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Sending & Receiving MMS with FileMaker

As a business owner, communication with your customers and your employees is key. While FileMaker has long supported sending plain text emails, many businesses find that more immediate communication is critical to their workflow. These include:  Alerting a customer that their order is ready for pick-up once a job is marked “complete.”  Sending photographs of equipment condition at the end of the workday.  Confirming availability with an employee to staff an upcoming event. Now that F

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How Investing in Claris FileMaker Hosting Can Improve Business Outcomes

Your business depends on your Claris FileMaker solution. But if you are hosting FileMaker locally (on server hardware in your home or office), you are putting that critical piece of your business infrastructure at unnecessary risk – and making more work for yourself and your team.  Making the investment in offsite Claris FileMaker hosting, with a company like Productive Computing (PCI), is ultimately a safer, more secure, and more efficient option for your data.  See our hosting options

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Using JSON with Claris FileMaker

If you have done any development work in Claris FileMaker or worked with APIs, you may have heard references to JSON but not been aware of how to use JSON with Claris FileMaker.  JSON, which stands for JavaScript Object Notation, is the universal standard for moving data between two systems, especially via APIs. Essentially, it is a format of JavaScript but is NOT limited to JavaScript. It is plain text formatted with characters and symbols that identify and describe that text.  An understandi

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How to Send Emails from Claris FileMaker (Plain Text and HTML)

Does your team need to send emails from Claris FileMaker? There are three methods you can use to send emails from FileMaker. Some are free and simple, while more advanced options require paid third-party products.  Let’s dive into the best ways to send plain text emails, format HTML, and send HTML emails through FileMaker.  Sending a plain text email from FileMaker The good news is that, if you want to send very basic plain text emails from FileMaker, it’s easy for a developer to s

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My Thoughts on the Future of Claris

Claris recently made some really big announcements and I thought I’d share some specific thoughts on the future of Claris. My journey with FileMaker started way back in 1991 so needless to say I’ve had the privilege to experience first-hand a LOT of news and innovations over the years. Truth be told, some of the announcements during that long journey would leave me wondering, “Hmm, is that all there is? What about XYZ feature and aren’t they forgetting about the XYZ situation?”  But this time t

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The History Of QR Codes—And How To Create Them In Seconds In FileMaker

From coffee shops to flyers to the workplace, QR codes are everywhere. But how long have QR codes been around, and why are they better than their predecessor, the barcode?  Let’s dive into the history of QR codes, as well as how businesses can quickly generate QR codes using a simple FileMaker setup. Use our sample file to connect The history of the QR code The barcode was originally patented in 1951, so we’ve been using barcodes for decades. However, in

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Find Data Fast: Improving FileMaker Quick Find Searches

There’s a reason why Google owns over 92% of the search engine market: it’s quick, dynamic, and helps users find the information they need. It even suggests and refines searches depending on what you type into the search bar.  Users have come to expect this kind of efficiency, but if you’re looking for this functionality in FileMaker, it can be tough to set up on your own. However, with the right approach, you can make FileMaker searches easier for both your developers and users.  Curious abou

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Sending Texts From FileMaker With Twilio

Are you sending text messages to your customers? Although 54% of consumers prefer to chat with brands via text message, only 11% of brands use texting to communicate. Texting may sound too complex, or too costly. But with open rates at 98% (compared to 20% for email), text message marketing is a great way to get in touch with your customers with less hassle. Learn why text messages are so critical for your business, as well as how you can start sending texts through FileMaker with the Twilio A

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How a FileMaker Maintenance Support Program Can Work for You

Your business relies on your FileMaker solution, which means that when it needs an upgrade or a major overhaul, you can't put it off. These types of big projects are exactly what the Custom Development Team at PCI works on every day. But what about…everything else? Time and time again, we see clients with wishlists that get deprioritized in favor of just keeping things running. A new button, a report that's easier to read, a portal upgrade -- these are the things that always hang out at the bo

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3 Critical Reasons to Use BaseElements

Are you trying to optimize your FileMaker solution? FileMaker allows you to build just about anything, but it can be time-consuming to manage all of your code and files. Instead of doing this work manually, you can use the BaseElements analysis tool—it analyzes files and spots issues that would otherwise take a lot of time to do yourself. Whether you’re a developer looking for a way to save time or you’re a business owner who wants to verify that your solution is running smoothly, BaseElements

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Setting Up FileMaker with a Weather API

As you may know from experience, the weather has a tremendous impact on your ability to do business. With a weather API in FileMaker, you can quickly adjust your plans to keep your team safe and productive, no matter what. How APIs work An application programming interface (API) allows programs to talk to one another. In an increasingly digitized world, APIs are the glue that allows so many of our favorite applications to work together. Most APIs use a text-based language like JSON to standar

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Interested in Using the FileMaker Barcode Add-On With Your FileMaker Solution?

Data moves our world. Tools like barcodes make it possible to transmit this essential data much more quickly. Thanks to the latest versions of Claris FileMaker, it’s possible for your organization to not only process barcodes, but to also: Generate barcodes. Store and retrieve information. Scan barcodes in the field with the FileMaker Go app. Let’s dig into how barcodes can improve your organization and how FileMaker’s built-in barcode add-on makes everything simpler.

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Mastering FileMaker Server – Learn best practices for hosting your own FileMaker files

Did you see our course, Mastering FileMaker Server? Productive Computing University revamped its FileMaker SSL course to address much more than installing SSL certificates in FileMaker Server. Installing SSL certificates on FileMaker Server was no picnic back in the day, and thanks to recent updates, a 2-3 hour course solely providing instructions on SSL certificates may no longer be necessary. Now that it’s easier to install SSLs with FileMaker Server, PCU updated the course with an expanded l

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Five Great Interviews from DevCon 2017

With the holidays right around the corner, Devon 2017 feels like a long time ago. If you are missing that exciting buzz experienced at DevCon, we invite you to take a listen to FileMaker Talk’s podcast from DevCon – “ Live at DevCon in Phoenix 2017” . You need to open it up in iTunes, but it will certainly transport you right back to Phoenix (lazy river and 99-degree weather not included).   The podcast starts out with Matt Navarre interviewing Jesse Barnum from 360Works. J

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Richard Carlton Plug-in Review: Biometric Fingerprint Reader

Richard Carlton (Richard Carlton Consulting) recently did a video with our CEO, Marc, and our plug-in developer, Chris, discussing our sleeper plug-in, the Biometric Fingerprint Reader. Released in 2011, this plug-in connects your FileMaker solution to the U.are.U fingerprint reader, enabling your solution to scan fingerprints for fast identification and secure verification. We don’t talk about this plug-in very much nor do we spend a lot of time marketing it, but it’s a well-designed, tried an

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FileMaker Hosting – What Plan is Right for You?

When it comes to hosting your FileMaker solution, there are a lot of options out there. You can host it yourself onsite, you can host with a service, or you can explore FileMaker Cloud. Let’s assume that you’ve decided the hassle and costs associated with hosting your solution yourself are too prohibitive and you’ve decided to host with a service. Now you’re looking at plans. There is shared hosting and dedicated hosting and concierge services for FileMaker Cloud (not discussed in this blog, bu

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Seven Reasons to Use the FM Credit Card Plug-in with your FileMaker Solution

FM Credit Card v1 was first released in April of 2011 and discontinued in August of 2015. After increased interest from clients, we decided to bring the plug-in back to life, bigger and better than ever, and released v2 in September of 2017. If you are a v1 client, you might be wondering, what’s so great about v2? Well, this blog will answer that for you. Here are seven good reasons to upgrade to FM Credit Card version 2. Don’t feel like reading? Check out this quick video from our CEO, Marc

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Core5 Starter Edition CRM – Integrating FileMaker with QuickBooks

The Core5 Starter Edition CRM comes with an impressive level of QuickBooks integration right out of the box. It can connect to QuickBooks Desktop or Online. Core5 is preconfigured to: 1. Import Items, Taxes, Customers, and Vendors from QuickBooks 2. Push contacts to QuickBooks 3. Push invoices to QuickBooks 4. Pull balance due for invoices 5. Pull most recent payment date It also has the ability to set flags on customer or invoice records to notify the user that something has been updated

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PCI Performs BigCommerce Integration

We recently assisted a customer integrate BigCommerce with their Core4 CRM FileMaker solution. BigCommerce is an online platform that helps businesses build an e-commerce presence. The platform allows customers to build and customize their site, take orders, and manage shipping. Our client sells restoration parts for the MOPAR auto industry and they recently upgraded to FileMaker 16. We were asked to write a routine to help them better integrate BigCommerce with their elaborate FileMaker sol

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Musicians Make the Best Developers?

Our CEO, Marc, recently wrote a blog for Elusive Moose asking the question “Do musicians make the best developers?” and exploring the correlation between developers and musical talent/ inclination. Is there a link there? If so, why? If you are looking for a fun and quick read, check it out at: https://elusivemoose.com/2017/10/musicians-make-best-developers/ View the full article

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macOS High Sierra Compatibility

macOS High Sierra was released on September 25 and we worked diligently to test and update each of our plug-ins to confirm compatibility with the new OS. If you have updated to High Sierra make sure you download an updated plug-in. Each plug-in comes with an updated demo file and many plug-ins feature new functionality, updated documentation, and bug fixes. Plug-ins: FM Books Connector Online v2.0.3.1: Available for client or server-side deployment and compatible with FileMaker Cloud, the FM

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Let’s talk integration – FileMaker to QuickBooks Integration

Earlier in the year our CEO, Marc, did a webinar for the Blue Feather Group/ Atlanta FileMaker Dev Group all about integrating FileMaker and QuickBooks – but before we get into that, let’s talk a bit about why Marc spoke on this topic. Here at Productive Computing we have made it our business to know all there is about QuickBooks and FileMaker integrations and to offer our clients an array of products and services to help them get up and running with an integration. We offer: – The FM Books

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Which is right for your integration? Outlook Manipulator or Exchange Manipulator SE?

If you are interested in integrating your FileMaker solution with Microsoft Exchange or Outlook and you have taken a peek at our site, you have probably seen that we offer a plug-in for each. To further muddy the issue – you’ve probably noticed that the Outlook Manipulator works within the Exchange Environment. So which plug-in is right for your integration- Outlook Manipulator or Exchange Manipulator SE? We have a comparison chart you can reference if you have feature specific questions, suc

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Get your QuickBooks Licensing at Discount Through Productive Computing

Big News! Well, if you’re a QuickBooks user or thinking of getting started with QuickBooks then this is big news! We are officially an authorized Intuit Reseller – meaning we can save you money on your QuickBooks licensing. We pursued becoming an Intuit authorized reseller because we wanted to make it even easier for our clients to get up and running with their FileMaker and QuickBooks integrations; our aim was to create a one-stop shop for the convenience of our clients. Now you can purchase

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Exchange Manipulator is back and now it’s Server-Side

As some of you may remember, a while back we offered three Outlook Integration plug-ins: SendMail, Outlook Manipulator, and Exchange Manipulator – all were sold at three different price points and offered a variety of different functionality. In November 2015, we made the decision to simplify our Outlook Integration offerings and combined the functionality of the three plug-ins into one, which is our current Outlook Manipulator plug-in. Outlook Manipulator v7 can push and pull data between Fil

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