FileMaker Cloud Now Available in Australia and Japan

FileMaker Inc. today announced that FileMaker Cloud, their cloud-based platform for managing and running custom apps, now supports the Japan and Australia Amazon Web Services (AWS) regions. With FileMaker Cloud you don’t have to spend time and resources deploying and maintaining a server – there are no up-front costs and you can be up and running in around 20 minutes.

FileMaker Cloud now supports 7 AWS regions including:

  • Sydney
  • Tokyo
  • Canada
  • US West
  • US East
  • Ireland
  • Frankfurt

Today’s update also includes the ability to renew the 90-day trial Comodo SSL certificates through the FileMaker Store for 1, 2 and 3-year terms, using the initial host name and the filemaker-cloud.com domain. We recently wrote about our experiences with FileMaker Cloud and some differences between FileMaker Cloud and the traditional FileMaker Server product that you should be aware of.

 

The Benefits of eCommerce Integration with your FileMaker CRM

 

In Australia and other parts of the world this week marks the start of a new financial year, which is a great time to review your business processes and eliminate any inefficiencies that is costing your business time and money.

One of the most common businesses processes we see in many small- medium sized businesses is the double data entry of orders from online eCommerce systems into the FileMaker custom business application (and sometimes once more into the Accounting software). We work with many small businesses that have an online presence, selling products and services using online platforms such as WooCommerce and Shopify. Many of them are unaware they it is possible to automate the exchange of data between eCommerce systems and FileMaker using APIs (an API is an Application Programming Interface that a company makes available to other software developers to allow you to get your software – FileMaker in this case – talking to their software).

If you’re using FileMaker as your CRM (Customer relationship management) application to track your customers, sales, invoices and payments there are a number of advantages of integrating it with your eCommerce software, including:

  • no more double data entry in FileMaker. The order and customer details have already been entered by the customer in the eCommerce system – with the click of a button the order details can be downloaded to your FileMaker custom application in a few seconds
  • no more double data entry of Product details in your eCommerce system. If you’re using your FileMaker application as the central repository of product data you can push/upload data from FileMaker to your eCommerce system (including images) at the click of a button
  • less errors between your eCommerce system and your FileMaker custom application. Being able to download and upload data between your eCommerce system and your FileMaker application means there is less likelihood of data entry errors between the 2 systems
  • free up staff time for more productive work. Rather than having staff spend countless hours each week doing double data entry they can be freed up for more productive (and enjoyable) work, such as following up on sales leads, customer service, marketing etc.
  • it also allows staff to upload and download data to the eCommerce software without giving them direct access to the eCommerce software

We’ve helped customers save between 1-2 hours of time each day for staff that were previously manually entering online orders into their FileMaker application. Now they download all the orders in the morning for the previous day and the whole process takes under a minute. We’ve even helped some customers use the power of Webhooks to have new orders pushed directly to their FileMaker Server so they don’t have to download any new orders – they instantly appear seconds after being placed online.

If you would like to discuss integrating your FileMaker solution with your eCommerce system please contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss your requirements. We also have a number of products which allow you or your in-house/external FileMaker developer to do the integration yourself with the WooCommerce and Shopify eCommerce platforms:

Databuzz releases fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) – Integrate FileMaker Pro and Shopify

Sydney, Australia – June 13, 2017 – Databuzz today announced fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition), a FileMaker solution that integrates with the Shopify eCommerce platform.

fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) allows you to upload and download data between your FileMaker solution and Shopify, the leading cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Shopify currently powers hundreds of thousands of businesses in approximately 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as Tesla, Nestle, GE, Red Bull, Kylie Cosmetics, and many more.

fmEcommerce Link (Shopify 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 Shopify. fmEcommerce Link (Shopify 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 Shopify API and download Customers, Orders, Products, Collections and more at the click of a button.

fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) features include:

  • works with FileMaker Pro v12, v13, v14, v15 and v16
  • works with Macintosh and Windows
  • completely unlocked for you to integrate into your own FileMaker solution
  • can be hosted by FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server

“Many of our customers use FileMaker Pro to run their business and Shopify for their eCommerce platform,” said Andrew Duncan, CEO of Databuzz. “They don’t want to have to manually re-enter Customers and Orders in FileMaker, so we built fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) to streamline their business processes. With fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) you can push and pull data between FileMaker and Shopify at the click of a button.”

fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) includes examples for the following Shopify API endpoints:

  • Customers: download and upload Customers
  • Customers: download and upload Customers
  • Products: download and upload Products (including Options, Variants, Images and Metafields)
  • Orders: download Orders from Shopify (including Order line items)
  • Price Rules: download and upload Price Rules (Discounts)
  • Custom Collections: download and upload Custom Collections
  • Smart Collections: download and upload Smart Collections
  • Shipping Countries: download Shipping Countries from Shopify
  • Locations: download Locations from Shopify

Availability, Pricing, and Compatibility

fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) is available in a number of licenses: Company, Vertical Solution and Developer. It is available now from the Databuzz website at http://www.databuzz.com.au/fmecommerce-link-shopify-edition/. Company Licenses start at AUD $495.00. fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) requires FileMaker Pro v12, v13, v14, v15 or v16.

Media/Customer Contact:

Andrew Duncan

Phone: +61 418 468 103

sales@databuzz.com.au

About Databuzz: 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 15 Developer. For more information please visit our website at http://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.

fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) Now Supports WooCommerce 3.0

Earlier this year we wrote about the upcoming release of WooCommerce 2.7 and how it would be introducing a new version of the REST API (v2) with a number of new API endpoints, particularly for Product Variations. Shortly after our post WooCommerce decided to re-version 2.7 to 3.0 to better reflect the significance of this update and push the release date to the 4th of April, 2017.

Since the release of WooCommerce 3.0 we’ve been busy working on an update to fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) to support the new v2 of the REST API and associated changes. We’re pleased to announce that v1.3 of fmEcommerce Link is now available as a free update for all existing customers (details have been sent via email about how to download this update). As v1 of the REST API has now been deprecated by WooCommerce we’ve decided to create 2 versions of the fmEcommerce Link file, one for each version of the REST API:

  • fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) REST API v1.fmp12
  • fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) REST API v2.fmp12

WooCommerce 3.0 is a major update and WooCommerce recommend that you ensure your store extensions and themes are compatible before upgrading, test on a staging site if you can, and make a backup for peace of mind. Since the 3.0 release on April 4th there have been 7 updates already fixing bugs with both WooCommerce and the REST API.

The major changes in fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) 1.3 include:

  • now supports the WooCommerce REST API v2 only
  • Product Variations are now stored in their own table to match the new Variations endpoint (you can now update Variations independently of their parent Product)
  • added support for additional fields exposed by the v2 API for existing endpoints
  • added new Meta Data tables which are included with most of the API endpoints (Customers, Orders, Products etc)
  • added support for new Payment Gateways endpoint
  • added support for new Shipping Methods endpoint
  • added support for new Shipping Zone Locations endpoint
  • added support for new Shipping Zone Methods endpoint
  • fixed issue when uploading a Product with no Images when Product previously contained images

WooCommerce 3.0 supports both v1 and v2 of the REST API so you can upgrade to WooCommerce 3.0 and continue to use your existing version or integration of fmEcommerce Link and everything will continue to work as it did with WooCommerce 2.6. If you wish to take advantage of the new API endpoints (e.g. the ability to upload Product Variations separately to the parent Product) you will need to switch to the new v2 API and make some changes to your existing scripts etc using the examples from the fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) REST API v2 file. If you are not planning to upgrade to WooCommerce 3.0 in the near future you do not need to make any changes.

All future development we now be focussed on the v2 REST API as that is the version that WooCommerce will continue to develop – we’ll certainly fix any bugs that arise with the v1 REST API. You can get the full details of all the change on the version history page.

FileMaker Pro v16 Compatibility Update

FileMaker Pro v16 was released today and we’re pleased to report that all Databuzz products are compatible with the FileMaker v16 platform. We haven’t encountered any issues with the following products in our testing with FileMaker Pro v16:

fmSMS – we have sent messages from multiple SMS Gateways, checked Account balances and checked the status of sent Messages successfully.

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) – we have been able to authenticate, download from Xero to FileMaker and upload from FileMaker to Xero successfully

fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) – have been able to authenticate, download from WooCommerce to FileMaker and upload from FileMaker to WooCommerce successfully

fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) – we have been able to authenticate, download from AccountRight to FileMaker and upload from FileMaker to AccountRight successfully

fmAccounting Link (MYOB Essentials Edition) – we have been able to authenticate, download from MYOB Essentials to FileMaker and upload from FileMaker to MYOB Essentials successfully

If you encounter any issues with any of our products and FileMaker Pro v16 please let us know. We’ll be writing more articles about some of the new features in the FileMaker v16 platform over the coming weeks – you can subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when they are released or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

fmSMS Now Supports Bandwidth SMS Gateway

fmSMS has been updated to support the Bandwidth SMS Gateway – you can send and receive SMS messages using the Bandwidth SMS Gateway and fmSMS. Bandwidth offer a free trial version so you can use the trial version of fmSMS to test the Bandwidth SMS Gateway.

Bandwidth are based in the USA and can also deliver to international numbers. They offer very competitive pricing  – at the time of writing (April 10, 2017) their prices are in US dollars:

  • $0.35 for the virtual number you use to send messages from
  • $0.005 for every outgoing message
  • all incoming messages are free

You can download a trial version of fmSMS from here – please get in touch if you have any questions about using fmSMS and the Bandwidth SMS Gateway.

fmSMS Chat View

One of our favourite features in fmSMS is the Chat View which we introduced back in July 2015. This shows you the sent and received messages for an individual Contact in a much more graphical interface compared to a traditional FileMaker view using portals. The Chat View is similar to how iChat/Messages works on the Mac and iOS platforms – the messages are displayed in a threaded view so you can see them as a conversation and quickly type a message using the defaults without having to leave the Chat View screen.

Here’s a screenshot showing the classic view of the SMS History for a Contact with 2 portals for the sent and received messages:

When you have multiple sent and received messages it can be quite hard to track the replies to a sent message and follow the conversation. Here’s the Chat View of the same Contact record:

We are colour coding the sent messages in blue and the replies in green to easily distinguish between the outgoing and incoming messages, and all messages are sorted by timestamps so they appear in reverse chronological order. When you have multiple sent/received messages you can easily scroll though the complete history and see all the messages that this Contact has received and all their replies in the one screen.

Here’s a quick video showing the fmSMS Chat View in action to send an appointment reminder and receive the reply back into fmSMS:

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.