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 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
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
The following steps are our blueprint for a successful
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.
||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.
||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
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.
||Install and Train
Once testing is complete and any
necessary modifications have been made, we install the final system
and train the users.
||Ongoing support and
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.