Who We Are

Easy As Pi was founded in 1997 by Mark Rubenstein. We are a FileMaker 7 Certified developer located in Evanston, Illinois. We are a member of the FileMaker Solutions Alliance and are active in CAFDA, the Chicago Area FileMaker Developers Association. Our work has been featured four years in a row in Albert Harum-Alvarez's interface seminars at the annual FileMaker Developer Conference, and we recently tied for first place in Small Company's Quick Clicks contest, published in FileMaker Advisor magazine.

Our Focus

Our specialty is in designing elegant and efficient user interfaces. Our hallmark is simplicity. We strive to make systems that are intuitive, easy to learn, and a pleasure to use. Our background in music and advertising shapes our view of the relationship between aesthetics and productivity. We are passionate about interface design and effective workflow. Our design goal is best summed up by Albert Einstein; "Things should be made as simple as possible -- but no simpler."

How We Work

We view custom database development as a collaboration. However, it's actually a little bit lopsided; by the time the project is done, we will know a lot about your business, but you won't need to know much about databases! Everything we learn about your business and your needs will inform our design decisions, so the database becomes a natural tool to accomplish the work you need to do.

We work on a time-and-materials basis, keeping track of our hours and submitting weekly invoices. However, we have occasionally done fixed price jobs when the scope is small and tightly defined.

The following steps are our blueprint for a successful project.

  1 Initial Consultation
   

We will meet with you, either in person or over the phone, for a free initial consultation. At this meeting we will get an idea of the scope of the project, and give you a rough idea of how much it will cost.

  2 Create Project Specification
   

Experience has shown us that successful projects start with a clearly defined plan. We put in the time required up front to create a project specification that serves as a road map to the development of the project. This usually involves a number of on-site meetings, during which we discuss the purpose of the database, talk to the people who will be using it, gather samples of typical reports required, examine the business rules that will impact the way the database works, and other topics that may affect the design of the database. The project specification for a large project typically includes a project overview with file descriptions, E-R diagram, cost estimate, and timetable. For smaller projects, some of these items may not be necessary.

  3 Build and Review Cycle
   

After the project specification has been reviewed and approved, we are ready to begin building the database. We will keep you involved with our progress on a regular basis. Either through on-site meetings or demonstrations over the internet, we will show you work in progress to be sure that what we are building matches the project specification and your expectations. This build and review cycle, sometimes called iteration, is critical to success. It quickly reveals any issues that need to be addressed, and catches potential problems while they are still small and easy to fix.

  4 Test
   

Once the last build has been approved, we will begin testing. This can take a number of forms. For smaller projects, we may simply install the database, and keep in close contact with the users over a period of a few days. For larger projects, we may need to install the database in a test environment, and have a select group of employees use it. In any case, this phase includes having people use the system and report their feedback to us.

  5 Install and Train
   

Once testing is complete and any necessary modifications have been made, we install the final system and train the users.

  6 Ongoing support and maintenance
   

Of course, we are always here if you need us.

See Our Work

Whether you already have a FileMaker Pro database that you would like to improve upon, or want to start from scratch, we have the experience to see your project through, from analysis to installation.

Please take a look at some of our work in the Portfolio section, and imagine how we can apply our passion for FileMaker Pro to your project.