fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) v1.1 Update

We’ve just released another free update to fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition), our FileMaker solution for integrating with the DocuSign eSignature platform. This updates provides additional functionality around DocuSign Templates including:

  • you can now specify a value or a field name to use to pre-populate Template Tabs such as Text and Number tabs that can have the value set dynamically
  • you can now download the Tabs and Roles for DocuSign Templates to save you having to enter these manually (we downloaded a Template with 6 Roles and 120 tabs in under 2 seconds)
  • we’ve updated to support the latest version of the eSignature API (v2.1) and are now using a custom function to store the value of the DocuSign API to allow this to be updated more easily in the future

The new Template Tabs Value field allows you to specify a hardcoded value (e.g. “Acme Inc” for a text tab that users would enter their Company Name into) or a merge field, e.g.:

RequestsContactsContacts::Position

that will be merged at runtime as the Envelope is being constructed and replaced with the value from that field reference for the current recipient record. We’v also added a Locked field to the Template Tabs table to allow certain fields to be locked or “read-only” to the recipient. You can see the difference in the following screenshots. In the first screenshot we have set the Locked Value to false – the field has the pre-populated value but we can edit this if required:

In the next screenshot we have set the set the Locked Value to true and the field has the blue border and cannot be edited:

Here’s a short video showing the downloading of Template Tabs and Roles and how to use the new Template Tabs Value field to pre-populate custom tabs (you can also watch it on YouTube here):

The full list of changes are listed in the version history here. Existing customers can download this version from the link on your original order email (contact us if you need the link to be reset etc).

fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) Now Runs Natively on FileMaker 16 or Higher Platform

We’re pleased to announce that v1.4 of fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) is now available and includes a number of new features, including native support for FileMaker Pro v16 and later. This is a free update to all existing customers (simply download using the same link that was on your original order email).

With the release of the FileMaker 16 platform we got a number of new functions and script steps, including support for working with JSON data and being able to specify supported cURL options with the Insert From URL script step. These new features meant that we were no longer dependent on plug-in functions and we could replace these with native FileMaker features.

We’ve updated all the requests for downloading and uploading to the AccountRight API to use native FileMaker functions and script steps so you no longer need to use a FileMaker plug-in if you’re using FileMaker Pro v16 or higher. This means you can also use fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) on FileMaker Go natively (requires FileMaker Go 16 or higher).

Like our previous updates for native FileMaker functionality for our other products we’ve simply updated the scripts to check which version of FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go or FileMaker Server is being used and if you’re using v15 or earlier we simply use the previous plug-in functionality, and if you’re using v16 or later we now use native functionality. Everything works exactly the same regardless of which version of FileMaker Pro you’re using, but we can now include support for FileMaker Go as well as having one less dependency to worry about.

This release also includes examples for downloading and uploading Timesheets as well as downloading Payroll Categories, and some example scripts for searching for Contacts in AccountRight by Company/Individual Name and Card ID.

You can get all the details on our version history page – if there are any additional features or examples you would like to see in fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) please get in touch and let us know. If you’re having any issues with downloading the new version please contact us if you need the link to be reset etc.

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).

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) Now Supports OAuth 2.0

Earlier this month Xero said goodbye to OAuth 1.0a and moved to OAuth 2.0 for a simpler, faster and more secure authentication experience. We’ve been busy working on an update to fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition), our solution for integrating the FileMaker Platform with Xero, which we previewed in an previous post where we discussed the changes and the updates we plan to release as a result of the move to OAuth 2.0.

We’re pleased to announce that v1.97 of fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) now supports OAuth 2.0, so new customers can now create OAuth 2.0 apps for the Xero API and connect them to the FileMaker Platform using fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition). We’ve updated our integration guide and posted a new video showing you how to setup an OAuth 2.0 app. Setting up an OAuth 2.0 app in Xero and connecting this to the fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution only takes a few minutes and once you’ve completed the initial authentication everything works the same as before.

We’re working on documenting the process if you wish to convert your existing fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution from OAuth 1.0a to OAuth 2.0. There’s no immediate rush as you have until December 2020 to update existing OAuth 1.0a integrations to OAuth 2.0. We’re also working on v2.0 of fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) which will only support OAuth 2.0 and not require a FileMaker plug-in – it will use native FileMaker functions and scripts and will require FileMaker Pro v16 or later.

If you have any questions about fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) and OAuth 2.0 please get in touch or post a comment below.

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) and OAuth 2.0

Xero recently launched a beta version of OAuth 2.0 for the Xero APIs for developers building new integrations. OAuth 2.0 is a replacement for the current OAuth 1.0a which works with various app “types”, including partner, public and private. fmAccounting Link uses the private app type – with OAuth 2.0 the concept of “app types” will be going away and all developers will use OAuth 2.0.

Xero’s OAuth 2.0 implementation is built to the industry standard spec for OAuth 2.0, so if you’ve used it before it will be very familiar (we use this in our fmAccounting Link (MYOB AccountRight Edition) solution for the MYOB AccountRight Cloud).

Last month Xero announced that from 2 December 2019 developers will no longer be able to create OAuth 1.0a apps on the Xero platform and that all new apps will need to use OAuth 2.0. We will be releasing a free update to fmAccounting Link in December that supports OAuth 2.0 – essentially this involves changing how the authentication process works (see preview video below). We will have further details on the changes involved if you wish to update your existing integration when we release this update.

One of the additional benefits of the move to OAuth 2.0 is that we can finally remove the plug-in dependency for authenticating with the Xero API that was necessary when using OAuth 1.0a. This has been the reason why we haven’t been able to release a version of fmAccounting Link that runs natively on the FileMaker 16 Platform or higher without requiring a FileMaker plug-in. There are a number of benefits to removing the plug-in dependency, including faster API request processing and the ability to use other clients like FileMaker Go (without being connected to FileMaker Server).

As part of the migration to OAuth 2.0 Xero have announced that existing OAuth 1.0a apps will continue to be supported until at least December 2020, allowing you sufficient time to migrate across to the new platform. This means by December 2020 you will need to update your integration to use OAuth 2.0.

fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) currently supports FileMaker Pro v12 or higher and the native functions and script steps that replace the plug-in calls were only introduced in FileMaker Pro v16, so we will be releasing 2 updates to fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) over the next few months:

  1. our first update that we are planning to release in December, 2019 will be for new customers and those who are happy to continue using the plug-in (e.g. if you are using FileMaker Pro v15 or earlier). This will be a free update so all users will have a solution to the OAuth 2.0 migration (we’ve been releasing free updates for fmAccounting Link for over 5 years now).
  2. we are also working on an update to fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) that will not require the plug-in and will require FileMaker Pro v16 or later. As you can imagine this is a massive undertaking (having been through this process for our WooCommerce, Shopify, fmSMS and MYOB AccountRight solutions we know the time commitment involved) and this release will be the first paid update to fmAccounting Link in over 5 years. We will have discounted upgrades for existing customers who also wish to make the transition to a native integration. We are planning to release this update in the first quarter of 2020.

We will be in contact with all existing customers once we have the first free update available and will have further instructions on our website about how to make the transition to OAuth 2.0. If you would like to see how this will look here’s a preview video showing the changes to the authentication – you can also watch this directly on YouTube here.

fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) Update November 2019

We’ve just released another free update to fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition), our FileMaker solution for integrating your FileMaker solution with the Shopify platform. This update is mainly concerned with changes that Shopify have made to their API that require integrators to make some small changes to their API requests.

API Versioning: earlier this year Shopify announced that they were introducing API Versioning which allows them to introduce new versions of the API without breaking previous versions of the API. Versions will be released on a quarterly cycle, on the first of January, April, July, and October and are named after calendar dates, such as 2019-04 for the April 2019 release.

As a result of this change they require you to include the API Version in your HTTP request URLs. For example a request to the Orders Admin API endpoint currently looks like this:

/admin/orders.json

With API Versioning include it will look like this:

/admin/api/2019-10/orders.json

To support API Versioning we’ve added a new custom function – ShopifyAPIVersion – to store the API Version number which can be easily updated over time. We’ve also updated all the URLs that are generated to include this, for example:

$$fmShopifyWebsite  &  "/admin/api/" & ShopifyAPIVersion & "/customers/count.json"

Shopify do allow you to continue to call the Admin API with no version, and they will return with the oldest supported version. However, they strongly recommend that you start including version numbers in order to make your application version-aware and anchor your code to a specific set of features that are guaranteed to behave in the same way for the next 12 months.

If you want to read more about API Versioning we recommend the following Shopify pages:

Deprecation of Page-Based Pagination: as part of the changes to API Versioning Shopify are deprecating page-based pagination and changing to what they call cursor-based pagination. Some customers have already started receiving notification emails from Shopify about these changes warning them to update by April 1, 2020 to avoid breaking changes.

The 2019-07 and 2019-10 Release of the API include these changes and no longer support page-based pagination, and as the API version 2019-04 will be removed on April 1, 2020 you will need to update your requests to support cursor-based pagination before then. We’ve done all the hard work for you so you can copy and paste the changes across to your existing integration or simply download the latest version of the fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) solution if you are using the fmEcommerce Link file without modifications.

A typical page-based pagination request looks like this:

$$fmShopifyWebsite  &  "/admin/customers.json?limit=" & $limit & "&page=" & $page

You can see the “page” parameter is specified here – support for this is being removed. Instead you will make an initial request specifying the “limit” as you currently do, and if there are additional pages of results Shopify will let you know by including a response header that looks like this:

Link: <https://acmecorp.myshopify.com/admin/api/2019-10/customers.json?limit=5&page_info=eyJsYXN0X2lkIjoyODYzOTIxMjM0MTIsImxhc3RfdmFsdWUiOjODAwMDAsImRpcmVjdGlvbiI6Im5leHQifQ>; rel="next"

If there is another page of results to request you can check for a “rel=”next” value and grab the associated URL to use as the URL for the next request. When there is no rel=”next” Link returned in the response headers you no longer need to make any further requests.

We’ve updated all the scripts that request multiple records from Shopify (Get All Customers, Get All Products etc) that were using page-based pagination to the new cursor-based pagination method. We’ve added a new custom function for the native branch (getNextLink) to capture the “next” URL, and for the plug-in branch we’re using the BE_HTTP_ResponseHeaders plug-in function to do this. We’ve updated these scripts to reference the “next” URL as follows:

and have added an additional variable to store the “next” URL after each request if it exists:

Finally we’ve changed the exit condition for the loop from referencing the page number to the existence of a “next” URL:

If you want to read more about cursor-based pagination we recommend the following Shopify pages:

If you don’t update to the new cursor-based pagination format and make a request to a version of the API that doesn’t support page-based pagination you will get an error like this:

User Customisable Maximum Results Setting: we’ve also added a new field in the Interface table (RecordsLimit) to allow you to specify the maximum number of results to return when downloading multiple records from Shopify. Previously we were hardcoding the $limit variable to 50 which is the Shopify default if no value is specified. They do allow a maximum of 250 which could prove more efficient when downloading large numbers of Orders, Products etc from Shopify:

The full list of changes are listed in the version history here. Existing customers can download this version from the link on your original order email (contact us if you need the link to be reset etc). As with previous updates if you are using one of the Database Design Report analysis tools like BaseElements or FMPerception you can use these to run a comparison report between your current version/integration and the new v1.5 release to identify the changes.

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:

FileMaker Admin API Authentication Issue

Now that the FileMaker Admin API is a standard feature in FileMaker Cloud for AWS 1.18 and FileMaker Server 18 and no longer a trial* I’ve been incorporating certain parts of the Admin API into client solutions. For example it is often helpful to see how many users are logged into your solution and get a list of their Account Names without having to use the Admin Console, or provide non admin users with access to the Admin Console.

I recently encountered an issue when calling the List Clients endpoint to see who was currently connected to a particular FileMaker solution. It was generating a 1627 error (Authentication failed) when performing the Insert from URL script step. This was strange as the same script had been working successfully earlier in the day and in previous days. I double checked the credentials for the server that were being used in the API request and they were correct, and verified these by logging into the Admin Console.

I was a bit puzzled at this stage and ran through the script once more with the Script Debugger. I was saving the response from the Insert from URL script step into a local variable, and upon further examination I noticed this was recording the following response from the Admin API:

{
"response": {},
"messages": [
{
"code": "956",
"text": "Maximum number of Admin API sessions exceeded"
}
]
}

There were no other Admin API sessions in use at this point – the Admin Console wasn’t being used – which further confused things. Logging in to the Admin Console again I could see that the list of connected clients wasn’t correct. If you’ve been using the FileMaker Server Admin Console for a few years now you’re probably familiar with this situation and the need to periodically restart the Admin Server via the following command line interface command:

fmsadmin restart adminserver

Once the Admin Server had restarted I tried the Admin API request to list the currently connected clients and it was successfully this time, so the authentication error was misleading in this case. If you encounter this error and you’ve verified the credentials are correct I would just go and restart the Admin Server on the FileMaker Server using the command line option above.

* the FileMaker Admin API was a trial feature in FileMaker Cloud 1.17 and FileMaker Server 17 and that trial period will expire on September 27, 2019 after which the API will cease to operate

Databuzz releases fmSMS v4 – Rewritten for the FileMaker 18 Platform

Orlando, Florida – August 06, 2019 – Databuzz today announced fmSMS v4, an upgrade to their award-winning solution that lets you send and receive SMS/TXT messages from the FileMaker Platform.

fmSMS allows you to send an SMS from the FileMaker Platform to almost any mobile phone in the world via one of the supported SMS Gateways, reaching over 1,000 mobile networks in more than 220 countries. SMS is a great means of direct communication with customers, staff, suppliers, and students.

fmSMS v4 was rewritten for the FileMaker 18 Platform and includes support for sending messages from FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, FileMaker WebDirect, FileMaker Server and FileMaker Cloud for AWS. Databuzz will be demonstrating fmSMS v4 at the 2019 FileMaker Developer Conference, to be held in Orlando, Florida from August 5-8.

What’s New in v4

  • rewritten for FileMaker Pro v18
  • runs natively on FileMaker v16 or later and no longer requires a FileMaker plug-in
  • updated to support the latest API for each supported SMS Gateway
  • simplified the setup to make integration into existing solutions much faster
  • added support for receiving messages using the FileMaker Data API using FileMaker Server or FileMaker Cloud for AWS*
  • Send Messages to WhatsApp Users using the Twilio API for WhatsApp

SMS is perfect for appointment reminders, phone messages, promotions, segmented marketing, school absence alerts, and password confirmations. With SMS you can reduce your costs and play less “telephone tag”.

fmSMS works with multiple SMS Gateway providers internationally and supports the following features**:

  • Send single and bulk SMS messages (messages are typically delivered in under 15 seconds)
  • Send long messages (greater than 160 characters)
  • 2 Way SMS – allow recipients to reply to messages and have them appear in fmSMS
  • Works with over 50 SMS Gateway providers internationally
  • Delayed Delivery – send a message now for delivery at a future time
  • Alphanumeric Sender ID
  • Delivery Receipts – track the status of sent messages
  • Message Logging – track the history of all sent messages
  • Message templates – create an unlimited number of pro forma templates
  • Send Messages to WhatsApp Users using the Twilio API for WhatsApp

“fmSMS now runs natively on the FileMaker Platform and is even easier to integrate,” said Andrew Duncan, CEO of Databuzz. “We’ve added support for receiving incoming messages for the FileMaker Data API and FileMaker Cloud for AWS and you can now send messages to WhatsApp users using the Twilio API for WhatsApp.”

Availability, Pricing, and Compatibility
fmSMS v4 is available now from the fmSMS website at https://www.fmsms.com. A 14 day trial version is available for both Macintosh and Windows. Company Licenses start at AUD $495.00. fmSMS requires FileMaker 16 Platform or later.

Upgrade Information
fmSMS v4 is a free upgrade for owners of fmSMS v3 who purchased a license on or after January 01, 2019. All other owners of fmSMS v2 or later can upgrade for 50% off the current price – please contact Databuzz to obtain a discount coupon to use when purchasing fmSMS v4.

  • requires hosting of supplied PHP files to process the incoming messages
  • ** Not all SMS Gateways support all features of fmSMS. Some features might incur additional charges by your selected SMS Gateway. Some features require hosting by FileMaker Server with Custom Web Publishing using the PHP API and a static IP address, or a web server running PHP for FileMaker Cloud for AWS. See our website at https://www.fmsms.com for more details.

Media/Customer Contact:
Andrew Duncan
Phone: +61 418 468 103
sales@databuzz.com.au
https://www.fmsms.com
https://www.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 18 Developer. For more information please visit our website at https://www.databuzz.com.au.

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