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Seven Reasons to Use the FM Credit Card Plug-in with your FileMaker Solution

November 10th, 2017

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FM Credit Card v1 was first released in April of 2011 and discontinued in August of 2015. After increased interest from clients, we decided to bring the plug-in back to life, bigger and better than ever, and released v2 in September of 2017.

If you are a v1 client, you might be wondering, what’s so great about v2? Well, this blog will answer that for you. Here are seven good reasons to upgrade to FM Credit Card version 2.

Don’t feel like reading? Check out this quick video from our CEO, Marc, discussing the plug-in and v2 enhancements:

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1) FileMaker 16 Compatible. FM Credit Card v2 is compatible with FileMaker 14 -16. V1 is compatible with FileMaker 13 (which FileMaker has deprecated support for). Make your solution modern and take advantage of all that FileMaker 16 has to offer.

2) FileMaker 16 Script Steps. With the release of FileMaker 16, we added FileMaker 16 script step functionality to all of our plug-ins. Take advantage of this modern scripting method with version 2. Want to learn more about FileMaker 16 script steps? Here is a video of our CEO, Marc, explaining what they are: YouTube Preview Image

3) Gateway Compatibility. FM Credit Card is now compatible with Authorize.net and Authorize.net emulator gateways, as well as PayPal. And, with version 2, we consolidated all of the gateway-specific plug-in functions to more general functions to make it easier to program your scripts. Our plug-in developer also organized the functions to provide more flexibility and future expandability with the function calls to the plug-in.

4) Security Compliance. Version 2 is compliant with the latest security requirements and industry standards of TLS 1.2. These strict security requirements are mandatory for any modern payment transaction.

5) Card-present transactions. With version 2, if the card is present, you can conveniently swipe it right into FileMaker with a keyboard-emulating card reader – no need to type in the card info.

6) Server-side compatibility. This means you can now integrate with FileMaker Go, FileMaker WebDirect and Custom Web Publishing by way of the “perform script on server” script step. This enhancement greatly expands your deployment options and allows you to construct the exact workflow your company needs – be it on desktop, iOS device, or the web.

7) Free updates. Because FM Credit Card is a SaaS product, we will always ensure it is compatible with the three ever-changing environmental variables including both the Windows and Mac operating systems, the payment gateways themselves (i.e. Authorize.net), and the latest version of FileMaker, which we all know changes yearly. In any and all of these cases, we have you covered. Not only does SaaS cover future compatibility, it includes access to any new features we may build into the plug-in over time.

Starting at $35/year for a single user license, there is no reason not to upgrade! Visit www.fm-creditcard.com today to download the latest plug-in and take it for a test drive in our updated demo.

PCI Performs BigCommerce Integration

October 24th, 2017

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We recently assisted a customer integrate BigCommerce with their Core4 CRM FileMaker solution.
BigCommerce is an online platform that helps businesses build an e-commerce presence. The platform allows customers to build and customize their site, take orders, and manage shipping.

Our client sells restoration parts for the MOPAR auto industry and they recently upgraded to FileMaker 16. We were asked to write a routine to help them better integrate BigCommerce with their elaborate FileMaker solution.

Our client had two problems with their daily workflow.

Problem – Duplicate Data Entry
The first issue they were dealing with was redundant data entry. The same product information needed to be entered into FileMaker, BigCommerce, and QuickBooks Online. The client wanted FileMaker to be the main point of entry for data and from there the data could be pushed to QuickBooks Online and BigCommerce.

Problem – Data Accuracy
It is important that all data is consistent across all three programs (QuickBooks Online, FileMaker, and BigCommerce). When an order is created in BigCommerce it is imperative that the data exactly matches what is in FileMaker, because when the order is placed with BigCommerce, it is then imported into QuickBooks Online and subsequently pulled to FileMaker via the FM Books Connector Online Edition plug-in. This cyclical process is easily broken if any of the data does not match across the three programs.

To solve these issues there were two main objectives.

Objective – Pull BigCommerce Categories
The first task was to “pull categories” directly from BigCommerce so that these categories could be used in dropdown lists in FileMaker.

We used FileMaker 16 and cURL to pull the categories directly from BigCommerce using the BigCommerce API. Once these “official categories” were in FileMaker, users could easily and more accurately pick items for use on their sales orders and invoices directly in FileMaker.

In order to add a new category to their FileMaker dropdown list, the user first adds the category in BigCommerce and then clicks a button in FileMaker to pull the new category into their solution.

We also scripted the customer’s solution with the ability to “push categories” from FileMaker to BigCommerce. This gave the customer the option to either pull or push new categories, but we cautioned them against using both options interchangeably. We recommended selecting a consistent direction (for example, always pulling categories) to ensure better workflow and to make internal training easier. To be consistent with their current workflow, we suggested setting up rules that all categories must be first entered into BigCommerce, then pulled into FileMaker.

Objective – Push Products to BigCommerce

The customer keeps all their product items in FileMaker and is accustomed to entering all data there. The customer asked for the ability to “push these product items” to BigCommerce. Product items consist of a product description, pricing, and additional details.

Now, these items are entered and managed in FileMaker and pushed to BigCommerce. Pictures for the product items are stored on an FTP server (to ensure BigCommerce would have public access to them) and each photo is linked to FileMaker.

As part of their updated process to add a new product to BigCommerce, the user enters the necessary information in FileMaker, then clicks a button and, using the cURL technology in FileMaker 16, the data is automatically entered into BigCommerce.

Due to their workflow, the customer only wanted the ability to push one product at a time. However, as with most data transfers, it would have been easy to create a batch push script and loop through a found set of products in FileMaker and push them all to BigCommerce at once. Likewise, a server-side script could be instituted to run every hour to automatically push products from FileMaker, creating a sense of true synchronization between FileMaker and BigCommerce.

Result – Client Impact
Predictably, as a result of this integration the client has seen several hours of time savings per week. This is due to the fact they are no longer entering the same data into multiple systems and they do not have to spend time fixing data errors associated with manual entry or order errors that occurred because of data errors.

Result – Capabilities of FileMaker Data API
As developers, we strive to learn something from every integration. One of our most prominent revelations from working with this client was the increased integration capabilities available with FileMaker 16. We discovered that these kinds of projects (REST API integrations) can be completed in less time and with less overhead (no plug-in to install) than traditional integrations. REST APIs, in general, can be a little tricky to learn, but once the process is understood it opens up a lot of possibilities to interact with data across other platforms.

Integrating FileMaker Pro with Magento Shopping Cart

August 15th, 2011

 

Productive Computing, Inc. works with COFA Media to deliver a state-of-the art website for SundryDrop.com.  The website integrates SundryDrop’s existing FileMaker 11 database combined with FileMaker’s “ESS” and “Execute SQL” features to transfer data to and from a Magento based web store engine.  Magento is perhaps one of this most not the most sophisticated and full-featured open source web site / web store engines ever created.  FileMaker is one of the most flexible database engine / front end systems that was already running Sundry’s brick and mortar business.  Together the combination is a lethal “one-two punch” that delivers a highly flexible, highly customizable complete business solution for SundryDrop.  The amount of integration between these two technologies is unprecedented and to our knowledge the first of its kind on this scale.

SundryDrop.com is a brick and mortal business that buys collections and sells on consignment.  Having sold for more than 17 years, they enjoy over 60% repeat business and strive for high customer satisfaction.  What makes this integration more advanced is that SundryDrop simultaneously sells collectables through Amazon and Ebay, their new Magento based website, as well as their own retail store front.  Having four avenues to sell collectables is effective and necessary but managing the inventory is very difficult for your average Mom and Pop business.  Using FileMaker and the direct integration with the webstore provides a highly efficient operation .  For example, SundryDrop might make a particular collectable available on both Ebay as well as their main website at the same time.  If a customer were to purchase the item from Ebay, that inventory item is updated and automatically removed from the website because there is a direct connection between FileMaker and Magento.

Author: Categories: Information Technology Tags:

PCI Wins Small Business of the Year

March 5th, 2011

Productive computing Inc. wins the “Small Business of the Year 2011 from the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce (http://www.carlsbad.org/). The chamber is the second largest in the San Diego area and the 10th largest in the state of California.

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Carlsbad his home to quote a few notable corporate headquarters such as:

The award was quite an honor and we were in the company of several other successful businesses and fellow nominees.  Here the details of the other nominees. (Brilliance in Business).

Author: Categories: Chief Executive Officer Tags:

Hidden Tab Control

October 6th, 2010

The following video demonstrates how to create a FileMaker hidden tab control. There are occasions when you want to utilize a given space on a layout and make the objects that appear in that space dynamic based on the record type that is currently being displayed. For example, you may have customers and vendors in the same table. You may want to display the customer specific fields when you’re on the customer record and vendor specific fields went you are on the vendor record.

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Transcript:

Hi, in this video we are going to take a look at creating a Hidden Tab Control. That’s done with the following steps:

0:06 First you’ll create a standard tab control and put that on your layout. Then you are going to apply the fields, objects or whatever you want to display in that area under each tab. Then you are going to assign a tab panel with an object name. For instance, if I had two tab panels one might be customers and one might be vendors. Finally you will hide the tab and create a brand new script that will switch between tabs using the “go to object” script step. And then you’ll create a layout script trigger which will call your script on record load or at an appropriate time when the data changes. Let’s go take a look at how that’s done now.

0:57 In this video we have a simple contact management database that I just created, and I have two records. One record is a type Vendor and the other record is a type Customer. So there are occasions when you want to use the same real-estate within your layout for different types of information depending on the type of record you’re on. So over here on the right I have a couple of different types of fields. Here are a couple of fields that pertain only to vendors and here’s a field that pertains only to customers.

1:35 So first we’ll draw a standard tab control; like so. I put the customers up ahead of vendors and I’ll go ahead and put the information related to customer on the customer tab and I’ll put the information related to vendors on the vendors tab. Let’s make this a little smaller. And let’s say for example I had some other information down here; I’ll just draw that with it, standard box with a light gray fill. Ok, so a lot of times it’s desired to hide the tab and simply use the area to change dynamically based on the type of record. So let’s go ahead and do that now. Now that I’ve got the tab, let’s go ahead and hide it. Before I do, I’ll go into layout mode and click on each tab panel, open up my inspector and then name the object; in this case I will name that tab customer and I’ll name this tab vendor. Ok, so now we’ll go ahead and hide the object all together. I can make sure I have both tab controls selected which in a sense selects the entire tab control; I’m holding the shift key when I select both of those, and hide and make it where there are no lines, no effects and nothing in the fill. Finally I will double click and make the tab width a fixed width of zero pixels. Back to browse mode and I have completely hidden the tab.

3:55 Now let’s create a script; I’ll call it Switch. And the script is going to be simple. We are just going to create an IF statement that says “If the type equals customer”, and the magic is using the go to object script step. And if it isn’t the customer then it’s obviously the vendor in this case, but you could do several tab controls or several tabs I should say. You could have a customer type, a vendor type, an employee type and you can switch tabs accordingly. So if the type of record is customer; we’re going to go to the object customer, if not we’ll go to the object vendor. And that’s the script and the whole script is called Switch. 

5:00 Finally go to layout mode or you can actually go right directly to Manage Layouts, and I will edit that and perform a script trigger. It says “On record load, call the Switch script” that we just created. Back to browse mode. Now notice I’m on record 1 and I’m on a type of customer. If I flip to record 2, because that’s a vendor, I’m now displaying the vendor fields. And you can see here that it’s seamless; that there are fields that are on top of each other because they are hidden behind a Hidden Tab Control.

Author: Categories: Software Tips Tags: