

There is also a third party tool, FMTouch, available in the App Store, which allows you to recreate portions of your databases on an iPhone or iPad, with a ‘FileMaker-inspired’ interface, and then sync data back and forth.  It can’t reproduce everything (I’d say its biggest limitation is its degree of support for scripts and calculations), but it does have some nifty features and allow you access to your data when you’re offline (though personally I find that rare these days).

So… I remain convinced that FileMaker will ship an iPhone OS app.  But until then, there are still several ways to access your FileMaker systems from your iPad or iPhone.  Need help setting it up?  Talk to us.

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