FileMaker consultant experts

Call us FileMaker experts, or FileMaker enthusiasts; we’ll always go out of our way to provide you a software solution that meets your exact needs.

The core FileMaker crew comprises:

Steven Barer
Steve Cooper
Doug Hilton
Brian Panhuyzen
Allen Poole

Steven Barer

You might expect the founder and leader of a software company to be a bit of a propeller-head, but that’s not what you get with Steven.

"I’m not the whizziest technical guy, my strength is in understanding and resolving problems that businesses face," he says.

Steven describes himself as: "a person who listens, understands business, identifies issues, and manages a team of highly competent specialists who create solutions that work." He assesses the business proposition up front, ensuring members of the team always work on solutions that deliver true value. He thrives on business issues, process and workflow. He’s the guy who makes sense of chaos.

Of all his business achievements, Steven is most proud of building a tight, intelligent team – that truly works collaboratively, and oozes of integrity and honesty. "There’s no glitz or overstatement here,” he says, “We work closely together with our clients, bringing real value to their business. What you see is what you get."

Steve Cooper

Some of our clients see a lot of Steve. He gets involved early in a project, when the focus is on understanding the business and conducting a needs analysis. He then takes this information and designs and programs the right FileMaker solutions. "I enjoy getting to know how the client’s business operates,” he says, “plus having the creativity to come up with a solution that meets their needs.”

Steve spent a long time in project management before becoming a FileMaker developer. “I think this is the ideal career for me,” he says. “I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do—unless someone wants to pay me to ski."

Doug Hilton

Following a 10-year gig consulting large corporations like BC Hydro and Motorola, Doug craved a lifestyle change and joined Oak Bay. He now enjoys the intimacy and camaraderie of a small team, and the chance to have close personal contact with small business clients.

For Doug, change is good. So good that he does it for fun—in his own improv theatre troupe! "Software development means you have to plan, anticipate, be thorough and meticulous,” he says. “In improv theatre, you don’t know what will happen. You have to learn to trust your own deep intuition, and you have to trust other people. Learning to be playful, flexible and interacting outside your normal persona is liberating!"

Brian Panhuyzen

Our Eastern-most employee is Brian Panhuyzen, a seasoned and certified Filemaker developer who resides in Toronto. His time-zone head start gives him two advantages. He can get a jump each day on West Coast projects when necessary, and he can also use those morning hours for his second career: novelist. Brian has published two novels and worked for a while as a typesetter.

Brian particularly enjoys diving into existing solutions, matching their style and flow, weaving in new requirements and enhancements in a seamless fashion.

“Being a writer has been extremely useful to me as a FileMaker developer, because going from idea to finished product is similar to taking a plot and fleshing it out into a story,” he says. “Because so much of our work involves written communication, my clients appreciate my clarity and listening skills, and they’re happy that the software I build jives with what they’re asking for.”

Allen Poole

We call Allen Poole our “accidental programmer” because he got started with Filemaker after someone handed him the software in university and said “Try this.” That was 25 years ago, so it’s safe to say the experiment was a success: Allen has been planning, designing, building, and supporting Filemaker systems ever since.

Allen is most engaged by the potential of automation to save people time, to make their work more effective and powerful—and less tedious. Projects that result in a long-term win for the client are his favorite.

It’s Allen’s ability to take a broader perspective that produces such great results. “I’m frequently both the developer and a consultant on overall project strategy and planning. Part of making everything work well is my effort to understand the organizational culture and language of my customers, rather than expecting them to understand my tech jargon.”

Allen lives in Portland, Oregon. His two young children keep him very busy, but when there’s time he enjoys bicycling, hiking, wood-working and other hands-on hobbies. And somehow he’s managed to study 13 (human) languages as well!

If you’d like to discuss your FileMaker questions, contact us.