Tuesday, March 22, 2011

FileMaker and The Music Department.

I have been playing around with FileMaker/FileMaker Server Advanced and an iPod.

FileMaker has some real possibilities for getting the music area organized.  The main uses I can think of right off the bat is tracking all that stuff and all those kids.  Eliminating paper, pens and clip boards from my life has been a mission of mine for the last 15 years.  If I can get it to a hard drive, I can find it later.

There are two ways to use the iOS/FMPro combination.  One works well for static lists.  The other works well for times when you will be editing data.

The method I use for static lists is to load your FileMaker file to the iPod with iTunes.  There is an option to do that upload right there on the apps page in iTunes.  There really isn't a sync for getting the info off the iPod later that I have found.  What list do I use it for?  The emergency class list.  You know the one you grab on the way out the door for a fire drill.  There is a chance that you won't be able to use the network in a real emergency.  The list is fairly static and way easier to find in an emergency on your iPod.

The dynamic/edit method is the one where you basically use your iOS version of FMPro as a client to your computer over the network.  Changes you make on your iPod go over the wireless network to your computer and update the FileMaker file that is running on your desk (or on a server some where.)  This works slick for attendance, inventory and what ever else you need to keep track of.  Picture the day kids turn in uniforms and instruments at the end of the year and I think you can see why this would be so cool!  You could even do before and after pictures of the loaned instruments to hold kids accountable for wear if your iPod has a camera...

It works great on the iPod.  Now I want to try it on an iPad 2.  Looks like I will be waiting a while.

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