Filemaker or Bento for Architecture office?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by 617arg, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. 617arg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #1
    I run a small architecture firm and I'm in need of a database program to track projects, clients, and employees.

    I'd like the ability to create project reports that illustrate how much time and money is spent on all aspects of a project (predesign, site analysis, schematic, etc.), reimbursables, direct expenses, etc.

    I'd also like to break that down further to what individual employees have worked on. On individual projects as well as all projects worked on.

    I'd also like to be able to search for specific project types in order to see how much time/money was spent on those types of projects in order to help determine what we can/should charge on similar projects.

    Is this something that can be done in Bento or is Filemaker needed? Some have recommended Access but I would prefer to stay on the Mac side for this information.

    Thanks!
     
  2. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #2
    In the short run, if you're looking for a Q&D solution, Bento should fit the bill. Your database would have a record for a each project and you'd have separate fields for the data you want (employees who worked on the project, how much money the project brought in, time spent on predesign, etc.).

    Bento integrates nicely with Numbers, so you might be able to keep the data in Numbers tables but extract what you want via Bento.

    Where Filemaker would make sense is if you plan to expand the data you collect about your employees. If down the line your needs to look at employees become more complex -- salaries, benefits, time off, training, etc.
    -- especially in how they relate to projects, you might want to go with FM now and build a solution for your entire business.

    mt
     
  3. racketeer71 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
  4. 617arg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #4
    Just to see if I understand correctly -

    If an employee works 40 hours a week, and works on different aspects of 4 different projects that week, would I be able to set Bento up in such a way that I can see what that employee worked on in a particular project as well as his total work week?

    Basically I'm wondering if Bento "projects" can be set up as subsets of the office as a whole.

    Billings would also be nice but I haven't been thinking of integrating billings with time sheets and expenses yet.
     
  5. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #5
    After playing with Bento a bit more, you might be able to create a database of projects, a database of employees and connect the two through a "related field." Filemaker would give you more robust tools, but Bento could do the trick.

    mt
     
  6. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #6
    I would have a look at the bento forums and see if there are any questions that might be similier to what you are trying to do.

    The deal breaker for me was a couple of things.

    The amount of work it takes to add a column of data up and then show sum on a form.

    Unable to connect more then one device to a database, ie two iphones to the same database.

    I am still looking for something that might fit the bill but I haven't found anything yet, looking at filemaker now. I know it will be able to do for the most part anything I am looking to do with a relational database how ever it doesn't have the iphone app to go along with it.
     
  7. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #7
    Is this something you feel you need to design yourself? There are time billing / tracking programs already out there. There are also programs made in PHP for use with MySQL database backend that will help with project manamgement, etc.

    iBiz has a Multi-user tab at the top of the page as well.

    Someone already suggested Billingz.

    Bill4Time

    Studiometry 5.

    Maybe some of these would work...
     
  8. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #8
    Thank you for the suggestion. I have done some light PHP coding for some of the websites I have done but nothing up to this nature. I was hoping not having to do this but I have a feeling this might be the way I am going. I could just create a webpage suited for the iphone to do some of the data entry on the road.

    Thanks again for the links most helpful!
     
  9. 617arg thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #9
    Thanks for the links.

    I'm playing around with Studiometry 5, but it does not seem like it could have all the features and reporting I'd be looking for. It might just take some more investigating though.....

    What I'm really looking for is all the features Archioffice has. Just not the price tag :eek:
    The sad thing is, just a few months ago (version 8.0) this was a $500 program. They have since been bought out by BQE software and doubled the price.

    Since it's based off of Filemaker I might just try to set something up using that.
     
  10. bmcgonag macrumors 65816

    bmcgonag

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #10
    The PHP solutions I speak of don't require much coding unless you just want to customize it for you. They are what i've seen on my webhost CPanel installer. All the work is done for you basically.

    I'd be happy to setup each for you in different spaces on one of my sites if you want to try them out. Just PM me.

    Brian
     

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