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  1. Build or Buy (Should I Learn FileMaker?) It is no secret that custom applications are immensely beneficial to organizations, in fact, the State of the Custom Apps Report by FileMaker states that 82% saw a reduction in inefficient tasks and 71% saw an increase in team productivity. The question becomes, should I pay for external experts to create a solution for me, or should we have someone in house build the app? In the State of the Custom Apps Report, it was also found that with applications like FileMaker, which is known for being low-code/no code software, citizen developers (proactive problem solvers within an organization that don’t classify themselves as custom app developers or IT professionals) are creating solutions to inefficient problems within their workflow. 48% of these citizen developers found an increase in work satisfaction while also being able to quickly build the solution with 46% of them up and running in less than 4 weeks. Building Internally With these great statistics, why wouldn’t you dedicate a person in the organization to build custom solutions for you? Time is one of the top concerns when going the DIY route. While citizen developers are creating these efficient solutions for their organization, they also have to perform their everyday job, which doesn’t allow them to devote their entire day to creating new apps. The added time to learn and create new solutions usually takes place outside of work in the evenings and on the weekends. Typically, going the DIY route for building a custom app starts with a small task that can be turned into a simple app. Ann Monroe, VP of Marketing at FileMaker says in her article DIY Apps – Should Businesses Make Their Own Custom App? “Start with the basics: businesses will have paper forms, spreadsheets or some other document process which has gotten the team through the day so far. Look for simple processes which could turn into a simple app.” While the form is seen as beneficial and creates a desire to become more efficient, it typically isn’t considered urgent as the business can still get by for now. Luckily for businesses and citizen developers, there are ample training and learning opportunities with industry experts. We provide a variety of FileMaker training courses to different skill levels of developers. Additionally, we provide one-on-one FileMaker coaching geared to your needs. Coaching is paired programming with our experts to assist you with the problems or roadblocks that derail your development. Work with the Experts So when should you have experts build a custom solution for you versus building internally, and what are the benefits? FileMaker is great for converting short forms or documents into apps for your organization, but the even greater aspect about FileMaker is how it is fully customizable and fits across all industries with the ability to integrate with other technology as well as being scalable. To quote Reuben Helmuth, user of FileMaker in the State of the App Report, “(FileMaker is) a one stop business solution for CRM, inventory project, and employee management.” If you find yourself without the time or have a more complicated app than just a single form, then perhaps having experts build the custom app for you is the optimal solution. Where do you begin with this daunting task? First step is to dream and plan what would be the perfect app for your type of business. Thereafter you can contact us to take the next step of building a solution that is tailor-made for your business needs following our FileMaker development process. Conclusion There are many reasons as to why your business should use a custom app. The question becomes should you build it internally, or pay for someone to build it for you? If you’re ready to build a custom application yourself, start with FileMaker Training as we have many types of classes available for the Citizen Developer or Professional Developer. If you want us to help you with the FileMaker Development then contact us to begin the conversation. Either way, we are ready to help you make your organization more efficient and effective. Afficher la totalité du billet
  2. FileMaker QuickBooks Online Integration Intuit’s QuickBooks Online is a powerful tool that allows for easy management of invoices, payments, and other accounting tasks. Intuit announced they will have over 2.2 million subscribers at the end of the year and 40% year over year growth. Many companies find themselves with both QuickBooks and FileMaker end up having to do double data entry from one system to the next. We will demonstrate how you can eliminate the hassle of manually copying the information by integrating your FileMaker solution with QuickBooks Online. Creating a Free Intuit Developer Account The first step of this integration is to create an Intuit developer account . Once you have an account, you will then need to create a new QuickBooks Online app by navigating to the My Apps page. This will take you to a setup process where you select the API you will be using. To start, you will click the Select APIs button under the “Just Start Coding” section. You will then need to select the Accounting box and then click the Create App button. Now that you have the QBO App created, you will need to set it up and get your keys. First, navigate to the settings page for your app. In here you can change the name and other options for the app. You will need to set the Launch URL to https://dbservices.com or any valid website. This is only used as a landing page for authentication and does not need to be anything special. Now that the launch URL is set, you will need to go to the Keys page. There, you will need to copy the OAuth Consumer Key and OAuth Consumer Secret into your solution. Keep your secret hidden from the world as the combination of the Key and Secret will be used to authorize your solution to make changes to the end user’s QuickBooks. Authenticating with QuickBooks Online Using OAuth1.0 Once you have your API information, you will need to authenticate your solution with the QuickBooks Online Accounting API. FileMaker can’t set headers natively (yet), so a plugin is needed in order to make any requests to the API. I suggest using the BaseElements Plugin as it is a free and powerful plugin that can handle all of our HTTP request needs. For any questions regarding how requests should be built, please reference the QuickBooks Online Accounting API Documentation. To authenticate your solution, please reference the documentation on OAuth1.0. The main goal of OAuth1.0 is to make sure the signature string matches what the API expects. The signature string is an encrypted combination of all parameters passed in the request in alphabetical order. The authentication process can be quite tricky, so I highly recommend taking a look under the hood of the example file we have provided. Once you get everything set up the way it needs to be, the user will be prompted to authorize the QBO API with FileMaker. Once they have agreed, they will be sent to the address specified in your Launch URL. In the address, there will be URL encoded parameters, one of which will be the authentication token and another the realm ID (QuickBooks Company ID). Finally, you will use the token provided, along with your consumer key and secret to get your access token which will be used to make any API requests. Making Requests and Parsing the Response Many of the QuickBooks Online API requests require additional parameters outside of the URL encoded parameters. The Create Customer request, for example, is a POST request which requires additional fields like the company, billing address, and many other settings for the customer. These extra fields will need to be JSON-encoded text, passed as the parameter in the BaseElements function BE_HTTP_POST ( URL ; parameters ). Set Variable [ BE_HTTP_POST ( "https://quickbooks.api.intuit.com/v3/company/[Realm ID Here]/customer ; $data ) ] Once a successful request has been made, a JSON encoded response will returned. You will then be able to use the function BE_JSONPath( ) to pull any information out of the response that you wish. { "Customer":{ "Taxable":true, "BillAddr":{ "Id":"1", "Line1":"8604 Allisonville Road", "Line2":"Suite 231", "City":"Indianapolis", "Country":"USA", "CountrySubDivisionCode":"IN", "PostalCode":"46250" }, "Notes":"Some notes can go in here!", "Job":false, "BillWithParent":false, "Balance":0, "BalanceWithJobs":0, "CurrencyRef":{ "value":"USD", "name":"United States Dollar" }, "PreferredDeliveryMethod":"Print", "domain":"QBO", "sparse":false, "Id":"1", "SyncToken":"0", "MetaData":{ "CreateTime":"2017-03-20T13:55:13-07:00", "LastUpdatedTime":"2017-03-20T13:55:13-07:00" }, "GivenName":"Brendan", "FamilyName":"McBride", "FullyQualifiedName":"Database Services", "CompanyName":"DB Services", "DisplayName":"Database Services", "PrintOnCheckName":"DB Services", "Active":true, "PrimaryPhone":{ "FreeFormNumber":"(317) 288-4244" }, "PrimaryEmailAddr":{ "Address":"consulting@dbservices.com" }, "DefaultTaxCodeRef":{ "value":"2" } }, "time":"2017-03-20T13:55:13.630-07:00" } For example, you can get the newly created customer ID by using the following set of functions: Set Variable [ BE_JSONPath ( $result ; "$.Customer.Id") ] Sandbox QuickBooks Company When you create a developer account, you will be given a sandbox QuickBooks Online company for testing. This is great, as this allows you to test your integration without fear of deleting or modifying anything in your live QuickBooks company account. If you go to the My Apps Dashboard, and go into your app, you will notice that you are on the Development section by default. If your integration is ready to go live, you will need to go into the Production section. In here you will set up your production settings and then submit your request. You will then be given a production consumer key and secret. QuickBooks Online: Things to Keep In Mind There are a couple of important items to remember when working with the QuickBooks Online API. Here are a few points to look out for when integrating your FileMaker solution with QuickBooks Online: The QBO API uses OAuth1.0, which means all parameters that may be required will need to part of the signature passed in the request. Also, the signature needs to be raw URL encoded as well. The QBO API uses SyncTokens when making updates to existing records. A SyncToken is a way to lock a record. If you do not pass the expected SyncToken when making an update, the request will fail. Certain tables in QuickBooks require other related records to already exist. For example, when adding an invoice to QuickBooks, the customer assigned to the invoice needs to exist in QuickBooks before the invoice can be created. You may use Web Hooks to have QuickBooks Online automatically make updates to FileMaker as well. QuickBooks Online integration with FileMaker is very different then QuickBooks Desktop integration with FileMaker. Conclusion QuickBooks Online can be fully integrated with your FileMaker solution! You can create, update, query, or delete just about any QuickBooks entity you would like all from within FileMaker. Automate your accounting processes, eliminate double data entry, and human blunders. Feel free to contact us if you need further assistance or to discuss getting your QuickBooks system integrated with FileMaker. Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing? Contact us to discuss upgrading your FileMaker software. Download FileMaker QuickBooks Integration Database Please complete the form below to download your FREE FileMaker database file. Name* First Last Company Phone* Email* Terms of Use I agree OPT-IN: I agree that I am downloading a completely free FileMaker application file with no strings attached. This database is unlocked, and I may use it for my business or organization as I see fit. Because I am downloading a free database, I agree that I should receive occasional marketing. I understand that I can OPT-OUT of these emails at anytime. Afficher la totalité du billet
  3. Apple’s Secret Subsidiary When the average person thinks of Apple products they typically think of their beloved iPhone they can’t live without, or maybe their shiny new Apple Watch that tells them to stand up when they’ve been sitting too long, but more than likely they are not thinking about FileMaker. What is FileMaker? And what does it have to do with Apple? A Brief History FileMaker has been around for over 30 years under the guise of multiple other names. It was developed originally from a DOS application in the early 1980’s and went by the name Nutshell. This application was created by Nashoba Systems and was then purchased by Claris, an Apple subsidiary who purchased the rights to distribute Nutshell. After purchasing Nutshell, Claris changed the application’s name to FileMaker in 1985 and it ran solely on Macintosh platform. With FileMaker’s increasing popularity, there became a demand for a multi-platform database. In 1992 Claris released FileMaker for Mac and Windows. This new release allowed the user to have the same basic functions cross-platform along with the ever-improving user interface. As the sales continued to skyrocket, Claris became the highest selling platform database for Apple. The majority of the development for FileMaker was moved in-house in 1998 and Apple officially changed the name from Claris to FileMaker, Inc. What is FileMaker? Simply put, FileMaker is software used to create custom applications specific to individual business needs. All of the development takes place in FileMaker Pro or Pro Advanced on a Windows or Mac computer. It is then hosted on FileMaker Cloud or a local FileMaker Server and accessed via FileMaker Pro on a Windows or Mac computer and via FileMaker Go for iPhone and iPad. Don’t worry, FileMaker hasn’t totally forgotten about all those non-iPhone people out there, FileMaker’s WebDirect allows users to access FileMaker databases in a web browser. When discussing the variety of FileMaker products, John Mark Osborne, one of the leading industry experts with over 20 years of FileMaker experience states “there is no better database for rapid development than the FileMaker family of products.” In fact, FileMaker was recently recognized as a Leader in G2 Crowd’s Grid for rapid application development software. This is the highest ranking they offer and is based on user reviews, market share and global support. Who is it for? FileMaker describes itself as a no-code/low code platform that is easy to use not only for IT professionals but also for the average person who is looking to improve their organization by building a custom app. It allows organizations to take discombobulated information, consolidate it and share it with others whether that be internally or customer-facing. The goal of the product is to make businesses run more efficiently without breaking the bank. In the past, the idea of building custom apps often scared away less technical people who felt that off the shelf products may be the easier way to go. But the truth is, an organization’s app should adapt to meet the needs of the user, not the other way around. While other software can still require a lot of coding and technical ability, FileMaker makes it less complicated for the everyday user. This realization is the reason why more people are now choosing to build a custom app rather than purchase off the shelf products. In May 2016, Business Insider published an article detailing the importance FileMaker could play in Apple’s future and describing how it caters to the average person. “Over the years, FileMaker’s focus has shifted: Originally, it was purely a database product; now, it helps even non-technical small business folks build custom web, Windows, Mac, iPad, and iPhone apps without needing to know how to code.” A recent report by 451 Research that was distributed by FileMaker Inc. estimates the annual revenue rate to be around $30 million with about 300 employees. It also states that FileMaker estimates about 50,000 self-identified developers in North America. These are also known as Citizen Developers. The 2017 State of the Custom App Report released by FileMaker hones in on the concept of a Citizen Developer which is someone in the organization who understands the needs of a business and creates custom applications to meet those needs. This same report discloses that 82% of Citizen Developers surveyed saw a reduction in inefficient tasks as a result of their custom application. Relationship with Apple Historically, FileMaker has operated fairly independently of Apple, but in recent years, FileMaker has been working with Apple Retail as a more direct way to leverage the trust that Apple has built with its customers to gain more business. Last year Apple announced that the total number of Active devices surpassed 1 billion. This signifies the confidence that Apple has garnished over the years and implies it is a trusted brand. And the relationship benefits both parties, Apple Business Teams are able to partner with FileMaker to drive sales of its own products such as the iPhone, iPad, and Macs by providing apps that are compatible with Apple products. You can purchase from Apple Retail or directly from FileMaker the Idea to iPad Bundle and partner with a FileMaker Developer (or a company that provides FileMaker Development services) such as DB Services to build your custom app. FileMaker is in a class of its own, and it all starts with Apple. No other product of its kind has the support of Apple, a company that is continuously on the forefront of technology. Apple is known worldwide for creating the best balance of a guaranteed quality product that is also equipped to be extremely user friendly. It is making it harder for employers to ignore the enormous improvements FileMaker can provide for their businesses. While FileMaker may not be the first thing that pops to mind when people think of Apple, it’s certainly earning its spot alongside its sister products as it has the ability to have a direct, positive impact on the success of organizations around the globe. Afficher la totalité du billet
  4. Building a Dynamic and Robust FileMaker System Have you ever inherited a system built by someone else, changed a field’s name and everything stopped working? The issue, hardcoded names used in indirection, makes the system fragile. FileMaker provides developers many methods to add flexibility using indirection. However when these instances of indirection are not treated properly they will raise all sorts of problems. In this article we will discuss good practices regarding indirection that will help you build a dynamic and robust FileMaker system. What is indirection (and what could go wrong with it)? Indirection in FileMaker refers to the ability to reference an object (table, layout, value list, field, script) by its name, instead of its internal id. For example, I can use a few lines of code to tell a script to do something if the user is in field “CONTACT::firstName”. If [ Get ( ActiveFieldTableName ) & “::” & ( ActiveFieldName ) = “CONTACT::firstName”] Do Some Code End If It looks normal at first glance but there are actually two issues with this approach and with many other uses of indirection: The first issue is that if not treated carefully, renaming objects may break indirection. In our example, if I rename the field “firstName” to “first_Name”, it will break my script because there are no fields named “firstName” anymore. The second issue is that indirection is not considered as a reference in DDRs. So if you use analysis tools like BaseElements to check where field CONTACT::firstName is referenced, that script will not be included. How to write robust indirection With that being said, how do we write robust indirection? Robust indirection will try to dynamically grab an object name and use it in your solution. So we should try to avoid hardcoding the following in our solutions: Table occurrence names Layout names Field names Window names Value list names Script names Following this guideline, for our example we want to get rid of the hardcoded TO names and field names and instead, dynamically grab the field’s name. If [ Get ( ActiveFieldTableName ) & “::” & Get ( ActiveFieldName ) = GetFieldName ( CONTACT::firstName ) ] Do Some Code End If In this case, if I change the field name to first_Name, that script will still work. Also now field CONTACT::firstName is considered as referenced by this script in DDRs. The magic is being done by the function GetFieldName (). This function actually takes a direct reference to the field and translates it into a name. However, not all objects in FileMaker have a function like GetFieldName to translate direct references into a name. For example, if I want to have one script perform different activities on different layouts, in order to determine which layout the user is on, it seems unavoidable to use something like: If [ Get ( LayoutName ) = “Contact – Data Entry” ] Do Some Code End If which suffers from the same problems as the first example: you can’t rename your layout and it won’t be recognized as a reference in DDRs. What do we do now? Well, in this case it will be hard to solve the second issue. But we can do something about the first issue so we can rename our objects with confidence. Internally FileMaker assigns an internal ID for every object in the system. When you use script steps like Set Field [] and point that to a field, FileMaker will store the ID of the field with that script step. That is why no matter how you rename your field, Set Field [] script step will never be broken. FileMaker has a series of design functions that provide you with information about these internal IDs. With some custom functions built upon them, we can grab the internal ID for any table, layout, value list, field or script and use them in our calculations and scripts. Be sure to try them out in the demo file of this article. So let’s say the internal layout ID for layout “Contact – Data Entry” is 2. With the help of our custom function “getLayoutName” (getLayoutName will take an internal layout ID and translate it to that layout’s name). I can rewrite my script to be: If [ Get ( LayoutName ) = getLayoutName ( 2 ) ] Do Some Code End If This way I can rename the layout and still have the script working. As mentioned before, referencing internal IDs still can not be seen by DDRs as a reference. Also it makes reading the code harder. So be sure to comment your calculation or your script when you use internal IDs to enhance readability. Here is an article if you want to learn more about using internal IDs in your solution. One last example I want to mention here is about using the ExecuteSQL function. ExecuteSQL is a context independent way to retrieve data. It can save a lot of time when developing complex reports or charts. However ExecuteSQL requires indirection by nature. If not treated carefully, renaming of fields or tables will break the SQL statement used in your ExecuteSQL. In the demo file I included two scripts showing how to use some custom functions to make your SQL statement dynamic and robust. How do I identify indirection in my own solution? Now that we have went through two examples of how to write robust indirection, you might want to take a look at your own solution and see if there are any potential problems in there caused by indirection. How do I find all those instances? Use an DDR analysis tool like BaseElements or InspectorPro to search for indirection. Here are the functions you should be searching for: Get ( LayoutName ) Get ( ActiveFieldName ) ValueListItems ( ) Evaluate ( ) ExecuteSQL ( ) DatabaseNames FieldBounds ( ) FieldComments ( ) FieldIDs( ) FieldNames ( ) FieldRepetitions ( ) FieldStyle( ) FieldType( ) Get ( ActiveFieldTableName ) Get ( ActiveRepetitionNumber ) Get ( LayoutNumber ) Get ( LayoutTableName ) Get ( ScriptName ) GetField ( ) GetFieldName ( ) GetNextSerialValue ( ) GetNthRecord ( ) LayoutObjectNames ( ) Lookup ( ) RelationInfo ( ) and here are the script steps you should be looking for: Set Field by Name[ ] Go to Layout[ ] (By Name option and By Number option) Go to Related Record[ ] (By Name option) Once you find all the instances that could potentially use indirection you can go over each one of them and determine if they uses hardcoded names and should be updated. Conclusion Using indirection in FileMaker definitely give your solution more flexibility, allow you to accomplish complicated tasks with fewer line of code. If you follow what we discussed in this article carefully, you should be able to build a dynamic yet robust FileMaker system. Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing? Contact us to discuss upgrading your FileMaker software. Download Building a Dynamic and Robust FileMaker System Please complete the form below to download your FREE FileMaker database file. Name* First Last Company Phone* Email* Terms of Use I agree OPT-IN: I agree that I am downloading a completely free FileMaker application file with no strings attached. This database is unlocked, and I may use it for my business or organization as I see fit. Because I am downloading a free database, I agree that I should receive occasional marketing. I understand that I can OPT-OUT of these emails at anytime. Afficher la totalité du billet
  5. Why Your Business Should Use a Custom App In recent years businesses are realizing the benefits of creating a custom app for their organization. In fact, a survey performed by CDW shows that out of 374 executives surveyed 48 percent report their app development budgets have increased over the last few years and 42 percent are planning to invest in new app development in the coming year. This reported and projected growth isn’t surprising. Businesses are realizing that off the shelf apps just aren’t meeting the unique organizational and process oriented needs of their company as well as a custom app is able to. Custom apps are helping businesses manage scattered data and processes better than ever. Furthermore, businesses are finding their investments into custom apps “already have produced tangible benefits by increasing efficiency, productivity and allowing employees to work remotely”. Better Way to Work People want a better way to work. Off the shelf systems require you to change your workflow to match the system, have many features you don’t care about, or don’t meet your needs. Companies build custom applications to work the way they do. Organizations that continually improve their workflows look to custom applications. In the State of Custom Apps Report by FileMaker an Apple subsidiary, 83% of Citizen Developers “Just wanted a better way to work”. These problem solvers drive innovation and constant improvement. More Effective, More Efficient Becoming more productive is critical for all organizations. In the State of Custom Apps Report by FileMaker, 82% of users saw a reduction in inefficient tasks. If you’re doing the right things, then doing more of the right things will have a powerful impact on your organization. Eliminating redundant tasks liberate your staff and the intellectual drain caused by double or triple data entry between systems, in addition to reducing data entry errors. According to Small Business Computing, custom apps cut down on data entry errors by 71 percent. In addition to increased efficiency and decreased margin for error, businesses are also reporting a fast return on investment. After completing a custom application project, DB Services sends out a survey to customers and their responses state the ROI is less than one year in more than 70% of the projects. Once a custom app is deployed small enhancements only take a matter of hours, days, or weeks to implement. Better Insights Businesses today find themselves with islands of data scattered throughout each department as they use many different off the shelf products. In addition many times the data is trapped on a mobile device and/or laptop, and not accessible to your team in real time. Bringing all this data together becomes essential as organizations grow and work together in teams or across departments. In the State of Custom Apps Report by FileMaker, 46% say Reporting and Analysis best describes their custom app. As Peter Drucker, the founder of modern management, stated, “What gets measured gets improved.” The ability to measure the productivity and performance is vital for constant improvement. Having a custom application that has the data for analytics is critical to gather quick KPIs and metrics for insights to make the best decisions. All this data available in real-time to staff will also reduce the communication channels with co-workers and managers saving valuable time. There has never been a better time to build a custom app for your organization. If you’re ready to build a custom application yourself, start with FileMaker Training as we have many types of classes available for the Citizen Developer or Professional Developer. If you want us to help you with the FileMaker Development then contact us to begin the conversation. DB Services has been providing FileMaker Development, FileMaker Training, FileMaker Support, FileMaker Cloud Hosting, and FileMaker Licensing since 2003. Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing? Contact us to discuss upgrading your FileMaker software. Afficher la totalité du billet
  6. Why Your Business Should Use a Custom App In recent years businesses are realizing the benefits of creating a custom app for their organization. In fact, a survey performed by CDW shows that out of 374 executives surveyed 48 percent report their app development budgets have increased over the last few years and 42 percent are planning to invest in new app development in the coming year. This reported and projected growth isn’t surprising. Businesses are realizing that off the shelf apps just aren’t meeting the unique organizational and process oriented needs of their company as well as a custom app is able to. Custom apps are helping businesses manage scattered data and processes better than ever. Furthermore, businesses are finding their investments into custom apps “already have produced tangible benefits by increasing efficiency, productivity and allowing employees to work remotely”. Better Way to Work People want a better way to work. Off the shelf systems require you to change your workflow to match the system, have many features you don’t care about, or don’t meet your needs. Companies build custom applications to work the way they do. Organizations that continually improve their workflows look to custom applications. In the State of Custom Apps Report by FileMaker an Apple subsidiary, 83% of Citizen Developers “Just wanted a better way to work”. These problem solvers drive innovation and constant improvement. More Effective, More Efficient Becoming more productive is critical for all organizations. In the State of Custom Apps Report by FileMaker, 82% of users saw a reduction in inefficient tasks. If you’re doing the right things, then doing more of the right things will have a powerful impact on your organization. Eliminating redundant tasks liberate your staff and the intellectual drain caused by double or triple data entry between systems, in addition to reducing data entry errors. According to Small Business Computing, custom apps cut down on data entry errors by 71 percent. In addition to increased efficiency and decreased margin for error, businesses are also reporting a fast return on investment. After completing a custom application project, DB Services sends out a survey to customers and their responses state the ROI is less than one year in more than 70% of the projects. Once a custom app is deployed small enhancements only take a matter of hours, days, or weeks to implement. Better Insights Businesses today find themselves with islands of data scattered throughout each department as they use many different off the shelf products. In addition many times the data is trapped on a mobile device and/or laptop, and not accessible to your team in real time. Bringing all this data together becomes essential as organizations grow and work together in teams or across departments. In the State of Custom Apps Report by FileMaker, 46% say Reporting and Analysis best describes their custom app. As Peter Drucker, the founder of modern management, stated, “What gets measured gets improved.” The ability to measure the productivity and performance is vital for constant improvement. Having a custom application that has the data for analytics is critical to gather quick KPIs and metrics for insights to make the best decisions. All this data available in real-time to staff will also reduce the communication channels with co-workers and managers saving valuable time. There has never been a better time to build a custom app for your organization. If you’re ready to build a custom application yourself, start with FileMaker Training as we have many types of classes available for the Citizen Developer or Professional Developer. If you want us to help you with the FileMaker Development then contact us to begin the conversation. DB Services has been providing FileMaker Development, FileMaker Training, FileMaker Support, FileMaker Cloud Hosting, and FileMaker Licensing since 2003. Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing? Contact us to discuss upgrading your FileMaker software. Afficher la totalité du billet
  7. FileMaker and RESTful APIs By now you’ve probably heard of REST API, but why should you care as a FileMaker developer? Well REST APIs are a universal standard for interacting with other programs and services, so by learning REST you can greatly expand the capabilities of what FileMaker can do, and the services it can interact with. If you’ve ever wanted to integrate FileMaker with Google Maps, Google Calendar, Microsoft SharePoint, or many other great services, you’ll want to learn what RESTful APIs are and how to use them. REST Overview REST stands for “REpresentational State Transfer”. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really tell us much. What this means is that REST is a standard for manipulating data in a standardized format that represents the data. The representational part of REST means that the URL or route you use to access or manipulate the data should correspond with the data, so accessing /users should show users, and /posts, should only show posts, and all actions will take place on those URLs. Another thing you’ll hear a lot when talking about REST is CRUD, which stands for Create, Read, Update, and Delete. With these four actions, you can do anything to a system using an easy-to-understand format. In order to fully work with a REST API you must understand the different types of HTTP methods you can make. GET is the most common method, and happens anytime you browse the web, or type in a specific URL into the address bar and is what you would use for the “read” in CRUD. The rest of the HTTP methods like POST, PUT, and DELETE can only be performed by web forms or built-in functions provided by most libraries. POST is used to submit data to a server and is generally used to add a new record or pass more data than would reasonable to put in a URL. PUT and PATCH are used to update an existing record, and finally DELETE is obviously used to delete a record. Understanding the basic structure and actions of a RESTful API will make working with them so much easier. Below are the standard routes used when working with a RESTful API. Go ahead and test the GET commands by clicking on the routes below to view some sample data. METHOD ROUTE PARAMS ACTION GET /posts Retrieves a list of all posts. GET /posts/1 Retrieves post with ID number 1. GET /posts/1/comments Retrieves all comments from post number 1. POST /posts { “userId”: 1, “title”: “title”, “body”: “body…” } Adds a new post. PUT /posts/1 { “title”: “New Title” } Updates post number 1’s title to New Title. DELETE /posts/1 Deletes post number 1. Integrating with FileMaker The main way to interact with a RESTful API from FileMaker is using the “Insert from URL” script step. The “Insert from URL” script step is capable of doing GET requests and POST requests. Whenever you insert from a URL that starts with ‘https’ or ‘http’ you are doing a standard GET request. FileMaker has a unique way of handling POST requests, to do one you would start your URL with either ‘httppost’ or ‘httpspost’. One limitation you will probably run into quickly is the inability to set custom HTTP headers before sending a request. This is sometimes necessary for authentication or telling the API what the data format being submitted is. If you run into this your best option is to use the excellent BaseElements Plugin by Goya, which has the capability to set HTTP headers using the BE_HTTP_Set_Custom_Header function, which works with the following functions: BE_HTTP_GET, BE_HTTP_POST, BE_HTTP_PUT_DATA, BE_HTTP_DELETE. Download the sample file below to look under the hood. In the sample file we have integrated with a simple Ruby on Rails app we spun up that manages usernames; while most services you’ll work with will be more complicated than this, it’s still a great example of how to work with a REST API. Conclusion REST is a great addition to any FileMakers developer’s toolkit, allowing FileMaker to integrate with some of the most used services on the web today and we’re only going to see more of it in the future. Because all REST APIs use the same conventions and principles, working with RESTful APIs will only get easier the more you work with them, and there is no time like now to start learning. Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing? Contact us to discuss upgrading your FileMaker software. Download Integrating FileMaker With RESTful APIs Please complete the form below to download your FREE FileMaker database file. Name* First Last Company Phone* Email* Terms of Use I agree OPT-IN: I agree that I am downloading a completely free FileMaker application file with no strings attached. This database is unlocked, and I may use it for my business or organization as I see fit. Because I am downloading a free database, I agree that I should receive occasional marketing. I understand that I can OPT-OUT of these emails at anytime. Afficher la totalité du billet
  8. FileMaker and RESTful APIs By now you’ve probably heard of REST API, but why should you care as a FileMaker developer? Well REST APIs are a universal standard for interacting with other programs and services, so by learning REST you can greatly expand the capabilities of what FileMaker can do, and the services it can interact with. If you’ve ever wanted to integrate FileMaker with Google Maps, Google Calendar, Microsoft SharePoint, or many other great services, you’ll want to learn what RESTful APIs are and how to use them. REST Overview REST stands for “REpresentational State Transfer”. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really tell us much. What this means is that REST is a standard for manipulating data in a standardized format that represents the data. The representational part of REST means that the URL or route you use to access or manipulate the data should correspond with the data, so accessing /users should show users, and /posts, should only show posts, and all actions will take place on those URLs. Another thing you’ll hear a lot when talking about REST is CRUD, which stands for Create, Read, Update, and Delete. With these four actions, you can do anything to a system using an easy-to-understand format. In order to fully work with a REST API you must understand the different types of HTTP methods you can make. GET is the most common method, and happens anytime you browse the web, or type in a specific URL into the address bar and is what you would use for the “read” in CRUD. The rest of the HTTP methods like POST, PUT, and DELETE can only be performed by web forms or built-in functions provided by most libraries. POST is used to submit data to a server and is generally used to add a new record or pass more data than would reasonable to put in a URL. PUT and PATCH are used to update an existing record, and finally DELETE is obviously used to delete a record. Understanding the basic structure and actions of a RESTful API will make working with them so much easier. Below are the standard routes used when working with a RESTful API. Go ahead and test the GET commands by clicking on the routes below to view some sample data. METHOD ROUTE PARAMS ACTION GET /posts Retrieves a list of all posts. GET /posts/1 Retrieves post with ID number 1. GET /posts/1/comments Retrieves all comments from post number 1. POST /posts { “userId”: 1, “title”: “title”, “body”: “body…” } Adds a new post. PUT /posts/1 { “title”: “New Title” } Updates post number 1’s title to New Title. DELETE /posts/1 Deletes post number 1. Integrating with FileMaker The main way to interact with a RESTful API from FileMaker is using the “Insert from URL” script step. The “Insert from URL” script step is capable of doing GET requests and POST requests. Whenever you insert from a URL that starts with ‘https’ or ‘http’ you are doing a standard GET request. FileMaker has a unique way of handling POST requests, to do one you would start your URL with either ‘httppost’ or ‘httpspost’. One limitation you will probably run into quickly is the inability to set custom HTTP headers before sending a request. This is sometimes necessary for authentication or telling the API what the data format being submitted is. If you run into this your best option is to use the excellent BaseElements Plugin by Goya, which has the capability to set HTTP headers using the BE_HTTP_Set_Custom_Header function, which works with the following functions: BE_HTTP_GET, BE_HTTP_POST, BE_HTTP_PUT_DATA, BE_HTTP_DELETE. Download the sample file below to look under the hood. In the sample file we have integrated with a simple Ruby on Rails app we spun up that manages usernames; while most services you’ll work with will be more complicated than this, it’s still a great example of how to work with a REST API. Conclusion REST is a great addition to any FileMakers developer’s toolkit, allowing FileMaker to integrate with some of the most used services on the web today and we’re only going to see more of it in the future. Because all REST APIs use the same conventions and principles, working with RESTful APIs will only get easier the more you work with them, and there is no time like now to start learning. Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing? Contact us to discuss upgrading your FileMaker software. Download Integrating FileMaker With RESTful APIs Please complete the form below to download your FREE FileMaker database file. Name* First Last Company Phone* Email* Terms of Use I agree OPT-IN: I agree that I am downloading a completely free FileMaker application file with no strings attached. This database is unlocked, and I may use it for my business or organization as I see fit. Because I am downloading a free database, I agree that I should receive occasional marketing. I understand that I can OPT-OUT of these emails at anytime. Afficher la totalité du billet
  9. Integrating FileMaker and SharePoint Using Microsoft Graph Often times documents are commonly needed in multiple programs, but the lack of integration can result in having to enter in the same files in different applications. Microsoft Graph is a powerful tool that provides a unified API interface for many of Microsoft’s most popular Cloud programs, including the popular web-based application SharePoint. Integration between SharePoint and FileMaker is even possible using Microsoft Graph. In this example I will demonstrate how to upload files from a FileMaker solution into your SharePoint site. There are three main steps to the integration. Allowing access to your Microsoft Application, setting up OAuth 2.0 authentication, and the actual uploading of documents to Sharepoint. Watch on Youtube: Integrating FileMaker and SharePoint Using Microsoft Graph Setting Up Your Microsoft Application In order to allow FileMaker to talk to your SharePoint solution using Microsoft Graph, you will first need to set up a Microsoft Application to allow access using OAuth 2.0. If you go to Microsoft’s My Applications page you can either edit an existing application or create a new one. (If you don’t have a site already, you will need to create a site in SharePoint prior to this). Make note of the Application ID (sometimes called the Client ID), you’ll need this in your FileMaker solution. Next you’ll need to create a new Application Secret (again, sometimes called Client Secret). Generate and copy the password. This is the only time you will be able to copy this password, so be sure to document it somewhere or else you will have to generate a new password. Now add a new web platform, and allow implicit flow and enter in the Redirect URI. The Redirect URI is just the web page the user will go to after they allow access to the SharePoint application. Next you will need to allow Microsoft Graph Delegated Permissions. For the purposes of this demo you will only need the ones referenced in the image or in our Demo file. Setting Up OAuth 2.0 Connection Now that we have our Microsoft Application set up, using the Application ID, Application Secret, Redirect URI, and Site Name we can talk to our SharePoint solution! The first step is getting the access code. You will need to call this in a web browser or Web Viewer in FileMaker using a URL. Once you accept, you can grab the access code in the URL. Then using this, you can request a token to access your SharePoint site. A JSON-encoded response will bring you the account and refresh tokens, which you can then use to talk to your SharePoint solution. For more about how OAuth 2.0 works, reference the OAuth 2.0 Authorization Code Flow. Uploading Documents to SharePoint through FileMaker With everything set in place, we can now upload documents through FileMaker into your SharePoint site. In order to upload files, we will need to use them to grab your Site ID in SharePoint. Below is the URL template. https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/sharepoint:/YOUR_SITE_NAME_HERE Be sure to set your authorization headers using the BE_HTTP_Set_Custom_Header and the access token before performing your GET call. Next, use your Site ID to grab the drive ID where the document will be uploaded. https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/sharepoint/sites/YOUR_SITE_ID_HERE/drive Again be sure to set your authorization header with the access token. Then using the drive ID, you can use a PUT call to create the file in SharePoint! If it is successfully created, you will receive a JSON-response code with the information about the newly created item. And in the documents in SharePoint, the new document is created! The potential of SharePoint and FileMaker integration using Microsoft Graph goes beyond this. You can reference all the functionality on their API Documentation. There are even more Microsoft programs that can be integrated with FileMaker using Microsoft Graph, such as Excel, Outlook, and Webhooks. Conclusion With those three steps, documents added into FileMaker can easily be uploaded automatically into SharePoint. This integration allows documents to quickly and easily be uploaded and viewable in both applications. Microsoft Graph’s ever-expanding capabilities continue to allow for further integrations with Microsoft and other programs using a unified API interface. Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing? Contact us to discuss upgrading your FileMaker software. Download Integrating FileMaker And SharePoint Please complete the form below to download your FREE FileMaker database file. Name* First Last Company Phone* Email* Terms of Use I agree OPT-IN: I agree that I am downloading a completely free FileMaker application file with no strings attached. This database is unlocked, and I may use it for my business or organization as I see fit. Because I am downloading a free database, I agree that I should receive occasional marketing. I understand that I can OPT-OUT of these emails at anytime. Afficher la totalité du billet
  10. Integrating FileMaker and SharePoint Using Microsoft Graph Often times documents are commonly needed in multiple programs, but the lack of integration can result in having to enter in the same files in different applications. Microsoft Graph is a powerful tool that provides a unified API interface for many of Microsoft’s most popular Cloud programs, including the popular web-based application SharePoint. Integration between SharePoint and FileMaker is even possible using Microsoft Graph. In this example I will demonstrate how to upload files from a FileMaker solution into your SharePoint site. There are three main steps to the integration. Allowing access to your Microsoft Application, setting up OAuth 2.0 authentication, and the actual uploading of documents to Sharepoint. Watch on Youtube: Integrating FileMaker and SharePoint Using Microsoft Graph Setting Up Your Microsoft Application In order to allow FileMaker to talk to your SharePoint solution using Microsoft Graph, you will first need to set up a Microsoft Application to allow access using OAuth 2.0. If you go to Microsoft’s My Applications page you can either edit an existing application or create a new one. (If you don’t have a site already, you will need to create a site in SharePoint prior to this). Make note of the Application ID (sometimes called the Client ID), you’ll need this in your FileMaker solution. Next you’ll need to create a new Application Secret (again, sometimes called Client Secret). Generate and copy the password. This is the only time you will be able to copy this password, so be sure to document it somewhere or else you will have to generate a new password. Now add a new web platform, and allow implicit flow and enter in the Redirect URI. The Redirect URI is just the web page the user will go to after they allow access to the SharePoint application. Next you will need to allow Microsoft Graph Delegated Permissions. For the purposes of this demo you will only need the ones referenced in the image or in our Demo file. Setting Up OAuth 2.0 Connection Now that we have our Microsoft Application set up, using the Application ID, Application Secret, Redirect URI, and Site Name we can talk to our SharePoint solution! The first step is getting the access code. You will need to call this in a web browser or Web Viewer in FileMaker using a URL. Once you accept, you can grab the access code in the URL. Then using this, you can request a token to access your SharePoint site. A JSON-encoded response will bring you the account and refresh tokens, which you can then use to talk to your SharePoint solution. For more about how OAuth 2.0 works, reference the OAuth 2.0 Authorization Code Flow. Uploading Documents to SharePoint through FileMaker With everything set in place, we can now upload documents through FileMaker into your SharePoint site. In order to upload files, we will need to use them to grab your Site ID in SharePoint. Below is the URL template. https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/sharepoint:/YOUR_SITE_NAME_HERE Be sure to set your authorization headers using the BE_HTTP_Set_Custom_Header and the access token before performing your GET call. Next, use your Site ID to grab the drive ID where the document will be uploaded. https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/sharepoint/sites/YOUR_SITE_ID_HERE/drive Again be sure to set your authorization header with the access token. Then using the drive ID, you can use a PUT call to create the file in SharePoint! If it is successfully created, you will receive a JSON-response code with the information about the newly created item. And in the documents in SharePoint, the new document is created! The potential of SharePoint and FileMaker integration using Microsoft Graph goes beyond this. You can reference all the functionality on their API Documentation. There are even more Microsoft programs that can be integrated with FileMaker using Microsoft Graph, such as Excel, Outlook, and Webhooks. Conclusion With those three steps, documents added into FileMaker can easily be uploaded automatically into SharePoint. This integration allows documents to quickly and easily be uploaded and viewable in both applications. Microsoft Graph’s ever-expanding capabilities continue to allow for further integrations with Microsoft and other programs using a unified API interface. Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing? Contact us to discuss upgrading your FileMaker software. Download Integrating FileMaker And SharePoint Please complete the form below to download your FREE FileMaker database file. Name* First Last Company Phone* Email* Terms of Use I agree OPT-IN: I agree that I am downloading a completely free FileMaker application file with no strings attached. This database is unlocked, and I may use it for my business or organization as I see fit. Because I am downloading a free database, I agree that I should receive occasional marketing. I understand that I can OPT-OUT of these emails at anytime. Afficher la totalité du billet
  11. FileMaker Barcode Techniques Using barcodes in FileMaker is a very easy and useful way to extend your database. Whether you are selling tickets, managing assets, creating name tags, or any number of other use cases, barcodes can easily be used to provide an instant way to locate a record in your database system and much more. Barcodes can be generated and scanned for iPads, iPhones, Windows, and Macs. Watch on Youtube: FileMaker Barcode Techniques How To Generate There are many different methods that can be used to generate barcodes in FileMaker and there are many different types of barcodes that you can create. The 2 main types are QR codes and regular barcodes like you would see on millions of products. A QR code is basically a barcode with another dimension allowing it to store more information than what a 1D barcode can store before becoming unreadable by the scanner. This is why URL’s are often shared using QR codes instead of standard barcodes. Do note that QR codes cannot be scanned by USB or BlueTooth scanners, but work great with camera-based scanners like a mobile device. The 3 ways we’ll be talking about are through using web services like Google’s Chart API, using 3rd party plugins and products like FileMaker Barcode Creator, or using barcode fonts. Below we’ll go over the pros and cons for each method. Web Services There are plenty of great web services out there like barcode-generator.org and Google’s chart API for generating QR Codes. This is the method we chose to use in our demo file as it is very flexible and free. To generate a QR code using Google’s API, all you have to do is create a simple URL in FileMaker and then use the Insert from URL script step to download the image to a container field. Below is how we accomplished this in our demo file. One thing to be aware of when using this method is that the container must be on the layout and be editable when you use the Insert from URL script step. This might not be the best method to use if you have hundreds of thousands of barcodes that need to be generated, as most free web services will block you from making too many calls, and depending on internet speeds, this method could be slow. FileMaker Barcode Creator We’re big fans of Geist Interactive’s FileMaker Barcode Creator. It’s easy to integrate with, has 19 different barcode types including QR Codes, is native FileMaker that works with Pro, Go, WebDirect, and server side scripts. To integrate with Barcode Creator you need to copy a modules script folder to your solution, and then you just need to call one script, passing the serial number as a parameter. The script returns a Base64 encoded string which can then be converted to an image using FileMakers Base64Decode function. FileMaker Barcode Creator is a paid product, but in our opinion is well worth the money, and is what we use in our solutions. Barcode Fonts Barcode fonts is another way you can create barcodes in FileMaker. This method has been around for a long time and used to be the only way to create barcodes without the use of plugins. The only reason I mention it in this article is to tell you NOT to use this method! This method has many limitations like only being able to generate and view barcodes on the desktop, with no support for FileMaker Go, or WebDirect. It also requires that all computers have the correct barcode font installed, which depending on how many users you have, can be a challenge by itself. How To Scan There are 2 ways to scan a barcode/QR code using FileMaker. The easiest way is to leverage FileMaker Go’s ability to integrate with the iPad or iPhone’s camera and allow for easy and instant barcode scanning using the Insert From Device script step. This works great as long as you have an iOS device. If you don’t have an apple device you can always buy a USB or Bluetooth laser scanner. These scanning devices are interpreted as virtual keyboards when connected, so in order to scan and capture the scanner’s input, you must have the cursor in a field or Show Custom Dialog input field. They work especially well with the Show Custom Dialog script step as they will trigger the OK button after scanning. Using a Bluetooth or USB scanner also allows for the ability to scan multiple barcodes one after another using a field with an On Exit script trigger, that goes back into the field after running so you are ready to scan again. Laser scanners are definitely quicker and preferred for scanning multiple items quickly, but they do have limitations like only being able to scan traditional barcodes (No QR codes) and they can’t scan a screen. Below are a few Bluetooth scanners we have tested with FileMaker and recommend: Wasp Cordless Pocket Barcode Scanner KDC200i 1D Laser Barcode Scanner with Bluetooth Conclusion Creating and scanning barcodes in FileMaker is straightforward and makes a great extension of FileMaker’s already great toolset. Contact us if you’d like to discuss barcoding and how you can add to your solution and improve your workflow. Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing? Contact us to discuss upgrading your FileMaker software. Download FileMaker Barcoding Please complete the form below to download your FREE FileMaker database file. Name* First Last Company Phone* Email* Terms of Use I agree OPT-IN: I agree that I am downloading a completely free FileMaker application file with no strings attached. This database is unlocked, and I may use it for my business or organization as I see fit. Because I am downloading a free database, I agree that I should receive occasional marketing. I understand that I can OPT-OUT of these emails at anytime. Afficher la totalité du billet
  12. FileMaker Barcode Techniques Using barcodes in FileMaker is a very easy and useful way to extend your database. Whether you are selling tickets, managing assets, creating name tags, or any number of other use cases, barcodes can easily be used to provide an instant way to locate a record in your database system and much more. Barcodes can be generated and scanned for iPads, iPhones, Windows, and Macs. Watch on Youtube: FileMaker Barcode Techniques How To Generate There are many different methods that can be used to generate barcodes in FileMaker and there are many different types of barcodes that you can create. The 2 main types are QR codes and regular barcodes like you would see on millions of products. A QR code is basically a barcode with another dimension allowing it to store more information than what a 1D barcode can store before becoming unreadable by the scanner. This is why URL’s are often shared using QR codes instead of standard barcodes. Do note that QR codes cannot be scanned by USB or BlueTooth scanners, but work great with camera-based scanners like a mobile device. The 3 ways we’ll be talking about are through using web services like Google’s Chart API, using 3rd party plugins and products like FileMaker Barcode Creator, or using barcode fonts. Below we’ll go over the pros and cons for each method. Web Services There are plenty of great web services out there like barcode-generator.org and Google’s chart API for generating QR Codes. This is the method we chose to use in our demo file as it is very flexible and free. To generate a QR code using Google’s API, all you have to do is create a simple URL in FileMaker and then use the Insert from URL script step to download the image to a container field. Below is how we accomplished this in our demo file. One thing to be aware of when using this method is that the container must be on the layout and be editable when you use the Insert from URL script step. This might not be the best method to use if you have hundreds of thousands of barcodes that need to be generated, as most free web services will block you from making too many calls, and depending on internet speeds, this method could be slow. FileMaker Barcode Creator We’re big fans of Geist Interactive’s FileMaker Barcode Creator. It’s easy to integrate with, has 19 different barcode types including QR Codes, is native FileMaker that works with Pro, Go, WebDirect, and server side scripts. To integrate with Barcode Creator you need to copy a modules script folder to your solution, and then you just need to call one script, passing the serial number as a parameter. The script returns a Base64 encoded string which can then be converted to an image using FileMakers Base64Decode function. FileMaker Barcode Creator is a paid product, but in our opinion is well worth the money, and is what we use in our solutions. Barcode Fonts Barcode fonts is another way you can create barcodes in FileMaker. This method has been around for a long time and used to be the only way to create barcodes without the use of plugins. The only reason I mention it in this article is to tell you NOT to use this method! This method has many limitations like only being able to generate and view barcodes on the desktop, with no support for FileMaker Go, or WebDirect. It also requires that all computers have the correct barcode font installed, which depending on how many users you have, can be a challenge by itself. How To Scan There are 2 ways to scan a barcode/QR code using FileMaker. The easiest way is to leverage FileMaker Go’s ability to integrate with the iPad or iPhone’s camera and allow for easy and instant barcode scanning using the Insert From Device script step. This works great as long as you have an iOS device. If you don’t have an apple device you can always buy a USB or Bluetooth laser scanner. These scanning devices are interpreted as virtual keyboards when connected, so in order to scan and capture the scanner’s input, you must have the cursor in a field or Show Custom Dialog input field. They work especially well with the Show Custom Dialog script step as they will trigger the OK button after scanning. Using a Bluetooth or USB scanner also allows for the ability to scan multiple barcodes one after another using a field with an On Exit script trigger, that goes back into the field after running so you are ready to scan again. Laser scanners are definitely quicker and preferred for scanning multiple items quickly, but they do have limitations like only being able to scan traditional barcodes (No QR codes) and they can’t scan a screen. Below are a few Bluetooth scanners we have tested with FileMaker and recommend: Wasp Cordless Pocket Barcode Scanner KDC200i 1D Laser Barcode Scanner with Bluetooth Conclusion Creating and scanning barcodes in FileMaker is straightforward and makes a great extension of FileMaker’s already great toolset. Contact us if you’d like to discuss barcoding and how you can add to your solution and improve your workflow. Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing? Contact us to discuss upgrading your FileMaker software. Download FileMaker Barcoding Please complete the form below to download your FREE FileMaker database file. Name* First Last Company Phone* Email* Terms of Use I agree OPT-IN: I agree that I am downloading a completely free FileMaker application file with no strings attached. This database is unlocked, and I may use it for my business or organization as I see fit. Because I am downloading a free database, I agree that I should receive occasional marketing. I understand that I can OPT-OUT of these emails at anytime. Afficher la totalité du billet
  13. FileMaker Cloud Overview FileMaker came out with a new way to deploy your app with FileMaker Cloud! This new product is available through Amazon Web Services (AWS) which gives you FileMaker Server in minutes. FileMaker Cloud is ideal for remote work groups/companies that don’t have an IT company or someone in-house that can manage the time and effort involved in running a dedicated FileMaker Server machine. Watch on Youtube: FileMaker Cloud Setup Demo Licensing Some important FileMaker Cloud licensing information is below. FileMaker Cloud HAS to be annual licenses, whether it is FileMaker Licensing for Teams (FLT), Volume Licenses, or a Site License. If you have perpetuity licenses and are interested in FileMaker Cloud, contact us to discuss converting to FileMaker Annual licensing. If you have an Annual Volume License (AVLA) you have to have at least 5 connections or more in order for it to work on FileMaker Cloud. There are two different ways to license FileMaker Cloud, directly through AWS and Bring Your Own License (BYOL). The first way is to buy directly through the AWS Marketplace. The perk of going through the AWS Marketplace is that there is hourly options available, instead of just annual. However, the hourly options are 975% more expensive than annual licenses and are typically used for rare occasions such as seasonal use or to further test a solution. To save money by purchasing hourly, you would have to use your FileMaker Cloud instance less than 37 days in a year. Purchasing FileMaker Cloud licenses directly through AWS limits you to four types of license types, Annual FileMaker Licensing for Teams (AFLT) with 5, 10, 25 or 100 users. If one of the four available licenses types doesn’t suit your needs, you definitely want to utilize Bring Your Own License (BYOL) option. Contact us to discuss getting you the best license for your FileMaker Cloud instance. Benefits of FileMaker Cloud Fast Setup As previously stated, arguably the best part of FileMaker Cloud is that you can have it up and running in about 30 minutes! Compare that to when you purchase your own dedicated machine to be used internally where you have to purchase the machine online or in a store, wait for it to be shipped, then go through the process of setting up the software, hardware and network which can take days! Reduced Maintenance When you have your own dedicated server, even after the initial set up described above, there is still more time that goes into making sure everything is running optimally. The main time impact saved with FileMaker Cloud is the updates and monitoring of OS updates, as well as FileMaker Server updates. Having an internal system requires you to check in to make sure that the OS is up-to-date as windows comes out with patches at least once a month, if not more. With FileMaker Cloud this is all done automatically. Security and Peace of Mind Something that everyone worries about these days is security with all of the data breaches that you hear on the news. With FileMaker Cloud, security is made easy. For starters, AWS is responsible for the physical security of the server hardware as well as the energy costs of having a data centers; this means you don’t have to worry about someone breaking into your office and literally taking all of your data. FileMaker Cloud also comes with a SSL certificate that is apart of the initial setup. This feature would need to be done manually on your own dedicated FileMaker Server machine otherwise. Additionally, FileMaker Cloud comes with automatic backups that happen every 20 minutes and is stored for one week. Of course with your own dedicated machine you can customize this, but FileMaker Cloud comes preset with this and is a part of the easy setup of 30 minutes or less. Unsupported Features in FileMaker Cloud With all this awesomeness why wouldn’t I want to use FileMaker Cloud!? One might ask. There are really only a handful of specific scenarios that FileMaker Cloud may not be a good fit for you and your organization. External Authentication – FileMaker Cloud does not support external authentication via Active Directory/Open Directory. It does, however, support custom app authentication via FileMaker user accounts. Server Side Scripts – FileMaker Cloud does not allow server side scripts to run which means you’d need your own dedicated machine of FileMaker Server. Custom Web Publishing with PHP and XML – If you are, or are wanting to integrate with your website for instance, FileMaker Cloud does not support PHP or XML. More than a Week of Backups – As previously stated, FileMaker Cloud comes automatically equipped to have a backup run every 20 minutes and stores a week worth of backups. If you were to want more than one week, you’d need to manually preserve specific backups. Plugin Support – If you are using any plugins in your application, you’ll need to make sure they have a new version that supports Linux for the FileMaker Cloud. Moving to FileMaker Cloud After reading this and learning more about FileMaker Cloud you may see it as a great fit for your organization and saving you time and money compared to managing your in-house server. However, there are additional items to keep in mind aside from the unsupported features above. The main point is the optimization on how your application(s) are built. With having a FileMaker Server in your Local Area Network (LAN) you will have much better speed compared to anything traveling across the Wide Area Network (WAN). You may have to go through a series of steps to optimize your application(s) before moving it to a server in the cloud or else your experience may be drastically different. With this being said, if all, or most of your employees are all in one location where the current in-house server is located, it will likely be best to keep it in house. You can’t beat the latency and speed of accessing a database on your LAN versus traveling back and forth across the internet on WAN. FileMaker realizes that customers with an existing in-house server will need to test FileMaker Cloud to see if it is a good fit for them, so they are providing a 30-day grace period to convert the FileMaker Server software. If you have questions or would like for us to review, contact us for a free technical analysis, to review and assist in optimizing your application(s) before moving to the FileMaker Cloud. Conclusion FileMaker Cloud is fast and easy to set up and can scale with little effort. There are a lot of reasons that FileMaker Cloud would be a great fit for you and your organization, between minimal impact of IT staff doing updates and deployment, to the benefits of AWS responsible for security and scalability, FileMaker Cloud is a huge benefit and welcomed addition to the FileMaker Family. Note about freeing up license keys I tested setting up FileMaker Cloud before doing the recorded demo and in turn, needed to free the license key in order to use it agin. I terminated the server instance thinking this would release the server license key. In doing so, I received an Error 3030 “License Key has already been used for FileMaker Cloud.” when trying to enter the license key for a new instance. I came to find that you have to deactivate the license key through the Server Admin Console before terminating an instance to free up the license key. If this happens to you, you will need to call FileMaker Support and have them manually release the license key for your new instance. Still unsure of FileMaker Cloud is the right fit for you? Contact Us to discuss further your goals and how we can be of service. Afficher la totalité du billet
  14. FileMaker Cloud Overview FileMaker came out with a new way to deploy your app with FileMaker Cloud! This new product is available through Amazon Web Services (AWS) which gives you FileMaker Server in minutes. FileMaker Cloud is ideal for remote work groups/companies that don’t have an IT company or someone in-house that can manage the time and effort involved in running a dedicated FileMaker Server machine. Watch on Youtube: FileMaker Cloud Setup Demo Licensing Some important FileMaker Cloud licensing information is below. FileMaker Cloud HAS to be annual licenses, whether it is FileMaker Licensing for Teams (FLT), Volume Licenses, or a Site License. If you have perpetuity licenses and are interested in FileMaker Cloud, contact us to discuss converting to FileMaker Annual licensing. There are two different ways to license FileMaker Cloud, directly through AWS and Bring Your Own License (BYOL). The first way is to buy directly through the AWS Marketplace. The perk of going through the AWS Marketplace is that there is hourly options available, instead of just annual. However, the hourly options are 975% more expensive than annual licenses and are typically used for rare occasions such as seasonal use or to further test a solution. To save money by purchasing hourly, you would have to use your FileMaker Cloud instance less than 37 days in a year. Purchasing FileMaker Cloud licenses directly through AWS limits you to four types of license types, Annual FileMaker Licensing for Teams (AFLT) with 5, 10, 25 or 100 users. If one of the four available licenses types doesn’t suit your needs, you definitely want to utilize Bring Your Own License (BYOL) option. Contact us to discuss getting you the best license for your FileMaker Cloud instance. Benefits of FileMaker Cloud Fast Setup As previously stated, arguably the best part of FileMaker Cloud is that you can have it up and running in about 30 minutes! Compare that to when you purchase your own dedicated machine to be used internally where you have to purchase the machine online or in a store, wait for it to be shipped, then go through the process of setting up the software, hardware and network which can take days! Reduced Maintenance When you have your own dedicated server, even after the initial set up described above, there is still more time that goes into making sure everything is running optimally. The main time impact saved with FileMaker Cloud is the updates and monitoring of OS updates, as well as FileMaker Server updates. Having an internal system requires you to check in to make sure that the OS is up-to-date as windows comes out with patches at least once a month, if not more. With FileMaker Cloud this is all done automatically. Security and Peace of Mind Something that everyone worries about these days is security with all of the data breaches that you hear on the news. With FileMaker Cloud, security is made easy. For starters, AWS is responsible for the physical security of the server hardware as well as the energy costs of having a data centers; this means you don’t have to worry about someone breaking into your office and literally taking all of your data. FileMaker Cloud also comes with a SSL certificate that is apart of the initial setup. This feature would need to be done manually on your own dedicated FileMaker Server machine otherwise. Additionally, FileMaker Cloud comes with automatic backups that happen every 20 minutes and is stored for one week. Of course with your own dedicated machine you can customize this, but FileMaker Cloud comes preset with this and is a part of the easy setup of 30 minutes or less. Unsupported Features in FileMaker Cloud With all this awesomeness why wouldn’t I want to use FileMaker Cloud!? One might ask. There are really only a handful of specific scenarios that FileMaker Cloud may not be a good fit for you and your organization. External Authentication – FileMaker Cloud does not support external authentication via Active Directory/Open Directory. It does, however, support custom app authentication via FileMaker user accounts. Server Side Scripts – FileMaker Cloud does not allow server side scripts to run which means you’d need your own dedicated machine of FileMaker Server. Custom Web Publishing with PHP and XML – If you are, or are wanting to integrate with your website for instance, FileMaker Cloud does not support PHP or XML. More than a Week of Backups – As previously stated, FileMaker Cloud comes automatically equipped to have a backup run every 20 minutes and stores a week worth of backups. If you were to want more than one week, you’d need to manually preserve specific backups. Plugin Support – If you are using any plugins in your application, you’ll need to make sure they have a new version that supports Linux for the FileMaker Cloud. Moving to FileMaker Cloud After reading this and learning more about FileMaker Cloud you may see it as a great fit for your organization and saving you time and money compared to managing your in-house server. However, there are additional items to keep in mind aside from the unsupported features above. The main point is the optimization on how your application(s) are built. With having a FileMaker Server in your Local Area Network (LAN) you will have much better speed compared to anything traveling across the Wide Area Network (WAN). You may have to go through a series of steps to optimize your application(s) before moving it to a server in the cloud or else your experience may be drastically different. With this being said, if all, or most of your employees are all in one location where the current in-house server is located, it will likely be best to keep it in house. You can’t beat the latency and speed of accessing a database on your LAN versus traveling back and forth across the internet on WAN. FileMaker realizes that customers with an existing in-house server will need to test FileMaker Cloud to see if it is a good fit for them, so they are providing a 30-day grace period to convert the FileMaker Server software. If you have questions or would like for us to review, contact us for a free technical analysis, to review and assist in optimizing your application(s) before moving to the FileMaker Cloud. Conclusion FileMaker Cloud is fast and easy to set up and can scale with little effort. There are a lot of reasons that FileMaker Cloud would be a great fit for you and your organization, between minimal impact of IT staff doing updates and deployment, to the benefits of AWS responsible for security and scalability, FileMaker Cloud is a huge benefit and welcomed addition to the FileMaker Family. Note about freeing up license keys I tested setting up FileMaker Cloud before doing the recorded demo and in turn, needed to free the license key in order to use it agin. I terminated the server instance thinking this would release the server license key. In doing so, I received an Error 3030 “License Key has already been used for FileMaker Cloud.” when trying to enter the license key for a new instance. I came to find that you have to deactivate the license key through the Server Admin Console before terminating an instance to free up the license key. If this happens to you, you will need to call FileMaker Support and have them manually release the license key for your new instance. Still unsure of FileMaker Cloud is the right fit for you? Contact Us to discuss further your goals and how we can be of service. Afficher la totalité du billet
  15. Payment Processing in FileMaker using Stripe Imagine a company called Larry’s Landscapers. It’s a landscaping company that uses FileMaker in variety of ways as part of its day to day operations and has a group of customers for which it maintains lawns and driveways on an as needed basis. Wouldn’t it be great if Larry could provide these customers with the same sort of payment convenience that we’ve all become used to when paying recurring bills? That is, give them the ability to provide payment information just once and then reuse that information, in an easy and secure way, for any and all future payments? Well, Larry, or any business for that matter, can do just that by integrating the Stripe payment platform with their FileMaker solution. Watch on Youtube: FileMaker and Stripe Integration Creating a Stripe account First, you’ll need a basic Stripe account. They are free, can be created with just an email address and by default are set up for testing. Once you have an account, the only piece of information you will need for testing is your Test Secret Key. It can be found in the API Keys tab of your Account Settings via the Stripe dashboard. This key will be passed to Stripe as a means of account authentication. Processing a test payment Processing a payment via Stripe requires two steps and both steps entail POST requests, which are accomplish via the BaseElements Plugin and its BE_HTTP_POST custom function. Creating a customer Step one is a request for a customer object and is made via BE_HTTP_POST with the following parameters: stripe customer url payment source, e.g. if a credit card, then “card” customer name credit card number credit card expiration month & year credit card security code stripe account test secret key An example of the BE_HTTP_POST function call would look like this: BE_HTTP_POST ( “https://api.stripe.com/v1/customers” ; “source[object]=card” & “&source[number]=” & $cardNum & “&source[exp_month]=” & $expMonth & “&source[exp_year]=” & $expYear & “&source[cvc]=” & $CVC & “&source[name]=” & $customerName ; $testSecretKey ; “” ) The parameters passed in this example represent the standard minimal amount of customer information for a credit card. Additional information, like the cardholder’s address, can also be passed along as part of the customer request. You can refer to Stripe’s API documentation for more details. A successful customer request results in Stripe creating a customer and returning a customer object, which, like all objects returned by Stripe, is in JSON format. A customer is Stripe’s secure way of allowing users to create a reusable means by which to charge the same payment source multiple times. It’s secure because all the customer data is stored on their servers. (Servers which have been audited by a PCI-certified auditor and are certified to PCI Service Provider Level 1.) It’s easy because, once a customer is created, all that’s needed for processing a payment is the id of the customer object because this id now represents the customer and all their information. Processing a payment Step two processes the payment by requesting a charge object and is made via BE_HTTP_POST with the following parameters: stripe charge url charge amount as total amount of the smallest unit of the charge currency, e.g. if USD, then 1 cent currency of the charge, e.g. if USD, then “usd” customer object ID stripe account test secret key An example of the BE_HTTP_POST function call would look like this: BE_HTTP_POST ( “https://api.stripe.com/v1/charges” ; “amount=” & $amount & “&currency=” & $currency & “&customer=” & $tokenID ; $testSecretKey ; “” ) As with the request for a customer object, the parameters passed in this example represent the standard minimal amount of charge information. Additional information, like a description of the charge or an email address to send a receipt to, can also be passed along. As before, you can refer to Stripe’s API documentation for more details. A successful charge request results in Stripe returning a charge object. It contains various details about the charge, like if the charge itself was successful, the type of charge it was and how it was verified. Failed requests and error objects Stripe has extensive error handling and will return an error object whenever a requests fails. Going live Moving beyond testing and processing real payments with Stripe requires the activation of your Stripe account via an account application. Then, once live, you just use your Live Secret Key in place of your Test Secret Key. Conclusion Integrating a FileMaker solution and Stripe is both straightforward and simple, and the result is an efficient and secure way for any business to process a wide variety of payments. Did you know we are an authorized reseller for FileMaker Licensing? Contact us to discuss upgrading your FileMaker software. Download FileMaker and Stripe Integration Please complete the form below to download your FREE FileMaker database file. Name* First Last Company Phone* Email* Terms of Use I agree OPT-IN: I agree that I am downloading a completely free FileMaker application file with no strings attached. This database is unlocked, and I may use it for my business or organization as I see fit. Because I am downloading a free database, I agree that I should receive occasional marketing. I understand that I can OPT-OUT of these emails at anytime. Afficher la totalité du billet