Androcles Consultants is a dynamic and innovative London based MAC consulting firm operated by a Andrew Daws providing customers with outstanding MAC IT program management, technical support, logistical, and executive level support, while maximizing innovation and cost reduction for individuals and business.

FileMaker programming

I have been using FileMaker since version 1, but recently have come to be more involved in developing systems. Sometimes I have taken over the management of someone else’s system as the developer has lost interest or moved on, sometimes I have replaced a system built in a different database program, and occasionally I have started from scratch.

I like FileMaker, partly because it’s cross platform, partly because it is very easy to make it accessible in a variety of ways, including via a web browser or an iPhone, but mainly because the resulting databases are elegant and effective.

I am not a full time developer, so I don’t undertake massive projects, but what I do offer is a much closer look at the way you operate, as I am almost always also maintaining your machines, so I get to know you much better than a dedicated programmer. But I do have relationships with full time developers, so that I can either call on their advice or hand over the project if it needs a more skilled hand.

Here are some examples of recent projects

Starting with an existing FileMaker database.

Blue Apron

   • Blue Apron are a fine-art storage and transport service. Their system started by logging what
     artworks are stored and where, but now knows when each artwork moved and where, to enable full
     histories. It also does delivery notes and invoicing so it is no longer a static record of where
     something is (or should be) but a full transactional system allowing the users to plan and record all
     their movements. And I maintain all their computers.

Landmark Publishing

   • Landmark sell advertising space. Their developer set up a system which mostly worked, but had some important          flaws. Sadly he is now somewhere in the Australian outback, but their system is now supported again. And I                maintain all their computers.

The Voices Foundation

   • A charity to get music funding for schools. Their system runs all their contacts including all correspondence so            they rarely use a word processor.

GMJ

   • An industrial design company. Their database was highly sophisticated, so I dealt with relocating it and then                passed it to a full-time FileMaker developer.

Starting with another database

Friends of Amma

   • Amma is a guru from Kerala, and Friends of Amma organises her annual visit to the UK, as well as
     year round retreats and charitable activities. They had a single user database for printing mailing
     labels, on one PC. They now have a FileMaker database hosted on the internet so that a number of
     staff can update the information. Also instead of just enabling a postal mailshot of all names, it can
     also do email mailshots, and can track who is doing what volunteering work for the annual visit,
     were there are staying, when they are scheduled to have a session with the Guru etc. Some access
     the database with FileMaker, some use a simple web browser.

Magazine Design and Publishing

   • MDP publish a range of magazines such as True Crime Monthly and Murder Most Foul. They need a
     resource to find all published information on past crimes to give source material for their magazines.
     They have a simple DOS database on one PC which tracks what books have been published, but I am
     writing a system which will allow shared access not only to this information but also to information for
     a variety of other sources. It will also be able to control the design process to keep everyone

Starting from scratch

ArtFirst

   • ArtFirst are an Art Gallery specialising in more adventurous live artists. We explored all the off-theshelf
     art gallery solutions, but none could handle some of the more abstruse aspects, such as that if
     they are selling the work of a zero-rated artist, they need to charge VAT on their commission but not
     on the payment to the artist. Weird huh? And I maintain all their computers.

Original Bathrooms


   • Original Bathrooms (see Alternative Plans case study) needed a bathroom quoting system. The first
     version was in FileMaker, but was later superseded by a system in Omnis.

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Andrew Daws

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