Tim Dietrich

Custom Software Developer

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FileMaker Case Study: Bernard Nacht & Company

A long time client of mine, Bernard Nacht & Company, came to me last week with a request.

Bernard Nacht is an established estate jewelry company that was started back in 1906. For well over 10 years, the company has been using a custom FileMaker solution that I developed for them. The database is used to track detailed information about the company's inventory, including photos, pricing, certificates, and much more. The database also powers the company's product Web site. When it comes to FileMaker, this client is "all in."

The Request: Mobile, Offline Access to Critical Data

The team at Bernard Nacht frequently attends trade shows. When they do, they need quick, reliable access to their product information. However, the shows are normaly held in large convention centers, so there's no guarantee that there will be an internet connection available.

So the request was to provide the team with an easy way to access product information via their mobile devices. Specifically, they wanted a way to access important information, including photos, for all of the items that are in stock.

The Solution: FileMaker Go & EasySync

The team uses a combination of iPhones an iPads, so FileMaker Go was a natural, perfect fit. I created a very basic custom FileMaker database to store only the information that they need. It includes a small subset of the fields that are found in the more complex and robust hosted database. Copies of the mobile database are distributed to the team via DropBox, and they open the database in FileMaker Go. The mobile database includes simple, intuitive layouts that are specifically designed for the device being used. (There is one set of layouts for iPhones, and another for iPads.)

To handle the transfer of information between the central database (which is hosted on a FileMaker Server by Open Remote) and the mobile database, I created a custom sync solution based in large part on EasySync. The sync process pulls all of the latest information on the jewelry that is in stock, including the photos, and does so in under a minute. The speed of the sync process makes it convenient for the team to update the information on their mobile devices.

This is another great example of how the FileMaker platform can be used to create mobile solutions. Using a combination of FileMaker Server, FileMaker Go, and EasySync, the company now has access to critical business information anytime, anywhere.

Screen Shots

The mobile solution's simple yet elegant start screen.

A sample item as seen in the mobile solution. Only the information that the team needs is displayed.

Do you need a custom mobile database or a sync solution? Visit my company's Web site at simpledbs.com.