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Archive for the ‘FileMaker Plug-ins’ Category

Exchange Manipulator is back and now it’s Server-Side

August 17th, 2017

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As some of you may remember, a while back we offered three Outlook Integration plug-ins: SendMail, Outlook Manipulator, and Exchange Manipulator – all were sold at three different price points and offered a variety of different functionality.

In November 2015, we made the decision to simplify our Outlook Integration offerings and combined the functionality of the three plug-ins into one, which is our current Outlook Manipulator plug-in. Outlook Manipulator v7 can push and pull data between FileMaker and Exchange via Outlook and has the ability to communicate to any Exchange mailbox for any user on the system.

Then, earlier this year, we decided to resurrect Exchange Manipulator, but with more functionality and server-side compatibility. We creatively named it Exchange Manipulator SE (Server Edition). We wanted to give our clients the ability to use the plug-in directly with Exchange – circumventing the Outlook application altogether. Similar to Outlook Manipulator, this plug-in can talk with Contact, Calendar, Task, Mail and Note data from any Exchange mailbox or with public and shared folders in an Exchange environment.

Check out our overview video:
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What can the plug-in do?
Depending on your needs, the Exchange Manipulator SE plug-in will allow you to:
· Import and parse emails to create a complete archive of all email correspondence
· Send plain text or HTML formatted emails with multiple attachments from FileMaker
· Send official Exchange meeting requests and cancellations directly from FileMaker
· Accept, decline, and tentatively accept meeting Exchange invitations
· Push or pull tasks and notes between FileMaker and Exchange
· Set due dates for tasks and mark tasks as complete
· Get and set contact images
· Send email “On Behalf of” or “From” another user in the Exchange environment
· Save messages as .eml files (allows you to archive your email in a FileMaker container or elsewhere)
· Send official Exchange meeting requests to required and optional attendees
· Set reminder rules to utilize the pop-up reminders within your chosen calendar application

Why did we make it server-side?
Some benefits of a server license include:
· Added convenience of installing the server plug-in on one machine
· Unlimited users on one server
· Ability to automatically update changes to users’ Exchange mailboxes using FileMaker Server’s scripting engine
· Communicate directly to Exchange without requiring Outlook
· Communicate directly to any Exchange mailbox
· Push and pull information from any device using FileMaker Pro, Go, and WebDirect

One Last Note.
It is a common scenario that with multiple users there are multiple requests being passed simultaneously and these requests may conflict with one another. The Exchange Manipulator SE is scripted to allow and handle this reality. Using FileMaker’s Perform Script On Server script step, developers can call on the server-side Exchange Manipulator SE plug-in scripts in order to perform various tasks, without waiting for a response. This allows FileMaker to queue up numerous requests simultaneously, such as adding a contact while pulling the contents of an email message, while also scheduling an upcoming meeting. The tasks will be executed in the background by FileMaker Server, allowing users to send the tasks off and move on in their workflow.

For more information and to download a demo visit www.exchangemanipulator.com.

Our First FileMaker Cloud Compatible Plug-in – FM Books Connector Online Edition

August 8th, 2017

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With the advent of FileMaker Cloud (FMC), we took a close look at our list of plug-ins and selected the one we felt was the best candidate for Linux compatibility. As any business owner knows – most business decisions come down to time and resources. We knew making a plug-in Linux compatible was not necessarily going to be a small investment on the part of our plug-in developer’s time and talent.

We needed to choose the plug-in that we felt would be most attractive to FMC users and we decided that our FM Books Connector Online Edition plug-in was the best choice. We felt the customer profile for this plug-in was a good fit. Given the fact that QuickBooks Online users are already hosting their QuickBooks files in the cloud, they may be more likely to host their FileMaker solution in the cloud, as well.

With the FMC compatible version of the FM Books Connector Online Edition plug-in clients can now host their FileMaker solutions in the cloud, giving their staff access to pertinent customer information and the ability to push and pull customers, invoices, and other transaction information from anywhere and on any device.

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What is the difference between a single user (client-side) and server-side plug-in?

A client-side plug-in needs to be installed on a user’s computer for them to run any push and pull scripts between FileMaker and QuickBooks. If you plan on having multiple users, integrating with a client-side plug-in requires that you purchase multiple users and install the plug-in on multiple computers. Additionally, users will only be able to push or pull data between FileMaker and QuickBooks when running the solution in FileMaker Pro. With a client-side plug-in, there is no ability to update records or communicate with QuickBooks when using FileMaker Go or WebDirect.

Installing a server-side plug-in on your server allows unlimited users (per server) to push and pull data between FileMaker and QuickBooks. By utilizing the server-side plug-in to handle the processing, users on FileMaker Pro, iPad and iPhone (via FileMaker Go), and WebDirect have the ability to push and pull data between FileMaker and QuickBooks Online without having to install a client-side plug-in.

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Why FileMaker Cloud?

It is important that your solution is as mobile as your workforce. FileMaker Cloud runs on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform and is considered to be an affordable and easily scalable hosting option for FileMaker users.

If you are interested in hosting your solution, but are unfamiliar with AWS, we offer setup and consultation services that cover the initial setup of your FileMaker Cloud account on AWS. This service can also include training if you intend to manage the server yourself. For those not interested in managing their FileMaker Cloud account, we offer monthly managed services that include all labor associated with maintaining your server – so you can be as hands on or hands off as you want.

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Why Integrate FileMaker with QuickBooks?

Does your sales team spend time filling out orders that your accountant then has to spend additional time re-typing into QuickBooks to create an invoice? With a FileMaker and QuickBooks integration, your sales team can create an order in FileMaker and push it to QuickBooks, where it is automatically turned into an invoice.

In your office, is your bookkeeper the only person with access to customer data in QuickBooks? If this is the case, something as simple as following up on a recent payment or invoice balance can require a call or email from a sales team member to the accounting department and then a subsequent QuickBooks search and a return call or email from accounting with the answer. This workflow not only interrupts and distracts your team, it causes delays when a sales team member is trying to follow up with a client.

A potential workaround would be for the accountant to send out weekly or monthly spreadsheets with all clients and corresponding outstanding balances. However, these spreadsheets take time to create and become out of date and inaccurate the moment a new payment is received.

Another workaround to this situation is buying multiple QuickBooks licenses and giving your sales team access to QuickBooks, but that can result in too many people accessing your sensitive QuickBooks file.

Integrating FileMaker and QuickBooks can solve these issues and help avoid workarounds, giving your sales team access to customer balances and payment information directly in FileMaker – ensuring the information is always readily available and up-to-date.

VSS V 2.4: How to Push Invoices and Pull Balances with QuickBooks

July 11th, 2017

If your VSS system is configured with QuickBooks (Desktop or Online) using our FM Books Connector plug-in, you can push invoices to and pull payment and balance information from QuickBooks.

Please contact PCI if you wish to configure VSS with QuickBooks.

Before we begin, it is important to note that VSS is equipped with colored icons that indicate an order’s status in QuickBooks:

1. Red: Has not been pushed to QB/ needs to be pushed
2. Orange: Order has been pushed to QuickBooks and it needs to be updated/ re-pushed to QuickBooks
3. Green: Order is up-to-date in QuickBooks

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VSS can push and pull information about cases one at a time or in batches, we’ll first cover how to push and pull information for a single case.

How to Push a Single Invoice to QuickBooks:
Once you have a completed order, you can push it to QuickBooks by locating the sync icon next to the “Pushed to QB” field.

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When you click this icon, you will see a series of popups as the invoice pushes. The first will ask if you wish to continue, the next will indicate the invoice is pushing, and the third will indicate if the invoice pushed correctly.

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After you have pushed the invoice, you will notice that the “Pushed to QB” field will indicate the date of the push and the icon next to the field will be green.

If you make edits to the line items on an order – such as fix a price or adjust a quantity – after it has been pushed to QuickBooks, the icon next to the “Pushed to QB” field will turn orange. You can then push the sync icon again and it will update the invoice in QuickBooks.

How to Pull an Invoice Balance or Paid On Date:
You can post payments in QuickBooks and pull over balance information to VSS. To pull payment information, click the sync icon next to the “Paid On” field.

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If your order has been paid in full then the Paid On field will populate with the date the invoice was paid. If your invoice has an open balance, you will get a popup stating the amount of the remaining balance and the “Paid On” field will remain blank.

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The More Info tab provides you with additional information such as the QuickBooks ID, the date the invoice was pushed QuickBooks, the last time the balance was checked, and the invoice’s current balance.

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How to View your Invoice in QuickBooks
To view your invoice in QuickBooks, you can go up to the top menu bar, click on the QB drop down list and click “View in QuickBooks”.

Your order must be pushed to QuickBooks before you can view it in QuickBooks.

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Clicking this option will open up the invoice in your QuickBooks file for easy reference and editing.

How to Push Multiple Orders to QuickBooks at One Time (Batch Pushing):
To push multiple orders to QuickBooks at once, you must first mark the order as reviewed.

When an order is received back from a captain, the status will change to “Ready to Process” and a button will appear that says “Mark as Reviewed”.

Once you have reviewed the order and confirmed that it is correct, you click the “Mark as Reviewed” button and the order’s status will change to “Reviewed”.

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When you are in list view, you can click the “Push Reviewed to QB” button and the system will push all orders marked as “Reviewed” to QuickBooks. If you have modified an order that has been pushed to QuickBooks and the icon is orange, this “Push Reviewed to QB” will also push modified orders to QuickBooks again.

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You can also use the list view to do a mass pull of balances. The pull balances button will query QuickBooks for any balances due or paid invoices and update the system appropriately.

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 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