I‘m asked: why not filemaker?

Trying to answer that question, I also tried to figure out what the current licensing situation is, with filemaker.

I found the information that the runtime is „deprecated“. Does this mean that soon any customer of a custom filemaker application is requred to purchase a filemaker pro license?

The information about this, on the filemaker website, is most obscure, at leat to me…

Can any filemaker expert share his knowledge?
How much does it cost to share a filemaker app?

filemaker is too expensive to deploy. really.

Did you ask FileMaker Inc about that ?

Another point of view:

It is a chance for you as a developer to provide Xojo bsed applications to replace FileMaker solutions… :wink:

Runtimes are deprecated for 5 years now.
FMI still includes them, even for next version, so you can continue for a few more years until an OS upgrade may break them.

FileMaker itself can be fast to make a database application, especially as you get a lot of built-in, server, web and iOS client.
It costs about $15 per user and month, but can go down with higher user counts.

that’s what I did, replace 4th dimension and filemaker I used 10 years ago with sqlite, postgres, (sometimes mysql) and xojo app.
works far far far better that before, but it took me 3+ years to make the same functions.

I agree with Christian, FM is a good choice to quickly make a database prototype, but then it costs a lot if you deploy it.
I dont even speak about the OOP capabilities of the script toy included in FM. Jesus they (still) have hypertalk, why don’y they include it in FM ???

Well, a big difference is that in Xojo you need to invest something like 1000 work hours to get some basic stuff coded before you can do what you would do in FileMaker with a few mouse clicks.

FileMaker is great for someone who is not a developer to define a database and start entering data. Add a few reports, charts, imports and exports, all without writing a single script line.

You can build nice and huge systems with solutions to run a business with hundreds of people using it.

But usually it makes more sense if you bill a client e.g. $5000 for a solution and the $1000 share for FileMaker license is worth it.

If you use argen with Xojo you can have a simple database app in an afternoon. All the time consuming crud is done in a flash

there is more than just the database things to replace when you come from 4th dimension or filemaker.
but yes argen is a good start.

I did this as a part time developer, so it took me 3 years to do it, but I counted some 650 hours in my dev logs to achieve the kernel.

@Oliver Osswald - as a FileMaker reseller, I can tell you that license purchases are confusing. But, to roll out a new app now, yes, you must purchase the licenses or minimally concurrent connections to access the application. Price per user varies depending on what type of company it is and how many total users you will have. If you go to the FileMaker store, you can see the pricing options and play around with different combinations - https://store.filemaker.com/

FileMaker pricing is about to go up again: https://twitter.com/HalGumbert/status/1105836351130341376

Thanks everybody! The discussion here confirms my suspicion: it seems to be just as big of a confusing mess as I thought it is.

Filemaker seems to be great to give a non-programmer a big jump-start, but then remains limited compared to actual programming languages, plus it comes at a high and continuously payable price.

I built an App using Filemaker, spent a lot of time learning how to develop for it, and it helps me in my business…

…however, I got an email stating that unless I reupped to a yearly plan, I’d be out of luck – the stuff would stop working.

I called them ad they said that’s not going to happen, and then offered me a steep discount on reupping that went down with the number of years I signed up for, so I did it. My entire business is in my db and I cannot afford to lose it.

But their model is terrible.

Anyone know where I can go to learn how to develop for Xojo specifically to integrate into a db? And some guidance on what db I should be using?

Thanks in advance.

Start here:


My suggestion would be to start playing with Xojo and get used to the language to see if you like it. I love the language… I use MySQL but others like Postgres and other flavors of SQL.

Then think about how you want to deploy your Xojo app. As of today, you could create a Desktop app and a separate iOS app. Or you could create a Web app that would work almost everywhere. That’s all possible today.

That said, I’m waiting for Xojo Web 2.0 to become available. Based on the sessions at XDC 2018 and XDC 2019 I hope it’ll be a fantastic replacement for FileMaker. The Xojo Road Map, https://documentation.xojo.com/resources/roadmap.html, states that Xojo Web 2.0 is high on the list but ''Easy Database Connectivity" is very low on the list which would help folks coming from FileMaker. Writing all the SQL code is a big change for most FM devs, but it’s manageable.

You should know you can run Xojo Web apps on Mac, Windows, and Linux. I prefer Linux in order to run on Amazon Lightsail servers which a very low cost and rock-solid and they’ve added MySQL to the Lightsai admin page recently.

Thing is we don’t know when Xojo Web 2.0 or Easy Database Connectivity will be available. While I wait, I’m working in PHP to have a backup plan.

Welcome Scott,

You may dowload the pdf called Introduction to Programming with Xojo 3rd Edition here .

You will find a chapter talking about data bases.

The documentation is here (docs).

With the IDE, you will get some (many) examples.

At last, you are able to ask here for help when you need it (remember to write the platform OS and Xojo version #).

For the db to use, may I suggest SQLite ?


for a multi user database, use postgres (as mysql has a strange licence model, it’s free but you may pay someday ?)
for a single user database, use sqlite.

if you have very wide multi platform users for the database, going to a web app( with local sqlite db) is something to consider.

I’ve over the last 4 years developed a FM Solution with FileMaker Server, MirrorSync and FM Go. I use MirrorSync in order to avoid Concurrent Users from FM, but MirrorSync just have other Licensing model.

The solution works quite seamless, but there are too many dependent parts that all needs to be aligned in order for it to work. Also there is no option for Android solutions in FM. And FM Server really need a lot of hardware to perform good.

I’m now migrating the solution to Xojo / MySQL, and it takes time to learn Xojo and all the little secret ‘loopholes’ as it does with all languages. FM is also quite ‘funny’ in its behavior, so 'I also spent a lot of hours leaning FM. So the major reasons for me to move to Xojo is:

  1. Scalability (MySQL running on AWS RDS is awesome, and you can plug a Xojo Web App on AWS EC2 and scale very easy)
  2. Fewer 3rd party components that I have minor influence over
  3. Android is hopefully comming to Xojo
  4. Speed of execution. FM is in some areas extremely slow in process. Some of my processes is approx 100x faster in Xojo.
  1. deployment costs for FM are about to eat you alive

Both Xojo Inc. and Claris Inc. announced support for Android coming and a rewrite in the web frameworks.

I am still curious who will finish first!