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  1. QuickBooks is an integrated accounting software package developed by Intuit. With over 5.6 million customers, QuickBooks offers copious help to the accounting staff of small and large business owners. Their software can be used to manage sales and expenses and keep track of daily transactions by invoicing customers, paying bills, generating reports and more. Integrating with FileMaker For FileMaker users and developers who need an outside application, such as QuickBooks, to communicate with their FileMaker App, integration between FileMaker and the other application will help increase productivity and efficiency. Integration will allow the two applications to communicate with each other. This will save users and/or developers tremendous amounts of effort. If a user was using FileMaker along with an outside application, but did not have the two apps integrated, he or she constantly would end up doing double data entry from one system to the next. Integration could be useful to companies with a unique workflow. Also, integrating FileMaker with QuickBooks could help companies that want their employees to have access to data on customers, items, inventory, payments, etc., while protecting the QuickBooks file. A typical need for integration between FileMaker and QuickBooks is to automate the push/pull of invoice data. FileMaker is used to create a custom solution that allows a team to gather customer invoice data from a desktop, web, or iOS device. Developers would then create scripts to send the invoice data to QuickBooks and pull updates back into FileMaker. It can be set up so that when a customer record is created in FileMaker, a corresponding record is automatically created in QuickBooks. FileMaker Books Connector The FM Books Connector plugin, developed by Productive Computing, is used for the data exchange between FileMaker and QuickBooks Desktop for Windows. A notable limitation of the FM Books connector is that it only works for connecting to QuickBooks Desktop on Windows; it is not supported on Mac. It requires an annual subscription to purchase this product, but it allows for adding, editing, deleting, or querying basically any QuickBooks data from inside FileMaker Pro. One of the benefits of the FM Books Connector is that you do not need to learn qbXML, QuickBooks Extensible Markup Language, to use it. The website where you will purchase and download the plug-in also contains a download to a sample file for a demo, along with a video tutorial about getting started. Integrating QuickBooks Online with FileMaker Critical to users that are running QuickBooks on Mac, there is another version of the Plug-in, developed by Productive Computing, that works with Mac and QuickBooks online. It is called the FM Books Online Edition, and it is supported on Mac, Windows, as well as FM Cloud. The demo file will show you examples on posting new customers or invoices to QuickBooks, pulling customers or invoices into FileMaker Pro from QuickBooks, updating customers in QuickBooks and pulling a customer balance into FileMaker Pro. Alternative QuickBooks and FileMaker integration options The FM Books Connector plug-in is not the only way to integrate QuickBooks with FileMaker, it is just recommended in many situations because it can save time and effort and allows FileMaker developers to skip a large portion of the learning curve QuickBooks will provide to a first-time user. LedgerLink, formerly known as fmQBO, is a solution, developed by Geist Interactive, that can be used as a go-between, between your custom apps and your QuickBooks online account. LedgerLink is a solution, not a plug-in or a driver, it phones home to a licensing server, but it runs entirely on custom functions and scripts. The solution includes a connector file that handles the OAuth portion of QuickBooks Online. LedgerLink requires an annual subscription to its users. Prices vary depending on the number of users, but it is significantly more expensive than the FM Books Connector Plug-in and the FM Books Online Edition Plug-in. Once the connection is established between LedgerLink and QuickBooks Online, you will sync the data, and all of the customer data from your QuickBooks Online account will be in the LedgerLink tables. The data in LedgerLink and QuickBooks Online will always stay synced. You will then be able to create records such as Invoices, with FileMaker, then see them in your QuickBooks Online account. Another option for integrating a custom FileMaker solution with a QuickBooks account is the CData ODBC Driver for QuickBooks. This driver includes powerful, fully-integrated remote access capabilities that QuickBooks Desktop data accessible from virtually anywhere. The driver includes the CData SQL Gateway, which grants the ability to accept incoming SQL and MySQL client connections and execute standard database requests. This driver, which requires a similarly priced annual subscription, but also offers a one-month free trial, allows its users to access QuickBooks accounts through FileMaker, as an ODBC. This driver has versions for Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux. There is also a way to integrate a FileMaker solution with QuickBooks online, using the QBO API, as well as a different way to integrate FileMaker with QuickBooks Desktop. These methods do not require any plug-ins; everything will be done natively. You will, however, need to create a free Intuit Developer account and authenticate QuickBooks Online using OAuth, for integrating FileMaker with QuickBooks online. In conclusion, FileMaker can be integrated with QuickBooks in several ways, and should be if your FileMaker solution constantly needs data from your QuickBooks file. It will be important to thoroughly research the method you intend on using before you purchase a plugin or a driver to make sure you choose the correct method for your equipment and problem. Integrating will grant you the ability to create, delete, update, or query your QuickBooks data from right inside FileMaker Pro Advanced. It will also allow you to automate your accounting processes, prevent duplicate data entry between systems and cut back on human errors. If you have any questions about any of these integration methods, feel free to reach out to us! Afficher la totalité du billet
  2. Although Filemaker has an abundance of third-party resources and plugins, oftentimes it operates best when using its internal functions and skill sets. Let’s take, for example, the process of creating a calendar for a client… The client requested a tool to give them an overview of the month—to see what appointments exist and how many per day. At first, we wanted to implement a calendar. Unfortunately, FileMaker’s layouts do not support layouts that dynamically grow and shrink like many other calendars can and has a hard time showing an at-a-glance perspective of things, much like the client wanted. We had explored 3rd party options, such as ‘SoSimple Calendar and Resource Scheduler,’ but ultimately decided to use FileMaker’s built-in listing capabilities. This solved the problem the clients had, while streamlining workflow and reducing dependencies on third-party software, which ultimately decreased the cost of the project overall. Simple at-a-glance list view of doctor scheduling: Sometimes, the answers we are looking for in Filemaker, or other programming languages, are just below our noses, but we need to take a step back to see what the clients want rather than find ourselves in a fruitless chase to rebuild the wheel. FileMaker, the leading Workplace Innovation Platform As we venture more into the world of Filemaker, it’s easy to see the tool’s strengths as the world’s leading Workplace Innovation Platform. It’s important to know what a business needs and what Filemaker can do to best support that goal. That’s why we are committed to doing things The MainSpring Way, so that we can save you and your organization time and money. If you’re ready to see what FileMaker can do for you, contact us today. Afficher la totalité du billet
  3. At MainSpring, we use Trello as a tool for organizing our agile lifecycle projects into an organized board. While this requires diligent upkeep and dedication, the organization payoff is huge. One of the ways I use Trello is to also do light documentation. Since all our boards are client-facing, keeping documentation cards for client questions is also something that works great in Trello. During one of our projects, I was going back and forth between FileMaker and Trello, writing some basic documentation for using a layout. Having thought I copied the label text from a button, I pasted into Trello on the card. Imagine my surprise when an attachment image showing the entire button showed up on the card! I had copied the entire button itself, not just the label text, and Trello added it as an attachment. So, how does this work? Since FileMaker 12, we have known that the interface of FileMaker uses a styling engine that’s based on CSS. Using the free BaseElements plugin from Goya, we can analyze what FileMaker copies to the clipboard when copying an entire button. First, we can see that there are several different formats stored in the clipboard: Per the BaseElements documentation, the “dyn.ah62d4rv4gk8zuxnxnq” format will return to you an XML representation of the clipboard. Using that function will give you a tremendous amount of information for how FileMaker stores an object in the clipboard: Overall, a single button that I copied resulted in 54 lines of XML code. I took my XML from the FileMaker data viewer and ran it through an XML Pretty Printer. Once this was cleaned up, I could see how other programs can paste a visual representation of what I copied from FileMaker into their app. Some key tags are: <Layout>, <Bounds> are the first few tags that you’ll see at the top of the XML. The Layout tag includes positioning dimensions of the object (distance from top, left, right and bottom) from where the object was located in FileMaker, while the bounds tag determines the overall size and shape of the object. <Font-family>, <Font-size>, <Color> from inside the CharacterStyle tag. This determines font style, size and color as seen in the object. <FullCSS> contains a near-complete CSS representation of the object appearance, including borders, margins, backgrounds and more. It’s minimized in the clipboard, but this block contained 155 lines of CSS code when I broke it out. <ThemeName> matches the theme being used by the layout where you copied the object from in FileMaker. Could come in handy if you’re trying to see what makes up your theme! After having pieced together how it works, I was then interested to see what other programs have the same support and what objects you can paste into other programs. From my experiment, nearly every single kind of layout object works! Lines and shapes, fields (including checkboxes and radio sets), portals, tabs, slides, popovers—they all work for copying a visual representation to another program! Next, I rolled through my applications folder and common web apps to see what else works aside from Trello. Here’s a quick list of things I tried that worked: Email apps: Outlook (application) and Gmail/Yahoo Mail (browser) Office/Productivity: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Keynote, OneNote, Microsoft Teams, LibreOffice Doodling/Photo: Preview (Mac), Gimp, Seashore, Pencil Web Apps: Trello, Facebook The last place I checked was the FileMaker Community site. While it did paste the image into the editor, I was greeted by an error I had not seen before: This message hints to how so many different programs can paste a FileMaker object, they handle it like an image. If it’s documentation, or even putting together a to-do list, knowing tips like this always comes in handy! Afficher la totalité du billet
  4. At MainSpring, we believe that custom development should center around our ability to help your organization start working with your custom application as soon as possible. We make this happen by starting with a most viable product and continuously improving it from there. Check out our video, which goes further in depth on what it means to see continuous improvement. Afficher la totalité du billet
  5. FileMaker developers with a background in common programming languages such as C, C++, Java have been deprived a while function since the creation of FileMaker. With the release of FileMaker 18, the wait is over: developers will now have a new tool in the While function. In most computer programming languages, the While function, or more generically, the While loop is a statement that will allow code to be executed repeatedly until a boolean condition is no longer true. A While loop can be thought of as a repeating If statement. The official definition of the new function is that it “repeats logic while the condition is true, then returns the result.” Parameters Let’s take a look at the parameters used in the While function. [Initial Variable] Condition [Logic] Result The condition, logic, and result seem pretty straightforward when paired with the definition. Before each iteration, FileMaker checks to make sure the boolean condition is true. As long as it is, FileMaker will evaluate the statements within [logic]. As soon as the condition no longer evaluates to ‘True,’ FileMaker returns the result. Initial Variables Variables defined within the [Initial Variable] parameter will be available and consistent throughout the iteration process. Variables can also be set within logic, but there is a critical difference to note, being that variables in logic will be reevaluated on each iteration. Developers that are familiar with the Let function will have an easier time understanding how this portion of the new While function operates. Similar to the Let function, variables live within the function, they do not require a preceding ‘$’, and they seek to exist once the function returns the result. Condition The condition parameter is where we tell the function when to stop iterating. From the help documentation: “While True, the loop repeats. When False, the loop stops.” This is inverted from what we typically see in FileMaker. For example, the Exit Loop If script step tells FileMaker to exit the loop when the condition is True. Here, only if our condition is false will the function cease to iterate. Logic The logic parameter is where the we define the calculations to be performed on each iteration of the loop. The following picture shows a simple use of a While function. While ‘i’ is less than 11, append ‘i’ to the ‘outcome’ variable, which will later act as the result (a counted list to 10). The logic parameter in this case recursively generates the outcome variable as it increments the i variable to manage the number of iterations. Result This is how we set what the result returned after it is done iterating. In many uses of the While function, the result is similar to the example above, where each iteration is critical to reaching a correct end result. FileMaker developers no longer have to rely on custom functions to use recursion. Set Recursion Limit Along with the arrival of the While function, is the arrival of a function that it will work with nicely. SetRecursion. Similar to the way the EvaluationError function can only be used in tandem with a call to the Evaulate function, the SetRecursion fuction takes a calculation expression as a parameter. The SetRecursion function sets the maximum number of iterations for recursion and loops within an expression. By default, the While function and recursive custom functions are both limited to 50,000 iterations. The SetRecursion function allows you to increase or decrease this number. If the maxIterations parameter is exceeded by the expression in the expression parameter, the function will return a ‘?’ The FileMaker 18 documentation uses the following calculation to demonstrate this: This calculation results in ‘?’ because the While calculation used as a parameter of SetRecursion needs to loop through 10 times to get the result, but the SetRecursion limits it to 5. If the SetRecursion calculation was removed, or changed so that maxIterations is greater than or equal to 10, the While calculation would calculate as usual and return a list of integers from 1 to 10. FileMaker: the premier Workplace Innovation Platform In conclusion, these additions to the FileMaker toolbox will make it even easier to get data from your disparate sources into the app built for your business. Developers will be able to save time by no longer needing to develop or find custom functions that suit their recursive needs. It’s these kinds of features that really set FileMaker apart as the premier workplace innovation platform. Afficher la totalité du billet
  6. MainSpring, Inc. was recently listed as an authorized FileMaker hosting partner! You may have worked with us in the past using our unique MainSpring Way for developing and maintaining your FileMaker software, but we wanted to delve in a little more about hosting and how it can be more than the mundane infrastructure to do that you are trying to get off your plate. Hosting isn’t just about the savings in infrastructure and support for your server, there are other benefits to moving your FileMaker system into the cloud. As FileMaker has become more robust, more and more administrators are choosing to flip the switch on their local machines and move into the cloud! By moving to the MainSpring FileMaker Hosting platform, you can resolve these issues immediately: Running older and unsupported versions of FileMaker This is sometimes overlooked. I get it! There is never a good time to upgrade—you don’t know where to start, you can’t afford the downtime since the system is integral to your organization, etc. After all, the system has been running fine for years—until it isn’t. At which time, a hardware, Operating System, and FileMaker upgrade may be required to resolve an issue. This can be costly and occur at the most inconvenient time. With the MainSpring FileMaker Hosting platform, you will always have the latest equipment, with the latest operating system patching, and monitored to make sure that your database is running smoothly. Running your own in-house server Most companies decide to set up their own servers because they think it will save them money and give them more control. However, offsite hosting is far less expensive than it used to be, and it requires little to no effort on your part to set up and keep it going. A good hosting company will keep your data safe, deploy a good backup strategy and keep all software and security patches up-to-date. In my experience, unless you have a dedicated IT staff, there is often no one properly managing the server. This means you will likely be putting out fires and experiencing significant downtime instead of preventing the fires in the first place. Furthermore, the person called to manage the situation may be ill-equipped in resolving the issues quickly. Even expert technicians familiar with network and hardware troubleshooting are often not familiar enough with FileMaker to resolve issues, or, conversely, a FileMaker expert may not willing or familiar enough to work with the hardware or network—especially, if it hasn’t been kept up-to-date with the latest versions and patches or uses antiquated hardware. This is not uncommon (and rightfully so), as it is difficult to be an expert in both network troubleshooting and software. Keep in mind that two of the biggest threats to your organization’s data are human error and hardware failure. Wanting to access data from outside of the office Today, more than ever, users are accessing their company’s data remotely. Especially with FileMaker Go, which enables you to access your data via iPhone and iPad. Setting up FileMaker in the office is not that difficult, but once you leave the office, it is a different ballgame. There are network security concerns and network configurations to consider. Perhaps you will need to set up and manage a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to make it all work seamlessly. Accessing the server remotely may require you to take extra steps and log into the VPN software, etc. What you really need is a hosting provider that has this already setup for every user by default, without the need for special software or setup. Setting up your own cloud-based system Cloud-based virtual servers are the way to go. However, some of the most popular cloud-based systems are a step in the right direction but leave little to be desired when it comes to setup and management. You may be expected to set it up and manage the network yourself, which can be extremely confusing with little support. MainSpring’s FileMaker Hosting platform MainSpring solves all these issues by providing a remote, secure and managed cloud-based server/FileMaker setup at a low cost and with minimal effort on your part. Check out our comparison chart below. Afficher la totalité du billet
  7. One of the improvements that came with the release of FileMaker 18 was additional supported cURL options. Among these are the SMB protocol and the ability to send email with SMTP and SMTPS. These allow you to access a mapped drive and send out HTML emails, respectively. SMB Using this method can allow access to mapped network drives. The Server Message Block Protocol (SMB protocol) is a client-server communication protocol used for sharing access to files, printers, serial ports and other resources on a network. SMTP, SMTPS These methods can be called to finally send mail outside of the send mail script step. This also fulfills the long-time desired ability to send out emails that contain HTML, complete with whatever CSS you want to attach to it. Additionally, this supports the option to allow attachments in-line, which really adds a much-needed update to the quality and type of emails being sent out through FileMaker. Conclusion The added functionality available through the extended cURL supported options keep FileMaker tools on par with the standards expected in the development community. All around, it is a great addition to the platform! You can find out more by going to the new features help page. Happy Filemaking folks! Afficher la totalité du billet
  8. The annual FileMaker Developer’s Conference (DevCon) will take place on August 5th – 8th, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. I’m honored to be speaking for the fifth year in a row at the conference, and I’m looking forward to sharing the experience with over a thousand other members in the FileMaker community! Here’s five quick things you need to know about DevCon this year The four-day schedule is a little different this year Monday is a training day only. You’ll note that the usual welcome party held after the Monday night keynote has been moved to Tuesday evening instead. The keynote has been scheduled for the first thing Tuesday morning to kick off DevCon. There is still a second keynote; This “visionary” keynote will take place first thing on Wednesday morning. Thursday is not just for FBAs only, as it was in past years. There’s three full days of DevCon after the training day, running from Tuesday to Thursday. The attendee party is still slated for Wednesday evening and is always a good time. There is a brand-new hands-on lab track These hands-on labs are two-hour sessions that are designed to have practical hands-on experience to code and integrate with FileMaker. The IoT hands-on lab connects FileMaker to an IoT hardware device using the Particle platform. The second one, taught by Martha Zink, will be about architecting data properly (a must-attend if you are a beginner developer). Seating may be limited for these sessions, so make sure to pay attention if sign up is required! The sessions also repeat, so if you miss it one day, you might be able to attend a different day. There are some new faces presenting at DevCon Brad Freitag is the new CEO of FileMaker Inc. (replacing a now-retired Domenic Goupil) and will most likely deliver part of the keynote address. Ethan Pierce, a rep from Particle.io, is teaching an Internet of Things hands-on lab. Koji Takeuchi is a developer from Japan that will be speaking for the first time at DevCon (though he has spoken numerous times in Japan). What’s more, almost all the Lightning Talk track presenters are new to DevCon, including Christopher Grewe from my home state of Ohio. Make sure to thank first-time presenters for all their hard work! The Fireside Chat is returning If you missed this last year, I’d add it to your must-attend list for this year. This candid, moderated conversation with FileMaker staff is one of the best ways to connect with FileMaker. This event will now take place on Thursday morning, in the same time slots that are taken up by the keynotes on Tuesday and Wednesday. Questions are moderated, and usually, they try and collect some questions in advance on the FileMaker Community site. The Visionary Bar has been renamed The new name for the Visionary Bar is now the FileMaker Community Lounge. You’ll still be able to find many high-quality FileMaker developers (including me!) waiting to help you brainstorm and get over development hurdles. FileMaker Inc. is still running their support desk Tech Support Central. I anticipate all these areas will still be in the central vendors or dining hall. Want to get to know us more at DevCon? Check-out my DevCon Explorer’s Club thread where we arrange group get-togethers and off-site trips as well. This year we will be visiting the Kennedy Space Center! Afficher la totalité du billet
  9. In FileMaker 18, we received a new script step called Error Logging. When this script step is used, any errors that are generated from the running script are pulled into a log for review. Parameters for the error logging script in FileMaker 18 The step allows for two parameters. The first is whether to turn the logging on or off. Once error logging is turned on, any time a script in the current file generates an error, a file called ScriptsError.log will be created or appended to for as long as the file is open or if the script step is called again with the login set to off. The error log captures the following: The second parameter, Custom Debug Info, is optional. It’s set by clicking the gear icon in the script step. This will open up a calculation dialogue whose result will be appended to any entries created. This can be useful to capture other information not handled by the error log. I like to use a custom function called ErrorData which looks like so: Here’s what the output looks like when opened using the console: Output of the error logging script in FileMaker 18 The ScriptErrors.log file lives in the user’s documents’ folder and is accessible via the new data file script steps by providing the filepath: Get( DocumentsPath ) & “ScriptErrors.log” Be advised that the file will be locked and inaccessible by the data file script steps until the Set Error Logging script step is turned off, so it’s a good idea to turn off error logging once you have executed the portions of a script you anticipate could generate errors. Also note that the error logging state is specific to the file it was called in, so if you are calling a script that generates an error from another file with a parent script where you have error logging turned on, it will not create a new log entry. You have to turn error logging on a per file basis. FileMaker has a helpful tutorial video here that nicely covers the basics. This tool gives us more options on how we can handle errors in an app, which means at the end of the day it’s a better overall experience for users and developers alike. I can’t wait to see how the community utilizes the new step. And, as always—Happy FileMaking folks! Afficher la totalité du billet
  10. With the development of the data file script steps in FileMaker 18, FileMaker has made it easier remove inefficiencies from your database. The script steps also help streamline workflows and enhance processes. For instance, script steps can allow users to create a change log, simply log other data and hold them outside of a FileMaker environment. Let’s dive into some of the new script steps… New data file script steps in FileMaker 18 The lot of data file scripts includes: Close Data File, Create Data File, Get Data File Position, Get File Exists, Get File Size, Open Data File, and Write to Data File. Example of how to use the data file script steps in FileMaker 18 The above script steps should be used in the following order: Get File Exists -> Create Data File / Open Data File -> [Get Data File Position] -> Write to Data File -> Close Data File -> Get File Exists/ Get File Size By using the following steps, we can safely ensure that a file exists, open that file and then write to that file. If we were to use an abridged method, we may run into issues where the file does not exist or the script fails to open the file. In the above script workspace, we can see the following… Standard FileMaker procedures implemented to set a file location path as a variable We check to see if the file exists If the file does not exist, we make a file using the predesignated $fileLocation We open the file to insert data using a loop to iterate through each instance of Blog sample::Name.. If the file does exist, we immediately exit the script as we are not expected to overwrite data in this example The expected outcome of the file location is within the documents folder, as set by our $filelocation variable (below). Here’s what the outcome shows: As you can see, it iterated through the name of people in the phone book, appends the “:” and the phone number at the end from the data below. We can also use the File Delete script to delete data files via scripts. However, this script can return with errors if it cannot find the file (example below). As you can see, it deleted the file. File rename script step in FileMaker 18 Another new feature is called File Rename, which checks if the file exists, and renames it. However, this script can also return with errors if it cannot find the file. As you can see below, I’ve built it into our older script to catch for duplicates and to rename them old_FileName and to create a new data file. And the file was renamed to Old_Phonebook5_10_2019.txt and a new file phoneBook5_10_2019.txt was created. Maintaining data integrity in FileMaker 18 It is important to note at this time that if a file is open by another user on a shared drive, or by the person running the script, the script will run into issues. This is because of the nature of file locking and how OS’ manages simulation data connections. These issues can be resolved or avoided by simply disallowing users from accessing the raw data files by putting them in an invisible folder, disallowing access to the folder or educating the user with regards to file locking and data integrity standards. Reach out to us! I love hearing from members in the FileMaker community, so if you find any other use cases, things that you’d like me to test or anything else you find interesting, drop a note in the comment section! I’d be happy to chat. Or, if you’re reading this and think you might be ready to take the next step with your project, but would like some help, reach out to us for a free consultation. Afficher la totalité du billet
  11. Since the introduction of the Insert From Device script step in FileMaker 13, FileMaker Go has become a powerful barcode scanner for iOS devices. FileMaker has released updates as both iOS and Apple hardware has progressed, and FileMaker Go 18 is no exception. The latest version of FileMaker Go now supports four new barcode types. More than just a simple number—let’s take a look at what these new barcode formats are, and how they are commonly used. PDF417 barcode A PDF417 barcode Even though this barcode has been around since 1991, you’ve probably seen it on the back of your driver’s license or other ID cards more recently. You may have also seen it on a piece of mail you’ve received. PDF417 (along with Data Matrix) is one of the 2D barcodes accepted for postage printing. Another common place you’ll see it is on boarding passes at the airport. So even if you weren’t aware of what format this was, chances are you’ve recently seen a PDF417 barcode. The PDF417 barcode is a 2 dimensional “stacked” barcode, which means that it’s divided up into different sections that are “stacked” into the final result. These five sections are decoded by FileMaker Go into a text value, so Insert From Device can be used to capture the barcode data into a text field. ITF-14 barcode The ITF-14 barcode format. Note the thick bearer bar that surrounds the barcode. Chances are if you flip over your latest Amazon Prime delivery box, you’ll find an ITF-14 barcode somewhere on it. Comprised of 14 digits encoded into an interleaved barcode, the ITF-14 format is usually used to identify packaged quantities of items, like a case of boxes or other products. So rather than a specific unique key, the barcode would be the same on every item in that case. The thick black border, called a bearer bar, is designed to be used by printing presses to get a more reliable print and readability when scanned. AZTEC barcode The AZTEC barcode format holds a lot of data in a small space. One of the more powerful Data Matrix style barcodes, the AZTEC format is a now-public-domain format that is used extensively by the transportation industry (for things like mobile device boarding passes in apple wallet), Government (document verification) and commercial applications (invoices). Cool fact about this one: the name of the barcode comes from the “finder,” which is that set of squares at the center of the barcode that a scanner uses to position the scan to extract the data. This finder looks like an Aztec pyramid, hence the name AZTEC! Data matrix barcode Data matrix barcode. Note how this is “stacked” to support more data. The last of the new formats supported in FileMaker 18 is the data matrix format. Tiny but powerful, the data matrix can hold up to 50 characters of information readable as small as 2mm in size. This makes it the perfect barcode for micro applications, such as identifying electronics components with permanently etched codes. It’s also expandable and can be “stacked” to support larger amounts of data. More modern applications include date labels from the food industry that prevent tampering with expiration dates. The new barcode formats are also supported in the FileMaker Go App SDK, allowing fully compiled iOS apps to be deployed supporting these formats. With these new barcode formats, FileMaker continues to improve the usability of FileMaker Go in robust commercial mobile applications. Afficher la totalité du billet
  12. FileMaker 18 has made life easier by adding a shortcut to move objects within layouts. Afficher la totalité du billet
  13. In the installation files, you can now specify a specific custom app to open on launch using FileMaker 18. Afficher la totalité du billet
  14. Thanks to the new security enhancements in FileMaker 18 Advanced, you will be able to make your solutions more secure than ever by using features to limit access to a solution, authenticate its users, encrypt the data, and enhance the solution’s overall functionality. Manage Security dialog box in FileMaker 18 A very noticeable change in managing security in FileMaker Pro 18 versus using FileMaker Pro 17 would be the new Manage Security dialog box, pictured below. Most likely, the first thing you’ll notice will be the simplistic look and the lack of some familiar components from the old Manage Security dialog box. Fret not, this new dialog box will still allow you to manage accounts, privilege sets, extended privileges as well as file access. Authenticating users in FileMaker 18 The main Manage Security dialog box displays a list of all the system’s accounts. This list is filtered, by default, by accounts authenticated via FileMaker File or External Server. This is shown above the list and can be changed to filter by one of the OAuth providers (Amazon, Google, or Microsoft Azure AD). From this list, a user with a [Full Access] privilege set is able to work with an account list filtered by priority, active/inactive, type, name or privilege set. Simple changes, such as changing the active status or assigning a privilege set, can be done directly inside the list. The new Manage Security dialog box allows you to see whether the selected authentication type is supported on the file’s current host. Selecting an item on the list of accounts will display a new menu on the right side of the screen that allows you to manage more details pertaining to the selected account. This menu will allow you to change options like account name and password, require a password change upon next sign in, change a privilege set assignment, open the edit privilege set window or edit the account’s description. At the bottom left corner of the accounts list, you will find the buttons to create a new account, duplicate the access to a file to another user or group or delete the account. An admin is able to create and modify account access in a shared file, even while clients are using it. The changes made will take effect immediately but do not disrupt any current clients. For example, if you made an account access entry inactive while clients are using it, their usage of the file would not be disrupted, but, once they close the file, they would not be able to reopen. Just as it was in FileMaker Pro Advanced 17, you can grant account access to as many users or groups as needed, and each file will contain two predefined accounts, Admin and Guest. To create a new account, click the New button with the plus sign. It will create a new account with a default name, privilege set and other data for you to modify to your liking. FileMaker clients support multiple types of accounts, and they differ in their authentication processes. The FileMaker file account is the only type of account that defines the account name and password within FileMaker Pro Advanced. All other types use an external identity provider or authentication server to define the account info. The following table summarizes which FileMaker hosts support each account type, where the account info is defined, and whether or not individual accounts are supported. Two key things to remember: Only the FileMaker File account type can be used to open a local file. Microsoft Azure AD is the only supported OAuth identity provided that supports groups. Creating and managing access and privileges in FileMaker 18 The components that were available at the top of the window in a tab control in FileMaker Pro Advanced 17, can now be found by clicking Advanced Settings, shown on the bottom left of the window in the new dialog box. This will open up a new window where you can manage privilege sets, extended privileges and file access. Privilege sets in FileMaker 18 To create a new privilege set, enter the Privilege Sets tab of the Advanced Security Settings window and click the blue New button at the bottom left. To edit an existing privilege set, select the privilege set from the list, and once it is highlighted, click edit. Changes made to a privilege set will update all account access entries in that system that are using that privilege set. Below is a picture of the Edit Privilege Set dialog window, where you will see the available capabilities. Under Data Access and Design, you can see the defined privileges broken up into Records, Layouts, Value Lists and Scripts. At the bottom of each of those categories, you will be able to select “Custom Privileges…”, which will allow you to restrict access to individual tables, layouts, value lists and scripts. Extended privileges in FileMaker 18 Extended privileges determine the data sharing options that are permitted by a privilege set for a file. In previous versions of FileMaker Pro Advanced, only accounts with a [Full Access] privilege set could manage accounts. In FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced, you can grant accounts with privilege sets other than [Full Access] to manage extended privilege sets, but it is required that the file is opened with an account that is assigned the extended privilege: Manage extended privileges. You will now be able to grant users the ability to create and delete access to a file and even assign existing privilege sets without allowing them to modify groups or users that have the [Full Access] privilege set or create or edit privilege sets. To create an extended privilege, open the Extended Privileges tab of the Advanced Security Settings dialog box. Click New, at the bottom left, and you will see the following window: The field for description is optional, but a keyword to your desired Extended Privilege is required. Select a Privilege Set or multiple sets, inside the access box, to add that privilege to the set(s). It is important to note that all extended privileges (except fmreauthenticate10) are disabled by default, even in the [Full Access] privilege set. File access in FileMaker 18 The last tab in the Advanced Security Settings dialog box is the File Access tab. This tab allows you to control whether other FileMaker Pro Advanced files are permitted to access the database schema in a file (layouts, tables, scripts, value lists). When protection is enabled, any use of the protected file will require authentication. So, in multifile solutions, you will need to authorize all of the files. Turning on protection is important because it prevents users from having the ability to create another file that uses tables of the original file but does not implement the same logic. This alternative file could bypass your logic, even though record level access would still be enforced. Along with that, turning on protection also prevents files that are not authorized from opening a protected file using the Open File script step. It is important to recognize that protecting a file and authorizing other files to access it is different from protecting a file’s record data. To protect the file against unwanted access from other files, select Require full access privileges to use references to this file. If any files that reference the protected file are currently open, you will see an alert for each file, asking if you want to authorize the file. To remove authorization for a file, select the file for which you want to remove authorization, then click Deauthorize. Unsigned plugins in FileMaker 18 Another security feature that comes new with the arrival of FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced is the unsigned plug-in notification. This means FileMaker Pro Advanced will notify you when a plug-in has not been digitally signed by its developer. If a plug-in is enabled, FileMaker will attempt to load it at two times, directly after when it’s installed, as well as whenever FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced starts. If the enabled plug-in is missing the digital signature of the developer, FileMaker will notify you, warning you that the plug-in has been modified since the developer created it. Once you see this notification you will have three choices: Ignore the warnings, and select Always load this plug-in. If you select this option FileMaker will load the plug-in, then add it to the list of permitted plug-ins. Once this is done, you will not receive any more notifications about the missing digital signature. If you would like to load the plug in, but not put it on the enabled plug-ins list, select Load Plug-in. Since the plug-in will not make it to the permitted plug-in list, you will continue to receive notifications about the missing signature. If you are unsure why the plug-in is missing a signature, click Cancel and either search for a version of the plug-in that includes the signature, or contact the developer. Noteworthy changes in FileMaker 18 Another FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced changed to keep in mind during development is the option to require the Full Access privilege set to use references to a file is now enabled by default on all new files. The option is unchanged in existing files. Lastly, there is a set of new functions that will change the way developers can implement security practices. These functions are for digitally signing data and will allow you to digitally sign data and verify signatures of signed data with cryptographic keys. There are two functions that serve this purpose, CryptGenerateSignature, and CryptVerifySignature, these will be covered in a future blog covering all the new functions in FileMaker Pro 18 Advanced. With these new tools, and the tools carried over from previous versions, developers should feel confident in their ability to protect their custom applications. Afficher la totalité du billet
  15. The new features added to the import file dialogue means a HUGE quality of life improvement for both developers and users. The overall changes are geared towards one thing—clarity. FileMaker really knocked it out of the park on this one. So, let’s take a look at the new features. Import type Clarity has been improved in terms of what method of import is being done. This includes small examples explaining what they mean for add, update or replace. This is a fantastic addition for new users of FileMaker. Selecting field names I’ve received spreadsheets before where the names of the fields aren’t always the first record. This new dropdown will let you choose which record to use as the field names when importing instead of just the first one. You no longer need to pre-process your data for import just to identify the fields being brought over. Search fields to target My personal favorite of the additions: no more dragging a target field to match up with an import field! Clicking a target field will bring up a new popover. Then, all you have to do is simply type into the provided search field and it filters the list of fields to select from. Thank you, FileMaker! This menu also has indicators for if a field is already a target field for the import (noted by the green bubble with an arrow), as well as a plainly labeled folder of fields titled “NOT FOR IMPORTING” that can’t be targeted during an import (calculation fields). Specify individual auto-enter fields With FileMaker 18, you can set which fields will have their auto-enter options triggered during the import. Sometimes you may want to preserve certain fields, like a modification timestamp from an old FileMaker file, but generate an ID or something, like a full name field. Now, just by deselecting the modification timestamp field we can ensure that pre-existing data isn’t overwritten. Specify custom field delimiter Occasionally you may come across some data that isn’t broken up by a traditional delimiter, like commas or tabs. This allows you to enter the character that is delimiting fields in the source file so FileMaker can properly parse the records for import. Take a look at this example… Here, I replaced the commas in a .csv file with the section (§) symbol. Before specifying the symbol as our delimiter, FileMaker only sees each record as a single field. After specifying it, FileMaker now shows each separate field as a source for import. Overall, these changes will make it even easier to get data from your disparate sources into the app built for your business. It’s these kinds of features that really set FileMaker apart as the premier Workplace Innovation Platform. Happy FileMaking folks! Afficher la totalité du billet
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