Bookseller and Filemaker

August 9, 2006 at 3:38 pm 1 comment

In previous posts, I have given mention to BookSeller, which is the database system that we use to catalogue our stock. The BookSeller system is built on top of FileMaker Pro, which is a RAD (Rapid Application Development) environment that features its own database, scripting language and form/report building facilities. BookSeller is not a pretty looking system, but is incredibly feature rich. Certainly, it has extensive stock cataloguing functionality, as well as some pretty in-depth customer management, invoicing, and portal export facilities.

On top of this vague collection of good reasons to use BookSeller, due to the ease with which forms and reports can be created in the FileMaker system, it is relatively easy to convince the application developer to customise and tweak the application so that it best suits your own needs. Indeed, Tom Dupre, the developer in question, is a pretty cool guy with a whole life outside of BookSeller.

Anyway, the real reason I decided to post anything about BookSeller, was that I was looking up something about FileMaker to see if I could do something, and I somehow managed to stumble on Tom’s name in a FileMaker forum. Of course, that got me wondering if he actually has a website that provides any information on BookSeller. With a small hunt around Google, I tracked it down, and decided it was at least worth posting it here for the sake of completeness.

So for anybody interested in BookSeller, you can find out more information about it here.

Important Note: While in this post I have been decidedly positive about BookSeller and FileMaker, there are some fundamental issues that I have with FileMaker on a more technical level. Specifically, the way in which there is no separation between the data layer and the application layer within any FileMaker Application. The methods of getting data in and out of FileMaker are obscure and make it almost impossible to automate tasks through scripts outside of the FileMaker application. Finally, FileMaker’s silent withdrawal of support for Linux is a major thorn in my side, as we made a number of decisions about our applications and server software based on FileMaker’s initial advertising of support for Linux as a server platform.

But aside from my issues with FileMaker, I also believe that BookSeller has grown organically as an application and in some areas, it would benefit from a complete rewrite and redesign. That said, I believe that Tom has already thought about this considerably, and with his reasonably large and impressive customer base, I guess he’s got something right.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Norm  |  September 5, 2006 at 5:42 pm

    Any comments on these two programs that run on Linux?

    1) tellico – a collection software program that came with my SUSE distribution.
    2) Readerware – also a collection program, but one with the ability to write UIEE files and to scan books with a barcode reader and search the US Library of Congress and the British Library.

    Nice blog. I find it very useful.

    Norm

    Reply

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