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 DevCon 2019 Recap

The 24th annual FileMaker Developer Conference (DevCon) was held this month in Orlando, Florida and there were some big announcements at the conference. Most attendees picked up on the absence of any FileMaker branding around the conference which led to much discussion about what might be coming in the opening keynote.

In his first opening keynote new FileMaker CEO Brad Freitag shared the vision for the FileMaker ecosystem, reiterating previous statements about the Workplace Innovation Platform and the role of problem solvers within that. Back in March when Brad was announced as the new CEO of FileMaker he said:

Last year, we introduced the Workplace Innovation Platform category. We are accelerating our strategy and will continue to invest in our brand to drive this forward, including considering potential acquisitions

The mention of potential acquisitions caught my attention at the time and in his keynote Brad announced that FileMaker had completed its first acquisition: Stamplay, an Italian company based in Rome that created a sophisticated enterprise platform that provides connectors for 150 cloud services. Stamplay is being renamed as Claris Connect and will allow customers to easily build workflows that connect the cloud services that they use every day, including Dropbox, Slack, Salesforce and more.

Brad then discussed the FileMaker brand and the need to improve the brand, whilst keeping FileMaker as a product in the new multi product company. They had been working with a branding specialist to come up with a new name for the company and that process ultimately saw them turn to their previous company name: Claris. Claris International Inc is the new name for the company – the FileMaker name won’t be going away as that will still be the product name under the Claris umbrella alongside Claris Connect (and other possible additions to the product line in the future).

Many of you will remember Claris from the 1980s and 1990s when they were a multi product company before a restructure in 1998 by Apple saw the company renamed to FileMaker, Inc. as they focussed on the FileMaker product line. You can watch Brad’s Opening Keynote on YouTube and read his welcome message on the FileMaker blog where he discusses these changes in more detail and talks about the goals and visions, including growing the Claris community from 50,000 to 150,000 developers in the coming years.

The following day saw the Product Visionary Keynote where we saw demonstrations of future products by the FileMaker product management team – this is also available to watch on YouTube. I would highly recommend taking the time to watch these and digest the changes that are coming to the company and the product line over the next 12 months. As well as the usual preview of new features coming to the FileMaker Platform we now have a new product to be released in 2020 as well (Claris Connect). You can read more about the future of the Claris Platform in this blog article by Srini Gurrapu, VP, Products & Design at Claris and the rebranding of FileMaker to Claris in this article by Ann Monroe, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Customer Success at Claris.

I spent the rest of the conference at the Databuzz booth demonstrating our integration solutions to attendees – our DocuSign, Xero, and eCommerce solutions for WooCommerce and Shopify were particularly popular. We also launched a new version of our oldest product – fmSMS – at the conference which has been updated to run natively on the FileMaker Platform, and support the Data API for message replies and also the Twilio API for WhatsApp. You can get all the details about v4 of fmSMS here.

We were honoured to be finalists in the annual FileMaker Business Alliance Excellence awards in the Product Innovation category and would like to congratulate all the winners.

The final announcement of DevCon 2019 was that next year’s conference will be held in Nashville, Tennessee and will now be called Claris Engage.

I look forward to catching up again next year at Claris Engage from August 3-6, 2020 at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee. FileMaker Claris have posted a short DevCon 2019 Recap Video (see if you can spot me!) as well as their Introducing Claris video. Here’s some photos I took during the conference:

Databuzz to Exhibit at the 2019 FileMaker Developer Conference

The FileMaker Developer Conference (DevCon) is on again this year in Orlando, Florida at the Gaylord Palms Resort from August 5-8, 2019. We’re excited to announce that we will be once again exhibiting at the conference.

This year attendees can choose between a 2-Day and 3-Day conference program, as well as the traditional Training Day on the Monday. The Conference Tracks are organised around Create, Share and Integrate with sessions for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced developers.

We’re looking forward to demonstrating our products to as many of the over 1,300 attendees as possible. As well as demonstrating the following products we will have a few new products by August that we can’t wait to share with the FileMaker Developer community:

  • fmSMS: our award winning 2 way SMS solution for FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, FileMaker WebDirect and FileMaker Server. fmSMS allows you to send an SMS from FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go and FileMaker Server to almost any mobile phone in the world, reaching over 800 networks in more than 200 countries.
  • fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition): our solution that integrates between FileMaker Pro and the Xero Accounting Software. Xero is the market­leading small business cloud accounting software in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and is making great progress in the United States market. fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) lets you upload and download Contacts, Invoices, Payments, Bills, Timesheets and more between FileMaker and Xero.
  • fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition): our solution that integrates between FileMaker and the WooCommerce eCommerce platform. With fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) you can download Orders from WooCommerce and upload Products from FileMaker at the click of a button – no more double data entry!
  • fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition): our solution that integrates between FileMaker and the Shopify eCommerce platform. With fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) you can download Orders from Shopify and upload Products from FileMaker at the click of a button – no more double data entry!
  • fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition): our solution that integrates between FileMaker Pro and the MYOB AccountRight Accounting Software (Australia and New Zealand). MYOB AccountRight runs either in the Cloud or on the Desktop, and fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) allows you to upload Contacts, Invoices, Payments and more at the click of a button.
  • fmAccounting Link (MYOB Essentials Edition): our latest solution that integrates between FileMaker Pro and the MYOB Essentials Accounting Software, the the easy online accounting software from MYOB (Australia and New Zealand). fmAccounting Link (MYOB Essentials Edition) allows you to upload Contacts, Invoices, Payments and more at the click of a button.

Free 14 day trial versions of all our products are available – get in touch if you would like to trial any of our integration solutions.

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 and more.

FileMaker Developer Conference 2018

The FileMaker Developer Conference 2018 starts next week (August 6-9) in Dallas, Texas at the amazing Gaylord Texan Resort. This will be my 14th DevCon and also the first time I’ve been able to fly direct from my hometown of Sydney, Australia to the DevCon city. I’m looking forward to learning about the future directions of the FileMaker platform and catching up with fellow developers from all around the world (I’m definitely not looking forward to spending 15h 25m in economy though).

Databuzz was not able to secure an exhibitors booth this year so please get in touch if you would like to arrange a time to meet to discuss our FileMaker integration products or arrange a demonstration of our Xero, WooCommerce, Shopify, SMS and MYOB solutions.

This year for the very first time you will be able to live stream a special session from DevCon where you will hear members of FileMaker Product Management and Product Development share their insights with you – you can register for the live stream here (it starts at 9:00 am Dallas time which is 12am AEST).

I’ll be sharing some highlights from DevCon alongside other DevCon attendees at the inaugural FileMaker Dev Sydney meeting in September. If you live in Sydney please join the new Meetup group and register for our first meet up.

fmSMS and Emoji Support 😀

At the recent FileMaker Developer Conference I was doing one of my fmSMS demonstrations to an attendee which involved me sending a message from fmSMS to their mobile phone (showing how you can use FileMaker to send SMS messages) and then having them send a reply back to demonstrate how you can use fmSMS to receive incoming messages directly into FileMaker. Normally the reply is a simple text reply of a few words, but this one was a bit different as you can see here:

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I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Emoji reply had made it all the way back from their phone to fmSMS via the SMS Gateway and the PHP page that is used to convert the incoming reply into a FileMaker record without me having to do anything to handle the Unicode characters – it just worked! I decided to do a bit more research into this to see how different SMS Gateways handled Emoji characters as a way of testing their Unicode support (there are now hundreds of Emoji characters encoded in the Unicode standards).

It’s important here to understand the history of SMS – back when the GSM standard was being adopted the mobile phone industry decided on a standard set of characters called GSM 03.38. Support for this character set became mandatory for all GSM handsets and network elements (carriers etc). The GSM character set includes the English alphabet ( A-Z ), numbers (0 – 9) and some special characters, and the size of a single SMS was limited to 160 characters. The 160 character maximum actually comes from the fact that you can encode 160 7-bit characters into 140 bytes – 140 bytes being the limit for the size of a message.

Unicode characters use several GSM characters to describe each Unicode character which means that you won’t be able to send as many characters in your SMS when include Unicode characters. Depending on which special characters you’re sending, you may only be able to send between 35 and 70 characters. To send a message that is longer than the 160 characters/140 bytes limit the message needs to use Concatenation, which involves breaking up the message over multiple SMS messages.

Thankfully most SMS Gateways and mobile phone handsets support concatenation where multiple messages are joined together to form a single message on the handset, even though that single message is greater than 160 characters (or 140 bytes). As each message needs to broken up into individual 140 byte messages the SMS Gateways will charge you for each individual message, even though they appear as a single message to the recipient.

Here’s an example of such a message using the GSM character set which is 312 characters but appears as a single received message on the phone:

long-message

SMS Gateways that handle the encoding of Unicode characters make life easy for us developers – we don’t have to do anything when sending or receiving messages from FileMaker. One such SMS Gateway is Twilio which I used in my tests and was able to handle the Emoji characters with ease – they have a number of articles on their website that go into the details of their support for Unicode. I created an outgoing message in fmSMS with some Emoji characters (FileMaker Pro 7 and later being a fully Unicode aware application):

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and sent the message using a number of different SMS Gateways. Where the SMS Gateway supported Unicode the message appeared exactly as it was sent:

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I tried with some SMS Gateways that don’t have native support for Unicode characters and on the handset here’s what the same message looked like:

no-emoji

I then sent some replies containing Emoji characters back to fmSMS which has a “chat view” that shows all the sent/received messages to an individual contact – here’s our Emoji conversation:

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As you can see the incoming message containing Emoji characters was received successfully using the Twilio SMS Gateway once again.

Unicode support isn’t only important for Emojis – if you need to send accented characters or messages in Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc then you will be thankful for Unicode support as well. Just remember that when sending messages containing Unicode characters the standard 160 character test doesn’t apply – I’m yet to find a way to have a Unicode character check that converts back to the GSM character set in FileMaker so I can accurately count the number of credits required for each message, regardless of whether it contains GMS or Unicode characters). If anyone knows of a way please let me know in the comments below. 😃

FileMaker DevCon 2016 Recap

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The  2016 FileMaker Developer Conference was held at the same location as last year – Las Vegas, Nevada – and the same hotel – The Cosmopolitan – so everything felt very familiar.  I didn’t spend nearly as much time getting lost as I did in 2015. This was my 13th DevCon (out of 21) and the fourth time that Databuzz has exhibited.

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After leaving Australia in the middle of winter and arriving in Las Vegas in the middle of summer the first thing you notice is the heat:

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Most of the time at DevCon is spent indoors (I didn’t venture outside for a few days) so it’s only when you leave the hotel that it hits you and it got progressively hotter as the week went on. The Cosmopolitan has great views of the Las Vegas strip – here’s the view from my hotel balcony:

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After setting up the booth on the Monday I gave a presentation at the annual Custom Web Publishing User Group meeting – this is the 10th straight year that the CWP group has met and it’s always a must attend session for me. Then it was time for the Opening Keynote presented by FileMaker Inc. staff, where attendees get a glimpse at the future product direction for the FileMaker platform:

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The rest of the week was spent at the Databuzz booth in the exhibitors area, talking to developers from all around the world and doing lots of demos of our products. It’s also a chance to catch up with customers in person and put a face to a name that you’ve been emailing for many months.

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As with past years the most interest from attendees at our booth was in fmSMS and we did lots of demos showing how you can use the FileMaker platform to send and receive SMS/TXT messages. Looking at the message logs I can see we sent a lot of messages to attendees from the USA/Canada, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Mongolia and Australia.

This year there was definitely more awareness of the Xero small business accounting platform compared to previous years and it was great showing our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution to developers from all around the world. North America is now Xero’s fastest growing market (the other main markets are Australia, New Zealand and the UK) so we will definitely see more interest in Xero in future years.

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The venue for  DevCon 2017 was announced at the closing session – DevCon is returning to Phoenix, Arizona and the JW Marriott Desert Ridge from July 24 – 26. That will also have a familiar feel to it – it will be the fifth time DevCon has been at this venue. The closing session was also used to announce the winners of the FileMaker Developer Challenge. This year Databuzz and our good friends at Goya donated the monitors that we purchased for the conference to some of the charities involved in the Developer Challenge – Foster Kinship and the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth gratefully accepted these.


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See you in Phoenix in 2017!

Databuzz showcases SMS and Accounting Integration Solutions at 2016 FileMaker Developer Conference

Databuzz will be demonstrating their SMS and Accounting integration solutions at the 2016 FileMaker Developer Conference this week in Las Vegas:

  • fmSMS: our award winning 2 way SMS solution for FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, FileMaker WebDirect and FileMaker Server. fmSMS allows you to send an SMS from FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go and FileMaker Server to almost any mobile phone in the world, reaching over 800 networks in more than 200 countries. You can get more information about fmSMS from the fmSMS website at http://fmsms.com
  • fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition): our solution that integrates between FileMaker Pro and the Xero Accounting Software. Xero is the market-leading small business cloud accounting software in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and is making great progress in the United States market. fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) lets you upload and download Contacts, Invoices, Payments, Bills, Timesheets and more between FileMaker and Xero. You can get more information from the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) product page at http://www.databuzz.com.au/fmaccounting-link-xero-edition/
  • fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition): our solution that integrates between FileMaker Pro and the MYOB AccountRight Accounting Software (Australia and New Zealand). MYOB AccountRight runs either in the Cloud or on the Desktop, and fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) allows you to upload Contacts, Invoices, Payments and more at the click of a button. You can get more information from the fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) product page at http://www.databuzz.com.au/fmaccounting-link-myob-accountright- edition/
  • fmAccounting Link (MYOB Essentials Edition): our latest solution that integrates between FileMaker Pro and the MYOB Essentials Accounting Software, the easy online accounting software from MYOB (Australia and New Zealand). fmAccounting Link (MYOB Essentials Edition) allows you to upload Contacts, Invoices, Payments and more at the click of a button. You can get more information at the fmAccounting Link (MYOB Essentials Edition) product page at http://www.databuzz.com.au/fmaccounting-link-myob-essentials-edition/

    Databuzz will also be offering a DevCon show special for the entire week – all products will be discounted by 10% when you purchase via our online stores at:

    http://www.databuzz.com.au/shop

    http://fmsms.com/shop

Databuzz to Exhibit at the 2016 FileMaker Developer Conference

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The annual FileMaker Developer Conference (DevCon) is only 50 days away and we’re excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at the conference once again. This year’s DevCon (the 21st) will be held in the same location as last year – Las Vegas, Nevada – from July 18-21, 2016.

The Exhibitor Hall will be in the Gracia Ballroom this year, which is the same location where breakfast and lunch are served. This is the same format from previous DevCons so you can grab lunch then spend some time visiting the exhibitor booths.

We’re looking forward to demonstrating our products to attendees – last year set a new attendance record of 1500 attendees from over 18 countries. This year we will be on-hand to demonstrate the following products:

  • fmSMS: our award winning 2 way SMS solution for FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, FileMaker WebDirect and FileMaker Server. fmSMS allows you to send an SMS from FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go and FileMaker Server to almost any mobile phone in the world, reaching over 800 networks in more than 200 countries. You can get more information about fmSMS from the fmSMS website
  • fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition): our solution that integrates between FileMaker Pro and the Xero Accounting Software. Xero is the market­leading small business cloud accounting software in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and is making great progress in the United States market. fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) lets you upload and download Contacts, Invoices, Payments, Bills, Timesheets and more between FileMaker and Xero. You can get more information from the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) product page.
  • fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition): our solution that integrates between FileMaker Pro and the MYOB AccountRight Accounting Software (Australia and New Zealand). MYOB AccountRight runs either in the Cloud or on the Desktop, and fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) allows you to upload Contacts, Invoices, Payments and more at the click of a button. You can get more information from the fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) product page
  • fmAccounting Link (MYOB Essentials Edition): our latest solution that integrates between FileMaker Pro and the MYOB Essentials Accounting Software, the the easy online accounting software from MYOB (Australia and New Zealand). fmAccounting Link (MYOB Essentials Edition) allows you to upload Contacts, Invoices, Payments and more at the click of a button. You can get more information at the fmAccounting Link (MYOB Essentials Edition) product page

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 and MYOB AccountRight/Essentials.. We hope to see as many of you there as possible and look forward to answering your questions about FileMaker, SMS integration and Xero.

FileMaker Developer Conference Show Specials – 10% Off

Databuzz will once again be demonstrating at the annual FileMaker Developer Conference this week in in Las Vegas, Nevada. To celebrate we will be offering a DevCon show special for the entire week – all versions of fmAccounting Link and fmSMS will be discounted by 10%.

The discount will be applied automatically so no need to enter any coupons and it will run from July 20 – July 26, 2015.

You can purchase fmAccounting Link via the Databuzz website and fmSMS from the fmSMS.

If you’re attending the conference please stop by our booth and say hello and we can demonstrate our SMS and Xero integration solutions.

Databuzz releases fmAccounting Link – Integrate FileMaker Pro and Xero Cloud Accounting

Sydney, Australia – July 13, 2015 – Databuzz today announced fmAccounting Link, a FileMaker solution that integrates with the Xero Accounting Software.

fmAccounting Link 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 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 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 and more at the click of a button.

Databuzz will be demonstrating fmAccounting Link at the 2015 FileMaker Developer Conference, to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada from July 20-23, 2015. To celebrate we will be offering a DevCon show special for the entire week – all versions of fmAccounting Link will be discounted by 10% when you purchase via our online store at http://www.databuzz.com.au/shop.

fmAccounting Link features include:

  • works with FileMaker Pro v12, v13 and v14
  • completely unlocked
  • can be hosted by FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server
  • works with Macintosh and Windows
  • includes support for FileMaker Server scheduled scripts
  • supports multiple Xero Organisations
  • supports both the main Accounting API and the Payroll API

“Like many of our customers we use FileMaker Pro to run our business and Xero for our accounting,” said Andrew Duncan, Director of Databuzz. “We didn’t want to have to re-enter Contacts, Invoices and Payments multiple times in FileMaker and Xero, so we built fmAccounting Link to streamline our business and now we’re making it available for everyone.”

fmAccounting Link works with the following Xero API endpoints:

  • Organisations: authenticate multiple Xero Organisations
  • Contacts: download and upload Contacts
  • Invoices: download and upload Invoices (including Invoice line items)
  • Items (Products): download and upload Items (Products price list)
  • Payments: download and upload Payments against an Invoice
  • Employees: download and upload Employees
  • Timesheets: download and upload Timesheets to Xero
  • Account Codes: download Account Codes from Xero
  • Bank Transactions: download Bank Transactions from Xero
  • Tracking Categories: download Tracking Categories from Xero

Availability, Pricing, and Compatibility

fmAccounting Link is available in a number of licenses: Workgroup, Vertical Solution and Developer. It is available now from the Databuzz website at http://www.databuzz.com.au. Workgroup Licenses start at AUD $495.00. fmAccounting Link requires FileMaker Pro v12, v13 or v14.

Media/Customer Contact:

Andrew Duncan

Phone: +61 418 468 103

sales@databuzz.com.au

http://www.databuzz.com.au

 

About Databuzz: Databuzz is a 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 13 Developer. For more information please visit our website at http://www.databuzz.com.au.

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