FileMaker 17

About 30 years ago I purchased the first copy of a new database program in Broward County, Florida.
I had purchased my first Apple Macintosh, an SE, the first of 20 or so. FileMaker was crude by today’s standards but as many discovered it would run rings around Xbase in so many areas. I was using dBase on a Tandy and hated it  (software and hardware).

FileMaker 0.0 was flat file, non-relational and ugly but we didn’t know it was ugly. It worked, we could understand it and no other user/owner database could match it.

Those were the good days when I could charge $100 an hour ($200+ in 2018 dollars) because I was unique, talented and read manuals when few did. FileMaker, Inc. like every good corporation has gone for total boxes shipped which means convincing even the semi-skilled that they can create brilliant apps with little effort.

Well, the semi-skilled among us back then became database consultants charging $100 an hour with no competition while today they compete for minimum wage jobs with naive employers who then hire old pros to clean up after them for $100 an hour or $75 per support call. It’s always fun to hear them ask, “Security?” but then we had to learn also.

My favorite cringe moment was to pick through a database designed 20 years ago by a small business owner, who passes away, and the business is now multimillion dollars and four accounting clerks share one account name and password among themselves and sales staff. Needless to say the company revenues aren’t meeting expectations nor do the officers want to pay to fix this. I wonder why?

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