Xero surpasses one million subscribers across Australia and New Zealand

The announcement this week by Xero, the global small business platform (it no longer positions itself as just an accounting platform) that it had surpassed one million subscribers across Australia and New Zealand made me check where our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) customers are located.

We now have hundreds of customers around the world using our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) solution every day to automate the exchange of data between Xero and the FileMaker platform. Typical integrations involve automating the uploading of Contacts, Invoices, Bills, and Purchase Orders and the downloading of Payments, all at the click of a button or automated via FileMaker Server schedules.

Last time we mapped our fmAccounting Link (Xero Edition) customers in February 2017 Xero had a total of 862,000 subscribers spread across their four main market regions of:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • UK
  • North America

with Australian and New Zealand being the two largest markets and our customer map reflected this spread.

Xero now has 1.6 million subscribers in over 180 countries, including 355,000 in the UK. We’ve just updated our map again:

and we now have many more pins in the same four markets, with a few in South Asia as well as South Africa. We’re noticing an increase in interest from Canada, the United States and South Asia where Xero is just getting started in the market. According to Xero the penetration of cloud accounting sits at around 40 percent in Australia and New Zealand, more than double what it is worldwide.

We expect as other regions adopt cloud accounting at the rate we have here in Australia and New Zealand that Xero will continue to grow it’s subscriber base worldwide. We look forward to revisiting the Xero subscriber numbers in 12 months time and updating our customer map again.

fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) and Webhooks

We will be releasing a new version of fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) in the next few days – this is our long awaited update that includes native functionality for the FileMaker v16 platform and later so you don’t need to use a plug-in anymore. This means you can use the fmEcommerce Link solution on any FileMaker client application: FileMaker Go, FileMaker Pro/Pro Advanced, FileMaker Server and FileMaker WebDirect.

As part of this update we’re also including a number of features that have been requested by our users, including support for Shopify Webhooks. Webhooks allow you to trigger an action when a specified event happens on your Shopify store. Our first webhook will be an ‘Order Creation’ webhook which will send the Order details automatically to your fmEcommerce Link file and create the Order automatically without you having to manually download the Order.

You could setup a FileMaker Server schedule that ran every x minutes that checked for new orders since a specified timestamp, but it’s much more efficient to leverage Webhooks if they are available and receive notifications when new orders are created on your store.

We’ll be releasing a free update to fmEcommerce Link (Shopify Edition) later this week which will include support for Webhooks when a new Order is created. You will need to setup a Webhook and install the supplied PHP file on your FileMaker Server (you will need to enable Custom Web Publishing/PHP in your FileMaker Server Admin Console), and once this in place anytime a new Order is received in Shopify it will automatically be pushed to the fmEcommerce Link file, typically within a few seconds. N.B. your webhook address must use HTTPS – HTTP addresses are not supported by Shopify.

You can get more information about Shopify Webhooks at the following links:

https://help.shopify.com/en/api/getting-started/webhooks

https://help.shopify.com/en/api/getting-started/webhooks#through-store-admin

Here’s a short video demonstrating this in action (you can also watch this on YouTube here). If you have any other Webhooks you would like us to support please let us know.

WordCamp Brisbane 2018 Recap

Last month I attended WordCamp Brisbane 2018, my second WordCamp for 2018 after attending WordCamp Sydney earlier this year. WordCamps are informal, community-organised events which are heavily subsidised (think $50 tickets for 2 days of sessions and meals, including the after party!) thanks to the conference sponsors, making them very accessible for attendees.

I was fortunate to be selected to speak at WordCamp Brisbane 2018 and gave a presentation on WooCommerce REST API Integration, which included some details on version 3 of the WooCommerce REST API that was released the week of the conference. You can get a copy of my slides here and the videos from the conference are already available on YouTube and will shortly be available on WordPress.tv.

Once my presentation was over I was able to relax a bit more and enjoy attending the sessions. I tried to cover a wide range of WordPress related topics including podcasting, security and copywriting, as well as the sessions covering the upcoming WordPress v5.0 and the new Gutenberg editor.

Like WordCamp Sydney I learnt a lot and made lots of new friends in the WordPress community – a big thanks to all the organisers, sponsors, volunteers and speakers for making it happen and producing such a well run conference.

WooCommerce 3.5 and the new REST API v3

Last week WooCommerce released WooCommerce v3.5 which included a new version of the REST API – v3. As with previous releases of the REST API this new version includes a number of new endpoints as well as updates to some existing endpoints. Here’s a summary of the new features in the REST API v3:

  • A reviews endpoint to list, get, create, and update product reviews.
  • Date fields are now editable on the products endpoint, and the endpoint has been updated to work with the “on backorder” stock status.
  • A series of new reports endpoints to get total counts of orders, products, customers, coupons and reviews.
  • New orderby options for the products endpoint to allow listing products by price, popularity, or rating.
  • Automatic total calculations when applying/removing coupons in the orders endpoint.
  • New data endpoints to fetch Continents, Countries and Currencies.
  • Refund line items through the API.
  • Ability to batch update settings

To use the new v3 API you will need to be running WooCommerce v3.5 or later – we plan to start adding support for some of the new endpoints and updates in a future release of fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition). It’s important to note that v1 and v2 of the REST API still work and are still included in WooCommerce 3.5 so updating won’t break any integration that uses the fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) solution. Let us know what features from the v3 API you would like to see included first by contacting us or leave a comment below.

We’ll be taking our time with the next update to give you more time to update your site to WooCommerce 3.5. You should always follow the WooCommerce guidelines for updating your version of WooCommerce, including making backups and testing the new version for compatibility with your other plugins etc in a test environment.

We’re already working on some updates for our next release around uploading Orders from FileMaker to WooCommerce and uploading locally stored images that won’t require WooCommerce 3.5

You can get all the details for the new v3 API at the API documentation page.

Integrate FileMaker with Neto – Coming Soon

We’re excited to share some news today about an upcoming product: fmEcommerce Link (Neto Edition). Like our existing solutions for integrating the FileMaker platform with the WooCommerce and Shopify ecommerce platforms, our latest addition to the fmEcommerce Link range is about eliminating double data entry between Neto and FileMaker and streamlining your workflows, saving your business time and money.

Neto is an all-in-one ecommerce, point of sale, inventory and fulfilment solution based in Australia. Over 3,000 Australian Retailers & Wholesalers run their businesses on Neto and in 2015 Telstra, Australia’s leading telecommunications and information services company, acquired a stake in Neto. They have recently opened an office in the US with plans to hire more than 30 people in the first 12 months of US operations.

We’ve been hard at work over the past few months and will have a demonstration video shortly, but we can share that the initial release of fmEcommerce Link (Neto Edition) solution will allow you to:

  • download Orders, Products, Customers and Suppliers from Neto to FileMaker
  • upload Customers, Suppliers and Products from FileMaker to Neto

fmEcommerce Link (Neto Edition) will require v16 or later of the FileMaker platform and uses all native functions and script steps – no plug-ins are required! For companies using both FileMaker and Neto our solution will save you the hassle of double data entry – no more manually entering Neto orders into FileMaker. You can also combine fmEcommerce Link (Neto Edition) with our integration solutions for Xero and MYOB AccountRight to automate the uploading of Neto orders into your accounting software.

Please contact us if you have any questions about fmEcommerce Link (Neto Edition) – if you would like to be notified when we release fmEcommerce Link (Neto Edition) please join our mailing list here.

FileMaker – the problem solver’s problem solver

 

At the FileMaker Developer Conference earlier this year there was a special session on the morning of day two that was live streamed via the Internet – the first time this has happened in DevCon history. The session featured speakers from the FileMaker Product Management and Product Development teams who introduced us to their new strategy around defining a new category for the FileMaker Platform as the world’s leading Workplace Innovation Platform.

Defining where FileMaker fits in the marketplace and how to position the FileMaker Platform has always been somewhat of a challenge given the unique position of the FileMaker Platform (custom business application vs appliance applications, low code vs no code etc) and that it is used in small businesses, government, and enterprise teams as well as having deployment options that cover Mac, Windows, iOS and the Web. The Workplace Innovation Platform is about solving business challenges (for example streamlining workflows and automating manual processes), whether that is for a small business or a team within a larger business.

FileMaker have a short Workplace Innovation Platform Overview animated video which you can view here:

https://www.filemaker.com/workplace-innovation

Richard Cox Braden, a lecturer at Stanford University also spoke about the Invention Cycle and the roles that Imagination, Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship play in this process. The full session video can be found here:

https://www.filemaker.com/workplace-innovation/#fm-video-visionary-keynote

After the special session DevCon attendees could collect their conference shirt which had this on the front:

I like the concept of “the problem solver’s problem solver”, and FileMaker have recently followed up the launch of the Workplace Innovation Platform with a new film series “Innovation Without the Hype” focusing on helping everyday problem solvers escape the work rut. The first four films in the series have been released and the remaining two will be released over the coming weeks – we encourage you to check them out here (each film is only around 40 seconds):

https://www.filemaker.com/workplace-innovation/films/

Andrew Duncan from Databuzz to speak at WordCamp Brisbane 2018

WordCamp Brisbane 2018 is on 27-28 October this year at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. Databuzz is pleased to announce that Andrew Duncan will be speaking this year on WooCommerce integration using the WooCommerce API.

Databuzz are big fans of WooCommerce and WordPress – we’ve been using WordPress and WooCommerce for many years to run our websites and eCommerce platforms. Our fmEcommerce Link (WooCommerce Edition) solution is one of our most popular products and we continue to update this with new features and improvements. Andrew’s presentation will cover the new v3 of the REST API that will be released with WooCommerce 3.5 later this month.

We look forward to meeting up and discussing all things WordPress – you can get tickets and more information from the WordCamp Brisbane 2018 site here:

https://2018.sydney.wordcamp.org/

FileMaker 17 Certified Developer

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

Automate Electronic Document Signing with FileMaker and DocuSign


For many years we’ve helped business both large and small with their workflow challenges, and one of the most common issues we see is managing the distribution and signing of standard business documents such as contracts, employee agreements, quotes and proposals. The solutions to these problems vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of document to be signed, the number of recipients, volume of documents and the location of recipients.

Over the past few years we’ve helped a number of customers integrate with DocuSign, one of the most popular electronic signature platforms. DocuSign 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.

With DocuSign you can create DocuSign Templates with merge fields that you sent to recipients for signing, or you can create a PDF on the fly and upload that at the time of sending the signing request. A common workflow solution integrating your custom FileMaker business app with DocuSign might look like this:

The process would typically work like this:

  • a FileMaker user is notified that a certain document needs to be sent to a customer for signing, such as a contract
  • the FileMaker user clicks a button that creates a custom PDF with any merged data for that customer with details on what actions the customer needs to take, such as signing on a particular page, entering their name or other details such as their date of birth
  • the FileMaker generated PDF is then sent to DocuSign with instructions to send this PDF to be signed to the specified customer, and DocuSign then sends a signing request email (you can customise the email subject and body)
  • the customer receives the email and electronically signs the document. DocuSign then notifies you that the document has been signed and you can then download the signed version of the document into a FileMaker container field

This type of tight integration between FileMaker and DocuSign has a number of benefits, including being able to manage the document signing process in one central place from start to finish. You don’t need to give your FileMaker users access to DocuSign as everything is managed from within FileMaker and you have access to the signed documents from FileMaker. You can even setup Webhooks to have FileMaker automatically notified by DocuSign when a document has been signed and have FileMaker download this automatically.

You will need to sign up for one of the DocuSign API Plans – (US, UK and Australian plans) which have a number of tiers depending on the number of documents you need to send each month and other additional features.

Here’s a short video demonstrating how a FileMaker DocuSign integration might work (YouTube link):

If you would like to discuss integrating DocuSign with your FileMaker solution please get in touch for a free initial consultation to discuss your requirements.

MYOB Announces End of Support for MYOB AccountRight Classic v19

MYOB have recently announced that as of 30th September 2019 they will no longer provide features, patches, compliance updates or product support for AccountRight Classic (sometimes known as v19) in Australia and New Zealand. I’ve often wondered when MYOB would cease to support the Classic version of AccountRight. We get a lot of enquiries from customers in Australia and New Zealand still using v19 which lacks the API functionality that we use with our FileMaker MYOB Integration solutions, so we’re pleased to see that MYOB will be ceasing support for v19 and encouraging customers to upgrade to the modern versions of AccountRight or MYOB Essentials that have cloud support as well as API support.

For customers still using AccountRight Classic/v19 who upgrade to AccountRight 2018 or MYOB Essentials you will now be able to take advantage of many new features and you will also be able to integrate AccountRight or Essentials with your FileMaker solution in ways that were not previously possible. AccountRight Classic used ODBC to interact with AccountRight which had a number of limitations. For example you were limited to creating Windows-based applications that were primarily desktop bound. With the new AccountRight Live API, it’s easy to create applications using any programming language, for a variety of platforms, including Mac and Windows, as well as for devices runinng iOS, Android and Windows Mobile operating systems.

Databuzz has been integrating FileMaker solutions with AccountRight Live and Essentials since the APIs were first available a number of years ago. We’ve also created some products that show you how to integrate FileMaker with AccountRight Live or Essentials:



If you’re planning on upgrading from AccountRight Classic to either AccountRight 2018 or MYOB Essentials and you need to replace your existing ODBC integration or would like to discuss how you can integrate your FileMaker solution please get in touch to arrange a free consultation and discuss your requirements.