American City Business Journals

ACBJ is the parent company for The Philadelphia Business Journal, and similar city-based Business Journals around the country. They had been using a FileMaker 6 solution to build their Book of Lists. DSS and a team of developers specific to this project, spent two years working closely with the in-house developer, building a FileMaker/MySQL centralized solution to replace the old FileMaker 6 single-user solution.



There were several challenges associated with this project:
  • Foremost was the need to win over the 42+ researchers who had their own template, but independent solution, to the new centralized application.
  • We needed to provide a means for using stored raw data and allowing it to be formatted and combined in ways that could easily produce the printed Book of Lists.
  • A survey component for the Web needed to be secure and robust. Surveys had to be created in FileMaker and served from the MySQL database. Questions creation needed to have complex validity checks.
  • Invitations had to be able to be sent via fax and email, with the ability for a person to securely login, but not have to use a password or username to do so.
  • Survey answers needed various forms of validation, and clients needed to be able to mark their completed surveys as validated.
  • The researchers had to be able to edit the question, but keep the original answers for reference.
  • There were some functions that were best handled by MySQL, others could only be done effectively with FileMaker.
  • Finally, the solution had to be flexible enough to expand, and clearly documented so an in-house developer could take over when DSS finished the project.


Digital Software Solutions delivered virtual round the clock support. Dan and his team treated our money as if it were his own, often finding better and more efficient way of cost savings that were invaluable in getting us to achieve the multiple goals while staying within our budget.

American City Business Journal's papers are in a deadline-oriented business. We had to deploy while in operation, adding considerable challenge to the tasks. Digital Software Solutions met and surpassed those challenges.
” David Fink, Director of Research Services.