I never expected yesterday's post to reach such a wide audience, nor did I think that it would resonate with so many of you. If nothing else, I hope that it does get conversations going and people thinking.
I want to thank everyone who has replied to me, both online and via back channels. I sincerely appreciate your kind words and thoughts. And while I'm doing my best to reply to everyone, the response has been a bit overwhelming. So I thought I'd try to address a lot of the questions that I've been getting here.
First, here's a summary of what I was trying to say in yesterday's post...
I've been "doing FileMaker" in one form or another for a long time, and I've had a lot of success with it. However, I have a number of concerns about FileMaker (both in terms of the platform and the business). And while I still believe that it is a terrific rapid application development tool, it's no longer a good fit for me. So I'm moving on.
What's going to happen to the open source solutions that you've provided?
That's up to the community. I released those solutions hoping that others would use them, improve them, and support them. I see no reason why that can't continue, regardless of whether or not I'm involved.
Also, I'll continue to host the solution sites, downloads, and so on. They aren't going anywhere.
And finally, there is one last open source solution (fmFoo) that I have developed and promised. I'm hoping to release that in the next few days.
What are your thoughts on FileMaker alternatives?
In my opinion, there really aren't true alternatives to the FileMaker platform. I have yet to find a rapid application development tool that does everything that FileMaker does and does so well.
However, there are obviously many options, and the option that will work best for you will largely depend on the types of problems you want to solve, how comfortable you are working in more traditional development environments (i.e. "writing code"), or how much time you are willing to invest learning new programming languages.
The tools that I've found that work well for me are Xojo and Swift. I'm doing a Webinar in July that will show how you can use Xojo to develop native iOS apps that integrate with FileMaker. If you're interested, click here to register.
What are you doing next?
I'll be focusing on developing native mobile applications that integrate with central databases. It's essentially n-tier development, where there's a mobile application on the front end, a Web service / API sitting in the middle, and a database on the backend. As for the databases that I'll be using: MySQL, Airtable, and, of course, FileMaker. I have also been experimenting with Amazon's DynamoDB.
I'm also working with a few other businesses, and in the process of launching a startup of my own.
Can I have your clients / leads?
I'll be referring prospects and clients to a couple of FileMaker developers that I know and trust.
Will you be attending DevCon?
Have you heard from FileMaker Inc about your post?