TimeWorked and Servoy versus FileMaker

TimeWorked was developed using the Servoy platform. FileMaker was considered as an option, but was not selected due to the following reasons:
• FileMaker does not use an enterprise database
• Servoy uses enterprise SQL databases (TimeWorked uses a PostgreSQL database).
• FileMaker does not have a database that is distinct from its functionality.
• Servoy has a functional java front end client, and a distinct SQL database back end. Every data ‘commit’ in Servoy is done completely using an SQL database.
• With FileMaker, a data commit can be partial. As a result, if there is a power cut, or FileMaker crashes, there is a high risk that the data in FileMaker will be corrupted.
• If Servoy client crashes, eg due to a power failure, the database integrity remains, because an SQL database only allows a complete ‘commit’ of data.
• FileMaker belongs to a software category initially coined in the late sixties as 'groupware', for groups or departments, and is not acid compliant (atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability). For a small work group, it is easy to develop a small bespoke application in FileMaker, however FileMaker is not designed to be deployed as an enterprise application. FileMaker is two tier client-server relationship where the server is a file server, rather than a database server.
• Servoy, using an SQL database, is acid compliant. Servoy is three tier client–server-database architecture which is the standard for an enterprise application.
• FileMaker can connect to SQL databases directly, from the client, but this would involve increased security risk, as people would need direct connectivity to the database.
• Using Citrix or terminal services FileMaker can be used over the internet or having a replicating set of servers in every office – but either of these approaches come with a significant additional cost. FileMaker is designed to work locally, and then there are ‘fixes’ that can make it work to an extent over the cloud. Servoy is designed to work over the cloud.
• Servoy is much faster over the internet even on slow connections. The smart client is more efficient than even a web page, because of compression, local caching, and caching on the server. FileMaker Pro, the full package, is much slower, is a developer version, but is the only version suitable for a larger number of users (a developer version will allow users to do their own development work on the application, which will create problems for an enterprise application).
• FileMaker – requires installation on every client and requires visits for every client for every software upgrade. When a new version is released, both the database and the functionality need to be uploaded – the database uploads take longer times, which is really only appropriate for weekend work. Servoy initial deployment is fully automated, so it has zero deployment costs. Upgrades are seamless, can be done at any time, and require no changes to the database, and roll backs are also seamless if there is a problem with a new version.
• Servoy – to get significantly more users, you can just up-scale on hardware, for example 1000 users on one server would be fine. For FileMaker, the absolute maximum is 250 users per server, and then a new server would need to be purchased.
• Multiple small FileMaker applications are being migrated to Servoy, but not the other direction.
• With Servoy you keep your investment if you move to a new platform. For FileMaker, if you move to a new platform, new licenses need to be purchased, as FileMaker is either PC or Mac licenses.
• Servoy is priced on concurrent users, whereas FileMaker is priced on seats, and you need FileMaker server licenses, and you need to buy a special FileMaker server or servers. As a result, Servoy is significantly cheaper from both the perspective of initial one off costs and annual subscriptions.

Copyright and Trade Marks

The contents of this site are copyright Thomas Naylor 2014. The name and logo TimeWorked are Trade Marks of Thomas Naylor.