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Setting up your Core5 Starter Edition with QuickBooks Online

May 31st, 2017

In order to setup your Core5 Starter Edition CRM with your QuickBooks Online file, there are a number of steps you need to take.

We have a few of videos that walk you through how to install and register the client-side plug-in (on Windows and Mac), as well as how to authenticate your plug-in with your QuickBooks file.

Here are comprehensive instructions on how to setup your Core5 Starter Edition file with the FM Books Online Edition server-side plug-in.

1. Go to Preferences and locate the QuickBooks tab.

2. Check the box to indicate that you intend to integrate your Core5 Starter Edition with QuickBooks.

3. On the FM Books Connector tab click on the QuickBooks Online button.

4. Then check the box asking if you would like to use this plug-in on the server

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Hosting your file and installing your server-side plug-in:

Before using the plug-in, you will need to host your file. In order to host the file, you need to have access to an account on the server – you either have to be an admin or part of an admin group.

Here are instructions on how to host a file.

Start at 1:08 for instructions on how to host your file and then install the plug-in.

From minute 2:19 – 3:15 the video reviews how to install the plug-in on your server and typical errors that you might encounter trying to install it – as well as how to fix those issues.

If you prefer step by step instructions:

To host the file Go to File >> Sharing >> Upload to FileMaker Server

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1. Select “local hosts” in the Hosts drop down.
2. Select the server you wish to load it on to.
3. Enter server credentials and click next.

It will prompt you that Core5 needs to be closed before it can proceed with the upload.
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You will select Core5.fmp.12 to be uploaded and click upload.
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The Core5 file will upload. Then you can select Done and the Core5 will reopen automatically.
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The next step is to install and register your plug-in:

1. Click install – this will install the local (client) version of the plug-in on your computer and the server-side copy on the server.

2. Enter your license ID in the License ID field and click register. The plug-in will now be running in live mode.
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Test Connections:
The last step is to test your connection – this will authenticate the Core5 Starter Edition with your QBO file.

At this step the process will differ depending on whether you’re on a Mac or Windows Computer.

Windows:
Clicking test connection will bring up a web browser. Log into your QBO account then click authorize on the next window – you are authorizing the sharing of your data between QBO and our FM Books Online plug-in.

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You will then need to copy the session ticket that appears in the browser window.
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Then paste the ticket into the popup window in your Core5 and click OK.
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The Core5 will then indicate that you have successfully connected to QBO.
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Mac:

Click test connection.

Instead of being redirected to a web page like with Windows, there will be a popup window – log into your QBO file via this window and then click authorize on the next window – you are authorizing the sharing of your data between QBO and our FMBOE plug-in.

You will not need to copy and paste the session ticket, as the Mac OAuth process handles all of that. The Core5 will then indicate that you have successfully connected to QBO.

You can now proceed to the QuickBook Import tab to pull in all Items, Taxes, Vendors, and Customers from your QBO file to the Core5 Starter Edition.

FileMaker Server 16 Dedicated Hosting Now Available

May 19th, 2017

FileMaker Server 16 was released on May 9, 2017, and with it came an impressive increase in capacity. This optimization (see image below) will make it even easier for companies to scale their solutions and deal with increased user connections.

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To accompany these capacity increases, there are a number of new features as well – enough to sway even the most resistant of adapters.

New to FileMaker Server 16:

1. FileMaker Data API Trial: From now until September 27, 2018, you can use your FileMaker data in other applications and services with REST-based FileMaker Data API. For more information, check out this forum thread: https://community.filemaker.com/thread/173693

2. Tableau Web Data Connector for FileMaker: Tableau makes it easier to visualize your FileMaker Data. According to FileMaker’s website, the connector is a FileMaker Data API that provides integration with Tableau Desktop.

3. PDF Support: You can run automated reports and save PDFs using scripts performed on FileMaker Server.

4. OAuth 2.0 Support for Accounts: FileMaker Server is all about security. Simplify your credential management by specifying OAuth 2.0 third party authentication providers – such as Amazon, Google, or Microsoft Azure.
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For each FileMaker release, we work hard to prepare and ensure that our clients can utilize the new features available. To accommodate the increase in system requirement necessary to run FileMaker Server 15 and 16, we have doubled the RAM on our Small Team Plan from 4GB to 8GB. Clients can now get up and running with the latest technologies on their own dedicated server for $149/mo.

Every PCI Dedicated Hosting plan includes:
Free personalized setup – we talk with you about your requirements and then we do all the work necessary to get you hosted – giving you more time to focus on your priorities.

Fully managed dedicated server – just another perk of hosting with a third party, we handle ALL labor associated with operating and proactively managing your server.

SSL Certificate – included. That’s one less cost and hassle that you need to worry about.

FileMaker Server Admin Console access – in the event you want to manage or upload files – or set scheduled backups or scheduled scripts.

Unlimited users – scalability! As long as you have the licenses, you can have as many users as you want ( FMS 16 limits you to 500 concurrent connection – so unlimited is a relative term).

Regular automatic backups – schedules and redundancy vary based upon your plan, but if something should happen to your solution, we have you covered with a recent backup.

Dropbox availability – Dropbox is included with our Medium Workgroup and Large Department plans, but a little extra for our Small Team plan ($10/mo).

Access to FileMaker certified developers – we are just a call or email away. With support available almost 24/7, you’ll get the assistance you need in a timely manner.

Secure uploads, downloads and connections – utilizing the latest technologies and the strictest practices ensures your data is safe and secure from prying eyes and that your system itself is running like a fortress – constantly monitored by our experts.

PHP/ CWP/ ODBC/ JDBC/ XML access – integrate your solution and server with a variety of technologies.

Upload speeds of up to 100 MB/s – because no one likes waiting.

Clients can bring their own FileMaker Server license or purchase a license from Productive Computing at a discount. For more information, please visit www.filemakerhostingservice.com or call 760-510-1200.

FileMaker 16 Compatibility Update: Plug-ins and Solutions

May 12th, 2017

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FileMaker 16 was just released and that blue color scheme is not the only thing that’s new! FileMaker 16 is debuting with some exciting updates for both Windows and Mac users.

For example:

– The Window’s version of FileMaker now has independent windows!
– FileMaker Go now supports animation and transitions with scripts, enhanced signature capture, and custom paper sizes.
– And among the many new features in FileMaker 16 for developers – you now have the ability to copy and paste value lists, utilize an enhanced data viewer, and integrate with new JSON functions, enhanced cURl options, and external script steps.

For a complete list of new features and to buy your upgrade today (at a discount) check out www.buy-filemaker.com.

To prepare our products for the FileMaker 16 release, we’ve implemented FileMaker external script steps in all of our plug-ins. These scripts will only be accessible when the plug-in is run in FileMaker 16 and allows a developer to specify plug-in functions as script steps instead of as calculation results.

Using script steps instead of the more traditional methods can make scripting within a solution more direct, as well as help with data entry validation. Some functions accept calculation-style input, while others accept a Boolean “true” or “false” option, and others employ a drop-down list for the developer to choose an option from. As stated earlier, the functionality of the plug-in script step is identical to its functionality as a calculation function.

Here is a video from our CEO, Marc Larochelle, with more information about external script steps.

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Currently, all of our plug-ins have been updated to provide this plug-in script step functionality when used with FileMaker 16. Along with the external script steps, calculation functions will still be provided for use in development; this is to ensure that scripts already integrated with any of our plug-ins will still be viable and functional, and the developer now has the option to utilize the plug-in script steps at his or her discretion.

For the latest information or downloads, please click on the product you’re interested in:

Solutions:
Core4
Core5 Starter Edition
Vessel Service Solutions

Plug-ins:
Outlook Manipulator
FM Books Connector
123sync
FM Books Connector Online
Address Book Manipulator
iCal Manipulator
eSign Signature Capture
Biometric Fingerprint Reader
PDF Manipulator DC
Change Printer
File Manipulator

New Utility Tool: Outlook Manipulator Mac Template

April 26th, 2017

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Now available on our website is a free utility tool for Macintosh-based developers that works hand in hand with the Outlook Manipulator for Windows.

The Outlook Manipulator Mac Template plug-in is a template file that allows Mac FileMaker developers to write scripts from a Mac operating system to be used with the Windows-based Outlook Manipulator plug-in and Windows’ Outlook and Exchange applications.

All functions available to the Outlook Manipulator plug-in for Windows are also available in the Outlook Manipulator Mac Template. However, one important difference is that the Mac Template has zero functionality implemented within it. The Outlook Manipulator Mac Template will not perform any actual data transfer between FileMaker Pro and Microsoft Outlook.

The intent of the Outlook Manipulator Mac Template plug-in is to provide a useful tool for Mac-focused developers and integrators of the Outlook Manipulator plug-in to carry out their development from their preferred environment. For example, a Mac-based FileMaker developer could use the Outlook Manipulator Mac Template plug-in to write up an entire script for pulling emails from Outlook into FileMaker or pushing calendar events from FileMaker to Outlook on their macOS development machine and then access the same script in FileMaker Pro on a Windows machine and perform testing and refinement to ensure the script is functioning as intended. There is no need to rewrite the entire script or comment/uncomment every plug-in function call.

The Outlook Manipulator Mac Template plug-in requires no registration, no extra installations or required resources. To get started, simply download the Outlook Manipulator Mac Template from the link below. Unzip the bundle and place the “PCEMOutlookManipulator.fmplugin” file into either the FileMaker global extensions folder or the direct FileMaker Pro extensions folder in your Applications folder.

Placing the plug-in in the global extensions folder will allow you to open any version of FileMaker and start scripting.
 
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If you place the plug-in in your FileMaker Pro 15 extension folder, you will only be able to script in FileMaker 15.
 
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After you have placed the plug-in in your preferred location, start FileMaker and you are ready to being scripting.

For the Outlook Manipulator Mac Template click here.

For more information regarding Outlook Manipulator for Windows please visit: http://www.outlookmanipulator.com/ and check out the overview video below.

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Important Note: The Outlook Manipulator Mac Template is for development purposes only. For full functionality to communicate directly with Outlook for Windows the full version of the Outlook Manipulator plug-in is required. Unfortunately, communication of any kind to the Macintosh version of Outlook is not available.

Inspiring a New Generation of FileMaker Developers – PCI Focuses on Hiring Local Talent

March 17th, 2017

CSUSM
Back in February, Productive Computing’s CEO, Marc Larochelle, was invited to speak to the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) club at California State University San Marcos.

During his talk, Marc showcased the FileMaker platform, including the numerous connection points to other database systems, technologies, and plug-ins. He also explored the new FileMaker Cloud hosting option that is available through Amazon Web Services (AWS).

As a live demonstration of the capability of FileMaker, Marc created a database that would track a list of member names and the group attendance across the school year. The database featured a dashboard that displayed the data – complete with graphs and charts. Marc accessed this database on a desktop, iPad, and via the web – showcasing the variety of access points available with FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and FileMaker WebDirect and just how quick it is to create and deploy an app.

The president of the ACM club, Omid Azodi, remarked, “After taking a database course, I can see how powerful FileMaker is, how visual it is, and that it is low on the coding side for queries, etc. All the students I talked to really enjoyed the demo and learned a lot from it.”

One of the goals of the speaking engagement was not only to expose students to FileMaker, but also to expose them to Productive Computing as a potential employer. Productive Computing has hired over half their staff from local universities. Five of their current 15 employees were hired from Cal State San Marcos.

When asked why he enjoys these types of presentations, Marc said, “As a resident of North County for over 25 years, I love this place and I want to give back in any way that I can. We work hard to hire local talent from our universities, and we make a point to do these kinds of presentations – because it not only showcases the FileMaker platform to a new generation of developers, but it also demonstrates to students that the skills they are learning in their classes have a very real, direct application once they graduate. Productive Computing believes in investing in its community and supporting the strong economy in North County.”

Former Cal State San Marcos students and current Productive Computing employees include: Francis (hosting and tech support), Jeff (hosting and solution development), Chris (plug-in development), William (developer), and Stephanie (marketing and product coordination).

“When I was going to school back in 2012, I had the opportunity to see Marc present on FileMaker. I was really intrigued and approached him after the presentation to inquire about employment opportunities. Productive Computing allowed me to work part-time while I was in school and then I had a full-time job waiting for me when I graduated.” Chris, plug-in developer.

The transition from school life to the “real world” can be difficult for students, many wonder what a typical day in the life of a career professional looks like or if they will be able to apply the skills they have learned in school to their daily jobs. Francis, who graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Computer Science, reflected that many of the classes he took at California State San Marcos have helped him perform his job at Productive Computing. “Intro to Networking helped me with basic troubleshooting techniques and my Database Management Systems class taught me about working with general database systems and how to develop ERDs (entity-relationship diagrams) to plan out and design databases – especially FileMaker and SQL.”

“While the classes I took at Cal State provided me with a great ground work of valuable knowledge, the one real takeaway from CSUSM was that my classes always put an emphasis on working as a team to accomplish something.” Francis remarked. “That’s something that I find is a big part about working here at Productive Computing. You will hear everyone in the office asking each other questions and tapping into one another’s knowledge and experience to help come up with the best possible solution for a given issue.”

Our solutions architect and main hosting engineer, Jeff, was an active member and officer of the ACM club during his time at CSUSM and attended two presentations by Marc Larochelle during his four years there. “I was pretty amazed by the capabilities of FileMaker 12 when I attended Marc’s first presentation. Then, a year later, Marc and Chris returned to present the latest features of FileMaker 13 and demonstrated how quickly a developer could create and deploy a solution that was accessible via FileMaker Go. When the ACM club hosted a job fair for the Computer Science community, Productive Computing was the first company that I gave a resume to. Within my first month working with FileMaker, I was working on client solutions doing custom development for desktop and mobile environments. FileMaker, in my opinion, is a simple to learn platform with great scalability and almost endless opportunity.”

Reflecting on his education at CSUSM, Jeff commented, “While I was a student, I took a job as a learning assistant and grader for the Data Structures course. Reviewing code written by other students was an eye-opening experience. I graded so many different solutions for a single problem that it made me realize there are always new ways to improve existing code, schema, or design. This realization drives me to solve problems and build solutions that bring Productive Computing’s products to the next level. Efficiency is key and I’m always looking for better ways to process data, enhance user interfaces, and strengthen workflows.”

When asked about his hiring practices, Marc said, “Keith and I are so proud and lucky to be in a position to offer career opportunities for computer science graduates from universities right in our own backyard. It has been so satisfying to watch these candidates go from being a college student to a first-time career employee in a job that is in-line with their degree. Our training program, which gives new developers the ability to learn FileMaker quickly, allows us to offer full-time positions to graduates right out of college, whereas other high-tech employers are typically only able to provide an internship to the same college grad.

“There’s really nothing more rewarding than seeing the next generation of FileMaker developers come alive with the same enthusiasm and inspiration I first had when I learned FileMaker back in 1991.”