The Support Group Blog

Spreadsheet Alternative: Google App Maker

We all juggle many different tasks during our workday – emails, phone calls, meetings, reports – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! There's barely any time to be productive when you have to process those emails, phone calls, meetings, reports, etc. and turn them into actionable – ideally profitable – work.

The constant pressure to do more with less demands focus on where we can find inefficiencies and turn them into improved productivity. One of the dark holes is the omnipresent spreadsheet. We all use them. It might be Excel or Google Sheets, but you have them sitting on your desktop and spitting out of your printer. We use them to track everything, but should we?

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FileMaker Trivia: How Well Do You Know FileMaker?

At The Support Group, we enjoy developing custom business applications for our clients. But we really like having fun! In the spirit of fun, we created a FileMaker trivia app so that all you FileMaker developers (and fanatics) can test your FileMaker knowledge.

We decided to pool some random information we know about FileMaker into an app to see how many other fellow FileMaker developers are full of random information. This quiz is nothing like the FileMaker certification exam! The questions focus more on FileMaker as a company as opposed to how to use the product. Hopefully, you'll learn something new and maybe brag about your scores among your colleagues and friends.

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How We Run Our Business with a FileMaker and HubSpot Integration

As you may know, The Support Group has been offering FileMaker consulting services for over 30 years. So when it came to finding the best software platform to run nearly every aspect of our business, where did we turn? To the FileMaker Platform, of course!

We needed a framework for tracking our sales leads and customers, managing our projects, invoicing our production plus layers and layers of reporting. Our Vice President of Technology, Vince Dolan, was given the herculean task of architecting and building the system we affectionately call, Harry.  The name was inspired by a dog from the animated television series, Stanley.

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FileMaker Developer Conference 2018 In Review

It's that wonderful time of the year again - the FileMaker Developer Conference. Karstyn McCoy, our Senior Systems Engineer, and I just returned from the DevCon conference in Dallas, TX and we are more excited than ever about the future of this ingenious software platform. It was a week full of motivational discussions and a whole lot of learning.

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FileMaker Support

You've taken the plunge and purchased the FileMaker Platform software and now you're eager to build your own custom app. But where do you start? If you're completely new to the world of FileMaker, training might be the best place to start. Or, is it?

FileMaker, Inc. certainly offers a variety of support resources as do their partners, but we all learn and process information differently because we all have different experiences and expertise. The resounding theme of the FileMaker Platform is customization so it's reasonable for users to expect personalized support. We thought now was as good a time as any to offer a FileMaker support assessment. This is not like the FileMaker certification exam. True to an assessment, this quiz is not about right or wrong answers, but an evaluation of your proficiency with the FileMaker Platform so that you understand the support options that will help get you up and running as quickly as possible. 

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Meet Google App Maker

You've got organizational challenges, we all do. Maybe you want to create a schedule to manage your football team, a class roster to track attendance or a portal where parents and students can review assignments and grades. You don’t have time to install, learn and deploy a traditional productivity application, much more pay for one.

You might currently manage these common tasks with a disparate group of spreadsheets that you've cobbled together and shared with your team. This sort of worked pretty well when you first set them up, but now expectations have risen and users want different ways to view and interact with the information. Basically, your tool has become what folks refer to as the "spreadsheet from hell.” A tangled web of calculations and forms makes it frustrating to interpret and update the data.

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My Path To Custom Web App Development

You might not know it, but you probably use a web application every day. Take your email, for example, if you use Gmail, Yahoo or any other type of web-based email client you've already experienced a web app. You don't need a specific device in a specific location to use the app; all you need is a web browser, any one will do. Pretty convenient, huh? But, have you ever wished that your web app could do something uniquely, only for you? You've looked and there's no feature or setting that provides that function. That's where customization comes in, but I digress...

I was introduced to different types of technologies, like database administration, computer networking, operating systems and such during my undergraduate and graduate Computer Science course studies. The more I studied, the more I realized that web technology excited me the most.

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The New Kid on the Block: Google App Maker

We've been developing custom apps for more than 30 years and it's always exciting to see the space evolve. Now we welcome Google to the custom app neighborhood. The newest member of their cloud offering is called App Maker and just as its name implies, it is a platform for creating apps. Of course, we had to see what all of the excitement was about. We've actually been learning/playing with App Maker since it was released via Google's Early Adopter Program.

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FileMaker 17 Development Features

Have you heard enough about FileMaker 17 yet? There’s certainly no shortage of articles, videos, walk-throughs, etc. about FileMaker 17 and we've certainly contributed to the information overload. There's just so much to discuss, show and brag about with the new platform. FileMaker, Inc. has introduced new, modern and evolving ways to develop custom apps to solve both common and complex business operations issues.

But we get it, it's difficult to process the new features all at once. So we thought it would be helpful to summarize the new features of the FileMaker 17 Platform in one succinct infographic. The infographic is by no means comprehensive, but certainly captures some of the remarkable nuances of the tool. Given that FileMaker, Inc. generally releases a new product version annually, it's nice to keep track of its evolution. 

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FileMaker Pro Warrior: Nancy Rodriguez

After graduating with a Bachelors of Technology in Application Software Development from Morrisville State College, I responded to a job posting for a Database Manager position and the job description mentioned SQL Server and a word I never heard before, FileMaker. I always rise to the occasion so I figured I could learn another database programming language relatively easily. During the interview, I repeatedly referred to FileMaker as “FilmMaker.” Fortunately, Sessions College of Professional Design took a chance on me and within a week I was introduced to their multi-file spider web of a system! Unlike traditional database programs, I found FileMaker Pro easy to use and I loved how quickly I could develop solutions.

I enjoy teamwork – the thrill of brainstorming new/different ideas with my peers and working on different projects together. In an effort to pursue that, I joined The Support Group as a Developer and worked my up to Systems Engineer from there.

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