And Now, LIVE From the Firth of Forth!

Our special guest this month hails to us via the magic of the interwebs from the lovely banks of the Fabulously Famous Firth of Forth ™. Right away the geographically astute of you will know that we are talking about Scotland, land of Sean Connery, Billy Connolly, Karen Gillan, Craig Ferguson and the alter egos of comedians everywhere.

[As Dirty Harry so famously used to query, "You've got to ask yourself: 'Do you like Scottish accents?' Well, do ya, punk?"]

Well, whether or not you fall under the spell of an authentic brogue or not, Kevin Miller is the real deal. As CEO of LiveCode Ltd., a software company based in Edinburgh, Kevin leads the development of a cross-platform app-building tool called, surprisingly enough, “LiveCode.”

Employing its own easy-to-learn programming language, LiveCode allows you to develop native apps across 7 different OS platforms using a point-and-click interface not unlike the FileMaker scripting and calculation environments we’ve all come to know and love.

In addition, the software gurus at LiveCode have brought that world even closer to FileMaker with their new LiveCode for FM – which allows users to access the LiveCode environment from right within FileMaker, to extend their solutions and to provide additional functionality that is only dreamed of in native FileMaker.

Miller will demonstrate for us just how easy it is to create our own new tools from within the intimate confines of our favorite productivity workshop.

As usual, the absolute best in good, clean geeky fun!

Now, with accents!

See you next Tuesday!

This month, our regular fourth Tuesday:
Tuesday, August 22nd
12:00 – 1:00pm – BYOBB
1:00 – 3:00pm – Presentations and discussion

Universal Design
1234 South Third Street (in the heart of Old Louisville)

Register at
http://www.kyfmp.com/reg/

Join in the discussion: sign up for our listserv at
http://fmpug.com/mailman/listinfo/louisville_fmpug.com

*BYOBB: Bring Your Own Brown Bag

Deep Six. Teen.

Well, last month we learned from representatives of The Mothership, herself, that the raison d’être for our very existence (the group, not humanity, silly) had evolved, yet again, with new features, new tools, new … stuff!

Now that you’ve seen the highlight reel of FileMaker’s latest integer incrementation, let us delve into some fun ways to employ a few of its more earth-shaking improvements.

For those who spend a lot of time in their favorite productivity-producing product, the object palette is the biggest and most obvious time-saving feature. We will expend a small fraction of all that saved time exploring just why that is the case.

Another out-of-left-field new feature is FileMaker’s new card window. A card window is like a popover window in many ways, but unlike a popover, it can have its own context, wholly separate from the window it sits above. It can even come from a different file.

I can’t remember anyone asking for this, but now that it’s here, members of the FM community are coming up with fantastic new uses for it. We’ll look at some cool new things we can do in FM that we never could before.

And, anything else that pops up between now and next Tuesday that looks interesting related to 16 is fair game to be added to the docket. So, keep your eyes peeled for interesting tidbits about it and bring your own discoveries for the discussion.

See you next Tuesday!

This month, our regular fourth Tuesday:
Tuesday, June 27th
12:00 – 1:00pm – BYOBB
1:00 – 3:00pm – Presentations and discussion

Universal Design
1234 South Third Street (in the heart of Old Louisville)

Register at http://www.kyfmp.com/reg/
Join in the discussion:
sign up for our listserv at http://fmpug.com/mailman/listinfo/louisville_fmpug.com

*BYOBB: Bring Your Own Brown Bag

Ring In the New

In honor of a Kentuckian’s favorite way to start a conversation, just let us say, “How about that weather, y’all!”

And the weather isn’t the only thing that is warming up. Business indicators all over point to a new confidence in the economy, be it hiring, ordering, capital spending, or even gas prices. It looks like it’s going to be a good year for business. And that bodes well for creators of systems that enable businesses to grow faster and be more efficient.

This month we will look at one of the two main uses for FileMaker in business. The first being, of course, collecting and massaging data. But the other is just as important and applies maybe even more to the efficient running of a business: workflow.

There are tools that help a business keep track of its processes and help all employees stay in the flow of the work at hand as a cohesive, effective team. Any firm that is in the marketplace to provide a widget or a service has some kind of process where the work flows through from uptake to output.

    A manufacturing company takes in orders, obtains the raw materials, schedules the various stages of the creation process, packages it up and ships it out the door.
    An advertising company takes orders for an “insertion,” negotiates with the media outlet, creates the content, gathers a variety of approvals from the stakeholders, sends the ad copy or spot or artwork to the outlet, tracks that it actually ran as contracted, and analyses the impact of that ad on the target market of their client.
    A foundation that is in the business of giving out money solicits applications, processes the applications (and often a mountain of accompanying supporting material), collates and tracks all the materials, organizes the review process, tracks reviewer impressions, gathers a spate of approvals, notifies the recipients, and tracks how the money is used to benefit the goals of the foundation.
    A private school or post-secondary institution hosts a series of application stages, communicates several times with the prospective student, coordinates the student’s arriving on campus and shepherds the student through the myriad details of matriculation.

These are just a few examples of sequential workflows all around us. A tool that can systematize such a workflow and improve customer (and employee!) satisfaction is invaluable to the efficient, effective operation of a business.

Does anyone know of such a tool?

You do? Cheater.

This month we look at workflows in all their glory, including some real-world examples produced by fellow members.

So, mark your calendar, ask your boss for some professional development time Tuesday afternoon, get in your car, pick up lunch on the way, show up at 1234 S. Third Street at noon, enter the building, say hi to all your friends that share your passion for business efficiency, and enjoy!

This month, we’re back to our regular fourth Tuesday:
Tuesday, January 24th
12:00 – 1:00pm – BYOBB
1:00 – 3:00pm – Presentations and discussion

Universal Design
1234 South Third Street (in the heart of Old Louisville)

Register at http://www.kyfmp.com/reg/
Join in the discussion:
sign up for our listserv at http://fmpug.com/mailman/listinfo/louisville_fmpug.com

*BYOBB: Bring Your Own Brown Bag

Thanks!

This is the time of the year that our national tradition is to express our gratitude. Some of us are thankful for more transcendent things (you know who you are), and others are thankful for more material things, like the bounty that is hormone-fed poultry and the awesomeness that is big guys pounding each other on a field of battle for possession of a ball made from the skin of yet another sacrificial farm animal. To each his or her own. That’s what makes America great!

But, us? We are thankful for all the great people that have joined us this year in our frequent forays into the fundamentals of FileMaker. Good people, good times. Thanks!

This month we have a special presentation by Alan Bird on FileMaker Cloud. Initial response to this new product in FileMaker’s deployment line-up has been guarded because there are still some of the more advanced uses for FileMaker that are simply not supported by it (no Custom Web Publishing with PHP, for instance).

What has become clear, however, is that FileMaker Cloud makes FileMaker Server way more accessible to the casual to intermediate non-technical user than ever before. What you get is most of the huge advantages of using FMS, and next to none of the hassle of buying all the hardware and software and security certificates, and setting it all up so that it works smoothly and correctly.

It is so simple that Alan would like to show you how now anyone can afford, and is able, to take advantage of FileMaker Server as much, or as little as they’d like. (Yes, you can now rent a totally decked-out FileMaker server by the hour! Great for testing or sperimentin’!)

Learn about this game-changing approach to FileMaker hosting this Tuesday. You won’t want to miss it.

As usual, we will round out the program with a discussion of one or more specific FileMaker subjects and have time for open discussion of all things FileMaker, and some things tech.

No matter whether you have never played with FileMaker Server at all or are an old hand at it, you will learn something in this meeting.

See you Tuesday!

And don’t forget: Our December meeting will be on the 13th. Please mark your calendar now for our annual Holiday Treat Fete.

This month, our normal day and venue:
Tuesday, November 22nd (4th Tuesday)
12:00 – 1:00pm – BYOBB*
1:00 – 3:00pm – Presentations and discussion

Universal Design
1234 South Third Street (in the heart of Old Louisville)

Register at http://www.kyfmp.com/reg/
Join in the discussion:
sign up for our listserv at http://fmpug.com/mailman/listinfo/louisville_fmpug.com

*BYOBB: Bring Your Own Brown Bag (Soft drinks provided)
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You are receiving this email because you requested information about FileMaker activities or education, or attended a FileMaker event in Louisville, KY.

DevCon in Revue

Yes, it’s last minute, but have a heart.

A full week of sleepless nights and days of “drinking from the firehose” and rubbing shoulders with the elite of the industry and then “just a nap” that lasted 18 hours, and some semblance of reality is returning to our brain. (We even felt a pulse a few minutes ago, so the prognosis looks good.)

What came out of all of that is some really cool stuff to share about the state of FileMaker and some neat-o tips and tricks to show off.

Ryan McDaniel and Jonathan Fletcher both attended and have much to share.

See you Tuesday!

The DevCon Team

This month, our normal day and venue:
Tuesday, July 26th (4th Tuesday)
12:00 – 1:00pm – BYOBB*
1:00 – 3:00pm – Presentations and discussion
Universal Design
1234 South Third Street (in the heart of Old Louisville)

Register at http://www.kyfmp.com/reg/
Join in the discussion:
sign up for our listserv at http://fmpug.com/mailman/listinfo/louisville_fmpug.com

*BYOBB: Bring Your Own Brown Bag (Soft drinks provided)

Pause on Error Preview

In light of the fact that this month has a rare extra day, we decided to compensate by turning up the dial just a bit on this month’s presentations.

Remember last month when we mentioned that some of our members were going up to Cleveland in March for the mini-developers-conference known as Pause on Error? Well, as it turns out, three of our crowd (so far) are going so as to to represent Kentuckiana in a big way. And that’s not all! TWO of our intrepid journey-persons are actually on the conference’s schedule for presentations! As far as we know, no other city in the world is being represented so well. (Well, in numbers anyway.)

Why do you care? Well, we’re glad you asked that! It’s because those two brave souls will be giving a preview of their presentations to you, our loyal members, this month! (Even if you’re not so loyal, fear not: we’ll still let you come.)

Brent Hedden will be showing how he saved the University of Louisville a bunch of money by virtualizing several instances of FileMaker Server on just a couple of server boxes. Now, if you don’t know what virtualization is (in this context), it means that you can install multiple operating system instances on one computer and have them all think that they are the only ones on the machine. That means that a small company can leverage their investment in their hardware by getting more “bang-for-their-buck.” (As the Pilgrims used to say, “Several computers on one piece of hardware? What manner of witchcraft is this!”) Well, the truly scary part is that that magic is made possible by a nifty piece of FREE software. Brent’s prestiditation will show you just how to work such legerdemain. If you ever chant incantations (with or without the chicken blood) over FileMaker Server, you need to see this!

Jonathan Fletcher, OTOH, is experimenting with an exciting new approach to managing his table occurrences on the Relationship Graph. A relatively new way of arranging TOs on the Graph that has been getting some traction lately, “Selector-Connector” is a whole new way of looking at all those relationships and, ideally, drastically reducing the number of them required to get the job done. Jonathan has been attempting to take the concept to new levels of ease and flexibility and has discovered some exciting new techniques that, he says, have impressed him quite a bit. (Truth be told, Jonathan impresses pretty easily, so don’t trust his word for it, come on out and see for yourself!)

Again, both of these presentations will be on display in all their glory next month before a crowd of raucous and unforgiving FileMaker developers from all over the world. So come out this month and do some jeering and heckling. Because Brent and Jonathan need the practice.

Tuesday. Same place. Same time. Slightly higher setting on the geek-o-meter.

–Your DevGroup DevOps DevTeam

Our normal day and venue:
Tuesday, February 23th
12:00 – 1:00pm – BYOBB*
1:00 – 3:00pm – Presentations and discussion
Universal Design
1234 South Third Street (in the heart of Old Louisville)

Register at http://www.kyfmp.com/reg/
Join in the discussion: sign up for our listserv at http://fmpug.com/mailman/listinfo/louisville_fmpug.com

*BYOBB: Bring Your Own Brown Bag (Soft drinks provided)

Warm up to FileMaker

Well, FINALLY it got cold. Good thing! As everyone knows the 13th law of thermodynamics (the Conservation of Winter Energy, posited by Albert Einstein’s smarter brother, Brilliant) insists that we’ll have a really harsh rest of the winter to compensate for the “free ride” we’ve had so far. We would have hated to see the glaciers that would be forming in our driveways in February if the actual winter hadn’t gotten underway soon.

So now, it’s our second favorite time of the year: the time we huddle together for warmth and swap nostalgic yarns about our favorite rapid application development platform! And cocoa. Got to have cocoa. You know, with the little marshmallows in it? Yeah.

And this month, as part of our occasional series on FileMaker in the Real World, member Dr. David Geller will talk about how he uses FileMaker to streamline and systematize business processes in his surgery practice.

Next up: Brent Hedden will show us what the Base64 functions are all about. Did you know that you could save any kind of file, including a photo, as a long (long) string of text? Yep, you could then send it to someone, and upon receipt they could decode it back into the original file. Lots of uses for that one. Brent will show you how easy and how useful that is. Using FileMaker, natch.

Also, Jonathan Fletcher will show us three basic and/or easy ways to create new related records, including at least one really nifty one you probably never considered that will create related records for you totally without making you get up and leave the cozy comfort of your main layout.

And, totally FileMaker, but just not KENTUCKIANA FileMaker, it’s time once again for the national FileMaker “un-conference” known as Pause On Error. This conference, put on by members of the developer community at large with no input or support from FM, Inc., draws the top FileMaker gurus from across the country to hone their skills at presenting and showing off the latest techniques they are working on.

An inexpensive and very informal alternative to the major production that is the official FileMaker Developers Conference, “Pause” allows anyone to create a presentation, reserve one of the halls and present it to whoever shows up. That makes it a more eclectic, a more cutting edge, a more interesting, and, yes, a slightly more rowdy little brother of a conference.

Past Pauses have been held in Portland and New York and have all sold out quickly, but this year it’s being held in Cleveland (just one state over!). The dates are March 13, 14, 15 and registration slots are still available at http://pausecleveland2016.wikispaces.com.

And rumor has it that others of the KYFMDev community might be going, so let us know if you’re interested and we might be able to get a “party van” for the trek.

Regardless, See you next Tuesday.

–Your DevGroup team

Our normal day and venue:
Tuesday, January 26th (Back to the usual 4th Tuesday)
12:00 – 1:00pm – BYOBB*
1:00 – 3:00pm – Presentations and discussion
Universal Design
1234 South Third Street (in the heart of Old Louisville)

Register at http://www.kyfmp.com/reg/
Join in the discussion: sign up for our listserv at http://fmpug.com/mailman/listinfo/louisville_fmpug.com

*BYOBB: Bring Your Own Brown Bag (Soft drinks–and cocoa–provided)

November Meeting

Hey, y’all!

Even though the days are getting shorter, be thankful that there are still plenty of hours in the day to learn new things about FileMaker!

This month we have a presentation on a simple approach to creating a glossary of your own. Pick your terms and make it as simple or as extensive as you need. This is a real-life “FileMaker 101″ project created by our own Alan Bird for his master class of Renaissance Academy students.

Also, this month we will learn about a handy new open source (that means “free”) solution for adding an audit log to your solutions. “What’s an audit log,” you say?” Good question! An audit log is a process whereby all changes to the data in a solution are logged as to who, what, where, and when the changes were made. It’s used often in situations where regulatory compliance demands it, most notably in health care, but more and more in other, more everyday, applications. There’s a variety of ways to do this, but this presentation will focus on a new approach that is made possible by the Perform Script on Server script step, new since FileMaker 13.

And, as usual, we will share a marvelous time of FileMaker fellowship as we chase new horizons in everyone’s favorite solutions tool.

See ya Tuesday!

–Your DevGroup team

Our normal day and venue:
Tuesday, November 24th (Our usual fourth Tuesday)
12:00 – 1:00pm – BYOBB
1:00 – 3:00pm – Presentation and discussion
Universal Design
1234 South Third Street (in the heart of Old Louisville)

Register at http://www.kyfmp.com/reg/
Join in the discussion: sign up for our listserv at http://fmpug.com/mailman/listinfo/louisville_fmpug.com

*BYOBB: Bring Your Own Brown Bag

Document Management Overview

It’s October. But, then, you already knew that. We’ll bet you also know that the fourth Tuesday of every month is the time we get together to slake our thirst for more FileMaker knowledge. And, we’ll also bet that you already know that this month will be no different. Well, ain’t we just so durn predictable!

Come join us Tuesday next as we talk about storing all kinds of documents and other files in container fields. We’ll cover how to get files into and out of FileMaker and how to store multiple documents per record. We even show you how to set up FileMaker so that all those high resolution scans you made of all your old album covers don’t blow up the size of your file so much that it becomes too big to manage.

In order to give you some perspective, we’ll examine a couple of real live workflows—on the desktop and on iOS—that take advantage of a variety of the cool features of FileMaker 14 that deal with storing documents and files.

If you’ve ever had your mind boggle by the sheer myriad of possibilities before you when it comes to document management in FileMaker, come have it all straightened out for you.

And as an extra special bonus we will watch a presentation given at DevCon 2014 called “60 Power Tips.” Some will go over your head; some you will already know, but some of them you will watch and say to yourself, “Why didn’t I know that before?”

So come on out and let’s do FileMaker.

Tuesday. Noon. Be there.

–Your DevGroup team

Back to our normal day and venue:
Tuesday, October 27th (Our usual fourth Tuesday)
12:00 – 1:00pm – BYOBB
1:00 – 3:00pm – Presentation and discussion

Universal Design
1234 South Third Street (in the heart of Old Louisville)

Register at http://www.kyfmp.com/reg/
Join in the discussion: sign up for our listserv at
http://fmpug.com/mailman/listinfo/louisville_fmpug.com

*BYOBB: Bring Your Own Brown Bag

School’s Back in Session

Schools are back in session all over, but those of us who have “graduated” know there’s never a vacation to learning.

This month we will do what we always do: Try to take over the w-… (Oops. No, that’s someone else.)

We’re going to learn more about FileMaker!

Alan has been downstate a lot recently prototyping a student security registration system at an elementary school. He’s going to show us all how he implemented the system where car-pool line attendants can make sure the right person is picking up every single student every day. It involves, photos, scanning of QR codes and driver’s licenses, iPads and the web. He will talk about a variety of security features he put in this system and some of the technical hurdles he had to surmount in order to have a near-perfect rollout on a tight schedule.

In a related demo, Jonathan will show you how he resolved a technical issue that Alan ran into in the aforementioned security app. Jonathan’s presentation will show you some creative thinking and some functions you probably haven’t used before, and how it significantly reduced the complexity of a key module in Alan’s solution.

So come on out Tuesday for some continuing education in FileMaker.

Don’t stop learning!

–The Principal’s Office

Back to our normal day and venue:
Tuesday, August 25th (Our usual fourth Tuesday)
12:00 – 1:00pm – BYOBB
1:00 – 3:00pm – Presentation and discussion
Universal Design’s International Headquarters
1234 South Third Street (in the heart of Old Louisville)

Register at http://www.kyfmp.com/reg/
Join in the discussion: sign up for our listserv at http://fmpug.com/mailman/listinfo/louisville_fmpug.com

*BYOBB: Bring Your Own Brown Bag