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FAQ - 30-Day App Blueprint

Frequently Asked Questions about the 30-Day App Development Blueprint

Custom Business Apps

What is a Custom Business App?

A Custom Business App is application software used to automate business processes that is built specifically for an organization’s unique operations. Because it’s business-focused, it is well suited for handling large amounts of data like contacts, invoices, products, inventory, and the like.

How are Custom Business Apps different from Off-the-shelf Apps?

Off-the-Shelf Apps are application software that is prepackaged and generally available for everyone. Because of that, they try to cater to the broadest possible audience, and users will usually adapt to how the app is used, and may have a bunch of features that you don’t need. Custom Business Apps are tailor-fit to your organization so it will have only features you require and will be used exactly to fit how your business operates.

Aren’t Off-the-Shelf apps also customizable?

Most are customizable to a certain extent like adding forms and logos, and may be useful if your business operations are not complicated. You may also need to hire additional people to work on the customizations, and when a new version of the Off-the-Shelf app is released, you may need to update your customizations as well.

Aren’t Off-the-Shelf apps cheaper?

Off-the-Shelf apps will always be cheaper since they are developed to be sold to as many people as possible. If you need to customize your off-the-shelf app, you may need to spend more time and money to customize it, and complex customizations may cost more than the original app itself.

What are the advantages of Custom Business Apps?

Because it’s built for your business processes, you only have the features you need, and nothing more. Because you have control of the code, as your business grows, you can add functionality as needed. Finally, you can have an edge on competition using off-the-shelf apps as they are limited to how their app works.

What are the disadvantages of Custom Business Apps?

If you don’t currently have written business processes, it may take more time to get started. You’ll also need to get involved in planning how your Custom Business App works, from the user interface to all the data entered, to how each report generated will look like. Also, since it’s built from the ground up, you’ll need to invest more compared to using off-the-shelf apps.

How do I know if building a Custom Business App is worth it?

Look at the processes in your business that are a bottleneck to operations, and calculate the time and money you’ll save. Then compare the investment for building a Custom Business App. If the benefits far outweigh the investment, then it’s a no-brainer. For example, if you automate your quotation process, you’ll save 2 hours a day of encoding and reporting for your team of 5. This translates to 520 hours a year, or $52,000 of expenses (assuming $100 per hour rate), or additional income earned for those hours. This means that if you invest anything less than $52,000, it will be recovered in less than a year, and will be additional income/savings after the first year!

What components do I need to build a Custom Business App?

You would usually need a tool to develop your Custom Business App, and another to share your Custom Business App to your team. Some have both components integrated, like most cloud platforms, while others are separate, and sometimes sold by different vendors.

What are pro-code and low-code platforms?

The platform you use to develop Custom Business Apps can be pro-code, which is normally using a programming language such as C+, Java, Visual Basic, or the like, which takes several months to learn and master. Low-code or no-code platforms are easier to learn because there’s minimal to no programming involved, with point-and-click development, but can be harder to extend because of their inherent simplicity.

Are there tools that take advantage of both pro-code and low-code?

Yes! The Claris FileMaker Platform lets you build custom business apps without writing a single line of code. If you’re familiar with coding in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, you can leverage it as well and extend the functionality of your solutions.

The Claris FileMaker Platform

What is the Claris FileMaker Platform?

The Claris FileMaker Platform is a collection of tools, products and technologies that enable you to easily create powerful, user-friendly custom business apps that your team can access on Mac, Windows, Mobile or the Web.

Who makes the Claris FileMaker Platform?

The Claris FileMaker Platform is made by Claris Inc., an Apple company. They’ve been in business for over 30 years, and have 1500 partners worldwide. They also offer Claris Connect, a cloud-based integration service that allows you to bring your everyday apps together to create powerful automated workflows.

Who uses the Claris FileMaker Platform?

More than 50,000 companies worldwide of different sizes in different industries use the Claris FileMaker Platform and have created over 100,000 custom apps to save time and money. There’s a growing community of over 50,000 developers actively engaged in helping you create custom apps as well.

What is Claris FileMaker Pro?

Claris FileMaker Pro is the component of the Claris FileMaker Platform that lets you build, use, and access Custom Business Apps on Mac or Windows.

What is Claris FileMaker Go?

Claris FileMaker Go is the component of the Claris FileMaker Platform that lets you use and access Claris FileMaker Pro Custom Business Apps using an iPhone or iPad.

What is Claris FileMaker Server?

Claris FileMaker Server is the component of the Claris Platform that lets you securely host and backup Custom Business Apps of your whole team on your on-premise Mac, Windows, or Linux machine. Claris FileMaker Server also lets your team access your Custom Business Apps through a web browser with WebDirect technology, and provides connectivity with other apps through REST API, ODBC and JDBC.

What is Claris FileMaker Cloud?

Claris FileMaker Cloud is a service that securely hosts your Custom Business Apps in a virtual server so you don’t have to worry about maintaining hardware, software and OS upgrades, network connectivity and security, and technical support.

How much does the Claris FileMaker Platform cost?

The Claris FileMaker Platform for 5 users starts at US$900 per year for on-premise servers, and US$1,140 per year for FileMaker Cloud.

30-Day Blueprint

What is the 30 Day Blueprint?

It’s a list of steps you can follow to build your own custom business app from scratch using the Claris FileMaker Platform.

What knowledge do I need to get started?

If you’re familiar with navigating your computer’s operating system, and you regularly use productivity apps like Word, Excel, and/or PowerPoint, you should be good. If you are familiar with programming languages, it will help speed up your journey.

What equipment do I need to get started?

If you have a fairly recent Mac or Windows computer, with the latest operating system updates, you should be good to go! You’ll also need an internet connection to download the tools to develop the app, as well as to take part in the Claris Academy, which is the online learning platform for the Claris FileMaker Platform.

Do I really need 30 days to complete the blueprint?

The 30 days is an estimate based on spending 4-6 hours per day on average. If you’re a fast learner and are able to articulate quickly, you may be able to build your custom business app in less time. If you get stuck on some parts, you may need more time. Of course, if you’re busy with work, you can always extend and take your own pace.

I’m familiar with an older version of Claris FileMaker, do I still need to go through Claris Academy?

Even if you’re a regular user of the latest version of Claris FileMaker, we still recommend taking a look at Claris Academy. If you’ve used an older version of Claris FileMaker, you might be surprised with the new features that help you build custom business apps faster. So yes, it’s still recommended.

Do I need to buy anything within the 30 day period?

The Claris FileMaker Platform comes with a 45-day fully functional trial that should provide you enough time to build your custom business app. Once you’re ready to share your app with your team, you can try out Claris FileMaker Server for 45 days also if you’re hosting on your own server. After the 45 days, you can get licenses for your whole team, either the on-premise or the cloud.

What kind of Custom Business App can I build using the 30-Day Framework?

You can build any app you want that you feel will help your business, but we recommend starting with a small part of your operations first, like customer management, invoicing, and purchasing. Don’t aim to automate everything, but keep in mind your master plan for other apps. Once you’ve successfully built your first app, you can implement the blueprint for your succeeding apps.

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