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August 25, 2016

Linear Chat

Top Hits of FM 15

Here’s a little update from my previous blog “Let’s Get Certified”… I passed! Now I am proudly a part of the certified developers of FileMaker.  Having achieved both version 13 and 14 certification it is now time to get ready for…. version 15! Instead of going on about how to prepare for the next exam,...

by Sarah Sigfrinius at August 25, 2016 09:27 AM

August 22, 2016

Databuzz

FileMaker and eCommerce Integration – Part 2

shopping-cart-3-1546160-1280x960

In Part 1 of our series on FileMaker and eCommerce integration we outlined the challenges many small businesses face when they go live with an online store and the new workflow challenges that can create, leading to the prospect of having to do double data entry in multiple places.

As a small business ourselves we also experienced this pain when we went live with our own online stores. Our first online store was for our oldest product fmSMS which allows you to send/receive SMS messages from the FileMaker platform – this has always had it’s own dedicated website/domain so it made sense for the store to live on the same site:

http://www.fmsms.com/shop/

A few years ago we also started selling the first of our fmAccounting Link products for the Xero accounting platform and it made sense to sell this via a store on our main Databuzz website:

http://www.databuzz.com.au/shop

So we now currently have 2 online stores located at different domains, but we will eventually merge these together to simplify things. As both stores were built using the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress and hosted with the same web hosting provider, we knew that any integration solution for one of the stores would work for both stores.

For each order that came through the store we need to perform the following actions:

  • check for an existing customer in our company FileMaker CRM and if no match is found create a new Contact record
  • create a new Invoice and associated Invoice Items
  • create a Payment record against the Invoice
  • push a copy of the Invoice to our accounting software (Xero in our case)
  • add the purchaser to a mailing list in MailChimp for future email newsletters/updates

The process starts with an email from the online store letting us know a new order has arrived:

New Customer Order

We would then have to copy and paste all the details into our FileMaker CRM, push the Invoice to Xero using our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) integration, then add the customer to the appropriate mailing list in in our MailChimp account. When you’re only dealing with a couple of orders a month you can probably cope with doing things manually, but once you start to get several orders a day you are then impacted by the time it takes to do all of these takes which are also prone to data entry errors. Like us you probably start wondering if there is a better way and can this process be automated.

The good new is that it can and having helped tens of customers in the past overcome similar FileMaker/eCommerce integration challenges so we knew where to start – ESS. ESS is the External SQL Data Sources feature that was first introduced way back with FileMaker Pro v9 and allows you to establish a live two-way connection between FileMaker Pro and the top SQL data sources. ESS originally supported these SQL data sources:

  • Microsoft  SQL Server
  • MySQL
  • Oracle

FileMaker Pro v15 introduced 2 new data sources:

  • IBM DB2
  • PostgreSQL

Most of the popular eCommerce stores are using one of the following backend databases to drive the store:

  • MySQL (used by WordPress/WooCommerce)
  • SQL Server
  • PostgreSQL

These are also supported ESS data sources so you can use the ESS feature to  get your FileMaker CRM talking to your online store. ESS allows you to view your SQL data from within FileMaker – it appears just like normal FileMaker tables. You can create new layouts to view the data, create relationships from your FileMaker tables to your ESS tables, access the SQL data from FileMaker scripts and more (there are some limitations and it does require setting up ODBC drivers – see the Accessing External SQL Data Sources (ESS) Overview and Troubleshooting for more details.

Once you have installed the appropriate ODBC driver and setup the System DSN you can then add an ESS table occurrence to your FileMaker relationships graph, just like you would for your normal FileMaker tables:

ESS Table Occurrences

You will need to have a basic understanding of your external SQL data source structure so you know which tables to add to your FileMaker graph and how they relate – details about WooCommerce can be found here. Once you’ve added your ESS table occurrences you can create new layouts based on each of these and start to view your online store data live in your FileMaker CRM. Here’s some examples showing some of the WooCommerce/WordPress tables that store online order details:

ESS Orders

ESS Orders Meta

ESS Order Items

ESS Order Item Meta

The above screenshots are showing data from 4 of the main tables that are used by WooCommerce to store order details:

  1. posts: this creates a record for each online order. This table is also used to store Product details
  2. postmeta: this stores a number of records related to each order, such as the billing/shipping and currency/tax details
  3. woocommerce_order_items: this stores line item details for each order
  4. woocommerce_order_itemmeta: this stores meta data about each order line item

As you can see by looking at these ESS tables in FileMaker we can see all the data about each order but it is located in at least 4 different tables, making aggregating the details each order so we can easily view the complete order challenging. We could create a number of FileMaker calculation fields to extra details about each order based on the meta_key for Orders and Order Line Items, but that would end up adding a lot of table occurrences and relationships to the graph and create another layout of unnecessary complexity.

There is a better way however that avoids all that unnecessary clutter on the graph – we can use SQL Views to create a more structured view of the SQL data we require. ESS fortunately also supports SQL Views which allow us to create a predefined SQL query that we then add to the relationship graph. We created 2 SQL views for Orders and Order Line Items to gather all the related meta data about each order and order item. When we add these to the graph and view them from a FileMaker layout here’s what we see for Orders:

ESS Orders View

and this for Order Items:

ESS Order Items View

Much better! For each Order we now get 1 record showing all the Order/Customer details, and for each Order Line Item we now get 1 record showing all the details about the Order Line Item, including the Product Price and SKU (the SKU is the same one used in Xero so it’s important that we can pass that through to Xero). We can then create a relationship between these 2 ESS table occurrences to relate an Order to its Order Items by the order_id value:

ESS Relationship

and be able to view a complete WooCommerce online order in FileMaker:

WC ESS Order

We now have a FileMaker layout showing all the details for a single WooCommerce/online order, including Customer Details, Line Item Details and related Product Details. From here’s a simple case of FileMaker scripting to move the data from the ESS tables to the native FileMaker tables (first checking for any existing Customers with the same name) and from there into Xero. We add a button to the Online Order layout to push the online order into out FileMaker CRM which handles all of these tasks, saving us around 15 minutes per online order (we have customers that are getting tens of orders every day so they time savings really start to add up).

If you’re not familiar with ESS it’s important to be aware of the following:

  • you will need to install ODBC drivers
  • if you’re hosting your file with FileMaker Server you can install the ODBC driver once on the FileMaker Server machine for all FileMaker Pro clients to use, which makes deployment a breeze
  • depending on your ESS data source and whether you are on Mac or Windows you may need to purchase the ODBC driver. There’s a full list of compatible ODBC drivers in the FileMaker Knowledge Base
  • you will need to get some documentation that explains how your SQL data source tables are structured so you know which tables to add to the relationship graph
  • when working with ESS tables it’s best to use a “read only” account that won’t let you edit any of the SQL data in case you accidentally edit/delete any of the online order records
  • your company firewall will need to allow access to the ODBC data source port
  • if you’re accessing a MySQL data source you will typically have to setup Remote Access to the MySQL database via your web hosting company (e.g. via cPanel).

In Part 3 of this series we’ll look into the options when you can’t use ESS and how you can still go about integrating your online shop with your FileMaker CRM. In the meantime if you would like to discuss integrating your online store with your FileMaker CRM please contact us.

 

 

 

 

 

by Andrew Duncan at August 22, 2016 09:00 PM

August 10, 2016

Databuzz

FileMaker DevCon 2016 Recap

devcon_16_banner_horz_white

The  2016 FileMaker Developer Conference was held at the same location as last year – Las Vegas, Nevada – and the same hotel – The Cosmopolitan – so everything felt very familiar.  I didn’t spend nearly as much time getting lost as I did in 2015. This was my 13th DevCon (out of 21) and the fourth time that Databuzz has exhibited.

IMG_2742

After leaving Australia in the middle of winter and arriving in Las Vegas in the middle of summer the first thing you notice is the heat:

IMG_2699

Most of the time at DevCon is spent indoors (I didn’t venture outside for a few days) so it’s only when you leave the hotel that it hits you and it got progressively hotter as the week went on. The Cosmopolitan has great views of the Las Vegas strip – here’s the view from my hotel balcony:

IMG_2697

 

After setting up the booth on the Monday I gave a presentation at the annual Custom Web Publishing User Group meeting – this is the 10th straight year that the CWP group has met and it’s always a must attend session for me. Then it was time for the Opening Keynote presented by FileMaker Inc. staff, where attendees get a glimpse at the future product direction for the FileMaker platform:

IMG_2722

The rest of the week was spent at the Databuzz booth in the exhibitors area, talking to developers from all around the world and doing lots of demos of our products. It’s also a chance to catch up with customers in person and put a face to a name that you’ve been emailing for many months.

IMG_2702

As with past years the most interest from attendees at our booth was in fmSMS and we did lots of demos showing how you can use the FileMaker platform to send and receive SMS/TXT messages. Looking at the message logs I can see we sent a lot of messages to attendees from the USA/Canada, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Mongolia and Australia.

This year there was definitely more awareness of the Xero small business accounting platform compared to previous years and it was great showing our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution to developers from all around the world. North America is now Xero’s fastest growing market (the other main markets are Australia, New Zealand and the UK) so we will definitely see more interest in Xero in future years.

IMG_2705

The venue for  DevCon 2017 was announced at the closing session – DevCon is returning to Phoenix, Arizona and the JW Marriott Desert Ridge from July 24 – 26. That will also have a familiar feel to it – it will be the fifth time DevCon has been at this venue. The closing session was also used to announce the winners of the FileMaker Developer Challenge. This year Databuzz and our good friends at Goya donated the monitors that we purchased for the conference to some of the charities involved in the Developer Challenge – Foster Kinship and the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth gratefully accepted these.


IMG_2710

 

See you in Phoenix in 2017!

by Andrew Duncan at August 10, 2016 10:00 PM

DB Services | Articles

FileMaker Cross Platform Notifications

FileMaker Cross Platform Notifications

Keeping a large team of mobile users informed and updated with information vital to their jobs is essential in this modern world, but not everyone has an iOS device and even if they did, it’s not practical to have the app open and waiting for the information. One solution is to keep your users informed with the use of notification. Using native FileMaker and a service called Pushover we can easily leverage cross platform notifications with advanced features like message priority, which allows you to repeat a notification until the user acknowledges it.

Watch on Youtube: FileMaker Cross Platform Notifications

Pushover Icon

Creating a Pushover Account

To begin we will need a free account with Pushover.net. All pricing involved with Pushover.net is through the purchase of their apps for a users device. Each app costs 5 dollars, and then you are able to send up to 7,500 notifications a month without any additional cost.  After you have created an account you need to navigate to the Pushover Apps & Plugins page and create a new application. Once you have created a new application copy and paste the application API Key into the demo file.

Retrieving a Users Pushover ID

We can easily download a user’s Pushover ID into FileMaker by making a simple post call using Insert from URL. The url you will be posting to is api.pushover.net/1/users/login.xml and the api requires 2 parameters, email and password. Below is an example of the full URL request.

insert from url
"httpspost://api.pushover.net/1/users/login.xml?email=" & $email & "&password=" & $password

Managing Groups

One great feature of Pushover you can take advantage of is groups. Groups allow you to manage your users and then send out a notification to that segment of users all at once. You can create a new group from the Pushover Groups page. Once you have created your group you can use the generated group key to add and remove users, and disable/enable a user in the group all from within FileMaker using a simple rest api. Another useful feature of groups in Pushover is the subscription feature that allows for anonymous users to sign up to receive notifications and be automatically added to a group.

Sending Messages

Sending a message is very similar to all the other api calls not surprisingly. The api endpoint for sending a message is api.pushover.net/1/messages.xml or api.pushover.net/1/messages.json. And there are quite a few parameters you can include to customize your message. Below is a list of all the available parameters.

FileMaker Send Notification

Required Parameters

  • token – Pushover application token/id
  • user – Can be userID or groupID
  • message – Must be URL encoded
  • retry – required if priority is 2. Time in seconds to wait between retries until acknowledged. Min of 30
  • expire – Required if priority is 2. Time in seconds to keep retrying until acknowledged. Max of 86400 seconds or 1 day

Optional Parameters

  • device – Device name, if left empty all of a user’s devices will be notified
  • title
  • html – if set to 1, will allow for html tags in the message which will allow the use of the following tags; bold, italic, underline, font-color, and html links
  • timestamp – a unix timestamp in CST time zone ex: 1331249662
  • priority – The priority of the message ranging from -2 to 2. The default “Normal” priority of 0 will be set if left empty
  • url
  • url_title
  • sound – if left empty, the users default will be used, if no default then “pushover” will be used

Full API Reference

Conclusion

With a few api calls you can easily extend FileMaker with the ability to communicate with a mobile work force on virtually any device including iOS Devices, Android Devices, and Web/Desktops. Through the use of messaging groups you can also easily manage who should receive what alerts and when. Pushover’s advanced features give you a lot more control then something like text messaging and allows you to brand your notifications, change the messages sound, set the message priority, and manage whether a user is enabled or disabled in a group.

 

Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing?
Contact us to discuss upgrading your FileMaker software.

DownloadDownload FileMaker Notifications Database

Please complete the form below to download your FREE FileMaker database file.

by Mason Stenquist at August 10, 2016 12:18 PM

August 05, 2016

Databuzz

FileMaker and eCommerce Integration – Part 1

puzzle
Many of our small business customers have both a physical presence and an online presence when it comes to selling their goods and services. They  might have:

  • a physical retail store where customers can come and purchase goods in person
  • a mail order store where they take orders by mail, phone and fax and send the goods to the purchaser once they have paid
  • an online store which takes orders, processes the credit card transactions and notifies the business to fulfil the orders
  • a popup store/market store that runs every month or for short periods of time

When the business is starting up, or when they are adding a new method of selling goods and services, the tendency is for each of these stores to operate as their own silo. This ultimately leads to a lot of data duplication/double entry in multiple systems as the business deals with orders coming in from multiple store presences. Quite often we see the following workflow:

  • physical and mail order/phone orders are processed in the central office FileMaker CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution
  • online/eCommerce orders are processed via the online store attached to the customer’s website. The business is notified of new orders via email and these are then entered into the central office CRM system by customer service staff who then notify the accounts department to create an accounting entry in Xero or MYOB etc.

We wouldn’t generally recommend to customer’s that they use FileMaker to run their online eCommerce store, so there’s no problem with having the physical presence and the online presence separate (and it’s highly advisable from a security standpoint). However this leads to the problem of scattered information and ad hoc processes – wouldn’t it be better if all the information was in one place and you could see all the physical orders and online orders from the central FileMaker CRM? Could you save time and increase productivity by not having to manually re-enter all the online orders in both the main FileMaker CRM as well as your accounting software?

We’ve been helping customers for many years now integrate their online stores with their FileMaker CRM solution so they can view everything in the one place and automate the transfer of online orders into their office CRM, and then push that into their accounting software without having to re-type anything.

Here’s a list of online orders from a popular shopping cart as it appears in the web browser admin view:

WooCommerce FM List 2

 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could also view these same orders live in FileMaker:

WooCommerce FM List

and instead of re-entering each order manually, including the line item details:

WooCommerce Order WP

you could see all the online order details live in FileMaker:

WooCommerce FM Details

and with the click of a button you can push the order details from the online eCommerce system into your FileMaker CRM and apply some business rules at the same time, such as:

  • check for an existing customer in the FileMaker CRM and if no match is found create a new Contact record
  • create a new Invoice and associated Invoice Items
  • create a Payment record against the Invoice
  • push a copy of the Invoice to your accounting software such as Xero or MYOB
  • add the purchaser to a mailing list in MailChimp or Campaign Monitor etc
  • send a thank you email to the customer with a discount coupon

Here at Databuzz we recently faced the same challenges that we’ve been helping our customers with for many years – we opened our first online store last year and have been working on integrating this with our internal FileMaker CRM every since. In Part 2 and 3 of this series we’ll cover some approaches to eCommerce and FileMaker integration based on our experiences as a small business that uses FileMaker and Xero to run their business.

by Andrew Duncan at August 05, 2016 01:00 PM

August 04, 2016

Databuzz

FileMaker Launches Small Business Service Business Toolkit

service toolkit

 

In July 2010 FileMaker Inc. launched the first version of FileMaker Go for the iPhone and the iPad, beginning the push towards mobility and extending FileMaker’s reach beyond the office and into the field. FileMaker Go was particularly helpful for service businesses that had staff working remotely onsite with customers – for example servicing customer equipment or performing scheduled maintenance. FileMaker Go allowed these service workers to make the move away from paper and to a digital solution that help removed unnecessary paper work and data entry.

Over the past six years we’ve helped implement a number of FileMaker Go based mobility solutions for customers that have helped transform the way they do business. A typical workflow before FileMaker Go would like something like this:

  • office staff would allocate jobs for technicians/service staff via an office based FileMaker solution
  • these would be printed off and collected by the service workers at the start of each day
  • service workers would complete the jobs and record all the information in paper forms
  • at the end of the day the service staff would return to the head office and deliver the completed forms to an office based worker who would then re-enter the same data in the office database

With the introduction of FileMaker Go we can now extend the reach of the office FileMaker system to the remote field workers. An integrated FileMaker Go custom app can transform the old workflow in many ways and eliminate a lot of paper based forms and double data entry. As a result the new workflow looks like this:

  • office staff allocate jobs for the remote field workers
  • using an iPhone or iPad running a FileMaker Go custom app the service staff download any jobs allocated to them each day containing all the details of the job, customer details and equipment details
  • service staff visit each customer (they can view their address using Google Maps direct from FileMaker Go) and record details about each job. This might include time spent on site, parts used, equipment readings, photos and asignature from the customer who approves the job
  • if required an invoice can be generated and sent via email as a PDF onsite to the customer
  • at the end of the day or after each job is completed the data is uploaded back to the office system which in turn triggers a new workflow (e.g. to set the next follow up date, issue an invoice if one was not delivered onsite etc)

With an integrated FileMaker Go solution there is no longer any requirement to re-enter data back in the office, a process that can often take multiple hours each day. This frees up office staff to perform more meaningful and productive work (and can also mean you don’t need to hire as many staff or temp workers to perform this work).

FileMaker Go can help transform any service based business, regardless of whether you’re currently using a FileMaker solution in the office. We’ve implemented FileMaker Go/mobile solutions in many different industries over the past six years, including:

  • Real Estate – allowing property management staff to download a list of properties requiring end of lease inspections and complete the inspections onsite. All completed inspections are then uploaded to a central database back in the office and reports send to the landlord
  • Equipment Inspections – we have a number of customers that need to perform regular scheduled inspections on equipment such as septic tanks, gas tanks and properties. Inspections are allocated to a particular staff or area and then downloaded either daily or monthly as required and uploaded when completed.
  • Electricians – allowing electricians to download daily jobs and record time and parts used onsite for each job and upload back to the office each day

In recognition of how FileMaker Go can help service based businesses FileMaker Inc. has recently released a free Small Business Service Business Toolkit to help small businesses plan, create and deploy a custom app that will enable them to maximize customer satisfaction, drive growth and increase profitability. The Toolkit includes an eBook with case studies showing how small businesses, by replacing pen-and-paper processes with custom apps built using the FileMaker Platform, are experiencing tremendous improvements in overall work performance.

You can download a free copy of the Small Business Service Business Toolkit here. If you would like to discuss implementing a custom app for your service business please get in touch.

by Andrew Duncan at August 04, 2016 11:20 PM

July 26, 2016

Databuzz

Clickatell SMS Gateway TLS Changes

Clickatell have notified customers that they will be performing scheduled system maintenance on 14 August 2016. Following these changes they will no longer be supporting SSL 2.0 or SSL 3.0 but are adding support for TLS 1.2.

This only applies to HTTPS requests (not HTTP) made to the Clickatell API. We’ve completed some initial testing using their test TLS server and are happy to report all messages were delivered successfully. If you’re using fmSMS with Clickatell and HTTPS requests everything should continue to work after the 14 August 2016, but please let us know if you encounter any issues.

by Andrew Duncan at July 26, 2016 01:33 AM

July 18, 2016

Productive Computing Blog

PCI is Now Offering Dedicated Hosting Plans for FileMaker Server 15

FileMaker Hosting

 

 

 

 

PCI is Now Offering Dedicated Hosting Plans for FileMaker Server 15

With the release of FileMaker Pro 15, a new End User License Agreement was introduced requiring a dedicated server for each customer.  This new requirement inspired us to develop a new series of hosting plans to accommodate our customers on this new platform.  Using a combination of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and our existing infrastructure we developed three affordable options for FileMaker 15 users.

These new plans allow users to host their solutions in a secure environment taking advantage of the benefits of FileMaker Server 15 with the peace of mind and convenience of having experienced and certified professionals manage and monitor their server.

 

Dedicated Hosting

PCI’s new dedicated hosting plans will offer the same benefits as our shared hosting plans:  free setup, robust backup schedule (progressives, daily, weekly, monthly), and SSL Certificates.

– Fully Managed Dedicated Server maintained by PCI so you don’t have to

– FileMaker Server Licensing conveniently purchased through PCI at a discount

– Amazon (AWS) Certified Engineer offers expertise for secure and scalable options

– FileMaker Certified Developers at your service

PCI is your outsourced hosting team!

 

Shared Hosting

Productive Computing will continue to offer shared hosting for those customers that do not need to upgrade to FileMaker Server 15.

 

fms15

FileMaker Server Licensing

If you are choosing a Dedicated Hosting plan, a FileMaker Server license is required. You may provide your own server license or order FileMaker Server through Productive Computing at a discount.  FileMaker Licensing for Teams provides an affordable option to purchase or rent the server software along with access to FileMaker Pro.

 

Need more information about hosting?  Have a look at our overview video:

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

Please visit www.filemakerhostingservice.com for a complete list of plans and hosting service details.

by PCI WordPress Admin at July 18, 2016 10:11 PM

FileMakerBloggen

Timeline with web viewer

There are a lot of good-looking and useful Javascript libraries. The good thing is they can be integrated into a web viewer in FileMaker. It is even possible to interact with the web viewer, display more information or navigate to a certain FileMaker record using the fmp protocol. A couple of years ago (times goes by..) I wrote about an interactive map of Sweden.

Lately I was in need to show events in a timeline. It might be made in FileMaker, but it is a lot easier using one of the Javascript libraries easily found on the internet. Without much consideration I choosed a library called VisJS.

The events are all in one table with an id, a date, a name, and a little bit longer comment. In this sample I have entered information about FileMaker versions (the dates are approximated) in an Events table. The information is from Wikipedia, and this blog.

Timeline_events

 

The VisJS library needs an array in JSON format for the data to be displayed. I added a calculation field, Info, in the Events table for the JSON representation of one event record, it looks like this:

"{ id: " & id_event & ", start: new Date(" & Year(EventDate) & ", " & 
Month(EventDate) & ", " & Day (EventDate) & "), content: '" & Content & "'}"

A JSON record begins with { and ends with } and it is all text concatenated with the & operator. In the JSON record I have 3 fields: id, start and content. The “start” field is a Javascript date field, and the “content” field is the text which is going to be displayed for each event in the timeline. I need the “id” to make the timeline interactive.

I have an interface table, TimeLine, with a global text field, gHTML, where I have copied the HTML code from “basic example” found at the VisJS web page. The links to the library itself and its CSS are changed to a CDN, which means you will need internet access when you open the database in order to show the timeline.

In the HTML template I have a placeholder (<!TIMELINEDATA!>) for the JSON timeline data, like this:

...
var items = [
<!TIMELINEDATA!>
 ];
....

At the interface layout I have a web viewer with the following formula:

"data:text/html, " & Substitute(Timeline::gHTML;"<!TIMELINEDATA!>";Substitute( List ( Events::Info ); "¶";","))

The formula substitutes my placeholder in the HTML template with real data. All the JSON events for all event records are assembled with the List function. I use a cartesian relation to get all the events from the Events table. All new lines are also replaced by a comma (you can’t have new lines in the content field) just to make it valid JSON.

To make the timeline interactive I added one Javascript event to the HTML template, a function I found in VisJS called “timeline.on (‘select’)”, which means it will be executed when I click (select) on one of the events. The Javascript does only one thing, it calls a script in the FileMaker database using the fmp protocol with the id of the event as parameter. It calls the FileMaker script ViewEvent which does a single Set field script step, only to show more information about the selected event below the timeline.

Timeline_sample

 

Information about the selected “FileMaker Pro 15″ event in yellow is displayed below the timeline.

Please feel free to download a sample database and add whatever events you like.
Download Timeline.fmp12

Update 2016-07-19: Thanks for all the positive feedback! I did a new version of the sample file with tabs for the timeline and the HTML template. Actually I also got rid of a global field, gHTML, at the same time. It is now a layout object, a technique I have mentioned before. It is also possible to rename the sample file and maintain the functionality,

Update 2016-07-20: Adjusted month number by -1, in Javascript month is between 0 and 11 instead of 1-12. I seem to forget that all the time :) The sample file nr 2 is updated accordingly. Thanks for noticing James!

Download Timeline2.fmp12

by Rolf at July 18, 2016 09:21 AM

July 15, 2016

FileMakerTalk

Pre FileMaker Devcon 2016 Session Chat

Matt & Matt talk about the upcoming FileMaker Devcon 2016 and which sessions they're looking forward to attending. Of course, you can always expect that FileMaker specific banter the two love to head into.

by Matt Navarre and Matt Petrowsky at July 15, 2016 06:39 PM

July 12, 2016

DB Services | Articles

Archiving Email In FileMaker

Archiving Email In FileMaker

When working with large groups of people both in and out of your organization, it can be difficult to keep track of all the discussions between you and everyone else. One person may discuss a project that you are a part of, but without everyone always CC’ing, BCC’ing, and hitting Reply All to every email, it can be practically impossible to keep everyone in the loop at all times. Fortunately with the 360works email plugin, tracking all emails between you and your system’s contacts can become far more manageable. FileMaker and email integration allow users to view any and all emails that contacts, prospects, salespeople, managers and anyone else have had with one another.

Watch on Youtube: Archiving Emails In FileMaker

Importing the Emails

First and foremost, you will need to purchase a copy of the email plugin. Once purchased, install the plugin (for more on installing plugins on servers, read FileMaker Server Plugins and Schedules).  Then build a script that will grab the email information and store it in FileMaker.

FileMaker - Download Email Dialog

Note that you can automate this process if needed.

Displaying emails

With your emails downloaded and stored in FileMaker, users can now view and search any correspondence that users in your system have had with any contacts.

FileMaker - Email List

From here you can display any relevant information to the users. If you saved the email’s HTML, you can even display the formatted email in a web viewer.

FileMaker Sample Email Popover

Recommendations

  • In order to keep the size of your solution down, we recommend not storing attachments in your FileMaker files. You can store the name of any attachments in the email in FileMaker, and use those to download the attachments on the user’s machine.
  • It is a good idea to log every time you attempt to download an email and assign it in order to more easily trouble shoot any issues you may come across.
  • Downloading large amounts of emails is very time consuming and can drag the system considerably. Do not try and migrate all emails before the integration at once. If you want to find and download emails received and sent before the go live date, do it batches at a time.

Conclusion

With FileMaker and an email plugin, tracking and maintaining correspondence from multiple people has become a much easier experience. No longer will you have to constantly call, email, or meet with people just to talk about what was already discussed with others. Now a simple search in FileMaker will allow users to catch up and get on the same page quickly. Email integration is just one more example of how FileMaker can help businesses work in a productive and efficient manner.

Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing?
Have any additional questions regarding licensing?
Contact us to discuss FileMaker and to get the best licensing.

 

DownloadDownload FileMaker Archiving Email Database

Please complete the form below to download your FREE FileMaker database file.

by Ian Haas at July 12, 2016 12:53 PM

June 30, 2016

FileMakerBloggen

Vanliga frågor juni 2016

Vi får väldigt många frågor om FileMaker av skiftande karaktär. Här kommer några av de vanligaste svaren från vårens frågor. Följ mig på Twitter (@rolfclausen), jag skriver regelbundet fler nyttiga (och onyttiga) tips där. Vill du ställa en fråga? Skicka epost, kontakta mig på Twitter eller chatta (nere till höger).

Kan jag få reda på information om en bild i ett container-fält?

Funktionen GetContainerAttribute ger intressant information om en bild. Du anger 2 parametrar till funktionen, den första är container-fältet och den andra vilken information du önskar. Du kan ange t.ex. “image” för att få reda på bredd och höjd, “photo” visar information om kameran, orientering, gps-koordinater mm, eller “all” för at få all tillgänglig information. Funktionen kan t.ex. se ut så här:

GetContainerAttribute(Bilder::Bild;"photo")

Som resultat får du t.ex.

Orientation: 1 (Normal) 
Created: 2016/02/19 08:38:33 
Modified: 2016/02/19 10:00:26 
Latitude: 55.715522 
Longitude: 13.173867 
Make: Apple 
Model: iPhone 6

Samma funktion använder du för att hämta information om t.ex. streckkod och signatur på en iOS-enhet.

Går det att göra en egen start- och slutsida för WebDirect?

Startcentret i WebDirect må vara praktiskt, snyggt och lättanvänt men ibland vill du göra en egen startsida med t.ex. mer information om de olika databaserna, som också kan vara den sida som visas när användaren stänger WebDirect. Du ersätter startsidan med en helt egen HTML-sida med valfritt innehåll. På sidan gör du knappar/länkar för att öppna databaserna i WebDirect. De ska se ut så här:

http://SERVERADRESS/fmi/webd?homeurl=http://SERVERADRESS/egensida.html#MinDatabas

Byt ut SERVERADRESS mot ditt server-namn eller ip-adress och MinDatabas till ditt databasnamn. Spara HTML-sidan med namnet egensida.html och placera den på servern där FileMaker Server finns. HTML-filen ska placeras i mappen HTTPServer\conf på Windows och HTTPServer/htdocs på OS X.

Du går sedan till

http://SERVERADRESS/egensida.html

för att se den. När du loggar ut från WebDirect kommer du tillbaka till samma sida.

Jag vill beräkna statistikfält med en knapp, går det?

Statistikfält beräknar över alla poster du har hittade, t.ex. en summa av ett fält på alla poster. Det kan ta en stund om det är många poster och vill du inte se resultatet alltid går det att gömma beräkningen till senare för att spara tid. När du klickar på en knapp görs statistik-beräkningen, du väntar den tid det tar och ser sedan resultatet.

Placera statistikfältet på layouten där du vill se resultatet, men välj att dölja fältet med Dölj fält i Granskaren. Lägg t.ex. till ett globalt fält som har värdet 0 till att börja med och använd formeln GlobaltFält = 0 i rutan för Dölj objekt vid. Gör sedan en knapp som sätter värdet i GlobaltFält till 1, först då beräknas statistikfältet.

Går det att radera en fil med FileMaker?

Det går att radera en fil, både med FileMaker Pro och FileMaker Go. Du ser till att ha inga poster hittade i en tabell och exporterar sedan en fil. Eftersom det inte finns något att exportera skapas det ingen fil, men om det redan finns en fil med samma namn så raderas den.

Jag har gjort en liten exempeldatabas som du kan prova, det finns 2 st knappar: en knapp för att exportera filen testfil.txt till dokumentmappen, och en knapp för att exportera en tom fil med samma namn, dvs. radera den fil som exporterats.

 

Raderafil_bild

 

Ladda ner exempeldatabasen här: Raderafil.fmp12

by Rolf at June 30, 2016 01:44 PM

June 28, 2016

DB Services | Articles

FileMaker 15 Starter Solutions

FileMaker 15 Starter Solutions

Starting a new application, on any platform, can be very overwhelming. Luckily FileMaker comes with 20 Starter Solutions (templates) that make starting a new application easier and to customize to fit to your needs. The main perk of the Starter Solutions is having a template to hit the ground running that is visually appealing.

Getting Started

If you don’t already own FileMaker, you can download a free FileMaker Trial to give the Starter Solutions a try.

Once FileMaker is installed, to build a new application with a Starter Solution simply open FileMaker Pro 15 and the Launch Center will come up. From there go to Get Started. You can choose one of the four new Starter Solutions, or you can scroll down to “See Advanced Solutions” to view the other 16 templates. Or, if you already have FileMaker 15 open, you can select File > New From Starter Solution.

FileMaker 15 Getting Started

Difference From Past Years

FileMaker kept the same 16 solutions from the last release and deemed them ‘Advanced Solutions’. They then made 4 new Starter Solutions that are more Basic. This is a great thing as we often hear of citizen developers wanting to create a new application from a Starter Solution but found the ‘Advanced Solutions’ to have too much going on.

Let’s take a look at the four new Basic Starter Solutions.

Contacts

The Contacts Starter Solution made a few changes from version 14. The fields are the same but arranged a little differently to make navigating easier. The main difference is the photo for the contact doesn’t take up as much space and has data directly under it.

FileMaker Contacts Starter Solution

Inventory

The Inventory Starter Solution, like the Contacts, only has a few minor changes. It is still the same theme, but the design looks modern with it being flatter. The fields are still the same, though, arranged differently to make it easier to navigate. Instead of having a tab between the picture of the inventory and a description, a description text box is on the left hand side making better use of space.

FileMaker Inventory Starter Solution

Content Management

This Starter Solution changed themes from Luminous to Enlightened. The layout is still the same, however, updated icons give the look and feel of a better application that is more visually appealing.

FileMaker Content Management Starter Solution

Tasks

The Tasks Starter Solution has the same layout, though it is flatter and looks more modern in design. The ‘Assignees’ and ‘Attachments are still on the layout, just separated, which gives the ability to see everything without switching back and forth between tabs making it crisper and easier to navigate.

FileMaker Tasks Starter Solution

Conclusion

FileMaker has taken a different approach to the Starter Solutions compared to years past. With the 4 different Basic Starter Solutions, it is easier to further customize the application to fit your workflow. The Starter Solutions still look great and easy to use and navigate. If you are starting a solution from scratch, this is still the easiest and best way to get started and create a customized solution for your needs.

If you, however, need a more fined tuned CRM application check out our own template, FM Quickstart. It is a free download and has been optimized to run on the latest version of FileMaker.

To learn more about the FileMaker 15 platform, read our FileMaker 15 What’s New article.

 

Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing?
Have any additional questions regarding licensing?
Contact us to discuss FileMaker and to get the best licensing.

by David Happersberger at June 28, 2016 11:47 AM

HOnza’s Bits @24U

How and why I won the FileMaker DevCon Developer Cup

Post image for How and why I won the FileMaker DevCon Developer Cup

When the first FileMaker DevCon Developer Cup took place at FileMaker DevCon 2014 many people asked me why I was not participating. So I applied for the next one in 2015. I was selected out of the over 1500 attendees to be one of 12 actually competing, and I won both the separately evaluated design challenge and the whole contest as well, to become a proud FileMaker DevCon 2015 Developer Cup Champion.

Now, 3 weeks before the next DevCon 2016, when people are thinking of participating in the new FileMaker Developer Challenge, I am going to reveal, why I decided to participate in the Developer Cup last year, what I did to win it, and what it has given me in the end.

Continue reading: How and why I won the FileMaker DevCon Developer Cup

by HOnza at June 28, 2016 12:39 AM

June 24, 2016

June 23, 2016

Linear Chat

Re-frame your work or just Compose it – PHP Frameworks

In this post I will talk about the trending PHP frameworks. Over the past 6 months I have been hearing a lot about the Laravel Framework. Being a more database focused developer I have tended to use Yii. After exploring Symfony 3 and the doctrine component I started to like the way it was put...

by Warren Tucker at June 23, 2016 09:49 AM

June 20, 2016

Productive Computing Blog

PDF Manipulator DC – Your secret weapon for integrating FileMaker with Adobe Acrobat

Logo_PDF_DC_png_450
With the ways of the tech world going 64-bit, we’re pretty excited about our newest utility plug-in — PDF Manipulator DC Edition.

Are you a heavy PDF user? Check out our overview video to learn how this powerful plug-in can help your company operate more efficiently:

Click here to view the embedded video.

This plug-in is compatible with:

Windows:
– Win 8/10
– FileMaker 14 and 15, 32-bit and 64-bit
– Adobe Acrobat DC

Mac:
– Mac OS X 10.10 / 10.11
– FileMaker 14, 32-bit and 64-bit
– FileMaker 15, 64-bit
– Adobe Acrobat DC

So what does it do and how is it different than the original PDF Manipulator plug-in?

First off, it has been fully redesigned for more efficient processing and optimized for 64-bit and Adobe Acrobat DC. Second, we have expanded the Mac plug-in’s capabilities to achieve parity with its Windows counterpart for enhanced consistency when doing cross-platform development.

Just like the original, this powerful plug-in provides a bidirectional data exchange between FileMaker® and Adobe® Acrobat Pro. It can:

– Insert or extract data between PDF form fields and FileMaker
Extract text content and metadata from a PDF document directly into your FileMaker solution, eliminating the need to hand key information
– Once the data is in FileMaker, you can search through a PDF’s content and determine what page of the document the searched content appears on
Combine and delete multiple PDF documents into a single PDF from within FileMaker Pro
Insert any number of PDF pages anywhere into an existing PDF document
Delete individual pages or a range of pages from a PDF
Browse for a document from inside FileMaker
Access, open, and save PDFs to file folders

We’re also very excited to announce that this plug-in’s release marks PCI’s transition from downloaded zipped files to installer packages. PDF Manipulator DC is the first of PCI’s plug-ins to feature an installer package for both Mac and Windows downloads, making it even easier to install, register, and uninstall the plug-in.

If you are a current PDF Manipulator customer and wish to upgrade to PDF Manipulator DC, you can do so at a 35% discount for the first year. There are no scripting rewrites needed to convert from PDF Manipulator to PDF Manipulator DC.

As always, we invite you to connect with us at sales@productivecomputing.com
or 760-510-1200.

by Stephanie Floyd at June 20, 2016 09:47 PM

June 01, 2016

Productive Computing Blog

123sync simplifies FileMaker to QuickBooks Integrations

Depending on the complexity of your solution, creating a custom QuickBooks integration can be a lengthy and expensive process.

Productive Computing, Inc. and SolutionMakers, Inc. have teamed up to deliver to you the 123sync Accounting Integrator. 123sync offers you the ability to reap the benefits of a personalized integration with the convenience and confidence of a fixed price configuration package.

With the combined power of the FM Books Connector plug-in, the Productive Computing sales and support staff, and the guidance of a QuickBooks ProAdvisor*, 123sync ensures that your FileMaker solution is quickly integrated with the Intuit® QuickBooks application.

Check out the video below to learn more about 123sync, how it works, and the benefits of using it.

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

Want to know if 123sync is right for your integration? Learn more about system requirements, key features, and what 123sync can push to your Quickbooks file.

*Our QuickBooks ProAdvisor will help you with the set up and integration of 123sync. Accounting consultations are offered for an additional fee.

by Stephanie Floyd at June 01, 2016 11:39 PM

May 15, 2016

FM Success Tips

386_FM_Success_Tips

Lee Strong, with 23 years of database and FileMaker experience, and Dr. Andy Cohen, with 25 years experience in IT development for fortune 500 companies, discuss valuable tips and hard to find tricks which enhance developing applications in FileMaker Pro. These guys give an informative overview of not only the hidden stuff but also consulting issues such as project definition, pricing and scope as well as a regular review of functions and script commands. They also make a point of having a lot of fun!

May 15, 2016 05:28 PM

May 11, 2016

Productive Computing Blog

FileMaker 15 Compatibility Update: Plug-ins and Solutions

I am sure you have been following the FileMaker 15 release updates as closely as we have, so I know you’re just as excited to hear that we’re FileMaker 15 compatible as we are to announce it!

Here at PCI, we’ve been hard at work testing and developing to make sure that your favorite PCI plug-in (or solution) is FileMaker 15 compatible. To the extent that we could, we wanted to ensure that you experienced little hesitation and headache when making the decision to upgrade.

Please see below for a full list of our products that are now compatible with FileMaker 15. As we’re always innovating, we invite you to peruse the entire list—maybe there is something new that could be of benefit to you!

Licensing:
FileMaker Licensing: Purchase FileMaker Pro 15 today! Being Platinum Partners with FileMaker, Inc. we are able to work directly with FMI’s sales team to secure better pricing on new FileMaker Pro licenses and maintenance contract renewals than what customers have access to on their own.

Solutions:
Core4: A customizable CRM solution that allows users to efficiently manage areas including: contacts, calendars, tasks, correspondence, sales opportunities, estimates, invoices, inventory, projects, reports, and more.

Vessel Service Solutions: A vertical solution for the marine assistance industry that operates as a virtual command center to manage vessel assistance orders.

Plug-ins:
Outlook Manipulator: Exchange data with Microsoft® Outlook Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Mail, and Notes for the “user’s” default folder, public, and shared folders within the Exchange Environment and with any Exchange mailbox.

FM Books Connector: Connect QuickBooks® to your FileMaker solution and save time and energy by eliminating double entry of contacts, invoices, or sales transactions.

123sync: Accelerate the development of a personalized QuickBooks integration with your existing FileMaker solution.

FM Books Connector Online: Using QuickBooks Online? You can reap all of the benefits of connecting your FileMaker solution to your QuickBooks Online file.

Address Book Manipulator: Exchange data dynamically between FileMaker Pro and Macintosh’s Address Book in a “one-to-many” format that handles group and individual contacts, multiple addresses, phone numbers, and e-mails.

iCal Manipulator: Provides a bidirectional data exchange between FileMaker Pro and Apple Calendar / Reminders eliminating double entry and syncing FileMaker Pro with any iCal supported calendar type. Please download latest plug-in to ensure compatibility.

eSign Signature Capture: Decrease labor and processing time of your standard forms and increase security for your organization by capturing signatures and binding them to information stored in your FileMaker solution.

Biometric Fingerprint Reader: Allow for fast identification and secure verification capabilities that enable your FileMaker solution to recognize individual users without requiring passwords or card swipes.

PDF Manipulator: Search text contained within a PDF document, extract data from PDF form fields, create a searchable document management system, and process forms faster by eliminating the need to hand key information into your solution.

Change Printer: Automatically change printers, set optional printing attributes, coordinate large and complex print procedures, and switch between various types of printers/drivers such as: inkjet, laser, label, and PDF – all from your FileMaker solution. Please download latest plug-in to ensure compatibility.

File Manipulator: Access, copy, move, rename or delete files and folders, as well as compress/extract and encrypt/decrypt file data directly from your FileMaker solution.

For more information on compatibility or product details please contact sales@productivecomputing.com or call (760) 510 -1200.

by Stephanie Floyd at May 11, 2016 04:37 PM

Goya Blog

BaseElements Update and more

It's been a while since the last BaseElements update, and I've had a few emails asking me what's going on. Rest assured we're still working on it, and things are progressing.

And FileMaker 15 is out today, and happens to coincide with me finishing up a big set of changes to BE, so an opportune time to post an update. So to answer all the big questions :

Are you still working on it?

Absolutely. We still use BE every day ourselves, and even use BE to develop BE and couldn't live with out it, much like a lot of you. We haven't sat still but development has been slower while we've worked on client work, RefreshFM updates, RESTfm updates and additions and bug fixes to the Plugin.

Why is importing objects so slow in b12?

What's mostly got us stuck is some changes to the Alerts that we introduced with the new 14 re-design. In order to better track the myriad of issues that can crop up, and be better able to handle errors, warnings, performance issues and unreferenced items, we've been consolidating them into a single alert. So we've added some extra items and included more detail for others, plus combined things into a single location.

And as every developer knows, when you add to a solution iteratively over a long period, all your changes add up. And what we ended up with was a solution for layout objects that was way too complex than it should be to get the job done. At some point in the last few betas our alerts auto enter calculation was doing a sum of a related field, which itself was un-stored, and that will never be fast.

You never set out to design a slow solution, and you never deliberately make a change that is going make things slow, but occasionally you add a great feature that has a cost you didn't plan for.

The solution was to go back and re-think the whole way alerts are generated across all the elements, but especially the large ones ( objects, steps, calculations ). And to do that meant putting a lot of these calculations into the XSLT so that the import was as simple as possible, and therefore as fast as possible.

If you want fast imports, remove all your unnecessary auto enters, lookups, stored calculations and indexes.

We've spent a lot of time re-factoring our XSLT to shift a lot of the complexity there instead of the import. This is a complex, difficult process - XSLT is handled differently in the plugin, vs the command line, vs the import, vs the debugger tools. This makes it really time consuming to debug and test any change.

Our base line for speed testing was importing our sample files ( BaseElements itself ) into the current BE 4. That takes about 5 minutes. We knew that the latest beta of 14 was slower, quite a bit slower. We needed to at least get back to where things were with that version.

At various times during the changes we had imports that took one minute, only to realised hardly any data had come in, and 7 minutes only to make a simple namespace change that cut that in half.

Finally we've got all our data, all working as we want and import times are ... drum roll ... 3 minutes. About a 40% savings on BE 4 and much faster than BE14b12. Excellent, not only did we fix the b12 issue, but we also improved on the previous version.

What's with the beta now that 15 is out?

Our plan with BE 14 was that we'd finish the beta late last year, and then release BE 15 on the release of FMP 15. Obviously that didn't go to plan.

We're fortunate that there are almost no changes to the DDR with 15 so our current release version of BE 4 will work with the FMPA 15 DDR just fine. So will the BE 14 beta.

So we're going to re-start the BE versioning at 15 and go back to b1 and pretend that the whole BE 14 beta never happened :) Well not quite, but it doesn't make sense to have BE 14 around with FMP 15.

There is no upgrade cost from BE 14 to 15. So we will now work on finishing up the remaining features we were working on ( reports mostly ) and release BE 15 as what we were going to do with 14. Everyone who has bought BE back since mid last year will get the final release of BE 15 at no charge and all the current BE 14 licences will work just fine with BE 15.

What else have you done?

One of the biggest support issues we have is in bad XML that FMPA generates that is invalid and so can't be imported. We are pre-processing a lot of that and removing some of these characters and so a lot of imports that would have failed in older versions will work in BE 15.

What else are you going to do?

We've still got some tweaks to how the UI works in BE 15 that we need to work on. There is the reports to do, and we've got some great ideas about those that we think are going to be awesome.

Thanks to everyone for your patience, and we hope it's not going to be much longer till the BE 15 final. In the mean time grab a copy, and send us any feedback.

by Nicholas Orr at May 11, 2016 10:46 AM

May 10, 2016

Linear Chat

Creating Stand-alone Apps with FileMaker

Webinar with Linear Blue CEO Paul de Hallé Wednesday 18th May at 16:30 BST / 08:30 PDT Join Linear Blue CEO Paul de Hallé as he discusses the new FileMaker toolkit for building fully native Apps for iPad & iPhone. Tools required in developing a stand-alone app for iPad & iPhone The Development Process Demonstration of...

by Jessica Alley at May 10, 2016 03:10 PM

DB Services | Articles

FileMaker 15 What’s New

FileMaker 15 What’s New

The new version of the FileMaker platform is here! We’ll look in depth at what’s new in FileMaker Pro 15, FileMaker Go 15, and FileMaker Server 15. We have highlighted many of the best new features with ten detailed articles provided by our staff looking in depth at each of the features. FileMaker announced they will release new versions every year, resulting in shorter release cycles that’ll bring innovative new features to us faster.

FileMaker 15 Overview

  • New mobile features including Touch ID, 3D Touch, App Extensions, iOS SDK, and iBeacons. You can now deploy mobile applications in exciting new ways.
  • The third major release of WebDirect includes compatibility for mobile phones and performance improvements. WebDirect allows you to easily publish your application in a browser on the web using the award winning FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Pro Advanced client to build your web application.
  • DB2 and PostgreSQL are now supported database platforms for External SQL Sources. You can establish a live two-way connection between your FileMaker application and Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and now DB2 along with PostgreSQL databases.
  • FileMaker Server 15 no longer allows third parties to offer shared hosting. You must have your own server moving forward for security reasons.
  • FileMaker Licensing for Teams is the new default licensing moving forward on the FileMaker Store. Licensing is now based on number of users.

FileMaker Pro 15

The latest version continues to focus on new features that enhance usability for users and developers with a few nice performance enhancements.

Portal In-line Progress Bar
Have you ever loaded a screen with a portal and waited for the hundreds to thousands of records to display? Well we now have Portal in-line progress bars, which will allow you to interact with the rest of the screen while the portal is still loading. This is a very welcomed addition for users that are using an application over the Internet, as we can never see too many performance increases. All you have to do is install the new version to get this one!

Read about FileMaker Portal In-Line Progress Bar as Damien Howell explains how they work.

Concealed Edit Box
You can now add concealed edit boxes to layouts. This allows you to hide the data being typed into a field from any onlookers as the field displays dots instead as you type. The data is not encrypted, so it can still be easily exported so take additional security measures to encrypt the data or prevent users from exporting the data.

Updated User Interface
FileMaker 14 had killer user interface features including button icons, navigation bars to name a few. Now the Status Toolbar icons for users in browse mode and icons for developers in layout mode have been improved. In addition full-screen view and split view are supported in the FileMaker Pro document windows on OS X.

Emory Brown discuss in depth FileMaker 15 User Interface updates. He dives into the Toolbars, Inspector Palette, WebDirect, and FileMaker Go on mobile devices.

In-Product Updates
Product updates before required you to visit the FileMaker Download page and then select your update to download. This was tedious to end users especially as we have become accustomed to products such as Chrome updating for us. Now when an update is available you can download and install the update all from within FileMaker Pro.

Read about FileMaker In-Product Updates as Jeremiah Hammond looks at how the new in-application updates work.

Script Workspace

For any user who writes or edits scripts more improvements have been made to the Script Workspace, FileMaker’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE). You can easily see highlighted script errors in red and problems are automatically highlighted when importing or pasting scripts. Unlimited Undo is now supported in the Script Workspace and in the Specify Calculation dialog box, including Undo Delete. All developers will enjoy these new features.

External SQL Storage Adapters
FileMaker has long been known to be a hub for many organizations’ data. External SQL Storage (ESS) has been in place since version 9 for Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and MySQL. Now joining the party includes the likes of DB2 and PostgreSQL. You can easily set up ODBC on the server and all your FileMaker users are then able to access the data from these other popular database platforms.

Basic Starter Solutions
FileMaker 15 comes with 4 new Basic Starter solutions (Contacts, Inventory, Content Management, and Tasks). In addition, the existing 16 Starter Solutions from before are available as Advanced Solutions below the Basic Starter solutions in the link, See advanced solutions, which is not that easy to locate. We also have a free starter solution called FM Quickstart you may wish to download and customize.

Read about FileMaker 15 Starter Solutions as David Happersberger looks at the differences in the new templates.

Web-based Help
FileMaker Help is truly great. Now help is available online and can be downloaded if needed. Help has been redesigned for easier access and use. Being web-based, FileMaker Help can be easily updated by the support staff by FileMaker.

FileMaker Pro Technical Specs
FileMaker Pro 15 and FileMaker Pro Advanced 15 are supported on Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise, Windows 8.1 Standard and Pro, Windows 7 SP1 Professional and Ultimate, Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan and 10.10 Yosemite.


FileMaker Go 15

FileMaker Go 15 has all the features you get in FileMaker Pro such as concealed edit box and portal in-line progress bar, plus some specific iOS features listed below. The new version of FileMaker Go 15 is available on the App Store.

iOS App SDK
While this was released in January a few months ago it is worth mentioning. You can now develop your own standalone iOS app from an existing FileMaker application. This allows organization to easily deploy apps with Apple’s MDM Distribution. You must purchase a FileMaker Community Developers Subscription $99/year to receive the iOS App SDK which is Mac only.

Touch ID & 3D Touch
You can easily enable your application to support Touch ID to allow users to log into your application with their fingerprint. With Force Touch you can select the FileMaker Go application and select which database you wish to open without opening Go first.

Read about FileMaker Touch ID & 3D Touch as Bobby Vogel discusses how to use these new features.

App Extensions
If you install a popular app on your iOS device then it may come with App Extensions. If so then you can easily share data from FileMaker Go to applications such as Box or Dropbox for example to back up your database. There are lots of possibilities here.

Read about FileMaker App Extensions as Mason Stenquist discusses how to use FileMaker Go with App Extensions.

iBeacon
Now integrate your FileMaker app on iOS with iBeacons. There is a new function RangeBeacons that returns a list of iBeacons and their proximity to the iOS device. This is truly an exciting feature that will open many possibilities. Read the Getting Started with iBeacons at Apple’s iBeacon for Developers page to learn more. We look forward to seeing what you all produce with the new iBeacon support.

Read more about the FileMaker iBeacons as Weihao Ding goes in depth to educate all of us on how you can use iBeacons in your FileMaker app.

FileMaker Go Technical Specs
Requires iOS devices running iOS 9.3 or later on the iPad Pro, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch. FileMaker Go 13 will be removed from the App Store on June 10th, 2016.  FileMaker Go 14 will be removed from the App Store in November 2016.


FileMaker Server 15

Server has always been known for its ease of use and ability to run with little to no problems. The newest version focuses on performance improvements; security updates; and many enhancements related to WebDirect, specifically support for mobile phones, reducing data over the wire, optimizing memory footprint, improved cacheing container data, protocol enhancements, improving thread management, and additional security.

Read more specifically about FileMaker 15 Security as Michael Westendorf looks at new security features in Pro / Pro Advanced, Go, and Server.

FileMaker WebDirect
WebDirect is the flagship FileMaker Pro desktop client equivalent in a browser, without any web programming. This version add support for mobile phones and includes more performance improvements, at the high end the recommended hardware supports up to 100 WebDirect users. In our labs we did notice WebDirect is slightly faster than before as FileMaker continues to optimize the memory footprint. Users who are using WebDirect should get lots of RAM for FileMaker Server machines to support your users. For Androids, FileMaker WebDirect or Custom Web Publishing continues to be the only way to deploy a FileMaker-based application.

Read more about the FileMaker WebDirect Mobile Phone Support as Brendan McBride looks at the new features.

Top Call Statistics Logging
Troubleshooting performance on a server with a lot of users can be time consuming. With FileMaker Server 15 you can turn on Top Call statistics in the Logging tab from the FileMaker Server Admin Console. This will help identify the scripts, finds, or other operations that are taking the longest to run on the server.

Learn more about the FileMaker Server Top Call Statistics as Ian Haas looks at how to use this new log.

SSL Certificates
When using FileMaker Server and deploying sensitive information you will definitely want to keep your data encrypted. FileMaker recommends you use the default self-signed SSL certificate for testing purposes only. Installing a third party SSL certificate can be a bit tricky, but with version 15 you can now create a certificate signing request from the FileMaker Server console. In addition support had been added for Wildcard certificates, Subject AltName (SAN) Certificates, Import intermediate CA certificates, and deploy additional popular SSL Certificates types and vendors.

If you choose to use the default certificate provided by FileMaker you will now receive proactive security warnings that are annoying to your users that let them know the certificate is not secure. If you want to use SSL we advise ponying up around $100/yr and getting a certificate to safely encrypt your data inside and outside the network.

FileMaker Shared Hosting
As part of the FileMaker Server 15 End User License Agreement you can no longer install one FileMaker Server 15 for multiple tenants for security reasons. If you are looking for a FileMaker Hosting vendor keep in mind that they cannot provide you the latest technology which is critical for performance and security unless you have a dedicated server. If you’re using WebDirect it is absolutely essential to get a dedicated server. Contact us for pricing on FileMaker Dedicated Hosting for Self-Service or Managed FileMaker Servers.

FileMaker Licensing for Teams
Over the years FileMaker has updated their licensing to integrate new technologies such as FileMaker Go from the App Store along with transitioning from Instant Web Publishing to WebDirect. I believe they have finally landed on the licensing for the future with FileMaker Licensing for Teams and having the licenses be based on the FileMaker Server. Existing licensing programs are not impacted except FileMaker Server with Concurrent Connections are being phased out.

Read more about the FileMaker Licensing for Teams, David Happersberger, our FileMaker Licensing Specialist, gives you a look at the new licensing program.

FileMaker Server Technical Specs
Compatible on Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard with Update Microsoft KB2919355 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Standard or Enterprise and Mac OX X El Capitan 10.11 and Yosemite 10.10 is supported.

WebDirect browser support includes Safari 9.x, IE 11.x, Microsoft Edge 25+, Chrome 48+. Mobile browsers Safari 9.x and Chrome 48 on Android 5.x and 6.x.


Summary

The FileMaker 15 platform continues to be the leader in creating powerful custom applications for organizations all around the world that works seamlessly across Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and the web.

FileMaker Go continues to give the platform a competitive edge. Allowing organizations to create custom applications for iOS devices while providing an incredible ROI. Creating prototype applications on the iPad and iPhone is a matter of hours not months.

After waiting 12 months, we are happy to see FileMaker 15 and look forward to building awesome custom applications using the new modern tools for Mobile, Web and the Desktop.

Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing?
Contact us to discuss upgrading your FileMaker software.

by Kevin Hammond at May 10, 2016 01:25 PM

FileMaker WebDirect Phone Support

FileMaker WebDirect Phone SupportFileMaker WebDirect Phone Compatible

WebDirect has been redesigned to be compatible with mobile phones. In the previous release, FileMaker added support for tablet browsers. FileMaker 15 takes it a step further by providing support for mobile phones. Although you could access WebDirect with a phone before, it was not officially supported, mainly due to dialogs being too small for user interaction. With this release, FileMaker really focused on ensuring that all dialog messages and drop downs are easier to use on smaller screens. This is great news for the FileMaker community as it allows us to build solutions for even more users.

Watch on Youtube: Filemaker WebDirect Phone Support

Setting Up a FileMaker Application for Phones

In order to enable WebDirect, you will need FileMaker Server 15. Follow the steps on the FileMaker Knowledge Base to deploy WebDirect.  Please also keep in mind the technical specifications required for FileMaker Server 15 and WebDirect.  Once the database has been enabled, pull out your phone and go to https://<host>/fmi/webd, where <host> is the IP address or domain name of the FileMaker Server.

New to WebDirect in 15

Mobile compatibility was the main focus for WebDirect in FileMaker 15. Here are a few of the changes implemented to improve the mobile experience:

  • FileMaker 15 WebDirect Mobile SortRedesigned login screen to use field placeholders.
  • Redesigned Menubar drop down button.
  • Redesigned sort dialog flow.
  • Redesigned calendar drop down calendar to be larger.
  • Redesigned dialog fonts to be larger and to no longer be able to be resized.
  • Redesigned drop down and popup lists to use larger fonts.
  • Redesigned Custom Dialogs to fit to screen.
  • Rotation of device will not need to have visible dialogs redrawn.
  • Redesigned insert and export dialog screens to use larger buttons.

 

Conclusion

WebDirect is a great way to build a solution and have it instantly accessible on the web. With FileMaker 15, mobile phones are now supported. This allows you to give access to your database to virtually anyone.

Are you ready to deploy a custom FileMaker solution using WebDirect?
Contact us to discuss building your FileMaker application today.

by Brendan McBride at May 10, 2016 01:24 PM

FileMakerBloggen

Dags för FileMaker 15!

fm15_BannerNu är det dags för den numera årliga uppdateringen av FileMaker Pro! Och fler uppdateringar blir det, en av nyheterna i år är att det ska bli lättare att uppdatera :)

Version 15 har samma filformat som föregående version. Den stora nyheten är att det nu finns en kostnadsfri version av FileMaker Pro som du ansluter till en FileMaker Server, på samma sätt som FileMaker Go tidigare. Dessutom är WebDirect förstås ytterligare förbättrad, likaså den nya script-editorn som nu innehåller funktion för att ångra.

FileMaker Licensing for Teams (FLT)

Det ska bli lättare att köpa FileMaker! I alla fall att veta vad man behöver köpa, speciellt för nya kunder. (Det är dock fortfarande lika lätt att kontakta oss för beställning.) Räkna hur många användare ni är som har behov av någon FileMaker-klient, antingen det är FileMaker Pro på en dator, FileMaker Go på iPhone/iPad eller WebDirect på webbläsare, alla klienter till servern räknas numera som en användare. Du köper ett antal anslutningar (i paket om 5 st) till din server, sen är det bara att köra igång oavsett vad du använder för klient.

Det betyder också att FileMaker Pro, liksom FileMaker Go, är kostnadsfri! Fast du behöver FileMaker Server och du måste koppla upp dig mot servern det första du gör. Den kostnadsfria versionen av FileMaker Pro måste alltid vara uppkopplad mot en FileMaker Server 15, men det är inget som hindrar att du arbetar med lokala databaser eller databaser på annan server (även FileMaker Server 13/14).

Självklart(?) finns alla andra versioner av FileMaker kvar. Både enstaka FileMaker Pro (samma kostnad som tidigare), volymlicenser (VLA) som du köper en gång med valfri, årlig underhållskostnad och årshyra (AVLA) med fast årlig kostnad. Det sistnämnda alternativet är numera det vanligaste sättet att köpa FileMaker. Det går att blanda alla licensvarianter, både den nya FLT  med befintliga VLA/AVLA och enstaka licenser.

Beställ FileMaker Licensing for Teams direkt på www.filemaker.se, eller kontakta oss så hjälper vi dig!

Nyheter i script-editorn

En av nyheterna i FileMaker 14 var en ny script-editor. I version 15 har script-editorn förbättrats bl.a. med en ångra-funktion i flera steg, snabbare “uppritning” av manusrader och bättre uppdatering av ändringar i fönstret.

Kopierar du ett manus och klistrar in i en annan databas markeras nu eventuella problem med en färg, t.ex. en layout som inte finns i databasen. Du kan sedan lättare hitta de ställen du behöver justera.

FM15_Problemmanus

Enklare uppdatering

Då och då kommer det mindre uppdateringar av FileMaker Pro utan att versionsnumret ändras. Det kan vara problem som hittats i programmet, anpassningar till nyare versioner av operativsystem etc. Dessa uppdateringar benämns t.ex. 14.0v2, 14.0v3 osv. och kan hämtas på www.filemaker.se/support utan kostnad, men förutsätter förstås att du har originalversionen installerad. Det rekommenderas att du alltid har senaste versionen! Nackdelen med detta är att du alltid har behövt ladda ner ett helt installationsprogram innehållande alla delar av programmet, ofta ca 400 Mb eller mer, vilket kan ta en stund och hela det installerade programmet på din hårddisk ersätts i samband med den “lilla” uppdateringen.

Från och med version 15 är uppdateringsfilerna betydligt mindre, endast det absolut nödvändigaste behöver laddas ner och installeras “ovanpå” befintlig installation. Detta kommer att ske mer eller mindre “automatiskt” och gör att du hela tiden kommer att ha den senaste uppdateringen. Ungefär på samma sätt som du alltid har de senaste versionerna av dina appar på din iPhone/iPad.

Web-baserad hjälp

Det var länge sedan det fanns riktiga, tjocka handböcker som följer med datorprogram. Nuförtiden finns dokumentationen i form av hjälpfiler i programmet. Från version 15 är hjälpfilerna web-baserade och kan också “automat”-uppdateras vid behov.

Lösenordsfält

När du loggar in med ditt konto och lösenord i en FileMaker-databas ser du aldrig tecknen i lösenordet, de ersätts med en rund, svart prick. Nu kan du göra fält i FileMaker som fungerar likadant. Markera fältet i layoutläge, öppna Granskaren och välj Dold redigeringsruta i menyn för “Styr formatmall”.

FM15_Doldedit

Tänk dock på att det endast är visningen av fältet som ändras. Fältets innehåll sparas i databasen och du kan visa innehållet i klartext i ett fält på samma layout, eller annan layout förstås. Du kan också se innehållet med t.ex. kommandot Sätt in från index.

FM15_Losenord

Förloppsindikator i portaler

Portaler med många rader kan ta lång tid att visa, speciellt om raderna ska sorteras eller filtreras. Nu visas en förloppsindikator i portalen som visar att FileMaker håller på att jobba för att visa innehållet och du kan under tiden arbeta vidare med andra fält på layouten.

Ett tips är annars att om du har sådana portaler, se till att inte visa dem direkt när du kommer till layouten. Placera dem i t.ex. en annan flik eller använd en knapp för att plocka fram dem.

Andra nyheter i FileMaker Pro

Förbättrade mallar som följer med programmet. Dessa kan du använda och anpassa efter dina egna önskemål. Knapparna i statusområdet för t.ex. Ny post har blivit större och tydligare, de är mer lika de som finns i FileMaker Go/WebDirect. Knapparna i layoutläget har fått färg.

FM15_Layoutknappar

 

Det som tidigare var flikar i Granskaren har nu ersatts av symboler med samma funktion.

FM15_Granskaren

 

Det nya manussteget Nollställ tabell raderar alla poster i aktuell tabell oavsett aktuellt sökresultat. Manussteget tar inte heller hänsyn till eventuella relationer där du angett att relaterade poster också ska raderas, endast ALLA poster i den aktuella tabellen raderas.

Nyheter i FileMaker Go 15

fmgo15

Det finns nu stöd för TouchID, använd ditt finger istället för att ange konto/lösenord när du öppnar en databas

iBeacon är en rolig pryl som gör att du kan “navigera” inomhus, t.ex. få information om konstverket närmast dig på ett museum eller temperaturen i frysen närmast dig i din lokala affär. Förutsättningen är att museet eller affären (eller var det nu är) har placerat ut speciella små sändare, s.k. iBeacons, som avgör vilket konstverk eller frys som är närmast och, inte minst, det finns lämplig information tillgänglig att visa. FileMaker Go har nu beräkningsfunktion för att fråga vilken iBeacon som är närmast och på så sätt kunna söka fram lämplig information.

Nyheter i WebDirect 15WebDirect_15

WebDirect har optimerats ytterligare och fungerar nu på fler enheter, även smart-telefoner med t.ex. Android. Det går också att ha fler samtidiga användare på samma FileMaker Server än tidigare.

Nyheter i FileMaker Server 15

Enklare hantering av SSL-certifikat samt stöd för fler typer. Bättre statistik för att kunna hitta vilka databaser och användare som har långa svarstider. Alla anrop kan nu också loggas för att se vilka det är som kan ta lång tid och behöva optimeras.Det går att hindra att lägga upp databaser på servern som inte har lösenord.

Gör appar på iOS med FileMaker!

FileMaker “smyger” ibland ut nyheter mellan de större versionerna! Vi förespråkar ofta hur lätt och praktiskt det är att göra egna appar för iOS i FileMaker Go, t.o.m. med egen symbol på hemskärmen. Nackdelen har varit att användaren alltid behövt ladda ner och installera FileMaker Go först.

I början av året blev det möjligt att göra riktiga appar med FileMaker Pro. Sådana som kan skickas in till AppStore och publiceras där, precis som vilken app som helst som är utvecklad med Swift, Phonegap eller vad som är aktuellt. Du behöver förstås fortfarande vara registrerad iOS-utvecklare hos Apple, men appen gör du i FileMaker Pro och “kompilerar” den sedan med Apples utvecklingsverktyg XCode. Du behöver också ett speciellt utvecklingspaket som du hämtar från FileMaker, det är tillgängligt för dig som är FileMaker-utvecklare. Sedan behöver du “bara” följa instruktionerna. Behöver du hjälp så kontaktar du förstås oss!

Appen som installeras på din iOS-enhet, antingen via AppStore eller bara för dina arbetskollegor, innehåller en “kopia” av FileMaker Go, din databas och ikoner som visas på din hemskärm. När du startar appen behöver du inte alls se att det är en FileMaker-databas oavsett om databasen endast är lokal på din enhet eller kopplar upp sig mot en FileMaker Server.

FileMaker Pro 12

Liksom tidigare år fasar FileMaker ut äldre versioner på hösten. Denna gång är turen kommen till FileMaker Pro 12, som kom i april 2012. Support för version 12 upphör den 23 september 2016, vilket också är sista dagen för uppgradering av version 12 till 15.

Redan nu kommer du att märka av “åldern”, det går inte att öppna en databas på en FileMaker Server 15 med FileMaker Pro 12 även om det är samma filformat.

OBS! Det går inte heller att öppna en databas på FileMaker Server 12 med en FileMaker Pro 15-klient.

När finns FileMaker 15?

Idag! Du som har volymlicenser med underhållsavtal eller årshyra kommer att få epost från FileMaker Inc. med länk till nedladdning av installationsprogram och nya serienummer inom de närmaste dagarna. OBS! Kontrollera så att det inte hamnar i din skräppost!

Om du har “enstaka” licenser av FileMaker Pro/Advanced 12, 13 eller 14 kan du beställa uppgradering nu och få den nya versionen. (Normalt tar det ca 15 minuter från beställning att få ett elektroniskt nedladdningsbar installationsprogram med epost.) Kontakta oss om du vill beställa!

by Rolf at May 10, 2016 12:59 PM

May 02, 2016

Productive Computing Blog

What You Need To Know about PCI’s Dedicated Hosting Plans

The Dedicated Hosting Plan begins with a personal consultation to review your specific needs and requirements. We will review the basic hardware requirements, determine if any additional hardware is necessary based on your processes and provide you with a written estimate.

In addition to the hardware, we can provide you discounted pricing on FileMaker Server licensing. If you already own a copy of FileMaker Server, we can install your license on the dedicated server (FileMaker Server 13 and above).
 
Dedicated Hosting Specifications and Minimum Requirements
Server Hardware Requirements
• Apple Mac Mini: 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz)
• 16 GB 1600 MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
• 512 GB PCIe-based Flash Storage

Additional Hardware Requirements
• 2TB USB3 Hard Drive (required for OS and FileMaker backup procedures)
• HDMI Headless Adapter (required for improved remote connection performance)

Server Software Requirements
• FileMaker Server 13-14 (use your own license or purchase from PCI)
• FileMaker Go or WebDirect Concurrency Connections (if applicable)
• SSL Certificate (an annual SSL certificate is required to maintain secure connections)
 
Dedicated Hosting Features
• 125 Database Files
• 500GB SSD Storage Space
• Unlimited Users
• FileMaker Go or WebDirect Connections
• FileMaker Server Admin Console Access
• Dropbox Backup Access (on demand, daily and weekly routines)
• Personalized Setup
• Automatic Backups
• Multi-Version Support for FileMaker client (FileMaker 7 through 13 Mac or Windows)
• PHP Publishing API
• Secure Uploads, Downloads and Connections
• Non-virtualized (PCI-owned) FileMaker Servers
• Solid State Drives for Ultimate Performance
• Unlimited Bandwidth
• Upload Speeds up to 100 Mb/s
• Customer Service from PCI’s Expert Team
 
Managed Services for Dedicated Hosting
Managed Services
Our dedicated managed server plans offer the highest level of hosting services PCI provides. PCI becomes your hosting expert and maintains your server using the same proprietary systems and standards we use to maintain all our other hosting servers.

Our dedicated managed server plans include ALL labor associated with operating and proactively maintaining your server to include operating system patches and updates, web server installations and updates, FileMaker Server patches and upgrades, plug-in installations, SSL certificates, ODBC configurations, backup schedules, script schedules and anything else the server needs to run your FileMaker solution.

Managed Services Fees
• One-time initial server setup
• Monthly hosting service and support
• Monthly data center service fee billed through PCI
• Tier 2 technical support provided by the data center will be billed through PCI if needed

Turnaround Times for Customer Requests
Often customer requests are handled on the spot when you call in during regular office hours. Occasionally, you may need to leave a message and we’ll get the request done the same business day. On rare occasions, requests will spill over to the next business day. Our office hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Data Center Locations
We have three (3) data center locations (Las Vegas, Atlanta and Milwaukee) and our proposal would be to put you in whichever data center is closest to the greatest number of your end users. We have done extensive testing and determined that latency, specifically how far the user’s computer is physically from the FileMaker server, has the biggest impact on WAN solution performance for users who are connecting directly to the server with the FileMaker Pro client.

Customer Connection Speed
Connection to your data on the server is also relative to how your FileMaker solution is programmed and the speeds provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). We generally recommend using internet connection speeds at a minimum of 10MB download and 3MB upload. However, we also recommend that customers purchases the fastest speeds they can reasonably afford above those minimums.

Data Center Upload/Download Speeds and Bandwidth Limitations
The data centers provide maximum upload/download speeds up to 100Mb up and down.

Bandwidth usage is determined by how much data is transmitted between you and the server. For most customers, bandwidth limitations are rarely exceeded.  Actual bandwidth limitations vary depending on the data center your server is located at.

Tier 2 Technical Support
Tier 2 support is a rare occurrence but a service that is occasionally necessary from the data center. For example, if an operating system needed to be reinstalled, we would need someone to be hands on at the data center itself so we would have to pay for that service on an hourly basis. In the event this level of support may be needed from the data center, you will be notified prior to work being performed and the billing with be processed through PCI.
 
Backup Information
Our system provides for multiple backups to keep your data safe in case you accidentally remove crucial data, or in the unlikely event of a main hard drive catastrophe.

Tier 1 Backup Schedules
Twice Daily – we do daily backups at 12:30 pm and again 1:00 am. This means that on a given business a day, your data is backed up twice and in a way that is easy for us to get to. These backups are done to a separate drive other than the main hard drive.

Tier 2 Backup Schedules
Weekly and Monthly Schedules – we keep backups daily for one (1) week, weekly for one (1) month, and monthly for up to two (2) years. These backups are also saved on a separate external drive.

Tier 3 Backup Protection
Cloud Protection and easy customer access – every client has what we call their personal daily backup. This backup copies the data from the main hard drive to a backup drive and this happens at 1:00 am every day. Every morning at 3:00 am, the latest backup is compressed and copied to your dedicated Dropbox account.

FileMaker 14 Server Progressive Backups
For FileMaker 14 hosting customers we take advantage of progressive backups, which means that data is never more than an hour out of date in the event of a main hard drive catastrophe. These progressive backups are stored on a different hard drive other than the main hard drive. They are rewritten every hour. This is something akin to an ongoing mirror style backup.

We can also set up a separate Dropbox backup for the purposes of you being able to run a backup on-the-fly at any time and having that backup available to you via Dropbox immediately.
 
Security
Utilizing the latest technologies and the strictest practices ensures that not only is your data safe and secure from prying eyes, but the system itself is run like a fortress and constantly monitored by our experts.

SSL Certificates
Data transfer is encrypted using SSL, direct server access is limited, only the necessary ports to run FileMaker Server (and IWP/PHP) are exposed (unlike other hosting companies), and the machines are Apple/Mac running Linux, which are not prone to the usual hacker environments of traditional Windows servers other hosting companies are plagued with. We also limit third party and other rogue services that add to the complexity and potential vulnerability of the machine.

Passwords and Accessing Data
Each customer’s data files are secured by a username and password authentication. Only Productive Computing, Inc. server administrators have access to where the files are stored, however they do not have the individual customer’s passwords to open the database files unless the hosting customer has provided those passwords to us. We require all hosting clients to maintain a password on the hosted file.
 
Other Hosting Service and Support Frequently Asked Questions
FileMaker Pro and Server Licensing
FileMaker Pro and Server licensing is priced separately from our hosting services.

As Platinum Partners in the FileMaker Business Alliance, we are able to provide our customers with preferred pricing on FileMaker Pro and Server licenses and in most cases can provide a best price guarantee.

Software Updates/Version Upgrades Included
Our dedicated managed server plans include ALL labor associated with software upgrades to include operating system patches and updates, Web Server installations and updates, FileMaker Server patches and upgrades, plug-in installations, SSL certificates, ODBC configurations and anything else the server needs to run your FileMaker solution. The only exception is that we don’t support other non-FileMaker Server related services (i.e. we won’t install a mail server, blog engine, FTP server, etc.).

FMS Admin Console Access
All customers will have access to the FMS Admin Console. Customers will also have access to remotely access the server itself upon request – although our managed server customers generally leave that to us.

by PCI Admin at May 02, 2016 07:03 PM

April 27, 2016

Linear Chat

FileMaker Pro Interface design

Over the time I’ve been a developer with Linear Blue I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of different styles of design. Some good, some bad, some very ugly. The trend in FileMaker Pro interfaces has vastly changed over the years, moving from multicoloured and uncoordinated patchwork layouts to fairly sophisticated and simple layout design....

by Jacob Unsworth at April 27, 2016 09:57 AM

April 14, 2016

FM Success Tips

385_FM_Success_Tips

Lee Strong, with 23 years of database and FileMaker experience, and Dr. Andy Cohen, with 25 years experience in IT development for fortune 500 companies, discuss valuable tips and hard to find tricks which enhance developing applications in FileMaker Pro. These guys give an informative overview of not only the hidden stuff but also consulting issues such as project definition, pricing and scope as well as a regular review of functions and script commands. They also make a point of having a lot of fun!

April 14, 2016 04:00 PM

April 11, 2016

The Philadelphia FileMaker User Group

Button Bars and Icons

I am implementing a button bar interface for a client.  They need an in house ordering system.  Across the top of the layout there are 4 buttons.  Each button represents a step in the process.  I have decided to follow my own advice, and for this client, it made sense to create a tabbed interface using a Slider and Button Bar, instead of a regular Tab control.  See my previous post on that subject.
ButtonBar1

While we were going through user acceptance testing, one person said, “Boy it would be nice to have a shopping cart icon on the review button.”  I agreed with him.  However, to my dismay, I found I couldn’t add an icon to just one segment of the button bar!  Either they all had icons, or they all didn’t.
ButtonBar2
There is great control over the color and size of the icons, however it isn’t quite as granular as making it different for each segment.  I guess that is a good thing.  If we had to determine the size, color, etc. of each segment, that would be a lot of busywork to manage.  But that still leaves me with the problem of creating the look of the interface that I want.

The solution I came up with was to add a custom icon that is empty.  I created a SVG file that is a 1 by 1 px dot.  Adding this to the list of icons available was easy, it was just a matter of using the add tool.

AddIcon

After you add an icon, it shows up (for me) at the beginning of the list.  This one is selectable, as opposed to the empty icons at the end of the list.  Once this was added, for the first 3 segments select the blank icon.  For the last segment select the appropriate icon.
SelectEmptyIcon

Now I can have a button bar showing an icon on the appropriate segment.  The other segments just show the Text.

Here is the final product!

ButtonBar3

For your convenience, I have included the SVG file I used.  Hope you will find it useful.

by Jerry Salem at April 11, 2016 04:09 PM

April 06, 2016

FileMakerBloggen

Importera data med kopiera/klistra

Förra veckan skrev jag om hur enkelt det är att dra-och-släppa filer i FileMakers container-fält och importera dem till en egen tabell samt göra ett enkelt diagram. Denna vecka fortsätter jag på samma tema, men istället för att dra-och-släppa en fil kopierar jag en tabell från en webbsida och klistrar in i en FileMaker-tabell. Och gör några diagram!

Jag använder i princip samma exempel som förra veckan, men har bytt ut container-fältet där jag släppte en fil till ett textfält där jag ska klistra in tabelldata från en webbsida. Jag har valt data om några aktiekurser från Finansportalen, men det kan lika gärna vara dina försäljningssiffror uppdelat efter produktgrupper, eller något annat du enkelt vill importera i FileMaker. Du behöver inte kopiera från en webbsida, det kan gå lika bra med t.ex. från ett PDF-dokument.

I exemplet väljer jag att markera samtliga aktier i tabellen på webbsidan med namn och sex värden för förändring senaste dagen, veckan, månaden osv. När jag markerat hela tabellen på webbsidan väljer jag att kopiera värdena.

ImporteraKopiera_webbtabell

 

Jag går till databasen i FileMaker och klistrar in i ett globalt textfält som jag kallar gText. På samma sätt som förra veckan ser jag till att starta en manus-trigger (scriptutlösare) så fort fältets innehåll förändras.

Jag vill lägga in uppgifterna i en separat tabell, Aktier, med 7 fält för namn och de sex förändringsvärdena som finns på webbsidan jag kopierar från. Jag skulle kunna ha gjort en loop som gått genom innehållet rad för rad och tilldelat varje fält för sig. Det hade förstås fungerat alldeles utmärkt, men det är ganska mycket arbete. Enklare och snabbare är att använda FileMakers inbyggda importfunktion för att importera poster.

Kruxet är förstås att FileMaker endast kan importera poster från en fil. Tricket är att göra en fil av de inklistrade värdena.

I FileMaker 13 kom funktionerna Base64Encode och Base64Decode. Jag har tidigare använt dem för att ladda upp bilder till en webbsida från FileMaker Go. Funktionen Base64Encode omvandlar innehåller i ett fält, t.ex. oftast en bild, till en lång, kodad textsträng. Det är dock inget som hindrar att man omvandlar innehållet i ett textfält till en annan, kodad textsträng, vilket jag ska göra i det här exemplet. Funktionen Base64Decode omvandlar den långa, kodade textsträngen tillbaka till en bild eller originaltext samt kan ha en extra parameter, ett filnamn, så att resultatet blir en fil i ett container-fält. I och med det går det att omvandla en text till en lång, kodad textsträng, för att sedan direkt förvandla tillbaka den till originaltexten och skapa en fil i ett containerfält.

I det här fallet använder jag denna formel för att tilldela ett container-fält:

Base64Decode ( Base64Encode ( ImporteraKopiera::gText ); "aktier.txt")

Det är denna formel jag använder för att omvandla den inkopierade texten i ett textfält (gText) till en fil i ett container-fält. När jag väl har en fil använder jag exakt samma teknik som i förra veckans exempel för att exportera container-fältet till en fil och sedan importera den i en egen tabell.

ImporteraKopiera_manus

 

Denna gång har jag gjort tre olika diagram, på samma sätt som förra veckan, där varje diagram sorteras med hjälp av en relation. Även denna gång hämtar jag de 10 aktier som förändrats mest under vald period (dag, vecka, månad) som jag presenterar i tre olika flikar.

ImporteraKopiera_exempel

 

Ladda ner exempeldatabas.

by Rolf at April 06, 2016 03:17 PM