Using AppleScript to Automate Business Workflows

I was surprised recently to see an announcement about an updated version of the ebook FileMaker Pro Scripting Book with AppleScript (English Edition) and also pleased that others are still using the combination of FileMaker Pro and AppleScript to automated tasks using software that has been around for several decades.

AppleScript is the scripting language created by Apple that lets you directly control Mac apps using instructions written in an English-like scripting language. It was first introduced in 1993 when System 7 was the current macOS operating system. In 1995 Claris (still in its first incarnation under the Claris brand name) released FileMaker Pro v3 which included the Perform AppleScript script step which allowed you to call AppleScript commands from a running FileMaker script.

I’ve drifted in and out of AppleScript development over the years but recently turned to it as a way of automating some repetitive tasks as part of the process of releasing updates to our suite of FileMaker integration solutions. Every time we release an update to a product we have to perform a number of steps which include:

  • making a copy of the master development files
  • opening the new copy and performing a FileMaker script to clear out any test data
  • setting the File Options to use a default login
  • create a .zip file of the new version
  • upload the .zip to our online store via FTP

We also release an updated trial version at the same time which includes the above steps but also some additional steps that involve the FileMaker Pro Developer Utilities to remove admin access to the files.

We were performing each of these tasks manually and sometimes we would get distracted and forget to perform a step or perform the steps in the wrong order and then have to start all over again. The process was very much prone to human error. I wrote last year about how you should Automate What You Hate and this was definitely something I avoided and did not enjoy. After thinking about how I could automate all or parts of this process I knew AppleScript would be the most likely candidate.

For a few months in my spare time I had been developing a FileMaker solution to manage these tasks and automate them but hit a brick wall when I realised that my FileMaker Script, which was using the Perform AppleScript script step, couldn’t call FileMaker scripts as part of the AppleScript whilst the FileMaker script was running. It would generate this error:

"FileMaker Pro 19 got an error: No user interaction allowed." number -1713

After several failed attempts to work around this I abandoned the FileMaker solution and resorted to using AppleScript directly and just running the script manually using the Script Editor application which has worked a treat. I use Panic’s Transmit for handing the FTP upload and that has great support for AppleScript. My AppleScript skills were a bit rusty but thanks to Google and a bit of trial and error I was able to get a working script in a matter of hours.

The process now involves a simple double click to run the script and within seconds the AppleScript performs a series of commands using the macOS Finder, FileMaker Pro and Transmit that is free of any human errors. It now makes releasing updates to our products an enjoyable experience and something we are now likely to do more frequently rather than putting this off.

If you’re using Macs in your business and finding yourself manually performing a series of tasks multiple times it is worth investigating whether this can be scripted using AppleScript. It might not be as exiting as modern API integrations but this venerable piece of technology can still help businesses automate repetitive manual tasks that are prone to human error as we have been recently reminded.

Databuzz 2020 End of Year Sale – Last 2 Days

Just a reminder that our End of Year Sale ends in 48 hours. We only have one sale each year and you can save 20% on all Product Licenses until December 31, 2020 (AEDT), including:

Use the coupon XMAS2020 at checkout on any purchase and the 20% discount will be applied to your order. The sale runs until the end of the day on December 31, 2020 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time). Click here to start shopping. fmSMS licenses can be purchased from the fmSMS website.

Free trial versions are available for all of our products – please contact us to request a trial version.

All our prices are in Australian dollars – if you’re purchasing from outside of Australia you’ll also get to take advantage of the low Australian dollar (1 Australian Dollar equals approximately 0.74 US Dollars).

Databuzz 2020 End of Year Xmas Sale – 20% Off All Licenses

The Databuzz End of Year Xmas Sale is now on – all Product Licenses are now 20% off, including:

Use the coupon XMAS2020 at checkout on any purchase and the 20% discount will be applied to your order. The sale runs until the end of the day on December 31, 2020 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time). Click here to start shopping. fmSMS licenses can be purchased from the fmSMS website.

Free trial versions are available for all of our products – please contact us to request a trial version.

All our prices are in Australian dollars – if you’re purchasing from outside of Australia you’ll also get to take advantage of the low Australian dollar (1 Australian Dollar equals approximately 0.74 US Dollars).

New Databuzz Support Site Now Live

We’re pleased to announce that our new support portal is now live and available at:

https://support.databuzz.com.au

You can also access this via any of the Support options in the navigation menus.

Our new support site allows you to more easily search our support content and also allows us to link to individual answers and videos. We’ve been busy converting all our FAQ content and videos for all our individual Products to the new site and will continue to add more content over the coming months.

You can also use the Contact option on the support site to send a support request with attachments directly from our website. If you have any suggestions about how we can further improve our support site/services please get in touch or leave a comment below.

Databuzz releases fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) v2 – Integrate FileMaker and Xero Cloud Accounting

Sydney, Australia – April 8, 2020 – Databuzz today announced fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) v2, a major update to their FileMaker solution that integrates with the Xero Accounting Software.

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) v2 now runs natively on the FileMaker 16 or higher platforms, including FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go and FileMaker Server without requiring a FileMaker plug-in. 

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) allows you to upload and download data between your FileMaker solution and Xero, the easy to use online accounting software that’s designed specifically for small businesses. fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) removes double data entry and human errors saving your company significant time, money and hassle by automating the exchange of data between FileMaker and Xero.

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) is completely unlocked allowing you to integrate it into your FileMaker solution. You can copy and paste examples showing you how to authenticate with the Xero API and upload Contacts, Invoices, Bills, Payments, Purchase Orders and more at the click of a button.

What’s New in v2

  • rewritten to use native FileMaker functions and script steps 
  • runs natively on FileMaker v16 or later and no longer requires a FileMaker plug-in 
  • faster downloads and uploads between FileMaker and the Xero API
  • updated to work with the OAuth 2.0 authentication flow 
  • supports FileMaker WebDirect and FileMaker Go clients

“fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) now runs natively on the FileMaker Platform and is even easier to integrate,” said Andrew Duncan, CEO of Databuzz. “We’ve seen improvements of up to 35% when running the native scripts and functions compared with the plug-in versions.”

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) features include:

  • works with FileMaker Pro v16 or later
  • completely unlocked
  • can be hosted by FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Server or FileMaker Cloud
  • works with Macintosh and Windows
  • includes support for FileMaker Server scheduled scripts and Perform Script on Server
  • supports multiple Xero Organisations
  • includes examples for both the main Accounting API and the Payroll API

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) includes examples for over 20 Xero API endpoints including:

  • Organisations: authenticate multiple Xero Organisations
  • Contacts: download and upload Contacts
  • Invoices: download and upload Invoices
  • Bills: download and upload Bills (including Bill line items)
  • Products (Items): download and upload Products
  • Purchase Orders: download and upload Purchase Orders
  • Payments: download and upload Payments against an Invoice 
  • Employees: download and upload Employees
  • Timesheets: download and upload Timesheets to Xero
  • Account Codes: download and upload Account Codes from Xero
  • Tax Rates: download and upload Tax Rates from Xero
  • Bank Transactions: download and upload BankTransactions from Xero
  • Tracking Categories: download and upload Tracking Categories from Xero
  • Manual Journals: download and upload Manual Journals

Availability, Pricing, and Compatibility

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) v2 is available in a number of licenses: Company, Vertical Solution and Developer. It is available now from the Databuzz website at https://www.databuzz.com.au. Company Licenses start at AUD $695.00. fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) v2 requires FileMaker Pro v16 or later.

Upgrade Information

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) v2 is a free upgrade for owners of fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) v1 who purchased a license on or after December 01, 2019. All other owners of fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) v1 can upgrade for 50% off the current price – discount coupons will be sent directly to existing customers. Please contact Databuzz if you have not received your coupon.

Media/Customer Contact:

Andrew Duncan

Phone: +61 418 468 103

sales@databuzz.com.au

https://www.databuzz.com.au

About Databuzz: Databuzz is a Claris Partner and long-standing member of the FileMaker Business Alliance and a Xero Approved Developer. We have been developing and deploying FileMaker solutions for clients in Australia and internationally since 1999. Our clients are individuals, small-medium businesses, government agencies and multi-national corporations. Databuzz was founded by Andrew Duncan, a Certified FileMaker 18 Developer. For more information please visit our website at https://www.databuzz.com.au.

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FileMaker is a trademark of FileMaker, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Databuzz 2019 End of Year Xmas Sale – 20% Off All Licenses

The Databuzz End of Year Xmas Sale is now on – all Product Licenses are now 20% off, including:

Use the coupon XMAS2019 at checkout on any purchase and the 20% discount will be applied to your order. The sale runs until the end of the day on December 31, 2019 (Australian Eastern Daylight Time). Click here to start shopping. fmSMS licenses can be purchased from the fmSMS website.

Free trial versions are available for all of our products – please contact us to request a trial version.

All our prices are in Australian dollars – if you’re purchasing from outside of Australia you’ll also get to take advantage of the low Australian dollar (1 Australian Dollar equals approximately 0.69 US Dollars).

Claris APAC DevCon 2019

The Claris APAC DevCon for 2019 is on in two weeks at the International Convention Centre in Sydney from 30-31 October. We’re excited to announce that Databuzz will be a conference sponsor this year and I will also be giving a talk on Webhooks and FileMaker.

The APAC DevCon is the largest FileMaker gathering in Asia Pacific and Claris have put together a great program with speakers from all around the world, including new Claris CEO Brad Freitag who will kick off 2019 APAC DevCon with an update of the Claris Business. There will also be a session covering Claris Connect that was recently announced at the US FileMaker DevCon which will be very popular.

You can view the full program and register at the APAC DevCon website – the cost for is only AUD $199 which includes 2 full days of sessions, morning/afternoon tea and catered lunch.

You can catch the Databuzz Vendor Session on Day One at 4pm and my talk on Webhooks – The ABC of Webhooks – is on Day Two at 2.15pm.

If you’re coming to the conference please stop by and say hello. We’d love to demonstrate how you can send and receive SMS/TXT messages using the FileMaker platform and integrate with Xero, WooCommerce, Shopify, DocuSign and more.

FileMaker 18 Certified Developer

Databuzz is pleased to announce that Andrew Duncan recently passed the Developer Essentials for FileMaker 18 Certification Exam and is now FileMaker Certified in v8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18. FileMaker 18 Certification is the official credential offered by FileMaker, Inc.

FileMaker Certification is your validation that you are hiring an experienced FileMaker professional who has technical knowledge of the complete FileMaker product line and has passed the “Developer Essentials for FileMaker” certification exam. Being a certified developer demonstrates to clients, peers and management that you’ve achieved an essential level of knowledge, experience and skills in developing on the FileMaker Platform.

Databuzz releases fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) – Integrate FileMaker Pro and DocuSign

Sydney, Australia – June 04, 2019 – Databuzz today announced fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition), a FileMaker solution that integrates with the DocuSign eSignature platform.

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) is a FileMaker solution that integrates between FileMaker Pro and DocuSign. DocuSign is one of the most popular electronic signature platforms and helps organisations connect and automate how they prepare, sign, act-on, and manage agreements and allows users to sign electronically on practically any device, from almost anywhere, at any time.

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) allows you to quickly send electronic signature requests and download the signed version of the document into FileMaker at the click of a button. fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) is completely unlocked allowing you to integrate it into your existing FileMaker solutions. You can copy and paste examples showing you how to authenticate with the DocuSign API and send signing requests and more at the click of a button.

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) features include:

  • works with FileMaker Pro 16 or later
  • uses all native FileMaker scripts and functions (no plug-ins required)
  • completely unlocked for you to integrate into your own FileMaker solution
  • can be hosted by FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server
  • works with Macintosh and Windows

“Many of our customers use the FileMaker Platform to run their business and DocuSign for electronic document signing,” said Andrew Duncan, CEO of Databuzz. “With fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) you can send document signing requests and downloaded completed documents from DocuSign at the click of a button, without having to give users direct access to your DocuSign account.”

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) includes examples for the following DocuSign features:

  • Send Document Signing Requests: you can use fmESignature Link to send documents that are generated dynamically from a FileMaker layout, from a PDF file stored in a FileMaker container field, or using a DocuSign Template (including support for multiple recipients and roles)
  • Check Status: check the Status of Sent Requests at the click of a button
  • Download Completed/Signed PDFs: download the completed PDF file into FileMaker at the click of a button
  • Download Form Data: download any associated Form Data back into FileMaker at the click of a button
  • Support for Webhooks: have completed PDFs pushed automatically to FileMaker within seconds of being completed (requires FileMaker Server and PHP Custom Web Publishing)
  • Support for FileMaker Server Schedules: setup schedules to poll DocuSign every 20 minutes for any new completed agreements (requires FileMaker Server and PHP Custom Web Publishing)
  • Testing Sandbox support: dynamically switch between the DocuSign Sandbox test environment and the live production environment. You can perform all required tests in the free Sandbox account before switching to your live production account

 Availability, Pricing, and Compatibility

fmESignature Link is available in a number of licenses: Company, Product (Vertical Solution) and Developer. It is available now from the Databuzz website at https://www.databuzz.com.au/fmesignature-link-docusign-edition/. Company Licenses start at AUD $795.00. fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) requires FileMaker Pro v16 or later and a DocuSign account with API access.

Media/Customer Contact:

Andrew Duncan

Phone: +61 418 468 103

sales@databuzz.com.au

AboutDatabuzz: Databuzz is a long-standing member of the FileMaker Business Alliance. We have been developing and deploying FileMaker solutions for clients in Australia and internationally since 1999. Our clients are individuals, small-medium businesses, government agencies and multi-national corporations. Databuzz was founded by Andrew Duncan, a Certified FileMaker 17 Developer. For more information please visit our website at https://www.databuzz.com.au.

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FileMaker is a trademark of FileMaker, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Coming Soon – fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition)

For a number of years we’ve been helping customers automate the management of electronic document signing requests using the DocuSign platform, one of the most popular electronic signature platforms. Managing the workflow around the sending of documents to be signed (contracts, quotes, real estate tenancy agreements etc) can be challenging when you’re using an associated FileMaker custom business application to run your business. You end up performing double data entry and updating multiple systems and inevitably something gets missed and one system is now out-of-date.

We’ve previously written about the benefits of integrating your FileMaker solution with DocuSign so you can manage the document signing process in one central place from start to finish. The new workflow could then look like this:

We’ve taken everything we’ve learned over the past few years helping customers manage their document signing workflow in FileMaker (saving them time and money) and turned this into a new product called fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) which we will be launching very soon.

The main features of fmESignature Link include:

  • Send Document Signing Requests: you can use fmESignature Link to send documents that are generated dynamically from a FileMaker layout, from a PDF file stored in a FileMaker container field, or using a DocuSign Template (including support for multiple recipients and roles)
  • Check the Status of Sent Requests
  • Download Completed/Signed PDFs into FileMaker at the click of a button
  • Download any associated Form Data back into FileMaker at the click of a button
  • Support for Webhooks: have completed PDFs pushed automatically to FileMaker within seconds of being completed (requires FileMaker Server and PHP Custom Web Publishing)
  • Support for FileMaker Server Schedules to poll DocuSign every 20 minutes for any new completed agreements (requires FileMaker Server and PHP Custom Web Publishing)
  • dynamically switch between the DocuSign Sandbox test environment and the live production environment

fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) uses all native FileMaker scripts and functions (no plug-ins required) and requires FileMaker Pro 16 or later. Like our other products it will be 100% unlocked for you to integrate into your own FileMaker solution.

We’ve put together a short preview video showing fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) in action sending a signing request to a contact and then downloading the completed PDF back into FileMaker at the click of a button. You can watch this below or via this link on YouTube:

If you would like to be notified when fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) is release please subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.