The Support Group Blog

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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12 Signs You Should Invest in a Custom Business Application

The thought of actually building your own custom business application might sound impossible. We get it, it's an investment, not just from a financial perspective, but it also involves a good deal of your attention and time. However, most of the easily automated tasks that you do regularly can save you time and money when you perform those workflows with a custom app.

These are some of the signs that a custom business application might improve your business productivity and profitability.

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The FileMaker Data Migration Tool

The introduction of the new FileMaker 17 Platform brings many new and productive improvements to the software. We have the ability to attach multiple files to email messages, copy custom menus, create directories on the fly and more. Those are all very exciting features but I would say one of the life-changing enhancements is the new FileMaker data migration tool. The data migration tool isn’t strictly a version 17 feature. It's really a stand-alone command line app that you can download with a FileMaker Developer Subscription, just like the iOS SDK.

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Walkthrough: Upgrading to FileMaker 17

I've finally jumped on the bandwagon; I've upgraded to the FileMaker 17 Platform. I know, I’m a developer and I should have done it as soon as it released, right?! I have no good excuses, but better late than never. So here's how I navigated the upgrade process.

NORTH

I downloaded the installer file and installed it, so far so good. I opened the file for the first time and immediately noticed the new My Apps window. This new window provides easy access to My Apps and Recent files as well as a button to Create a file. The new UI is very modern and intuitive.

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FileMaker 17 Development Feature: Edit Group Objects

One of the great things about the FileMaker Platform is how fast you can create a custom app that is valuable to you and your coworkers. The ability to whip up something in virtually no time is obviously an attractive feature, but so too is the platform’s unparalleled flexibility to continuously adapt to your needs as they change. They say nothing's perfect and I guess one of the few gripes I had with the program was the minor requirement to ungroup objects in order to make substantive changes to them. 

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FileMaker Pro Target: Jorge Kluchnik

I have run several businesses over the last 25 years, including a trust company and a mutual fund administration company. In all of my ventures, I used the FileMaker platform to automate data management, workflows and reporting. At one point I decided to take an early retirement but very quickly realized I was bored. So after asking myself what I liked most about the work I did in the past, the answer was easy - I loved building data systems!

I have an innate ability to analyze businesses and identify weaknesses within the organization and work processes. It serves me well that I have the complementary ability to recommend and design changes to workflows that greatly increase productivity.

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