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Archive for the ‘FileMaker Plug-ins’ Category

Let’s talk integration – FileMaker to QuickBooks Integration

September 28th, 2017

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Earlier in the year our CEO, Marc, did a webinar for the Blue Feather Group/ Atlanta FileMaker Dev Group all about integrating FileMaker and QuickBooks – but before we get into that, let’s talk a bit about why Marc spoke on this topic.

Here at Productive Computing we have made it our business to know all there is about QuickBooks and FileMaker integrations and to offer our clients an array of products and services to help them get up and running with an integration.

We offer:
– The FM Books Connector plug-in for QuickBooks Desktop
– The FM Books Connector Online Edition plug-in for QuickBooks Online
Core4 CRM and Core5 Starter Edition CRM (both of which come preconfigured to connect with QuickBooks)
123sync Accounting Integrator, which offers two fixed-price integration plans for QuickBooks Desktop
– Custom development services to assist you with your integration
– Discounts on both FileMaker and QuickBooks licensing

We actively work to make it as easy as possible for clients to connect two of the most important office software solutions.

We’re also proud to announce that we just released FM Books Connector v10. And, let us tell you, it has aged beautifully. This plug-in is compatible with QuickBooks 2014–2018 and FileMaker Pro 14-16 (32-bit and 64-bit).

As we alluded to earlier, we’re authorized Intuit resellers and, because of that, we are able to offer great rates on QuickBooks Desktop 2018 Pro, Premier, Enterprise, and Online licensing.

Now, for the real reason you clicked on this blog – the FileMaker and QuickBooks integration webinar.

For your viewing pleasure and to be sensitive to the fact you don’t have all day to watch webinars, I have detailed out what topics begin at what time. If you want to start at the beginning, you can just watch it from the video below.

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At minute 7:08 Marc begins his discussion on QuickBooks and FileMaker integrations. He discusses the various QuickBooks integration products mentioned above and why there is no plug-in for QuickBooks Desktop for Mac (hint: it’s because there is no SDK).

At 11:00 minutes he discusses why businesses use QuickBooks and why people want FileMaker and QuickBooks integrations.

Starting at 15:50, he discusses what a typical desktop integration looks like and at 17:20 he reviews how a developer can do a desktop integration (custom integration, integration package, starter solution).

At 26:10 Marc begins his first demo to show importing contacts and items from QuickBooks into FileMaker and at 33:10 he turns on the debugger to show the “under the hood” of the import for items, taxes, customers, and vendors.

At 45:10 Marc demonstrates a FileMaker to QuickBooks push, specifically of a new customer.

At 48:20 Marc answers the question, why not just use the FileMaker field validation functions and discusses handling field validation.

At 57:00 Marc starts to discuss batch pushes to QuickBooks.

At 1:01:30 Marc discusses some QuickBooks rules that affect FileMaker and QuickBooks integrations and begins to answer some Q&A.

At 1:06:40 Marc discusses the Intuit OSR (onscreen reference).

At 1:08:00 David, a FileMaker developer, shares his own story learning how to do a custom integration with QuickBooks and FileMaker.

Hopefully this helped you and answered a few questions you might have had about integrating FileMaker with QuickBooks. For more information please feel free to check out our website www.productivecomputing.com or contact us at sales@productivecomputing.com.

Which is right for your integration? Outlook Manipulator or Exchange Manipulator SE?

September 7th, 2017

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If you are interested in integrating your FileMaker solution with Microsoft Exchange or Outlook and you have taken a peek at our site, you have probably seen that we offer a plug-in for each. To further muddy the issue – you’ve probably noticed that the Outlook Manipulator works within the Exchange Environment.

So which plug-in is right for your integration- Outlook Manipulator or Exchange Manipulator SE?

We have a comparison chart you can reference if you have feature specific questions, such as, “I need to manage contact data including photos; which plug-in should I use?”.

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If your questions are a bit more complex, we’ve outlined a few user scenarios that could help you make a decision.

When to use Outlook Manipulator:

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1) “Speed is paramount.”

If you want immediate or expedient responses from the plug-in and want to see your data appear immediately in your mail program (in this case, Outlook). Although the Exchange Manipulator SE plug-in will get the data into your mailbox quickly, it will still take time for the background syncing processes to pull and populate the data within your app from the Exchange account.
Outlook Manipulator, in this case, would be best because it is being generated first in Outlook and then pushed to the Exchange account via the sync mechanism.

2) “I use iCloud/Google/an IMAP account for my mail/contacts/calendar events.”

If you are using a non-Exchange account for managing your mail, contacts, and/or calendar events then you need to go with Outlook Manipulator. The Exchange Manipulator SE plug-in is only designed to communicate with Exchange accounts; it cannot access iCloud/Google/IMAP/POP3 accounts. The Outlook Manipulator, since it communicates to Outlook directly, is able to talk to these other account types because Outlook can talk to these other account types.

3) “I don’t have the budget to perform a lengthy plug-in scripting migration.”

Converting the scripts and schema that reference Outlook Manipulator to use Exchange Manipulator may be costly or time consuming; though the functions are nearly identical in name, their underlying mapping, how each function is recognized and specified in FileMaker’s scripting engine, is completely different. If you don’t want to convert the plug-in, we offer development assistance using the Migration Guide and a paid tech support call (or two, depending on how much needs to be converted), or you can simply continue to use Outlook Manipulator.

When to use Exchange Manipulator SE:

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1) “I need to access my mailbox information while out in the field.”

If you work on the go and need a mobile solution (or already have one) then you need the flexibility that a FileMaker Server enabled plug-in offers. The Exchange Manipulator SE will allow you to push and pull data from FileMaker Server – you can do that via Perform Script on Server (for FileMaker Go) or directly from a WebDirect interface.

2) “I need to phase out my robot syncing machine” / “I don’t want to set up a robot machine to sync.”

Again, this is tapping into the power of a server-side plug-in. Your robot machine is/would be set up to push and pull data with an Exchange account or multiple Exchange accounts and this process can be completely replaced by setting up scheduled scripts to be performed by FileMaker Server. Processes can be automated in these scripts for performing mass pushes of information from FileMaker to Exchange pulling data in or performing any combination of features the Exchange Manipulator SE plug-in offers.

There are, of course, other situations that may muddy the water between which plug-in to use. Hopefully, these guidelines have given you a better idea about which plug-in is the best choice for your situation. If not, give us a call at 760-510-1200! We’re happy to talk with you about your integration situation and help you determine which plug-in is right for you.

Check out www.outlookmanipulator.com or www.exchangemanipulator.com for more information on each plug-in.

Get your QuickBooks Licensing at Discount Through Productive Computing

August 25th, 2017

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Big News! Well, if you’re a QuickBooks user or thinking of getting started with QuickBooks then this is big news! We are officially an authorized Intuit Reseller – meaning we can save you money on your QuickBooks licensing.

We pursued becoming an Intuit authorized reseller because we wanted to make it even easier for our clients to get up and running with their FileMaker and QuickBooks integrations; our aim was to create a one-stop shop for the convenience of our clients. Now you can purchase the FM Books Connector plug-in, FileMaker licensing, and QuickBooks licensing all from us. With our custom development services, we can even complete the integration for you – or help you with your FileMaker scripts.

Our QuickBooks offerings will focus on:
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QuickBooks Pro – the ideal accounting solution for your office with up to 3 users.

QuickBooks Premier – get all the features of Pro, plus industry specific features with up to 5 users.

QuickBooks Enterprise (Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans) – this is end-to-end business management with advanced user permissions and capabilities. Connect with up to 30 users!

QuickBooks Online (Simple Start, Essentials, and Plus plans) – get the flexibility you need to access your accounting files from anywhere and additional ease of use features that are not available with QuickBooks Desktop.

As an authorized reseller, we have the ability to resell any Intuit product, including Point of Sale hardware and software, Intuit Payroll, and QuickBooks Accountant licensing. Our clients can get their QuickBooks licensing at a discount and we will beat any advertised price. If you have unique license requirements or don’t see what you are looking for on our website – give us a call! We’ll work with you to get you what you want at the best price. Please email sales@productivecomputing.com or call 760-510-1200.

We have an entire suite of plug-ins and solutions that help you connect with your QuickBooks file:

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FM Books Connector plug-in– connects your FileMaker solution to your QuickBooks Desktop file (Windows only).
FM Books Connector Online plug-in – connects your FileMaker solution to (you guessed it) your QuickBooks Online file. This plug-in is available for client-side or server-side deployment for Windows server, Mac OS server, and FileMaker Cloud)
123sync – two fixed price integration packages offer you the ability to connect your FileMaker solution to your QuickBooks Desktop file – without the need for custom development.
Core5 Starter Edition – a starter FileMaker CRM that is preconfigured to connect with QuickBooks Desktop or Online.
Core4 CRM – a comprehensive FileMaker CRM that is preconfigured to connect to your QuickBooks Desktop file.

Why you should integrate QuickBooks with FileMaker:

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– Push data directly from your FileMaker app to your QuickBooks file – eliminating double data entry.

– Reduce the errors associated with re-keying data in QuickBooks from other applications, PDFs, or paper forms.

– Protect your QuickBooks file by using FileMaker as a central location for all customer account information.

– Give your employees access to up-to-date customer invoices and balance data so they can operate more efficiently.

For more information, please visit www.productivecomputing.com/QuickBooks-Desktop-Enterprise.

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.