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  • Steven H. Blackwell

    Hacking Your Own FileMaker Platform Solutions

    By Steven H. Blackwell

    Hacking Your Own FileMaker Platform Solutions Should FileMaker Platform developers mount hacking attacks on their own solutions? At first glance, this may seem an odd question. But I believe that the answer is “Yes, we should.” Consider this. As developers we see our solutions from a totally different perspective than Threat Agents see them. Without practicing our own hacking skills, we can become blind to the vulnerabilities a Threat Agent can exploit to compromise the Confidentiality
    • 1 comment
    • 3,015 views
  • Josh Ormond

    A Conversation About '2 Factor Authentication'

    By Josh Ormond

    [ Edit: 3/16/2016 - With the help of some other people, we have been able to recover, or recreate some of the original images from original thread. ] Security is always a big topic when it involves data, or people, or possessions. Recently, over on the FileMaker Community, there was a very beneficial discussion regarding security. Unfortunately, that discussion was the victim of a necessary action...and was deleted. It was deleted, because the discussion was tied to a video that, as was det
    • 1 comment
    • 2,765 views

Our community blogs

  1. This year 2020 will be one of Change and Challenge for the Claris FileMaker Community. It will require Commitment, Confidence, and Community Effort to see it to a successful conclusion. Herewith, in outline form, are some of the Challenges I foresee we will face:

     

     

    1.            We will need to develop a finer level of audit logging of Personally Identifiable Information (PII).  Most logs currently focus on system level activity.  A finer level of focus will assist in achieving compliance with various privacy requirements.  Prompt response timelines for breaches will be an issue as well.

    2.            We will need to improve data level protection via encryption.  The UI layer is insufficient for this purpose. But in the process of doing this, we must maintain system usability.

    3.            The practice of sending SMS text messages to mobile devices to achieve Two Factor Authentication (2FA) needs to end. It is inherently insecure, and there are better alternatives.

    4.            A better approach to 2FA is to adopt hardware tokens of various types. These can be made to work with the FileMaker Platform—indeed they already do so—using expanded oAuth Open ID Connect services.

    5.            We are going to need to adopt context—based authentication. Not just Who are you? and Are you who you say you are?  But also, How do we know this?  And from where are you seeking access, on what device, to what asset?  This is not particularly easy to adopt; however, it can be done.

    6.            Mobile accessibility is due for a change.  We are at the beginning of end of Wi-Fi. In 2020 we will begin to see adoption of what is called Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS). This is not to be confused with the old CB Radio from the 1970’s. Adoption of CBRS is likely the beginning of Connectivity as a Service.

     

    7.            We will begin increasingly to see the containerization of applications and services, e.g. FileMaker Server.

    a.            Unlike virtual machines, they don't need a full OS to be installed within the container.

    b.            Once the container has been created, it can easily be deployed to different servers. From a software lifecycle perspective this is a great help, as containers can quickly be copied to create environments for development, testing, integration, and production.

    8.            We need to adopt processes that facilitate how data owners can assure they exercise due diligence on cloud-hosted data. The owner is the responsible party here. And it is the owner who likely would suffer the bulk of the onus of any breach. In order to exercise this due diligence, data owners must expect and insist on transparency from hosting and PaaS providers about security processes including who does and does not have access to and knowledge of encryption keys. This will not be a straightforward process.

    9.            As we experience more and more instances of Machine Learning, we will need to be aware of, and to guard against, manipulation of the Training Data that underpins this process. Such data are susceptible to attack and to manipulation that poisons the data. Even a very small amount of such alteration can affect the machine learning process.

    10.        The Human Element has always been at the center of effective FileMaker Platform Security.  That will become even more the case in 2020 and beyond as we move to Federated Identity Management and to Digital Transformation. The culture of any organization is a governing element for its success. We will have many challenges here properly to account for and to plan for the Human Element.

    Steven H. Blackwell

    Platinum Member Emeritus

  2. On August 5th, 2020, DB Services was named the Claris Excellence Award FileMaker Growth Partner of the Year for the Americas for 2020.  This is DB Services 4th consecutive year bringing home the award from Claris International, Inc.  The award is presented annually to each region’s Claris partner that achieves the highest revenue and brand growth for Claris. https://dbservices.com/articles/db-services-named-filemaker-partner-of-the-year/

    Claris Excellence Award Winner 2020

    dbservices.com

  3. On this very afternoon, the day before Claris Engage 2020, we pause to contemplate all that’s going to happen in the next few days. While we will miss seeing old friends or meeting new friends in the hotel lobby, at the fireplace, or sipping on a cocktail at the hotel bar, we are excited about […]

    The post Geist Interactive Celebrates Claris Engage 2020 appeared first on Geist Interactive.

    View the full article

  4. In this 2-part series, we’re going to take a look at various JSON-related topics, including a bug fix in FM 19, two free web services that return useful information in JSON format, and several ways to parse a found set into a JSON object. Fixed in 19: JSON validation bug In FM 18 (but not… Continue reading A JSON Miscellany, part 1

    View the full article

  5. FileMaker Magazine
    Latest Entry

    Even though your "database" includes the word "data", data isn't the only thing we categorize and track. We often need to track discrete files and FileMaker is perfectly adept at doing this. In fact, FileMaker's container field is ideally suited to store all kinds of different files.

    The problem, however, is simply throwing a container field onto your layout is never really a good idea. If you allow users to simply drop anything into a container, then you'll surely end up with a collection of duplicate files and files which may not even need to be in the database.

    The best method for properly managing uploaded files is to make sure you control what gets in and how it gets in. This isn't going to be handled with your simple addition of a container field to the same table tracking your contact information. This is best suited with a couple of gateway keepers. Filtering based on extensions and preventing duplicates are two methods you implement into a highly optimized uploading method.

    In the associated video and technique file you'll have access to all the instruction and code needed to start you on the path to implementing the proper and ideal way for managing file uploads into a FileMaker database solution.

    Click the title or link to this article to view the video.

    View the full article

  6. Just because you streamlined your solution during the design phase doesn't mean it's going to react efficiently across a LAN or WAN. You also need to optimize your hardware and network on your FileMaker Server machine. Hardware and networking are usually secondary to proper design but it can make a big difference in how your solution performs if you have sub par equipment. There are so many factors that play into how a solution performs that it's nearly impossible to provide the right answer for everyone. Instead, what I have here is a cheat sheet that will assist you in resolving speed issues.

    View the full article

  7. In FileMaker 16 we lost the ability to print web viewers. With the recent rise in popularity of using javascript in FileMaker solutions, printing a web viewer is now a key problem to solve. In this article we give you a really quick and simple way to print any web viewer in our solution, without the need for a plugin.

    Check out the full article here!

     

     

     

    Thanks!

  8. 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” .

    podcast_edit-1.png

    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. Jesse talks until about minute 11:40 and discusses their MirrorSync product, including its pricing and what’s new with version 4. Jesse’s portion of the podcast also includes an insightful discussion on 360Deploy and how that product works.


     

    After Jesse, our very own CEO, Marc Larochelle, is on from about minute 11:40 until 41:00. Marc talks about what’s new (as of July 2017) here at Productive Computing – which included discussing our latest plug-in, the Exchange Manipulator SE, and its functionality. Marc also hinted that a Google plug-in might be in the pipeline for PCI (wink) and he mentioned that we are now Intuit Authorized QuickBooks Resellers!

    Marc and Matt also discussed AWS (Amazon Web Services) and PCI’s hosting services, including how we manage our servers and why we use Amazon Workspaces. Lastly, they discussed PCI’s hiring and training practices (including our training program for all new hires).


     

    At minute 41:41, Nicholas Orr from Goyacomes on to talk about their flagship product, BaseElements (which now has a new annual pricing model, making it more affordable and easier to upgrade) and RESTfm (cool story – FileMaker came to Goya to discuss RESTfm when they were creating the FileMaker Data API).

    Nick also discusses his vendor session, which touched on the differences between RESTfm and Data API, including format flexibility and authentication flexibility.


     

    The fourth and fifth guests on the show are James (Dave) Ramsey and Todd Geist from Geist Interactive at minute 52:15. In his segment, Todd’s talks about his 2017 FileMaker Award (for Advocacy) and Dave discusses their new product – FMPerception – and what exactly it is/does (hint: FileMaker DDR analysis tool that is crazy quick). Todd also talks about his training day session and what topics that training covered.


     

    The last guest on the show is Mark Richman from Skeleton Key at 1 hour and 4 minutes. Mark discusses Skeleton Key’s extensive participation in DevCon, including the many sessions he and his staff presented during the week (Security 101 and The ABCs of reselling; 7 Tips for Getting More out of FileMaker Cloud and Introduction to SQL and ODBC; The Power of Bi-Directional Relationships and Programming for Power Users).

    Mark also gave his opinions on the benefits of being a one-stop shop for your clients and the benefits of reselling FileMaker software.


     
    There are some great interviews here – hope you enjoy!

     

    View the full article

     

  9. I don't blog much - but I wanted to say i really enjoyed my second visit to dotFMP.com in Berlin a few weeks ago ( first week of June). It was a fantastic collection of brilliant talent! and very kindred souls, that I have had the pleasure of visiting.

    The start to the conference in Berlin was the oldest beer garden in east Berlin - and well when in Berlin :wholeyard:

    IMG_5467.thumb.JPG.309101e1e96880ca5da8e IMG_5464.thumb.JPG.22a481c47065c06be8a09

    Was a great way to start a conference. 

    Here is an audio recording of a impromptu podcast I did with Egbert or @pixi the conference organizer.  

     

     
     
    It was a fantastic program and encourage everyone to come next year June 2-4 in 2016  Point you browser to dotfmp.com or on twitter @dotfmp for the latest updates.
     
    IMG_5475.thumb.JPG.7e4bcad2eccca54bde8bdIMG_5490.thumb.JPG.7296ea4c9199adf61b6eaIMG_5496.thumb.JPG.925dd649036f3445f988b
     

     

  10. FileMaker 12 and SuperContainer: A comparison

    Of all of the new features in the recently released FileMaker 12, one of the most significant is the inclusion of enhanced container fields with managed storage. These enhanced container fields offer users a simple solution to store container assets outside of the database file in order to avoid increasing the size of the database file itself.

    Solving this issue was the driving force behind the development of 360Works' SuperContainer, a server application that leverages FileMaker's Web Viewer to manage digital assets from your FileMaker interface.

    In this article we'll compare the unique features of both FileMaker Enhanced Container Fields and SuperContainer so that you can make an informed decision for your solution.

    FileMaker and SuperContainer BOTH offer

    Small files sizes- Both FM 12 and SuperContainer allow you to manage assets without increasing the size of your FileMaker file. This ensures that your file is still fast, clean, and portable.

    Thumbnail generation- Both FileMaker 12 and SuperContainer can generate network-efficient thumbnails. This means that for image files, the container fields will generate a thumbnail of the image, while interactive files, like .mp3 or .mov, have the option of immediate streaming playback. This can help to optimize database speed as the images and files are progressively streamed to users from the server, rather than waiting for the entire file to download. Note that when using SSL encryption, only SuperContainer supports streaming - FileMaker Server does not. Also note that for thumbnail generation of PDF files, SuperContainer must be deployed on a Mac OS X sever.

    Interactive content- Both FileMaker 12 and SuperContainer can store static and interactive media, allowing you to read through the pages of a PDF document, playback audio or video files, or view thumbnails of image files - all from within the container field.

    Easily move, copy, or upload existing files- Both FileMaker 12 and SuperContainer allow users to easily manage their assets, giving the ability to move files to new directories, copy files to new locations, and easily upload existing container field contents.

    User interface control- FileMaker 12 and SuperContainer both give you control over the look and feel of your layout objects, including displaying titles, metadata, playback functions, upload, download, or delete functions, and thumbnail size.

    Drag and drop- FileMaker 12 and SuperContainer both allow users to drag and drop files into fields

    FileMaker 12 Unique Features

    Encrypted File Storage- FileMaker's enhanced containers offer enhanced security settings for assets stored externally using the Secure Storage option. This encrypts files (AES-128) to be readable only by FileMaker Pro and distributes the files across numerous subdirectories within your base directory. SuperContainer only offers encryption during transfer, not in a stored state.

    Upload from FileMaker Go- While both FileMaker 12 and SuperContainer work well for read-only mode in FileMaker Go, only FileMaker 12 container fields support uploading from the camera or photo library in FileMaker Go.

    Single user support- FileMaker 12 runs well in single user mode. SuperContainer requires the application to be installed and running on a server computer.

    SuperContainer Unique Features

    Store files anywhere- SuperContainer allows you to easily set a base directory where your files will be stored. This can be located anywhere on the computer where SuperContainer is running, or even on a network storage volume. FileMaker Server 12 always stores files inside the FileMaker Server data directory (FileMaker Pro, not running in Server, allows you to set any base directory).

    Deploy on any computer- SuperContainer can be deployed either on the same computer as FileMaker Server, or on a separate dedicated storage server. With FileMaker 12, all files must be stored on the same computer as FileMaker Server.

    Web File Uploads- SuperContainer allows users to easily upload files from their web browser, either by clicking an 'upload' button or by dragging and dropping files into their web browser. FileMaker 12 container fields are read-only on the web.

    Encryption during transmission- SuperContainer offers SSL encryption when transferring files. FileMaker can optionally SSL encrypt while transferring files, but that requires all database content to also be SSL encrypted, and causes streaming support to be disabled.

    Browser access- SuperContainer supports access to content from the web, independent of FileMaker web publishing. Since SuperContainer paths are just URLs, users can easily view assets in a web browser, and it is easy to use them in any web site. SuperContainer URLs can also be emailed and transferred separately from FileMaker record data.

    PHP or Java compatibility- Only SuperContainer offers PHP and Java APIs for easy integration with non-FileMaker systems.

    Compatible with legacy systems- SuperContainer is compatible with FileMaker 8.5 - 11. Meanwhile, enhanced containers are only available in FileMaker 12, and advanced features like streaming audio and video files requires FileMaker Server 12.

    SuperContainer is available for purchase at

    360works.com/supercontainer. The Workgroup License ($195) includes a single server deployment for up to 10 users, while the Enterprise License ($695) allows a single server deployment and unlimited users plus support for FileMaker Server scheduled scripts and web publishing.

    About 360Works

    Located in metro Atlanta, 360Works, a FileMaker Platinum Business Alliance member, has been providing FileMaker-based solutions for 15 years. The company is a leading developer of both shrink-wrapped and custom database design solutions for clients such as NASA, Pixar, US Marines, Make-A-Wish foundation and others. The company is credited for its forward-thinking solutions, dedication and unparalleled client service.

    The Staff, 360Works

    plugins@360Works.com

    (866) 662-9185

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