I own a small specialty store (brick and mortar plus Wordpress/WooCommerce website) in the United States. I have a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and basic skills in MS Access (which I no longer use). I use Win 10 machines at home and at the store.
I purchased a (locked) vertical market FileMaker POS in Jan 2015 but did no development as that POS was designed for my niche business. (Plus, it was locked.) That POS reached EOL in 2018.
In Jan 2019 I purchased another (unlocked) vertical market FileMaker POS. However, this was a “generic” POS that lacked critical functionality necessary for my business. Therefore, I began developing a “home brew” file — not wanting to touch the POS — to address these shortfalls and teach myself the basics of FileMaker. Due to my limited skill set, I hired a professional developer to assist me. He built a fully-functional “front end” to the POS that added the missing functions.
While this was going on, I immersed myself in FM to develop my skills. I bought Richard Carlton’s book and videos, joined several Facebook groups, read hundreds of blog posts, listened to all the available podcasts (FileMaker Talk, Fireside FileMaker, FileMaker Off the Record, etc), watched Matt Petrowsky’s videos, and studied numerous white papers. I give great credit to @jormond, @jwilling, and others for answering my numerous questions on Facebook and in this forum.
After two years of daily work and learning, I now have three primary files — the unlocked “generic” POS, my “home brew” file, and the professionally-developed “front end” file. (Plus associated files — the POS uses data separation.) These are all hosted on an FMS19 server managed by Productive Computing (using AWS).
My objective is to merge all three files, eliminate the cruft, address several shortcomings in the core POS (for example, it calculates the in-stock quantities of 25,000 items every time I open it), and add further functionality.
Edit: I recently bought Developer Assistant (to search long scripts) and Base Elements (to process the DDR) to find errors. (The POS dates back to 2007 or earlier and needs some cleanup.)