Zoho Creator vs Filemaker - What's the difference?

Zoho Creator and Filemaker are platforms that easily create custom apps for your organizational needs. Utilizing these programs a business could easily build apps to manage their invoices, inventory, contacts, and more. Both Zoho Creator and Filemaker are popular and well reviewed which leaves you wondering, "what are the differences between these two programs?"

In this article, we will outline the differences between Zoho Creator vs Filemaker so that you can make an informed decision on purchasing the program that is best fit for you.

It should be noted that as Zoho Authorized Partners we think Zoho Creator offers more features at a price that is more affordable than what FileMaker offers. While they share similarities, Zoho Creator UI is so intuitive you will be able to quickly develop solutions for your organization, automate reoccurring tasks (saving you time), and do a lot more for less money.

Without further ado, here are the differences between Zoho Creator and FileMaker. 

* Zoho Creator is hosted on its own secure Cloud infrastructure while FileMaker is hosted on a third party.

 Accessibility and Functionality 

While on paper it appears that these two app building programs are similar there are major differences that separate them. One of the major differences is their user interface and accessibility. Zoho Creator was built not only for developers and those who know how to code, but also the individual who has never coded a day in their life. This allows users to utilize every app component with a simple drag-and-drop builder. 

This simplicity doesn't water down the functionality of their program, because Zoho Creator has features that allow developers to use HTML, Sandbox, Application IDE, CSS editor, Deluge Scripting, SDKs, APIs, and more. With this functionality, a user has a great degree of customization that allows not only simple, but also advanced apps to be built. In addition, the user interface in Zoho Creator can be customized with different themes to fit your needs and preferences.

While FileMaker boasts about its ease of use, it's not quite as intuitive as Zoho Creator and seems more suited primarily for developers/IT professionals. FileMaker does offer a drag-and-drop builder for apps requiring forms and reports, but does not include a drag and drop builder for creating pages.

Getting started Zoho Creator offers 60+ full featured custom apps that are ready for immediate use. They can be used for templates, but they also are complete and ready to be used too. You can view all of these apps over at the App Deck. You will find a number of useful pre-built apps such as...

  • Event management
  • Employee onboarding
  • Sales management
  • Expenses
  • Call log
  • and more

FileMaker currently has only 3 pre-made templates that you will be able to choose from. You can read more about these templates on their template webpage. These templates are meant to be built upon for your workplace needs. The templates that are provided are...

  • Job tracking
  • Event management
  • Memberships 

Zoho Creator automatically will create the native mobile app version, while FileMaker Go will be required for mobile apps to be created if you're using FileMaker.

Platforms Supported


There are many features to consider between Zoho Creator vs FileMaker, but you will also want to consider the pricing plans between these two app builders. There is a substantial difference in pricing and the features offered between the plans offered by these two companies which are outlined below.

Zoho Creator

Basic - $10 (per user per month billed annually)

Premium - $20 (per user per month billed annually)

Ultimate - $35 (per user per month billed annually)

Zoho Creator pricing plans vary depending on your storage needs, number of users, and how many apps you will be creating. The Ultimate Plan offers unlimited storage and no cap on the number of apps you can create. See here for more details on Zoho Creator's pricing plan.

FileMaker's offers a number of price plans which you can view here for complete details. Their Essentials plan is $19 a month and is limited to 5 users and the creation of 3 apps. Storage for the essential plan is 2 GB of FileMaker Data per user/per year. 

Their next plan is the Standard Plan which costs $39 a month. The Standard plan allows for 125 apps to be built and 6 GB of data to be stored for 5 users.

FileMaker's price plans become more confusing, because you also have the option of purchasing an individual license to use FileMaker's program and than separately buy cloud hosting from Amazon Web Hosting Services to host your apps. You can read more about this option with the link for their complete pricing details above.

Zoho Creator Pros & Cons


  • Intuitive & Easy to Begin - Users with limited coding knowledge will appreciate the drag and drop feature of Zoho Creator. It will not take long for a new user to understand how to build useful apps for their organization.
  • Highly Customizable - While many might assume that an app builder with a drag-and-drop feature is for simple, basic apps only that clearly is not the case. Zoho Creator has many features so that advanced applications can be built to fulfill whatever your business needs are. Zoho Creator is great for the individual who has never coded before, but also allows for coders and developers. Developers have the freedom to build complex apps that require code too.
  • Automatic native mobile app creation - Allows for users to create mobile apps that are downloaded through app stores. Perfect for making apps that are easy and accessible for customers to use!


  • Limited Users - If your business would like to use Zoho Creator for multiple users than the price will go up. Their pricing model is based off of the number of users, and is contingent on how many people you'd like to be using Zoho Creator.

FileMaker Pros & Cons


  • Basic Plans have 5 Users - If you're in the market for an app builder that accommodates more than a single user than FileMaker's basic plan is a decent price. The basic plan allows 5 users at the cost of ~$20 a month.


  • Steeper Learning Curve - Compared to the accessibility and ease of Zoho Creator, FileMaker has a steeper learning curve to building apps. Developers and IT professionals will have an easier time using FileMaker compared to individuals who don't know code.
  • Few Pre-Made Apps - FileMaker has promised to build more pre-made applications, but currently they only offer three. Compared to the 60+ pre-made apps on Zoho Creator, this is a major setback. Pre-built apps can be used right away within your organization or quickly customized to fulfill your needs.

Zoho Creator is the perfect FileMaker alternative

If you're thinking about transitioning from FileMaker you should know that there is no  cost to migrating your data to Zoho Creator. Zoho Creatore has a migration tool that makes it easy to do. The tool is able to import data from .xls, .xlsx, .csv, and .tsv files.

Zoho Creator has the power and features to aid your organization. Start saving time, money, and try it out today! Zoho Creator has a free trial so you can get a feel for how the program works. You do not need to be a programmer to build incredible applications with its drag and drop builder you will be able to build apps in minutes. 

Have more questions about Zoho Creator? Contact us! We are highly trained Zoho Partners who are here to help. Click here for a free Zoho Consultation