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In-Depth: FileMaker Go and iPad scores big for AEC Industry

In this feature In-Depth article Architosh talks to FileMaker executives and a key FileMaker developer for Johnson Controls about why the new FileMaker Go 1.2 is a great tool for AEC professionals and how FileMaker offers iOS development a wonderful alternative to working with Objective-C

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Case Study: Johnson Controls

Ryan Rosenberg, VP of Marketing and Services, FileMaker, Inc., said:  “The Apple iPad is the perfect clipboard replacement.” Walk around any construction site today, or in the past, and you will undoubtedly see hard-hat professionals carrying around clip-boards. They are everywhere on construction sites. They get stationed within rooms in buildings, lined up in series within construction trailers, and carried around on the front seats of pickup trucks.

Yet the iPad device can replace all of these and hold both archived, new and live streaming data if need be, making information accessibility far more useful and expedient for building professionals. But how and what is the best tool (or tools) to do this with?

In steps the iPad with FileMaker Go.

Kevin Mallon, Sr. Public Relations Manager, FileMaker, Inc., noted, “people are looking at process improvement, project management and inventory works–all businesses where process automation and paper replacement is an ongoing priority.” “FileMaker Pro Go is a fantastic way for solving these types of problems for businesses and industry,” he continues.

02 - FileMaker Go comes with numerous iOS ready solutions out of the box to help your business get started quickly. These solutions can not only be studied to help create custom solutions but also adapted and modified to create custom solutions.

Take the case of Johnson Controls, a Global 500 company with over 142,000 employees worldwide, and an industry leader in the AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) market. When Johnson Controls needed a mobile field solution to help them audit facility lighting systems they turned to the Apple iPad and FileMaker.

“People are finding FileMaker to help them create custom business software solutions for the iPad,” said Rosenberg. “That’s exactly what Johnson Controls did when they turned to Sterling Rouse, Developer at 360Works.”

Why Build From Scratch?

Sterling was already hard at work on an Objective-C based application for the iPad solution Johnson Controls envisioned when FileMaker announced Filemaker Go. The moment FileMaker announced their mobile solution he knew it was the direction to go. “Even if we were equally proficient at Objective-C development we would still make that choice,” said Sterling. “FileMaker is designed to be a rapid application development platform, which means that development is inherently much faster than it would be in Objective-C.”

AEC manufacturers, constructors and consulting professionals produce, document and carry mountains of data with them. Johnson Controls needed a way to accurately audit lighting systems in buildings. They needed a field solution and they needed to eliminate a time-consuming paperwork system.

“Developing for FileMaker Go is no different than developing for FileMaker, other than the fact you have to consider the form factor when building layouts for the iPad,” remarked Sterling. And the desktop database solutions you have already created can be opened up in FileMaker Go 1.2 on the iPad and iPhone with minimal alterations. Kevin Mallon noted that FileMaker Go is essentially the entire FileMaker code written from the ground up for the iOS platform. So it is fast and essentially brings the same FileMaker Pro that customers love on the desktop to the iPad.

Next page: Details and Top Five Uses for Architects with FileMaker Go 1.2 and iPad

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