Tectonic Change

Just ONE more. We promise. Pinky swear!

Long-time FileMaker developer Brian Ginn has wowed us recently with his recounting of his journey from FileMaker solution to native iOS app. Finally, this month he will arrive at his destination, the iOS App Store. He’ll regale us with tales of his brave running the feared App Store gauntlet. He’ll keep us on the edge of our seats recounting the trials and errors that make the intrepid developer’s first contact with the strange and alien App Store Approval process such a daunting task. You won’t want to miss the exciting conclusion to the spine-tingling saga of his experience with “going native.”

Many of you now know that some major changes occurred in the FileMaker world last week. A new CEO introduced. A new name revealed. A new product added to the mix. Exciting stuff. We’re going to review the goings on at last week’s FileMaker Developer Conference and explore how it’s going to affect all of us who live in their world. We will have eyewitness accounts, demos and highlights from the most eventful DevCon to happen in, oh, the whole history of the FileMaker platform.

See you on the 27th!

Once again on our usual 4th Tuesday:
Tuesday, August 27th
Gather at 12:00pm for a BYOBB* lunch
Presentations from 1:00 to 3:00

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

Finally 18, after all these years!

I’m sure y’all have heard of someone who is in their 30s and is still living with their parents, afraid to go out into the world and start adult-ing.

Well, FileMaker was 34 years old last month and somehow has only this week finally turned 18! One could say it’s about durn time that it came out of the basement into the light and made its face known to the broader world.

In many ways it is doing just that. Its ability to connect with other programs and systems is very robust and is only getting more so with the latest release, known, interestingly enough, as FileMaker 18!

This month we will celebrate its coming-out-of-the-basement party with a survey of all that is new and good in our dear friend. We will look at how its new-found confidence has made it even more of an active and productive member of the world outside.

New features, connectivity, speed, functions, tricks-up-its-sleeve and—of course—new licensing practices (yay)! Come out and cheer on our hero as it takes its first tentative steps into adulthood.

See you next week!

This month, our usual 4th Tuesday:
Tuesday, May 28th
Gather at 12:00pm for a BYOBB* lunch
Presentation from 1:00 to 3:00

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

The Elegance You Didn’t Expect

Spring! (Need we say more?)

We’ve found that FileMaker people generally fall into two camps: those who have played around with the platform’s web technology and found it cumbersome, clunky and hard to get to work well, and those who think they understand it enough, but deign to eschew it because it’s not “real web.”

Well, this month’s speaker is neither: to him, WebDirect is a very powerful tool in his kit for serving serious mobile-platform customer needs.

Jonn Howell has been into FileMaker for longer than any of us mere mortals. He has done work for companies of all kinds including several Fortune 100 companies that you would recognize, is a long-time educator (he used to run a legendary side business called “FileMaker Bootcamp”) and has presented topics at Devcon a total of NINETEEN times!

From his secret mountain-top lair in smokey Northern California, Jonn has been developing a presentation that he calls “Elegant WebDirect” and will be presenting it to the DevCon in Germany this June, and is hoping to get the nod to air it at the FileMaker Inc’s stateside conference in August in Orlando. (Word is not back yet, but he will know by the time our meeting rolls around.) That the majority of his installed solutions for major corporate clients are mostly WebDirect makes him the expert wild WebDirect tamer to call!

Howell will demonstrate the best ways to plan, architect and build solutions for optimal performance and functionality when accessed with WebDirect. In addition to demonstrating his favorite tips and tricks for getting WebD to sing, he will finish up with a list of resources for enhancing your own WebDirect continuing education.

Holding all the usual qualifications of the typical renaissance man: a trained engineer, animal lover, musician, educator, thinker, big-time FileMaker lover and general all around nice-guy (he made us to say that last part), makes him the perfect speaker to kick off our Spring series.

And we, the lowly Kentuckiana FileMaker Developer’s group get to see it live and in person, FIRST! Yes, we are the first stop on his pre-conference tour to fine-tune this presentation. We get to learn about Jonn Howell’s explorations into pushing the boundaries of WebDirect before ANYONE else!

Come on out and give Jonn a big hearty welcome-to-Louisville greeting!

This month, our usual 4th Tuesday:
Tuesday, March 26th
Gather at 12:00pm for a BYOBB* lunch
Presentation from 1:00 to 3:00

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

Priorities for a New Year

It’s a new year, and amid the current crescendo-ing cacophony of cyber calamities it might be a convenient time to consider our critical content for conservation in case of cracks in our containment.

Brent Hedden attended the recent Pause on Security conference in Chicago, where FileMaker developers explored all things security in relation to FileMaker and surrounding environs. He’ll share the highlights of the conference and things he learned to further protect his users and systems at his place of employment. Learn what you should be considering to secure your FileMaker deployments and the tech around it.

Also, we’ll have a presentation on importing and exporting. We’ll go over a useful selection of the many ways to get data into and out of FileMaker, be it a simple text file or a complex system that needs to talk with FileMaker.

See you Tuesday!

This month, our usual 4th Tuesday:
Tuesday, January 22nd
Gather at 12:00pm for a BYOBB* lunch
Presentations from 1:00 to 3:00

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

Server Sanity and The Future

If you have attempted to work with the latest version of FileMaker’s powerful server product, you’ve probably been struck with a good bit of disorientation. FileMaker changed nearly EVERYTHING. On top of totally redesigning the UI, they actually moved some key features out to their new “Admin API” and some things even to the command line interface. That means that none of those features are simply a button away anymore. You need to either learn to type a lot in a terminal window, or use one of the several third-party tools that make great use of the new (but powerful) Admin API.

Alan Bird has trod that ground and has some stories about his journey and a demo of the tool he finally chose to reveal the hidden secrets of FileMaker Server 17. If you ever plan to have anything to do with Server 17, you need to learn from Alan’s experience.

Well, the abraded skin is barely healed over on our hypothetical knuckles due to the massive changes wrought in FileMaker 17, and the Mothership is already talking about where the platform is headed next. More changes are in the offing, but we think you’ll appreciate the boldness and creative thought that has gone into their germination. We’ll watch a show of their favorite things, including broad hints of turns further down the road, along with some head-scratchers to ruminate on.

FM “Next” is shaping up to be just as big a step forward as 17 was. Come check out what to expect a mere 6 months from now.

Tuesday. Alan’s place. Tell ‘em the newsletter people sent you.

This month, our usual fourth Tuesday:
Tuesday, November 27th
12:00 – 3:00pm – BYOBB*

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

In case you live in the eastern part of the state, Beverly Voth leads a FileMaker Group in Lexington on the second Saturday of most months at 1:00 PM at the Eastside Branch of the Lexington Public Library, 3000 Blake James Dr., Lexington, KY 40509. Info at https://community.filemaker.com/thread/190579. To get on her mailing list, contact her at beverlyvoth@gmail.com

*BYOBB: Bring Your Own Brown Bag

The Compleat Idiot’s Guide To FileMaker ExecuteSQL

Not you. Us. (Well one of us anyway.)

One of our illustrious co-coordinators, Jonathan Fletcher, has been using FileMaker’s ExecuteSQL function for several years now. In fact, he traces his love for the function back to the super-helpful article that fellow-Kentuckian Beverly Voth[1] wrote for the FileMaker Hacks blog site way back in ‘12 [2].

That article has become required reading for anyone wishing to embark on a journey with the most powerful function that the FileMaker gods ever bestowed upon us mortal developers (uh, sorry, “workplace innovators”).

For the past 6 years, though, Fletcher has been evolving the techniques he uses to deploy ExecuteSQL in all manner of calculation and scripting problem solving. He admits, rather embarrassed, that he considers himself a lightweight in the worldwide FileMaker community. So he finds it quite astonishing that he has gotten pretty good at using the tool to quickly address so many of his data retrieval, formatting and processing needs.

So in awe of what it can do, he has devleloped a system of techniques that he would like to share with everyone. As alluded to above, he calls it “The Compleat Idiot’s Guide To FileMaker ExecuteSQL.”

He will walk you through the [very] basic structure of a common garden-variety SQL function, his default calculation format, supporting custom functions, and a long list of practical applications that take mere seconds to write, and save you tons of FileMaker table occurrences and scripting to get the same answer. “If I can do it, anyone can do it,” claims Fletcher.

Oh, and you’ll also learn when it is NOT a good idea to use ExecuteSQL (an equally good thing to know).

So come on out on the 25th and learn from the “Compleat Idiot” himself how to make this awesome function your own private data slave.

See you next Tuesday!

This month, our usual fourth Tuesday:
Tuesday, September 25th
12:00 – 3:00pm – BYOBB[3]

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

[1] Those of you who would like to make a pilgrimage (or if you simply live further east) to learn at the feet of the SQL guru herself may participate in the group Beverly Voth leads in Lexington on the second Saturday of most months (next meeting: November 10) at 1:00 PM at the Eastside Branch of the Lexington Public Library, 3000 Blake James Dr., Lexington, KY 40509. Info at https://community.filemaker.com/thread/190579. To get on her mailing list, contact her at beverlyvoth@gmail.com

[2] https://filemakerhacks.com/2012/10/19/the-missing-fm-12-executesql-reference/

[3] BYOBB: Bring Your Own Brown Bag

DevCon to Go

There was a FileMaker Go app that FMI produced for attendees at their recent developers’ conference that was filled with information and schedules and social media features and such. It was called “DevCon2Go.”

Well, borrowing the concept, we are going to be bringing DevCon back to you. We will highlight some of the more interesting presentations and have a discussion of FileMaker’s new marketing/branding/positioning stance that they announced.

We’re also bringing home some seriously useful swag to give away!

Also, Jason Scharf will demo his new technique for sending faxes right from within FileMaker.

See you Tuesday!

This month, our usual fourth Tuesday:
Tuesday, August 28th
12:00 – 3:00pm – BYOBB

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

[Don't forget the "Eastern Contingent," a similar group that meets in Lexington on the second Saturday of the Month (next meeting: September 8) from 10:00 to 11:00 at the Eastside Branch of the Lexington Public Library, 3000 Blake James Dr., Lexington, KY 40509. Email beverlyvoth@gmail.com for more information, or to get added to her email list.]

Learning FileMaker

Our presentation on 7/24 surveyed the following documentation, training sites, blogs and forums. Enjoy!

Documents
FileMaker Training Series for 15:
https://www.filemaker.com/learning/archived-learning-resources.html

FileMaker 17/16 Manual for Novices
http://learningfilemaker.com/fm-manual.php

Official Documentation
https://www.filemaker.com/support/product/documentation.html

Knowledge Base
https://support.filemaker.com

Blogs
https://www.geistinteractive.com/blog/

http://filemakerhacks.com/

http://www.modularfilemaker.org/

http://www.teamdf.com/weetbicks

http://www.soliantconsulting.com/blog

http://www.seedcode.com/blog/

http://www.supportgroup.com/explore/

http://www.designingfilemaker.com

http://hbase.net

http://buzz.beezwax.net/

http://blog.jsfmp.com/

http://filemakerfever.com/

https://luminfire.com/blog/

News
http://www.scoop.it/t/fm-news. √

Video
https://www.lynda.com/search?q=filemaker

https://www.filemakermagazine.com

http://rcconsulting.com/videos.html

http://www.learningfilemaker.com

Comprehensive
https://www.filemaker.com/learning/custom-app-academy/

Forums
https://community.filemaker.com √√ (very active)

Basic/New to FileMaker
https://community.filemaker.com/community/discussions/new-to-filemaker/activity

√ = one of the more active blogs

We turn 100 and FileMaker turns 17

We turn 100

So, what do we call it: “century?” “Centi-something-or-other?” Anyway, the point is that it’s been 99 meetings since Byron Songer, Brian Ginn and Jonathan Fletcher had this crazy idea to start a user group dedicated to Filemaker. There were already a bunch around the country, and we hooked up with FMPUG for meeting listings and a blog page.

As part of an effort to get a handle on what a user group might entail, our intrepid triumvirate even took a road trip to St. Louis to check out a group there. A chance meet-up with Alan Bird resulted in his gracious offer of his meeting room for our gatherings. For a while, we enjoyed the brilliance of engineer-developer Bill Holt, until his health eventually failed him. Today Alan and Jonathan are left holding the reins of the group administration and try to come up with something to talk about each month that is interesting and helpful to a variety of users.
Our first meeting was in November of 2009 when we coordinated with a release of a new FileMaker Version and kicked off the group with a bang thanks to the gracious help of FileMaker Business Account Manager Bill Kaiser. Kaiser reserved some hotel meeting room space and paid for pizza and, most importantly, sent a note out to every registered FM user in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. That initial burst of attendance (and an occasional FileMaker-boost-up) created a membership momentum that has lasted us almost nine years (so far, so good). Yeah, we’ve missed a few months along the way, and we are nowhere near the longevity of some of the groups around the country, but ONE HUNDRED meetings is a pretty cool milestone.

FileMaker turns 17

So, in addition to a month-a-versary observance, and in honor of yet another major iteration of our favorite data-focused productivity tool, we are going to celebrate with a handful of demos of FileMaker 17’s new features.

First up, Brian Ginn will demo a methodology that he has been working on for a long time that allows him to create solutions in a fraction of the time it normally would have taken him. He will show us how the new Default Fields feature in FMPA 17 makes setting up his unique field nomenclature a breeze.

After that, we will survey the best FM 17 demos available online. Then we’ll have a question and answer session where you’ll get to ask your burning FM 17 questions. (We can’t promise to be able to answer everything, but unanswered questions would make for some great future meeting topics, don’t you think?)

Come join us for our momentous milestone meeting, share stories of our history, remember a lost member, and learn about the tool we’ll be talking about for the next year.

The Syndicate.

This month, a not-so-usual FIFTH Tuesday:
Tuesday, May 29th
12:00 – 3:00pm – BYOBBUniversal 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

We Resolve to…

We just made a New Year’s resolution, and so far we’re doing pretty well to keep it. We resolved to have a meeting every month this year, and we’re starting out with our first fourth-Tuesday get together on the 23rd. (So far, so good!)

This month we’re having two guest presenters coming to us from locations afar.

First up is Platinum FileMaker Business Alliance Partner Scott Howard from Birmingham, Alabama, who’s going to show us the latest and greatest on using FileMaker 16’s new card window type for nice user interface touches that were totally unavailable before. This is the presentation that he is going to show his own local developers group next month, but WE get to see it first!

And then in the second hour, we will be watching an FM Academy webinar on using the new JSON functions for a very practical purpose. When attempting to call a script and send it multiple parameters, many schemes have come and gone over the years. A new one holds the promise of being a keeper, though: Use FileMaker’s new JSON functions to encode and decode them. Rohit Roy of IT Solutions, a large Philadelphia FileMaker consultancy, will start with the basics of JSON and then walk us through a powerful way to organize your data as you pass it to scripts within your solutions.

Two high-caliber presentations in one day!

See you Tuesday!

This month, our usual fourth Tuesday:
Tuesday, January 23th
12:00 – 3:00pm – BYOBB*

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