The Support Group Blog

Are You a Problem Solver and Citizen Developer?

The use of technology has expanded massively in the last few years. Mobile apps, smart devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT) mean that even the most mundane devices now run some form of "software." According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment statistics reflect this with the growth of job opportunities for software developers, at 21%. We are on the brink of a developer shortage, and citizen developers could be vital to keeping businesses moving in the modern world.

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Claris Engage 2020 Recap

This year marked the 25th anniversary of the FileMaker developer conference, the annual event where users learn and connect. The Support Group has been around for every one of them. However, this particular event was different from the rest, not only because it was hosted virtually, but also because Claris has shifted its focus from technology tools to business solutions. Claris even changed the conference name from DevCon, as in Developer Conference, to Engage to adequately reflect their attention on problem-solving. To that end, this year's conference was centered around how the different components of the Claris platform work together to provide people with solutions to their workflow challenges. These connections extend beyond the FileMaker platform, throughout the entire work universe, whether on planet Salesforce, nebula QuickBooks or galaxy MailChimp.

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What is FileMaker (And What Does It Do) ?

When you're running a business, every dollar counts. And every second counts. That's why running your business as efficiently as possible is so critical.

Fortunately, that's where the Claris FileMaker software development tool comes in.

So, what is FileMaker exactly? And how can you use it to improve your business operations?

Here's a rundown on what FileMaker is and how to use it effectively for your organization.

Let's jump in!

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How To Optimize FileMaker Unstored Calculation Functions

There's always room for improvement and that certainly applies to custom app development. We've discussed some of the things to watch out for when designing our custom FileMaker apps, such as how to deploy them efficiently when we access FileMaker remotely and improve the performance of record creation and modification. Mitigating these bottlenecks alone can transform our trusty old commuter cars into the hot rods we've always dreamed of. But even the best-oiled machines might need some internal reengineering from time to time to continue humming down the road.

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Accelerate How We Access FileMaker Remotely

In the previous article, we chatted about speeding up record creation and modification within our FileMaker applications. As we said, there's no one size fits all way to make an exotic supercar out of a minivan. However, there are ways to make that minivan corner smoothly and stop quickly and maybe even take off from the line like a dragster.

In this article, we're going to focus on ways to mitigate bottlenecks when we access our FileMaker apps remotely. Due to the pandemic, many of our users are accessing hosted apps from home. Of course, we do this over the internet, also referred to as a Wide Area Network (WAN). When we connect to the network at the office, that is typically a Local Area Network (LAN), which usually offers faster speed than a WAN.

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Optimize FileMaker Server Performance

Claris FileMaker is an excellent tool for getting stuff done. It gives us lots of space and versatility, like a minivan that can take our kids to soccer practice and stow a ton of groceries from the local supermarket. Our FileMaker custom apps are just as multi-faceted. But when we inevitably store a lot of our data in those custom apps to leverage its powerful ability to solve all sorts of problems, the system can get kind of pokey. When FileMaker becomes our tool of choice for every challenge that we confront, chances are our system will start to show the strain of all this virtual responsibility. Let's discuss some strategies we can use to solve those pesky FileMaker performance issues. None of our suggestions will transform your daily driver into a race car; however, it may feel more like one.

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How To Protect the Data in Your Custom Applications

In April of 2019, two third-party Facebook app datasets were exposed to the public. The data breach accounted for over 540 million records, including information like Facebook IDs, account names, comments, and likes. 

Breaches that begin with application attacks account for almost 50% of breach costs, even though they only account for about 20% of data breaches. In other words, application attacks are not only possible, but they're also expensive.

As hackers find new ways to acquire data, data protection mechanisms continue to improve.

Are you looking for a way to protect your data? Keep reading for a break down of how to use data protection mechanisms in your custom applications.

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Customize Calendars in FileMaker 19 with JavaScript

We're pretty visual people. It's usually easy to consume data when it's represented graphically as opposed to tabular format. When we're looking at our schedule of activities and events, we typically like to see that information laid out in a standard calendar form. 

It's probably fair to say that we all rely on calendars to maintain organization and punctuality. Calendars are ubiquitous; they're on our walls, phones, watches, tablets, computers and even on some fancy new refrigerators. The use of calendars dates as far back as the Bronze Age. Many of the artifacts left by ancient cultures, from rock carvings to monumental structures, were built originally to serve as public calendars. And, since they're an effective timekeeping mechanism, we learned how to read and understand them at an early age.

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EcoAmericas: A custom Non-Profit Website Success Story

EcoAmericas is a respected educational periodical which is published by Fourth Street Press. It provides empirical news coverage of the environmental conditions and climate trends in Latin America. The content is primarily accessed internationally by universities, environmental agencies and non-governmental organizations to promote awareness and action programs for the region's environmental issues. The non-profit publication prides itself on being unbiased and financially independent so that they can focus on providing objective articles and information to their readers. A network of regional correspondents reports on a variety of issues, including global warming, deforestation and illegal mining. Their work and this information are essential to generating public and political support for resolving these issues.

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Claris FileMaker 19 is Here!

Every year around this time, there's a buzz in the air as we await the new release of Claris FileMaker. This release is a little unique because this is the last annual release. Claris will start quarterly product releases later this year. So now we'll have more to look forward to each year.

As with every update to our favorite development environment, there are a few new features that we realize are going to be game-changers right out of the box. And still, there are a few small additions that on the surface seem to be inconsequential, but over time prove to be real heavy hitters. This release is no different. Let's chat about two winners first.

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