FileMaker CWP performance tip

If you have a website that connects to a FileMaker database, this simple tip might help improve performance.

Skeleton Key is headed to FileMaker DevCon 2016

top, right: Mark Richman; bottom, left to right: Calvin Cooper, Chad Adams, Greg Lane
top, right: Mark Richman; bottom, left to right: Calvin Cooper, Chad Adams, Greg Lane

Mark Richman, President, Greg Lane, VP of Application Development, Chad Adams, Senior Developer and Trainer, and Calvin Cooper, Developer, are headed to Las Vegas from July 18-21 to participate in FileMaker, Inc.’s annual Developer Conference aka DevCon. They’ll be staying at The Cosmopolitan, host hotel of more than 60 DevCon sessions. They will join over 1,500 FileMaker developers to network, catch up with colleagues and take advantage of the variety of session tracks including core, design, innovation, mobility, business & web, to further their knowledge with tips, best practices, and techniques to continue building powerful business solutions for our clients. Mark, Greg and Chad will have the honor to host four of these sessions.

Sizing layouts for Android devices for FileMaker 15 WebDirect

With the release of FileMaker 15 Server the Chrome browser on the Android operating system is now supported for use with FileMaker 15 WebDirect when using devices with a five inch or larger screen. I have spent some time testing this out and I’ve found that things seem to work as well as it does on the other platforms. However, during my testing I did come across something I found to be a bit odd and not quite as intuitive due to the variety of Android screen sizes and resolutions.

iOS has historically used whole number multipliers to scale to the native screen resolution. Using either a 2x or 3x multiplier they can scale the output resolution to the native screen resolution and keep all elements of the items large and legible on the device screens.

Android uses multipliers in the same manner as iOS, however the difference is that Android strays from simple 2x and 3x multipliers. Depending on the device resolution the multiplier may be anywhere from 1.3x to 3.5x! With the increasing density of new devices this problem is only going to get worse.

FileMaker Go 15 background scripts

When FileMaker Go is running a script and the user locks the device or switches to another app, the script is paused and FileMaker Go enters a suspended state. Check out this video for a simple technique to allow a script to continue to run while FileMaker Go 15 is in the background. This can be a great way to help ensure a long-running script isn’t interrupted by an impatient user.

Integrating Autotask with FileMaker

Autotask to FileMaker

Group Session #1

Hi. My name is Andy and I’m an API Addict.

In my defense, I have to say it’s all Brian Dunning’s fault. See, when I was first starting out with FileMaker, and discovered all that sample data on Mr. Dunning’s website, I found I couldn’t get enough. I was sorting, and parsing, and testing, and munging, and wrangling, and…and…and I just kept needing bigger and bigger datasets to “work” with. When I’d gone through the biggest one there, I realized I still needed more.

2016 FileMaker Training Course Schedule

ChalkboardSK

Our 2016 FileMaker training courses are scheduled!

Our trainers are Certified FileMaker Developers, who have been developing custom solutions at Skeleton Key for many years. Please visit each page for information, dates, and to register.

If you would like an individual invoice, please contact us. We offer a multi-person discount for companies that would like to send more than one trainee. Please contact us with interest in this discount. We offer on-site training for companies that qualify. Please contact us if you’d like training for your staff members at your company’s location.

FileMaker naming conventions

In a recent discussion at the FileMaker Community a question was asked about why a FileMaker developer would choose NOT to use SQL-friendly field names. It’s an important question that I believe many FileMaker developers often answer incorrectly. Here’s a bit about how my view of naming conventions has changed over time.

For reference, a SQL-friendly field name in FileMaker would be a name that:

starts with a letter
contains only letters, numbers, and underscore characters
is not a reserved word (an evolving list of over 200 words including DATE, FIRST, FROM, VALUE, ZONE, etc.)

Developers also often adopt naming conventions that use PascalCase, camelCase, or a variety of prefixes and suffixes to indicate properties of the field or alter the sort order of fields.

I was once in the camp that thought it was a best practice to always use these kinds of naming conventions to optimize developer productivity. I come from a computer science background with experience in dozens of different languages, each with its own arcane naming rules. Some of those languages were created when every byte was precious…many computers had just a few kilobytes of memory, data transfer rates were measured in bits per second, and programs and data were stored on punched cards or magnetic tape. I started using some amalgamation of the various rules I knew when I began using FileMaker in 1986. Over the years, my naming conventions evolved modestly as the FileMaker platform changed and I was exposed to other developers’ code.
GL_BW_2011-06

L5SimpleFM v 1.0 – A Composer and Laravel 5 friendly PHP package for interacting with hosted FileMaker data

TLDR Overview

L5SimpleFM is a PHP package used to provide a simple, readable, declarative syntax for accessing data hosted on a FileMaker Server from a composer-friendly PHP project. The package also has a ServiceProvider class which allows it to be easily pulled into a Laravel 5 project.

Join Us for FM Academy Webinar: Options for Licensing FileMaker Platform

Join us Tuesday, September 22, for a free one-hour webinar at 2pm (EST)/ 1pm (CST)/ 11am (PST), as Mark Richman presents Options for Licensing FileMaker Platform. During the webinar, he will explain the different options for connecting users to FileMaker solutions, and demystifies the various options for licensing the technology.

Help iOS users save their data

I ran into a situation recently where a user would not or could not remember to commit their changes before exiting their FileMaker Go solution on their iPad.

The truth is it’s easy to complain that the user isn’t using the system as it was intended. Complaining about the user doesn’t really solve the problem, and we are problem solvers. This is custom software; it should work the way the user works, not the other way around.

clock

In this case, the user was using an iPhone or iPad Mini. He pulls it from his pocket, opens a work order, adds some photos and notes, and then sticks the device back in his pocket. Then he does some work (like replacing a window in a building) and then takes some more photos of the completed repair.