Why would you possibly develop your own student information system, special education management system, library information system, school financial system, or other data collection and reporting tools? Asks Christopher Dawson for ZDNet. There are so many turnkey solutions on the market, from free and open source to expensive and proprietary, it hardly seems necessary, right? A long, long time ago, I made my living programming Microsoft Access front ends for clinical trial data collection tools. Access was (and still is) quite powerful, but getting it hooked into the web, especially with built-in tools, wasn’t exactly an elegant process. I’ve built more than a few rocking Access applications through the years, but most of that went by the wayside as the world moved away from client-server applications and towards web-based LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL, PHP) solutions to data collection and reporting. So when the folks at Filemaker contacted me and suggested I check out some of the educational applications of the Filemaker ecosystem, I was a bit skeptical…

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