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Integrate FileMaker Pro and QuickBooks

May 3rd, 2013
  • Post and query data from a FileMaker Pro database to a QuickBooks accounting system using Productive Computing’s FM Books Connector plug-in.

By Kitty Kane, Dynamic Business Solutions

Many of my clients use QuickBooks to manage their accounting, so it’s important for me to have a cost-effective database solution that integrates with QuickBooks without involving a lot of extra steps. With FM Books Connector, you can easily bring the two applications together to work seamlessly as one.

FM Books Connector is a plug-in from Productive Computing that gives you control of QuickBooks via a two-way real-time integration. With it, you can Add, Edit, Delete, or Query virtually any QuickBooks data from FileMaker Pro.

One of the advantages of FM Books Connector is you don’t have to learn or know QuickBooks eXtensible Markup Language (qbXML) to use it. Similar to XML, it’s the core language for electronic exchange, creation, and management of accounting and other business data from QuickBooks.

Like most developers, I hate reading manuals. If a product isn’t somewhat self-explanatory, I tend to move on quickly. When I first downloaded and experimented with FM Books Connector, I was surprised by how quickly I was able to begin posting invoices from the supplied demo file.

I decided to take a closer look, so from the demo I started to review the scripts, which are easy to read and well-commented. It all looked pretty simple, but I was still a little hesitant because in my experience, after I try to replicate the fields and scripts to my own solution, it never works the same.

I spent about two hours importing scripts and updating field names with my live data. To my surprise, I had successful results!

Getting Started
When you download a demo of FM Books Connector, you also receive a folder containing:
• Plug-in, which you place in your FileMaker extension folder
• FileMaker demo file, which is an unlocked FileMaker Pro database with live examples and working scripts you can use for your own experimentation.
• Functions Guide that gives listings of external functions and expected parameters.
• Developer’s Guide, a helpful guide filled with instructions, code, and links to video tutorials at http://www.fmbooksconnector.com

In the FileMaker demo file, you’ll find several examples that show you:
• How to post a new customer to QuickBooks
• How to pull customers into FileMaker Pro
• How to update a customer in QuickBooks
• How to post an invoice to QuickBooks
• How to pull invoices into FileMaker Pro
• How to pull a customer balance into FileMaker Pro

The demo plug-in is a full working version. You can use it up to 30 days with 2 hour sessions of posting, programming, and testing before it times out.

Now that I had copied predefined scripts from the example, I started to venture off into areas not covered in the demo. With little to no knowledge of the plug-in, I began to build my own scripts, but when I posted a check for the first time, I received an error message. The message was clearly defined, but I didn’t know what was wrong. Rather than consulting the manual, I called Productive Computing. Not only did Productive Computing answer the phone, when I described my error message, they quickly gave me an explanation of the error and how to resolve it.

Posting error messages
There are some important things to know to help you troubleshoot and understand what QuickBooks requires to successfully post an invoice:
• Make sure your customer/vendor exists in QuickBooks
• You can post and validate records using either the ListID or FullName. The ListID usually refers to a QuickBooks record ID and the FullName refers to the actual QuickBooks displayed name.
• Make sure your invoice detail includes an existing quantity.
• Make sure your invoice items code exists and matches exactly in the QuickBooks items table.
• Your script code is case sensitive.
• FM Books Connector plug-in requires the person doing the posting to have the plug-in installed and QuickBooks open to post.
When you add and test the script to post data to QuickBooks, you’ll get helpful error codes if your data didn’t post successfully. There’s also a special function that exposes the XML generated behind the scenes for advanced programmers who understand and want to troubleshoot the XML.

The “Check for Errors” script is the same for all scripts and required before you can do anything else. It checks that you’ve installed the FM Books Connector plug-in correctly and the data you are posting is valid and complete according to QuickBooks.

FM Books Connector

Take it for a test drive
After experimenting with the code Productive Computing supplies, you’ll probably want to start branching out on your own. I’ll walk you through an example of how to duplicate and modify existing scripts to create new scripts for Creating/Editing Vendors and Posting Checks.

For my example of modified scripts, I used one FileMaker Pro database with the following table listings.
Interface – All global data for generating XML coding pasted or posted to QuickBooks.
Contacts – One file containing customers and vendors.
Transaction – Check header data, to include check number, check date, check amount, Vendor (Pay to the order of), and memo.
TransactionDtl – Detailed lines showing item included on the check.

Using Productive Computing supplied scripts on how to post a Customer and Invoice, I simply duplicated and modified the “Push Customer to QB” script to create a new script called “Push Vendor to QB.” I also duplicated and modified the “Edit Customer to QB” to create a new script called “Edit Vendor to QB.”

If your VendorListID already exists in QuickBooks, you only have to present the VendorListID and VendorEditSequence to update your vendor record to QuickBooks.

I then created a third script in which I combined my Add Vendor script and my Edit Vendor script into one script called New/Update Vendor that checks to see if the vendor is in QuickBooks by checking if the VendorListID is present. If the VendorListID doesn’t exist, FileMaker Pro pushes the new Vendor to QuickBooks and returns a Vendor List ID.

Additionally, I duplicated the Push Invoice to QB script from the FM Books Connector database. You can modify a couple of lines in the script to create a new script for posting checks to QuickBooks. The script first checks the transaction record to see if the check payee has previously posted to QuickBooks. If the payee has not yet been posted, the script will first post the vendor and then post the check.

Before FileMaker Pro can post your check to QuickBooks, it requires you to have created the vendor. Use the VendorListID to check for the List ID before attempting to post the check. If the vendor doesn’t exist in QuickBooks, the Push Vendor and Post Check script uses an if statement to ensure the vendor is added first. After you add the vendor, you can now post your checks. If your payee/vendor already exists in QuickBooks, you only have to present the VendorListID and post your check. You can duplicate and modify the Get Customer Edit Sequence script to create a new script called Get Vendor Edit Sequence. This script checks the vendor edit sequence before updating the record to make sure the information you want to post is the most current data.

Rather than reinventing the wheel and rebuilding all the scripts and fields required for integration with QuickBooks, you may be wondering if you can save time by using Productive Computing’s supplied file. The answer is yes; however, if you use the file provided, be sure to deactivate the open script, which is programmed to delete all data each time the user restarts.

After building and installing my new scripts, I began to test posting my data to my clients’ live QuickBooks database. Although everything didn’t go 100 percent smoothly (but what does?), I now had a clear understanding of how to troubleshoot my errors, and felt confident that if I needed further assistance, Productive Computing was just a phone call away.

I was so impressed, I even started to read the manual.

Pros:
• Do not need to learn qbXML to use
• View account real-time accounting activity
• Affordable one-time cost
• Easy registration
• Offers resale program for FileMaker developers
• Does not require fields to be formatted for QuickBooks to accept
• Productive Computing offers superior customer service

Cons:
• Only works on a PC; plans for a Mac version will be implemented if Intuit releases the qbXML SDK that is compatible with the Macintosh version of QuickBooks
• You must have administrative access to set up the plug-in for the first time

Great things to know…
The Intuit Developer Network is free to join and can be beneficial for gaining new customers who are currently using QuickBooks and may need assistance integrating with FileMaker Pro.

Productive Computing Expands FileMaker Pro Hosting Services

April 22nd, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

San Diego, CA – April 22, 2013 – Productive Computing, Inc., a Platinum member of the FileMaker Business Alliance, today announced the opening of a new FileMaker® Pro hosting data center in New York, NY to service customers in the Northeast region of the United States.

“Our combination of fast, reliable and strategically located servers coupled with a personalized customer service approach provides a differentiation in the marketplace. We have the expertise, the infrastructure, and the availability to service our customers in the way they expect a premier service provider to service them. Our commitment to continually improving our offerings and honing our skills in order to produce consistent and excellent customer experiences is a hallmark of what our brand has strived to represent.” —Marc Larochelle, CEO, Productive Computing, Inc.

FileMaker Pro hosting services allow customers to host FileMaker databases or solutions on Productive Computing servers in the cloud. All the necessary server infrastructure and software is maintained by PCI and kept up-to-date for optimum performance.

Watch the video below for information on FileMaker database hosting benefits:
YouTube Preview Image

FileMaker Hosting Differences You Can Count On:
While there are many choices out there for hosting a FileMaker Pro database, keeping things focused and simple to efficiently accomplish your hosting needs is our philosophy. Here are some things that make Productive Computing, Inc.’s FileMaker Pro database hosting service different:

1.  We are a large FileMaker Platinum development firm with extensive expert knowledge of all things FileMaker (not just a hosting company who may or may not know how FileMaker works under the hood).

2.  We have physical servers with SSD drives (nothing virtual, nothing outdated) and as a result have read/write times faster than traditional hard drives.

3.  We don’t overload our servers with too many files or customers and we always use the latest version of FileMaker Server and OS security patches after we have tested them.

4.  We perform local backups, twice daily backups to a physical attached drive, and to the cloud. That gives us 3 points of redundancy for disaster recovery and up to 30 days of data as well as weekly and monthly snapshots.

5.  We provide a weekly DropBox backup (more often if needed) for those customers who want the peace of mind to know their data is at their fingertips. No cumbersome FTP programs are required to get at your data should you need it.

6.  We provide direct FileMaker Server admin console access for users on FileMaker 12 where they can close and open files, download files, etc. We can provide direct access to FileMaker 11 Server admin as well for developers who request it.

7.  We provide a unique Instant Web Publishing (IWP) scenario that will auto redirect IWP users to a web page of your choosing upon IWP time out or IWP log out. We developed this technology here in-house and it’s truly one of a kind.

8.  Distance from the server to the client is a big factor which is why we are continuing to invest in our infrastructure by putting servers in all corners of the country.

Various FileMaker hosting server locations also provide a foundation for Software as a Service (SaaS) product subscriptions. Products including Core4 CRM, Core3 CRM, Core2 CRM, and FM Work Orders are available to customers for a monthly fee under SaaS.

Sign up for a FREE 30 day trial of FileMaker Database hosting or SaaS today!

 

About Productive Computing, Inc.
Since 1996, Productive Computing, Inc. has been helping its customers become more efficient and profitable by implementing custom software solutions using FileMaker Pro. Utilizing FileMaker Pro as a rapid application development tool, their certified FileMaker developers can create custom applications that a business can run on their Windows or Macintosh desktop computers, in a web browser, on an iPad or iPhone or shared simultaneously on all of these platforms.

Productive Computing, Inc. also produces several off-the-shelf productivity solutions such as Core4 CRM, Core3 CRM, Core2 CRM, Core2 Invoices, FM Work Orders, OrgPlanner, Music Director Pro and IT Asset Manager as well as a suite of FileMaker Pro plug-ins that allow FileMaker Pro to integrate with third party applications including Outlook, QuickBooks, Apple’s Address Book and iCal, PDF forms, credit card processing, digital signatures and biometric fingerprint scanners.

In addition to building custom and off-the-shelf FileMaker Pro solutions and plug-ins, Productive Computing, Inc. is a full service FileMaker Pro hosting company. FileMaker hosting services allow customers to host their own FileMaker Pro solutions on Productive Computing servers in the cloud instead of purchasing and supporting the necessary server infrastructure themselves. These same servers also provide the infrastructure for customers who would prefer to subscribe to Productive Computing’s Core4 CRM, Core3 CRM, Core2 CRM, and FM Work Orders products under a SaaS (Software as a Service) pricing model.

Productive Computing, Inc. is one of only a few companies in the United States to have earned the highly respected platinum level membership within the FileMaker Business Alliance and recently won the exclusive FileMaker Business Alliance “Partner of the Year” award.

Productive Computing, Inc.
950 Boardwalk, Suite 205
San Marcos, CA 92078
www.ProductiveComputing.com
info@productivecomputing.com
(760) 510-1200

Press Contacts:
Productive Computing, Inc.
Keith Larochelle
(760) 510-1200

Productive Computing Acquires Adatasol’s FileMaker Hosting Services

April 4th, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

San Diego, CA – April 4, 2013 – Productive Computing, Inc., a Platinum member of the FileMaker Business Alliance, today announced the acquisition of Adatasol’s FileMaker hosting services.  Under the terms of the agreement Adatasol, Inc. turned over their FileMaker hosting services to PCI on March 12th.  Over the next three months PCI will be integrating those customers into their hosting and SaaS server infrastructure which is located in key data centers across the U.S.

“We are extremely excited at the opportunity to bring new hosting customers into the Productive Computing, Inc. family.  We are working very hard to provide a premium level service to exceed all their expectations and to earn their loyal business for years to come.  We are fortunate to have a team of tremendously talented, knowledgeable and friendly staff who will take great care to make sure their experience is unparalleled.” —Marc Larochelle, CEO, Productive Computing, Inc.

Productive Computing, Inc. has built a reputation of being a premier service provider in the FileMaker hosting space with differences that their hosting customers can count on.  These differences include:
– Making sure the infrastructure produces a fast hosting experience by setting up servers in data centers that are located in key areas of the country and in close proximity to the customers they serve.
– Serving databases on hardware that will speed up the transaction rate more so than conventional hardware (SSD drives VS. regular hard drives).
– Providing a 3 tiered backup strategy with Dropbox access to backup data for easy customer access and updates.
– Providing a well trained and friendly technical support staff that is easily accessible via phone or e-mail when you need to talk with them.
– Providing an additional full complement of certified development services as well as off-the-shelf solutions and plug-ins.

Hosting service starts at as little as $27 per month and comes with a free 30 day trial.

Please visit http://www.FileMakerHostingService.com for details and a video overview of PCI’s hosting service.

About Productive Computing, Inc.
Since 1996, Productive Computing, Inc. has been helping its customers become more efficient and profitable by implementing custom software solutions using FileMaker Pro. Utilizing FileMaker Pro as a rapid application development tool, their certified FileMaker developers can create custom applications that a business can run on their Windows or Macintosh desktop computers, in a web browser, on an iPad or iPhone or shared simultaneously on all of these platforms.

Productive Computing, Inc. also produces several off-the-shelf productivity solutions such as Core4 CRM, Core3 CRM, Core2 CRM, Core2 Invoices, Music Director Pro, FM Work Orders, OrgPlanner and IT Asset Manager as well as a suite of FileMaker Pro plug-ins that allow FileMaker Pro to integrate with third party applications including Outlook, QuickBooks, Apple’s Address Book and iCal, PDF forms, credit card processing, digital signatures and biometric fingerprint scanners.

In addition to building custom and off-the-shelf FileMaker Pro solutions and plug-ins, Productive Computing, Inc. is a full service FileMaker Pro hosting company. FileMaker hosting services allow customers to host their own FileMaker Pro solutions on Productive Computing servers in the cloud instead of purchasing and supporting the necessary server infrastructure themselves. These same servers also provide the infrastructure for customers who would prefer to subscribe to Productive Computing’s Core4 CRM, Core3 CRM, Core2 CRM, and FM Work Orders products under a SaaS (Software as a Service) pricing model.

Productive Computing, Inc. is one of only a few companies in the United States to have earned the highly respected Platinum level membership within the FileMaker Business Alliance and recently won the exclusive FileMaker Business Alliance Partner of the Year award.

Productive Computing, Inc.
950 Boardwalk, Suite 205
San Marcos, CA  92078
www.ProductiveComputing.com
info@productivecomputing.com
(760) 510-1200

Press Contacts:
Productive Computing, Inc.
Keith Larochelle
(760) 510-1200

FileMaker Pro Hosting

 

Productive Computing, Inc. Releases Music Director Pro

March 11th, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

San Diego, CA – March 11, 2013 – Productive Computing, Inc. today announced the release of Music Director Pro, a web-based software management tool for band, orchestra or choral directors. With this software music program directors will have the ability to track and catalog music libraries, instrument and uniform inventories, people, ensembles, lockers and schedules. This vital information is organized in one central repository and easily accessible 24/7 from your computer in the classroom, in the office or at home. It is also accessible through your phone or mobile device which is very useful when you are in the storage room, out on the field or parade ground, in a concert hall or when looking for a specific piece of music in the library filing cabinets.

This software solution does away with the issues normally experienced with hard to find, scattered, handwritten documents or numerous spreadsheets that are only available on one computer. Music Director Pro can also be simultaneously shared with multiple users in order to delegate the responsibility of data entry or managing different parts of the system by students, volunteers or other staff members. This easy to use system will help directors reduce the current effort required to organize and track the assets within their music program.

Music Director Pro is a full-featured solution offered under a Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription model and comes with a free 30 day trial. There is no software to install or IT department to get involved. Customers can purchase a subscription to the software for an annual fee of $179.00 and have the optional choice to convert and import their current spreadsheet data for a one-time fee of $75.00.

Music Director Pro is built on the award winning FileMaker® Pro database engine which can also be easily deployed in a custom environment. Customers who are interested in customizing how the software functions to meet their specific needs or who would like to install Music Director Pro within their own IT infrastructure may obtain an unlimited user site license for a one-time fee. Please contact us for details on this license, deployment requirements and for a quote for custom development services.

Watch the video below to review the features and benefits:
YouTube Preview Image

Key Features:
Access Through the Web
Music Director Pro can be accessed by any compatible web browser from any device that has internet access.

Shared Access to the Data
Delegate responsibility to students, volunteers or other members of your organization to help you with data entry or managing different parts of the system.

Ensembles
Create and track all ensembles and member roles including a list of all related ensemble members.

Schedule Events
Create a detailed schedule of events that can be published to your web site for public viewing.

Music Library
Catalog your music library and keep track of the performance history of each composition, style classification, instruments that are showcased, missing parts and program notes.

People
Manage all necessary information about your people including basic contact information, ensembles they are members of, auditions and challenges, instruments, locker and uniform assignments.

Instruments
Keeps track of instrument serial numbers, purchase and repair history, condition and which person has it checked out.

Uniforms
Track and assign uniform parts to specific individuals and lockers.

Optional Custom Implementation
License our engine and customize it to meet your specific needs. We will provide you with an estimate to build out a custom design for your organization.

Please visit http://www.MusicDirectorPro.com to sign up for your 30 day trial or view the tutorial videos to see it in action.

 

About Productive Computing, Inc.
Since 1996, Productive Computing, Inc. has been helping its customers become more efficient and profitable by implementing custom software solutions using FileMaker Pro. Utilizing FileMaker Pro as a rapid application development tool, their certified FileMaker developers can create custom applications that a business can run on their Windows or Macintosh desktop computers, in a web browser, on an iPad or iPhone or shared simultaneously on all of these platforms.

Productive Computing, Inc. also produces several off-the-shelf productivity solutions such as Core4 CRM, Core3 CRM, Core2 CRM, Core2 Invoices, Music Director Pro, FM Work Orders, OrgPlanner and IT Asset Manager as well as a suite of FileMaker Pro plug-ins that allow FileMaker Pro to integrate with third party applications including Outlook, QuickBooks, Apple’s Address Book and iCal, PDF forms, credit card processing, digital signatures and biometric fingerprint scanners.

In addition to building custom and off-the-shelf FileMaker Pro solutions and plug-ins, Productive Computing, Inc. is a full service FileMaker Pro hosting company. FileMaker hosting services allow customers to host their own FileMaker Pro solutions on Productive Computing servers in the cloud instead of purchasing and supporting the necessary server infrastructure themselves. These same servers also provide the infrastructure for customers who would prefer to subscribe to Productive Computing’s Core4 CRM, Core3 CRM, Core2 CRM, and FM Work Orders products under a SaaS (Software as a Service) pricing model.

Productive Computing, Inc. is one of only a few companies in the United States to have earned the highly respected Platinum level membership within the FileMaker Business Alliance and recently won the exclusive FileMaker Business Alliance Partner of the Year award.

Productive Computing, Inc.
950 Boardwalk, Suite 205
San Marcos, CA 92078
http://www.productivecomputing.com
info@productivecomputing.com
(760) 510-1200

Press Contacts:
Productive Computing, Inc.
Keith Larochelle
(760) 510-1200

Author: Categories: Music Director Pro Tags:

PCI Expands FileMaker Pro Hosting Services

February 21st, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

San Diego, CA – February 21, 2013 – Productive Computing, Inc., a Platinum member of the FileMaker Business Alliance, today announced the opening of a new FileMaker® Pro hosting data center to service customers east of the Mississippi river.

“For hosted databases, distance from the end user to the server is a critical variable in database performance. Since we strive to have the best possible performance, we are constantly looking for ways to provide a better user experience for our customers. Expanding our infrastructure by adding a new data center is another example of our commitment to our customers and will greatly increase our ability to satisfy users on the eastern side of the United States.” —Marc Larochelle, CEO, Productive Computing, Inc.

FileMaker Pro hosting services allow customers to host FileMaker databases or solutions on Productive Computing servers in the cloud. All the necessary server infrastructure and software is maintained by PCI and kept up-to-date for optimum performance.

FileMaker Hosting Differences You Can Count On:
While there are many choices out there for hosting a FileMaker Pro Database, keeping things focused and simple to efficiently accomplish your hosting needs is our philosophy. Here are some things that make Productive Computing, Inc.’s FileMaker Pro Database Hosting service different:

1.  We are a large FileMaker Platinum development firm with an expansive and expert knowledge of all things FileMaker (not just a hosting company who may or may not know how FileMaker works under the hood).

2.  We have dedicated servers with SSD drives (nothing virtual, nothing outdated) and as a result have read/written times faster than just about any traditional hard drives.

3.  We don’t overload our servers with too many files or customers and we always use the latest version of FileMaker server and OS security patches after we have tested them.

4.  We perform local backups, twice daily backups to a physical attached drive, and to the cloud. That gives us 3 points of redundancy for disaster recovery and up to 30 days of data as well as weekly and monthly snapshots.

5.  We provide a weekly DropBox backup (more often if needed) for those customers who want the peace of mind to know their data is at their fingertips. No cumbersome FTP programs to use to get at your data should you need it.

6.  We provide direct FileMaker Server Admin console access for users on FileMaker 12 where they can close and open files, download files, etc. We can provide direct access to FileMaker 11 Server Admin as well for developers who request it.

7.  For developers who are thinking of referring their customers to us, we treat your customers as if they were our customers in the event they work with us.

8.  We provide a unique Instant Web Publishing (IWP) scenario that will auto redirect IWP users to a web page of your choosing upon IWP time out or IWP log out. We developed this technology here in-house and it’s truly one of a kind.

9.  Distance from the server to the client is a big factor which is why we are continuing to invest in our infrastructure by putting servers in all corners of the country.

Watch the video below for information on FileMaker Database Hosting benefits:
YouTube Preview Image

Various FileMaker hosting server locations also provide a foundation for Software as a Service (SaaS) product subscriptions. Products including Core4 CRM, Core3 CRM, Core2 CRM, FM Work Orders, and Music Director Pro are available to customers for a monthly fee under SaaS.

Sign up for a FREE 30 day trial of FileMaker Database hosting or SaaS today!

 

About Productive Computing, Inc.
Since 1996, Productive Computing, Inc. has been helping its customers become more efficient and profitable by implementing custom software solutions using FileMaker Pro. Utilizing FileMaker Pro as a rapid application development tool, their certified FileMaker developers can create custom applications that a business can run on their Windows or Macintosh desktop computers, in a web browser, on an iPad or iPhone or shared simultaneously on all of these platforms.

Productive Computing, Inc. also produces several off-the-shelf productivity solutions such as Core4 CRM, Core3 CRM, Core2 CRM, Core2 Invoices, Music Director Pro, FM Work Orders, OrgPlanner and IT Asset Manager as well as a suite of FileMaker Pro plug-ins that allow FileMaker Pro to integrate with third party applications including Outlook, QuickBooks, Apple’s Address Book and iCal, PDF forms, credit card processing, digital signatures and biometric fingerprint scanners.

In addition to building custom and off-the-shelf FileMaker Pro solutions and plug-ins, Productive Computing, Inc. is a full service FileMaker Pro hosting company. FileMaker hosting services allow customers to host their own FileMaker Pro solutions on Productive Computing servers in the cloud instead of purchasing and supporting the necessary server infrastructure themselves. These same servers also provide the infrastructure for customers who would prefer to subscribe to Productive Computing’s Core4 CRM, Core3 CRM, Core2 CRM, and FM Work Orders products under a SaaS (Software as a Service) pricing model.

Productive Computing, Inc. is one of only a few companies in the United States to have earned the highly respected Platinum level membership within the FileMaker Business Alliance and recently won the exclusive FileMaker Business Alliance Partner of the Year award.

Productive Computing, Inc.
950 Boardwalk, Suite 205
San Marcos, CA 92078
http://www.productivecomputing.com
info@productivecomputing.com
(760) 510-1200

Press Contacts:
Productive Computing, Inc.
Keith Larochelle
(760) 510-1200