Downloading the Xero/MYOB Invoice PDF

Whether you’re using Xero or MYOB AccountRight for your business accounting software there are times when you would prefer to send your customer the Invoice that Xero and MYOB generate natively. For example if you have added an online Payment option to your Xero Organisation you might prefer to send the customer the Xero generated Invoice with the “View and pay online now” link in the PDF for customers to click and pay online with a credit card. Similarly if you’re using MYOB AccountRight you might to send your customer the invoice using one of the MYOB M-Powered layout forms.

For our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution we’ve already given users the ability to:

  • get the Online URL for an Invoice and include that in an email etc that they send to clients so they can choose the “View and pay online now” option
  • download the Xero Invoice PDF into a FileMaker container field and then save that to the desktop etc or include that in an email to the customer in place of a FileMaker layout based Invoice

We’ve been working on creating a similar feature for our fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) solution and it will be included in the next update. Like the Xero solution it will allow users to click a button to download the MYOB PDF invoice into a FileMaker container field and then save that to the desktop or include that in an email to the customer. We currently have the ability to download all the Form Templates setup in your MYOB Company File:

and then specify the Printed Form for each Customer in the fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) file:

 

This is then used as the default when you request the MYOB Invoice PDF, however you can specify a different form template to be used by passing a parameter with the request for the Invoice PDF. Here’s a quick video that demonstrates creating an Invoice and then requesting the PDF from MYOB:

fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) Updates

We’ve been busy in 2017 with updates to fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) – we’ve just released the 7th update this year. The latest update is mainly focussed on adding the ability to create and update records for some of the endpoints that you don’t frequently interact with, including:

  • Tax Rates
  • Attributes
  • Terms
  • Tax Classes
  • Product Tags
  • Product Categories
  • Shipping Classes

We already had examples for downloading from these endpoints but we now have examples for downloading an individual record as well as pushing up new and updated records from FileMaker to WooCommerce. We wanted to get these updates completed before WooCommerce 2.7 is released and fill in some of the missing gaps in the fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) file. We’ve also added the ability to update the Status of an Order from FileMaker.

Once again this is a free update to all our existing customers – you can get the full details of the changes in the release notes for fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition).

Follow Databuzz on Facebook

For all Facebook users out there you can now follow Databuzz on Facebook via this link:

https://www.facebook.com/databuzz.au/

We don’t have much content at the moment but we will be adding new content and updates over the coming weeks.

Voice Calling with FileMaker

Since we released v1 of fmSMS many years ago we’ve been approached by customers from all around the world to work on integrations between FileMaker and other APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). Customers love using FileMaker to send and receive SMS/TXT messages, but they have also asked us to help them send faxes, MMS/Picture messages and to make outgoing voice calls from their FileMaker solution.

We’ve done a number of voice call integrations with FileMaker over the years – having FileMaker initiate a series of outgoing voice calls can be useful in a number of situations, including:

  • Alerts: you might not have mobile phone numbers for all your contacts/customers, but if you have a phone number you can call that number to provide an update to important events (e.g. school closures due to snow days)
  • Election Campaigns: we’ve helped one customer initiate a series of campaign calls to voters about upcoming elections (you may well have been on the receiving end of one of these)
  • Appointment Reminders: we helped one customer move away from having administration staff manually phone each customer about their upcoming appointments and having FileMaker generate these calls, saving them 1-2 hours of staff time each day

The process for generating a voice calling campaign works as follows:

  1. you’ll need to sign up for an account with one of the voice calling providers such as Twilio that handle the voice calling
  2. if you wish to have a dynamically generated message that references data from your FileMaker solution (e.g. to have the voice call say “Hello Andrew” instead of just “Hello”) you’ll need a process on your FileMaker Server than can generate the dynamic message for each contact to be called. We use the FileMaker API for PHP to generate these. If you don’t need a dynamic message you could simply hard code the message so it is the same for all recipients of the voice call
  3. a FileMaker script that is initiated either by a user or FileMaker Server that finds a group of records, then loops through each record and makes a request to the voice calling provider to generate a new outgoing call to that contact
  4. if you wish to be notified of the result of each call you can setup a webhook on your server to be notified by the voice calling provider each time a call is made with the result (engaged, answered etc) and the duration of the call

We’ve put together a simple demonstration video showing this in action – you can watch the video inline below or directly on YouTube:

 

If you would like to discuss integrating voice calling into your FileMaker solution please get in touch.

Getting Ready for WooCommerce 2.7

WooCommerce 2.7 is getting close to final candidate release – this promises to be a major release with lots of structural changes designed to improve performance. There will also be a number of changes to the WooCommerce REST API that our fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) FileMaker solution integrates with.

You can read about all the changes in WooCommerce 2.7 on the WooCommerce blog – at this stage it looks like they will introduce a v2 of the REST API and keep the current v1 functionality so products like fmEcommerce Link will continue to work. We’ve reported a number of bugs with v1 of the REST API which will be fixed in the v2 API – we’ll keep monitoring the status of the changes to the REST API and incorporate the changes in the v2 API in a free update to fmEcommerce Link for all our existing customers.

There will be a number of changes to the REST API endpoints with the WooCommerce 2.7 release so we’ll need to make some associated changes and do a lot of testing to make sure all the existing functionality continues to work. Most of the changes related to Products and Variations which are the most complex endpoints to integrate with, so we’re looking forward to a more simplified way of creating and updating Product Variations.

The updated version of fmEcommerce Link will then only support WooCommerce 2.7 or later going forward (v2 of the REST API) – we’ll let everyone know when the new version is available once we’ve completed our development and testing.

Mapping our Customers

Databuzz might be based in Sydney, Australia but thanks to the wonder of the Internet we have customers all around the world. Managing a diverse customer base can be a challenge at times and we’ve become experts at time zone differences and knowing when is the best time to schedule a demo for customers in Europe or North America.

We love meeting up with our customers face-to-face at the FileMaker Developer Conference every year – it’s usually the only chance we get to meet our non Australian customers in person. Every 12 months or so I like to generate a simple Google Map showing where our customers are located for our various products – it’s quite pleasing to see the pins grow every year and new locations added to the map.

Our FileMaker Xero integration solution fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) is now into it’s fourth year of development and in that time the number of Xero subscribers has grown exponentially. Xero is now reporting a total customer base of over 862,000 subscribers (up from 284,000 in 2014) and is on track to hit the magic million mark some time in 2017. It’s four main markets remain the same:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • UK
  • North America

but it is now seeing growth in new markets such as South Africa, Hong Kong and Singapore. Australia remains the largest Xero market for now, but we can expect to see North America become the largest market over time. Here’s a map showing where fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) customers are located:

As you can see it also reflects the main Xero markets – we’re starting to see more enquiries from Canada, Asia as well as Africa, so hopefully next time we generate this map there will be some red pins in some new countries as Xero grows in other parts of the world.

fmSMS, our oldest product is a truly international product and was designed from day one to work in as many countries around the world as possible – using fmSMS you can send and receive SMS messages via one of over 75 supported SMS Gateways reaching over 860 mobile networks in more than 220 countries. We continue to add additional SMS Gateways each year and now have customers spread out all over the world – here’s a map showing their locations:

We often speak to FileMaker customers who are considering purchasing one of our products from outside of Australia and are slightly concerned that they will be the only customer from their country and will have trouble getting support. We pride ourselves and providing the same great customer service to all our customers regardless of where they are located – and as these maps demonstrate there’s a good chance you’re not our first customer from your part of the world.

fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) Now Supports Jobs

We’ve just finished an update to fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) which now includes examples for working with Jobs, one of the most requested features from our customers. fmAccounting Link shows you how you can use FileMaker to:

  • download Jobs from MYOB to FileMaker (all Jobs or filtered by Start Date)
  • create Jobs in FileMaker and upload them to MYOB
  • update a single Job from MYOB
  • enter a Job against an Invoice Line Item or a General Journal Item
  • download a Job Budget from MYOB to FileMaker and send an updated version back to MYOB

This is a free update for all existing customers. You can view the full release notes on our version history page. If there are other features you would like to see in the core fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) file please get in touch and let us know.

New fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) Videos

We’ve just uploaded a couple of new videos demonstrating how you can work with Prepayments and Overpayments using fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition). In each video we cover:

  • creating a new Prepayment and Overpayment from a Customer
  • allocating the Prepayment/Overpayment to an Invoice
  • refunding the balance of the Prepayment/Overpayment

You can watch these videos on the Videos page or here are the direct links:

Prepayments in fmAccounting Link

Overpayments in fmAccounting Link

fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) Update

We’ve just released our first update to fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) for 2017 – this release provides an alternative method for handling authentication for some servers that may not parse the Authorization header correctly, as well as making the process of working with Product Variations much easier.

The WooCommerce REST API docs mention that some servers may not parse the Authorization header correctly – we’ve never encountered this during the testing and development of fmEcommerce Link but recently a customer contacted us after having trouble getting started with fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition). Upon further investigation we noticed that were receiving the same error each time they attempted to download data from WooCommerce:

{
 "code": "woocommerce_rest_cannot_view", 
 "data": {
 "status": 401
 }, 
 "message": "Sorry, you cannot list resources."
}

After many hours of frustration we stumbled across the suggestion to switch from using HTTP Basic Auth and implemented a change to test this and had immediate success. We’ve decided to add a toggle that users can switch on/off in case anyone else in the future encounters this issue:

We’ve also made it easier to download, update, create and view Product Variations in the fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) file:

and also show which variations were selected when viewing an Order:

This is a free update to all our existing customers – we have a number of items on the list to add, including Refunds (create a Refund in FileMaker and upload to WooCommerce) and download Reviews. If there’s any examples that we don’t currently have that you would like to see please get in touch and let us know.

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) – Prepayments Update

Our first update to fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) for 2017 is now out the door – this release includes a number of minor enhancements as well as a new endpoint example: Prepayments. We’ve had a number of requests for Prepayments so we’re happy to release this free update to all our existing customers.

The fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) file has examples for:

  • downloading Prepayments from Xero (all Prepayments or between 2 dates)
  • creating a Prepayment in FileMaker and pushing to Xero
  • allocating Invoices to a Prepayment in FileMaker and pushing to Xero
  • creating a Refund for a Prepayment in FileMaker and pushing to Xero

Further details on fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) including the full list of examples are available on the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) product page. If there’s any examples that we don’t currently have that you would like to see please get in touch and let us know – we’re already working on the next round of enhancements and examples based on customer feedback.