Paul Wherly

Its Dead isn’t it – Your database

Its Dead isn’t it – Your database?

Nothing lasts forever – especially in the field of Technology. One day your shining new system will die or rather it will become unfit for purpose. It will probably work but there will be so many limitations that it is effectively dead. This scenario does not (usually) happen straight away but over a gradual period. Here are some ways that this may come about:-

  • You introduce new business processes that weren’t part of the original system
  • You have to record new information that was not required when the system was initially developed
  • You need to create additional reports
  • The platform that your system is built on, is no longer supported by the vendor
  • You can’t get hold of your developer who built the system
  • The system was designed to hold a certain amount of data and that has been exceeded
  • Your operating system has been upgraded and no longer supports your particular platform
  • Your IT infrastructure is obsolete (old PCs, slow broadband)

What can be done?

At Fingertips Intelligence we recommend the Filemaker Pro platform to build bespoke databases. This is a commercially recognised package that allows us to build databases easily. Filemaker Pro has been around since 1992 and works on both windows and Apple Macs. Filemaker are continually bringing out new versions of the software with additional features – the last two versions (13 and 14) allow connection with mobile devices and web technology.

As the platform has been around for so many years and being continuously developed, we have faith that it will overcome many of the issues mentioned above. Further, it allows for changes to be easily made to systems e.g if addition data/ reports are required.

Case study:

As Filemaker has been around for so long, we do get asked to bring old Filemaker databases up to the latest version. In simple terms, early versions of Filemaker were built as “singular” systems which were then connected together as one system. As part of the process we need to consolidate these individual systems into a single new database.

Montage Arts are a small performing arts company in London. They had a Filemaker system which was over 10 years old. It was so old that it acted merely as a repository rather than as a business intelligence tool. Although they could enter data, they needed to extract the data to excel and manipulate it before any meaningful reports could be produced.

Fingertips Intelligence took their database and overhauled it:

  • We combined all the information into one single database system
  • We arranged the data into a more systematic hierarchy so that it was easy to view families, their children and the courses that they attended (and the associated monies)
  • A brand new interface was implemented which was more user friendly
  • We designed a number of new reports that would allow them to seek additional funding
  • The database had a drill down facility so that it was easy to navigate

Client Testimonial:

“I am the Artistic Director of Montage Theatre Arts, a small charity in London. We had a filemaker database that was very inefficient and cumbersome to use. Fingertips intelligence took it away and gave it a new lease of life within days.

We now have all our information structured in a far more logical fashion, and the system is far easier to use. The information that I need for management reporting can now be obtained in seconds. ” – Judy Gordon, Artistic Director Montage Arts

About the Author:

This blog is brought to you by Kapil Kapur from Fingertips Intelligence ( builds customised database solutions for our clients. Using these systems, our clients are able to make better decisions, so that they can run their businesses more effectively.

We build our systems using the Filemaker Pro (

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