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About eXcelisys

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  1. Achieve Premium, High-Octane Performance From Your FileMaker Server 8 Tips to Ensure Your FileMaker Server, Serves You Well! By Paul Spafford, eXcelisys FileMaker Developer You’re using FileMaker Server to serve up data to your FileMaker users? Fabulous! However, if you’re managing your own FileMaker server we want to alert you to a few gotchas that make FileMaker Server — and FileMaker files — slightly different than how you maintain other services and files on your server. Here is a small checklist of what you need to do to the folder that holds the live database files to ensure FileMaker Server performance. FileMaker Server Care Checklist 1. Turn off all sharing via the operating system so that no unauthorized users can touch the live files. FileMaker has gotten better at preventing users from opening the files by navigating to the folder in the operating system, but it’s best to keep users away. 2. Never restart the server while FileMaker Server is running! First, you have to go into the FileMaker Server Admin Console and stop the server. Wait until it has totally stopped being served before you actually do the restart. Don’t let your operating system do any restarts automatically. 3. Do not complete operating system updates while FileMaker Server is running. 4. In the FileMaker Server Admin Console, you can go into the Schedules area and create backup schedules. The default location for those backups is in the following folders: macOS: /Library/FileMaker Server/Data/Backups Windows: [drive]:\Program Files\FileMaker\FileMaker Server\Data\Backups That — or the folder you have specified for the backups – is the folder you want your backup software to grab from. It bears repeating: Never have your backup software grab from the live folder. 5. You also need to make sure that you’re not trying to back up those files at the same time that FileMaker Server is running its backup. It’s just a timing thing to make sure the two processes aren’t working on the files simultaneously. Try running a backup schedule and see how long it takes. Give FileMaker Server much longer than that to finish backing up before the backup software starts doing its thing. You need to check back regularly to make sure there is still a large gap in time between the two operations. Don’t let anyone who is not aware of this situation change the timing of either backup, as it might affect FileMaker Server performance. 6. Exclude the folder holding the live databases from any indexing services (like Spotlight in OS X). These can affect performance. 7. The server is meant for sharing your database files and should be dedicated to that purpose. Don’t let it be used as a workstation. 8. An off-site backup is also important. If your office building were to burn to the ground, you’d want to have access to your data. Services like Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud wait to grab the file after it is done being created. In your settings for any of these services, you can specify eXtra folders to add to the syncing. Create a separate backup schedule that keeps only one copy of the files in its own folder, then add that folder to your backup service. You will have a simple off-site backup of the latest data that you can easily access from anywhere. Make sure that within all the above parameters you do everything you can to keep a clean, healthy server. If you can keep FileMaker Server living in a stable place, it will keep doing its job: serving up those nice FileMaker files that make your job easier. **This article is provided for free and as-is. Use, enjoy, learn and eXperiment at your own risk – but have fun! eXcelisys does not offer any free support or free assistance with any of the contents of this blog post. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining eXcelisys’ certified FileMaker consulting & development services. The post FileMaker Server Performance Tips appeared first on eXcelisys. View the full article
  2. Work from Home Productively, Securely & Sanely Tools we love & tips you can use to manage your passwords & spouse so no one gets hurt Has coronavirus tossed you into a funky home-office situation? Our work-from-home pros have a few tips to help you through these trying times. Ahhh coronavirus. Wreaking havoc not just in our personal lives, but in our work lives as well. At eXcelisys, our developers work remotely from home offices sprinkled across North America. As we’ve had years to perfect the “how-to” of working from home, we thought we’d pass along a few tips for working remotely and productively from home to ensure security and sanity as you enter this brave, new world. “Hoard bandwidth and coffee; not toilet paper.” ~ Leif Hanson, eXcelisys full stack developer Sec-UR-ity – You are at the center! When you access company data and/or databases remotely, you put the data at risk. Some things to consider: Passwords: Utilize a password manager so you can use solid passwords without duplicating them or resorting to some sort of pattern that’s easy to hack. What’s a strong password? 12 characters, numbers, symbols and a combination of upper- and lower-case letters. The harder it is to remember, the stronger the password. Think: 90T&gSq&3bZ4#t5 and not 1600Broadway (your first apartment). Create a strong master password for your password manager and it’ll be the only one you have to manage. We recommend 1Password or Dashlane (some plans include a built-in VPN) VPNs (Virtual Private Networks): To create a secure connection to another network over the Internet, use a VPN. When you use a VPN, your internet activity is encrypted (coded), making it unreadable in transit. “A VPN is a must on any network that is not your own, as man-in-the-middle hacks are script kiddie 101. The commercials you see on TV about VPNs are actually very accurate; it’s not hype.” ~ Michael Suhrbier, eXcelisys web app developer Let’s break that down out of geekspeak. A man-in-the-middle hacker is someone who inserts themselves between the victim and the server, allowing them to send, receive and alter all communication between the two – like passwords and confidential stuff. A “script kiddie” is a derogatory term used to describe amateur hackers who acquire scripts (written by others) to breach computer networks. What Suhrbier is saying is that pretty much anyone who wants to become a “man-in-the-middle” hacker can purchase the programs and scripts necessary to start hacking without having any technical prowess. Think about it: there’s never been a better time to hack with so many people working from home! Suhrbier recommends PrivateVPN.com. Backups: In the office, you probably didn’t have to worry about this because IT took care of it, but working remotely from home, you’ll need a plan. Check with your management team to see what they recommend. The basic goal is to back up all of your business data on different media (hard drives, cloud, etc.) and in different locations (in case your homebound toddler kicks some juice onto your machine). “It isn’t backed up if it isn’t in more than one place. Don’t count on an online backup as your only copy.” ~ Greg Furry, eXcelisys VP for technology Updates: Stay current with security updates and use the latest browser version. Wifi: Use a strong password for your wifi and don’t publicly broadcast your network to everyone in your building or neighborhood. If you’ve not changed the default password on your provider’s modem/router – NOW IS THE TIME! One last pro tip – “Don’t visit dubious sites,” said Furry. “I also never click on an email to see the message from my bank, credit card company, etc. I go to the site directly, login, and look there.” Following this tip will protect you from malware and phishing attacks. Home Office 101: Comfort Tips & Working Alone Together Desk work. Desks are great, but consider the benefits of flexibility. “I like to be comfortable and while I do have an office with a desk I never use either,” said Suhrbier. “I find moving around the house for a change of scenery is helpful. This desk I bought is mobile, adjustable and I can use it standing, sitting or even laying in bed.” Ergonomics. You don’t need any eXtra back pain or neck pain, so try to create a comfortable office space. Find a chair or stool to sit on and use a table or desk for your devices (i.e. don’t lay in bed or slouch on your couch because you may feel it in the morning). When your new co-worker is your … spouse. eXcelisys Solution Services Consultant Mark Clark was used to working at home — alone — until last fall when his wife, Elisabeth, took a new position and started working from home, too. For a two-office home, Mark recommends each person have their own office space and respect the boundaries of that space. Likewise, eXcelisys VP Kurt Knippel suggests having a dedicated office space with doors that can close, “so you can shut yourself away from time to time.” “We don’t barge in on each other, or interrupt. I think that is a key takeaway for couples. Respect the other person’s need for concentration and space. Knock before entering, just as you might in a traditional office setting.” ~ Mark Clark, eXcelisys Solution Services Consultant Dual screen DIY from a quarantined New Yorker Working Remotely & Productively – Starve Your Distractions & Feed Your Focus Collaboration Uberconference Zoom Video Communications Google docs Basecamp Trello Intervals Motivation: Keep the work flowing with a daily phone call, email or Slack messaging. For management, work to set daily goals with employees to keep them focused and on-task. Consider the value of a 5-minute check-in meeting each day to ensure everyone stays productive as they work remotely from home. Conversation: We’re social creatures, so isolation from co-workers stinks. At eXcelisys, we have a Slack channel called #watercooler – a place for staff to communicate and stay connected. We collaborate on several Slack channels (for our “real” work), but we all use #watercooler to tell stupid jokes, post silly memes, hurl friendly zingers at each other and rant about the WTF things our kids did last night. This outlet for levity keeps us sane in our workday isolation. Recreation: Don’t forget to move every few hours. Stand up. Stretch. Pace a bit. Walk around the block. Rustle up a load of laundry and toss it in. eXcelisys Solution Services Consultant Rick Middleton suggests you make a point of seeing the sun every day to help keep your sanity. Remote Workers Have a Proclivity for Productivity “For any organization that has never allowed remote work, this will be terrifying but the truth is that remote workers are more productive and this actually might be a valuable lesson,” said Suhrbier. To make his point, he offered this recollection of his in-office days vs. his home-office days. My Past Life in a “Corporate Cube” wake up way too early & groggy 30-40 minutes getting ready 30-50 minutes driving to work 60 minutes at the office to “wake up” 90 minutes work, not all that productive 60 minutes lunch (finally!) 60 minutes getting over food coma 60 minutes actual work 60 minutes misc. meetings, etc. 30-60 minutes driving home, angry as hell because the I-4 is always backed up Did you catch how much work I did in there? Not much! Work From Home Wake up, grab a beverage, roll my desk over and I’m productive, my mind is firing like a 12-cylinder supercar … these first four hours are WWAAAYYYYYYY more productive than a desk worker’s entire day! More Tips for Working Remotely & Productively from Home Have a dedicated place for working. Ideally that place should not be in a common area of the home. Let the family know that when you are in your dedicated place, you are at work and should not be disturbed. Be aware of dogs, kids, the mail carrier, etc., when you are in meetings. Let your family know your working hours so they can be mindful of your need for solitude – but remember to be flexible – they may need you at times! Contributing Editors: Lisa Frick The post Learn to Work from Home Productively, Securely, Sanely appeared first on eXcelisys. View the full article
  3. Pull the Plug on Backup Plugins! Set Up WordPress Backups Through Your Hosting Service by Justin Kwapich, eXcelisys WordPress Web Wizard Many WordPress users rely on plugins to create backups of their website. However, there can be issues with using plugins for such a large process, which is why you should eXplore other WordPress backup options. In this post, I’ll show you how to backup your WordPress site without a plugin. The Trouble with Backup Plugins Limited protection: Most protect only limited aspects of your site, such as posts and pages (i.e. they may only back up website content and not server settings). Sluggishness. These plugins may bog down your website while navigating their way through your WordPress back-end. I’m not saying you need to abandon your backup plugins — as you may have found a good use of them — but I want to introduce you to, in my opinion, the single most efficient WordPress backup option, which is often ignored: your hosting service. Backup WordPress without a Plugin – Try Your Website Hosting Service Check to see if your website hosting service offers backups. If it does, you’re in luck. It is so easy; it will save you time and worry! Plus, it’s a great option for backing up your WordPress site without a plugin. There are two hosting services I will introduce you to, to set you up with a great backup system. Keep in mind, though, that these are just two eXamples. Other hosting services will often offer similar options. Using WP Engine for Backups If you use WP Engine, you’ve probably run across this feature when making updates. Upon making an update, a modal window displays, asking if you would like to make a backup point first. But maybe you haven’t put it to use if you already have another backup system in place — or perhaps you are in the market for eXploring your hosting options. WP Engine is awesome and simple to use; you are truly missing out if you aren’t taking advantage of this wonderful WordPress backup option. For WP Engine users, start by heading to your WP Engine Sites page. Here, you will find a list of all of your WP Engine hosted websites. Click on the website that you would like to create a backup point for. Below: On this page, on the left side, go to the Backup points link. You will already have backups set up automatically for each day. However, if you are looking to create a fresh backup before making updates or other changes to your website, you can create a new backup point at any time! These backup points will serve as a sort of “save state” for your website, which you can return to at any time when things get a little too messy. The backups on WP Engine last only one month, but you can also download them as a zip file for your own safekeeping, which will last forever, so long as you have access to that file. To restore from an already-created backup point, simply select the backup point you want to go back to. You know, the save before you decided “what’s the worst that could happen?” while testing out some new PHP, or when you made a seemingly harmless plugin update — only to be immediately greeted with the reward of an Internal Server Error. Now, click the “Restore” button. This will only take a couple of minutes at most. You will receive an email letting you know that your website is back to its functional self. The better option, however, is to create a backup point right before you make your updates. From the same Backup Points page, click the Back up now button. Now you can rest assured your website has an up-to-date return point if things go awry. Sigh … If only we could implement backup points into real life — go back and pass on eating aunt Cheryl’s mystery potluck pudding. As a bonus, with WP Engine you can also make use of its Staging and Development environments. These give you that eXtra playground space to implement your biggest and best new features, which will really make your website stand out, all without the risk of your site getting TKO’d! Using Dreamhost for Backups You will want to start off by signing in to your Dreamhost account. Once you are in, over on the sidebar, click Domains > Manage Domains. You will find all of the domains you are hosting here. This is about as simple as it gets. Find that Restore button, and give it a click! Though Dreamhost is simple, it does not offer as much control as WP Engine. Once you are in the restore settings, you will be given the option of pre-made backups ranging from most recent to oldest. The most recent backups range from “usually” one hour to one day old. The oldest backups may be more than two weeks old. This is obviously much less specific than WP Engine, but it’s still very useful when you’re in a pinch! There is one interesting caveat to the Dreamhost backup system, which is that you are able to decide what you would like to do with that backup. You can copy your current website and store the copy in S/FTP. For example, /home/user/domain.com_TIMESTAMP. This solution is a good approach if you are about to make some big changes to your website and want a backup in case things go off the rails, or if you want to check for differences between your current website and what you had in your files or code in the recent past. Your second option is for restoring your backup and setting that backup as the live site. If your website has gone down after a recent update, you can use this option to restore a backup to get things back up and running again in no time. This option will also take your website from before the restore and place it in a file with a timestamp, which you will be able to access via S/FTP at any time. For eXample, /home/user/domain.com_TIMESTAMP. The wording in the Dreamhost settings can be a little confusing, so to put it simply you have two options. You can make a backup file for safety, or you can actually restore your website from a pre-built backup point. Dreamhost takes a bit longer to restore backups than WP Engine, but it is usually ready within 10 minutes. If you do not know if your backup has been built, you can check your FTP client for a new file with your new timestamp /home/user/domain.com_TIMESTAMP. This will be your definitive way to spot your backup under any options you choose. Other Hosting Services The options for backup systems eXtend beyond WP Engine and Dreamhost, so be sure to check with your hosting service. You do not want to miss out on this useful tool! Save yourself a headache – make a backup. Good luck! **This article is provided for free and as-is. Use, enjoy, learn and eXperiment at your own risk – but have fun! eXcelisys does not offer any free support or free assistance with any of the contents of this blog post. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining eXcelisys’ WordPress Support Services. The post How to Backup a WordPress Site Without a Plugin appeared first on eXcelisys. View the full article
  4. Bio-storage Tracking System Complements Biopharma’s Breakthrough Therapies Cancer Researchers Rely on Freezer Sample Management Software to Catalog & Track Lab Samples As a biopharmaceutical company Tocagen has a clear, if not colossal, vision: “No One Should Die of Cancer.” Founded in 2007, Tocagen is best known for developing an eXperimental gene therapy treatment for a lethal brain cancer called high grade glioma. A glioma is a type of tumor that occurs in the brain and spinal cord. Clinical trials are ongoing. A few years back, Tocagen came to eXcelisys seeking a bio-storage tracking system to monitor cell samples at its facilities. eXcelisys developer Paul Spafford took on the role of “lab rat” and, along with eXcelisys Project Manager Kurt Knippel, devised a FileMaker Pro vial manager as innovative as Tocagen’s therapies. To conduct its biomedical research and develop cancer therapies, Tocagen relies on cell line samples. These are stored in vials at Tocagen’s facilities. For eXample, Tocagen keeps U87 (Uppsala 87 malignant glioma) on hand, as well as CNS-1 (a rat glioma cell line). The list goes on and on. At any time, Tocagen might have thousands of these cell samples in storage. These samples must stay frozen. Picture industrial refrigeration units filled with thousands of cataloged tissue samples collected in vials. For storage, each vial goes in a box, and each box goes on a rack, and each rack is located in a nitrogen tank or cooler. To aid research, Tocagen needed a bio-storage tracking system that could track the position (slot, box, rack and tank) of each sample in the lab so researchers would know what was available and where it was stored. In addition, Tocagen needed an audit log to track the position of each sample as it moved about the lab. For purposes of sample integrity, Tocagen must track the contents of each vial, the cell line, the source, the lot number, the number of cells, the date frozen, the scientist who submitted the sample, the date it was transferred to a tank and every time and date it is moved and to what position it is moved to and by whom. Since the new freezer sample management software went live in April of 2017, eXcelisys has built several more FileMaker database tracking systems for Tocagen labs, including ones that track reagents and specimens. All are riffs on the same idea, just tweaked for the needs of different facilities and groups within Tocagen. The biosample vial storage tracking system also manages check-outs with a hierarchical control system that allows administrators to assign users to different groups and set which vials each group can access. Bio-storage Tracking System: How it Works The check-in process begins here (see above). When a new sample arrives, the bio-storage tracking system generates a new vial number (in this case #225221). This vial number is used to track the vial’s location for its duration on the premises. Notice that the fields under “current location” are blank because the vial has yet to be assigned a specific “tank/rack/box/slot” for storage. Above: The “box selection” popover aids with placement, allowing Tocagen staffers to see which racks in each tank are open — and available — for storage. Note that in the image above, Tank 1, Rack 3, Box A has 1 open slot. Below: An additional popover offers a visual perspective of open slots in each box. Notice that in Box A, slot B3 is open. Let’s presume the facility administrator chooses that slot for the vial. Position B3 was selected and now vial number 225221 has been checked in. The biosample vial storage tracking system displays the vial’s “current location” so it can be found quickly when a researcher needs access. FileMaker Database Bio-storage Solution Yields Positive Lab Results In addition to its storage-tracking capabilities, the bio-storage database also handles checkouts. Say a researcher by the name of Dr. Beaker needs a vial of CNS-1. Dr. Beaker puts in a request through the vial manager (via Filemaker Pro WebDirect) and the lab administrator receives a notification. The administrator can approve or deny the request. If the request is approved, Dr. Beaker will receive an email reply telling which specific vial of CNS-1 to access and where it can be found. By using WebDirect, Tocagen researchers can access the FileMaker app through any web browser on any device. The freezer sample management software also aids with mass check-ins. Say Tocagen gets 150 vials of a cell line. The biosample vial storage tracking system will auto-assign slots based on availability. This saves a ton of time from the old system, which required researchers to physically look for open slots to store the vials in. Tocagen Facility Lab Technician and Procurement Specialist Stacy Carlos served as Tocagen’s point person on the project. In discussing the process of working with Spafford and Knippel, Carlos had this to say: “Both team members are thorough and detail-oriented. They communicate well and respond in a timely manner to ensure that our needs are met. They went up and beyond to assist us with improving another database that had been designed by another company. Needless to say, we made the right choice in switching over to eXcelysis.” At a Glance: Tocagen (a global biotech company) What: Known for developing a cancer-selective gene therapy, Toca 511 & Toca FC, for patients with brain and bladder cancer. Clinical trials and analysis are ongoing. Where: Based in San Diego How it Works: Tocagen’s products are designed to activate a patient’s immune system against their own cancer. Tech Specs: the eXcelisys Workplace Innovation Solution What: Bio-storage tracking system that tracks lab samples stored in freezers and used for cancer research Technologies: FileMaker, FileMaker WebDirect, FileMaker Server Solution: Using the FileMaker Platform, eXcelisys built a bio-storage tracking system (for specimens, cell lines & reagents) that provides a “digital window” into the storage freezers, allowing researchers to see where each sample is stored. The lab tracker streamlines the vial check-in process by showing which tanks have open slots available for storage. The system also tracks the precise location of each sample (tank, rack, box and slot) during its duration on the premises and tracks the contents of each vial, the source, the lot number, the date frozen and its location in the lab every time it is transferred to a new location, along with who moved the sample and when. The lab tracker also handles checkouts, allowing researchers to make a request for a cell line sample directly though the FileMaker app, which can be accessed through any web browser on any device. Results: – Sample check-in times reduced: Researchers no longer have to physically look for open freezer slots when new samples arrive because the software shows availability, allowing storage placement to be selected within the lab tracker. – Sample check-out requests approved quicker: Researchers can request samples directly through the lab tracker and the lab administrator receives an email notification, allowing for immediate approval of specific samples. – Specimen Integrity: Researchers can track the lifespan of a sample as it moves through the lab. Contributing Editors: Lisa Frick Kurt Knippel The post Bio-storage Tracking System Complements Biopharma’s Breakthrough Therapies appeared first on eXcelisys. View the full article
  5. Get Your Kicks with the NEW eX-BizTracker 6! CRM, Inventory, Invoicing & More — the eX-BizTracker Tackles Everything for Your Business’ Core Years ago, we spotted a trend. Businesses really, really wanted custom software at out-of-the-box prices. We understood the dilemma. The available, off-the-shelf business apps fit most businesses’ budgets, but never fit their needs. So they were stuck. To build or to buy? Build it (at a higher price) and get eXactly what they wanted, or buy something (cheaper) and deal with the workarounds and missing must-have features essential for their organization’s success. We knew there had to be a better way. That’s why we created a semi-custom software solution: the eXcelisys BizTracker. The eX-BizTracker is a jump-start FileMaker Pro template that comes pre-built with the basic features and functions most businesses need. It’s perfect for those seeking a feature-rich business-management app for the goods and services they sell. The eX-BizTracker is a robust customer relationship management system that handles inventory control, order processing (with kitting!), vendors, invoicing, quoting, billing, POs, shipping and receiving. Instead of starting development from scratch, you get to start in the middle. Start with our pre-built FileMaker business solution template, then build on it to get what you want. It’s the best of both worlds. Part ready-made; part custom. “The eX-BizTracker comes pre-built with 75 to 85% of the features most small businesses need,” said eXcelisys VP and Solutions Services Consultant Rick Middleton. “What’s left is the fun part — to customize it and make it theirs.” The NEW & IMPROVED eX-BizTracker 6; It’s bigger, it’s badder, and it’s better than ever! Why All the Fuss? We didn’t just freshen the app by slapping a new, metaphorical coat of paint on it. We dug in and made some shiny little changes that look subtle, but in reality, provide hidden luxuries for users and developers. The BT6 is in prime shape to be shaped into what you need it to do — more quickly and cost-effectively than ever! “We took into account user behavior to shape the product so it meets the needs and matches the behavior of those who use it,” said Doug West, eXcelisys VP for product development. “A lot of thought went into this even though visually it looks like no big deal. There’s a lot happening behind the scenes that will save development time and money. We are positioning the tool to be much more adaptable to a wide variety of business needs.” How did we make this semi-custom software solution more chameleon-like? We redesigned the screens and layouts to be more flexible and adaptable so business-specific requirements can be added with less development time. Likewise, display regions on the app aren’t locked in, making them more flexible to accommodate modifications. Yes, the old eX-BizTracker was completely adaptable — but sometimes not so efficiently. Now, we’ve taken care of that! What Features Does it Have? CRM – keep track of “customers” (individuals, companies or organizations); allows for multiple addresses and contact methods for each, as well as activity logs, reminders and email (Customers are your lifeblood; get a CRM that works for you!) Orders – with barcoding and kitting, allowing you to “bundle” products Vendors – track the companies, people and/or places you get products, parts and services from POs/Bills Products – track goods, services and fees Receiving Reports – generates exportable documents — PDFs — based on user needs: accounts payable/receivable, inventory, profit/loss, back orders, etc., with graph and chart options What They’re Saying about this Semi-Custom Software Solution Since its inception, the eX-BizTracker has left a trail of happy customers. Cinema Camera Rentals needed an inventory management app and used the eX-BizTracker as the base app, adding customizations to take it to the next level. “This approach helped me the most from a time standpoint,” said Cinema Camera rental manager Matt Stemmley. “Instead of dedicating the energy to figure out how I wanted the system to be laid out, I instead hit the ground running on envisioning functionality.” Sample invoice from eX-BizTracker modification for Cinema Camera Rentals Likewise, Birnn Chocolates of Vermont utilized the eX-BizTracker for a semi-custom software solution. The chocolatier needed to manage the production process, order fulfillment and lot-tracking for FDA compliance. Birnn Chocolates owner Mel Fields liked the fact that he could play around with the pre-built eX-BizTracker to get a feel for the app, which allowed him to zero in on modifications needed to match his workflow. “Being able to demo was essential for being able to pull the trigger and make the decision,” said Fields. What are the Benefits of Using the eX-BizTracker? Cost deflation. For those who need only the bare essentials, this semi-custom software solution can be used “as-is.” Input your data and go. Most businesses, however, usually choose a few small changes because they know it will have a big impact on their end-users. Our eXperienced FileMaker developers can quickly customize it to meet your needs. “We’ve spent a couple hundred hours building and refining the eX-BizTracker. When businesses use it as a jumping-off point for software development, they save a ton of time and money.” ~ Doug West, eXcelisys VP for product development Customization. Unlike its prepackaged software cousins, the eX-BizTracker can be tweaked so you can make it do eXactly what you need it to do. “That’s the biggest selling point,” said eXcelisys Solutions Services Consultant Laura Vie. “The basic features are complete, allowing you to start that much farther down the road with development so you can add the very specific workflows of your business into the solution.” This semi-customization design means that in the end, you get a product that meets the unique requirements of your business. No more workarounds. Integration. Plays well with other third-party solutions like Xero Accounting, QuickBooks, SalesForce, FedEx , UPS, and PayPal. Can integrate with WooCommerce or WordPress to manage online ordering. Can also be configured to pass information back and forth with cloud solutions or SQL Servers. Reputation. This semi-custom software solution has been maturing since 2004, when eXcelisys created the original FileMaker® Business Tracker for Claris International (formerly FileMaker Inc.). A free, popular template, the FileMaker® Business Tracker has enjoyed more than 250K downloads. Since then, eXcelisys has been refining the GUI, code underpinnings, and feature sets with each new edition. We look at the most common customizations and features our clients request and add them in. Using this constant feedback loop, we upgrade the eX-BizTracker with each new edition — that’s why we added kitting a while back. Version 6.0 includes QuickBooks integration! That’s also why we redesigned the screens and layouts with BT6 — for more flexibility to adapt the product to meet unique business needs. What Industries Rely on the eX-BizTracker? We’ve made eX-BizTracker modifications for many industries, including: Agribusiness Appraisal Firms Auto parts distribution Builders/general contractors/construction eCommerce sales Food & beverage (production & distribution) Health care Higher education Imports & distribution Insurance Laboratory research Lawn care Legal Manufacturing & engineering Medical equipment repair Nonprofit & volunteering Pest control Property management Retail sales Salon management Safety management Services industry Veterinary management And the list goes on! Who Uses this Semi-Custom Software Solution eXcelisys has had the pleasure of tweaking the eX-BizTracker to manage operations for many businesses. You may be surprised at all of the places it pops up. Christmas lights. Yep, the eX-BizTracker manages global operations for Christmas Northeast/ Nicolas Holiday – the sole manufacturer of all GE-branded holiday lighting products. Flooring. Regal Hardwoods uses the eX-BizTracker, as does SnowPusherLite, a company that makes innovative snow-“pushing” tools. AQI Services uses it to staff and schedule sign language interpreters and Kutz, Inc., uses it to manage its video-editing business. The eX-BizTracker also handles thermowell and thermocouple production for STI Manufacturing. The eX-BizTracker also brings bliss to operations at Crystal Vaults, an eCommerce store that sells healing crystals. As you can see, this software solution can be customized to pretty much do anything! Check it Out! Reduce your development costs and increase the quality of what you get. Request a demo of the eX-BizTracker today! Still not convinced? Read about how Crystal Vaults owner Hank Mason found bliss with the eX-BizTracker, using it to manage operations at his metaphysical supply shop. Check out these other offerings from our eX-Files series: eX-TruckingTracker (tracks trips, mileage, and expenses); eX-EvalTracker (used to archive employee performance); and eX-RentalTracker (designed for the equipment rental industry). The post Get Your Kicks with the eX-BizTracker 6 – a semi-custom software solution appeared first on eXcelisys. View the full article
  6. [FMP Tip-N-Trick] Don’t Get Thrown for a Loop with FileMaker’s New While Function Check Out This Custom Function for Merging JSON Arrays By Rob Poelking, eXcelisys FileMaker Developer FileMaker Inc. (errr, I mean Claris International) introduced a new function with the release of FileMaker 18 that I was both eXcited and intrigued by until I tried to use it the first time: the “While” function. I’ve written a number of custom functions through the years and lots of loops in scripting to manage repetitive tasks like complex string manipulation or complicated mathematical calculations. So, when I heard that the latest version of FileMaker would include a new function that accomplished both a loop and assignment functions all at once, I was anxious to get my hands on it — until I did. Gotchas — Clue to Self: Stop Thinking Like a Loop The problem with eXploring new functions in FileMaker is that sometimes we come with baggage — and I’ve got a lot of “developer” baggage after 30 years in the industry. As I quickly discovered, the baggage that got in my way was years of working with recursive functions or loops, which is precisely the reason why “While” came about. The classic approach involved a count (and possibly an iterator) and running some logic over and over until we reached an escape point. For example, a loop: Set Variable [$count=ValueCount($myList)] Loop Exit Loop If [Let($i=$i+1;$i>$count)] i.e. do something with each item in the list End Loop Adding recursive functions to older versions of FileMaker worked in a similar fashion in that you embedded the test within the function and until the eXit condition had been reached, you kept calling the function itself. These functions worked great for years, but they could be cumbersome and required much more coding to accomplish repetitive tasks. Enter WHILE. The new function takes the form: While ( [ initialVariable ] ; condition ; [ logic ] ; result ) Before you dive in, I hope you have a good grasp on the use of another function: Let. There is a similarity. When FileMaker introduced the Let function, we were able to assign multiple variables inside the brackets ( [ ] ). I got used to that. However, unlike the Let function where your variables are only set once, the While function allows you to define two sets of variables. The first set of variables represents your initial variables. Think of that as where your iterator starts. I commonly use $i as my iterator, but inside a “Let” you do not need to include the $ notation. Many developers use the ~ (tilde), @ (at sign), or nothing at all inside the variable declarations of a Let statement and the same rules apply here. Also, analogous to the Let statement, make sure you declare all variables you will use throughout the While statement in this segment. To create a super simple eXample, let’s start with: While ( [~n=0;~z=5] ; ... I’ve declared 2 variables (~n and ~z) and assigned them simple integers. I’m going to skip the “condition” for a moment and think about what I want at the end, otherwise known as the result. In this case, I simply want the value of ~z after performing some function. So, let’s put that as the result variable now: While ( [~n=0;~z=5] ; condition ; [logic] ; ~z ) Now, the logic. What do you want to happen to ~z repeatedly? Keeping things simple, we’ll perform some simple math: While ( [~n=0;~z=5] ; condition ; [ ~z=(~z+~n)*~n] ; ~z ) Notice how this is just like the declaration assignment of the Let statement, eXcept that we get to assign variables a second time. The logic part of the evaluation is where your variable assignments will change, whereas, the first part of the loop is just the initial assignment or declaration of those variables. You could have even declared the variables as part of the initial declaration and left them empty. But wait! There’s more. What happens if you declare a loop with an eXit condition that depends on an iterator but forget to increment the iterator? Your client will think, “It’s crashed!” Not really. It’s just an infinite loop and it’s stuck. Fortunately, FileMaker will enforce recursion rules and eXit out after a period of time, returning only a “?” as your result. But that’s not what we want. So, we have to add a means of incrementing the iterator — in this case ~n. You can choose whether that should increment before or after your logic. That will largely depend on how you want to arrive at your final product. For now, I want to increment before my logic. While ( [~n=0;~z=5] ; condition ; [~n=~n+1; ~z=(~z+~n)*~n] ; ~z ) One last part — and this is where I got stuck. What to do with the condition? In a Loop, we test for whether a condition is true before we eXit. Like the Loop eXample above, I am pre-programmed to test for $i>$count. If that is false, the loop continues. Because of my baggage, I wanted to write: ~n>~z In other words, when the value of ~n is greater than the value of ~z, eXit the loop. OUCH … try it. You will not get the result you eXpected because this isn’t a Loop! It’s a While. Instead, you have to think, “While the value of ~n is still less than the value of ~z, then continue.” In other words, the eXit condition must be false before the evaluation stops. While the condition is true, FileMaker will continue evaluating the logic portion of the statement. I can’t tell you how long I struggled with that until my colleague Ken Moorehead said, “Yeah, it’s the opposite of what you think.” I thought he was full of crap until I flipped the sign and proved him right. So, flip that bad boy and our final function looks like this: While ( [~n=0;~z=5] ; ~n<5 ; [~n=~n+1; ~z=(~z+~n)*~n] ; ~z ) You can copy and paste that final statement into your data viewer and get the result. Practical Application for Using the New WHILE Function Okay, you have a powerful function on your hands, but “practically speaking,” what can you do with it? For starters, you can replace all of your recursive functions and a lot of loops with it. But today I had a very practical problem. I was working with the WooCommerce API and ran into a limitation. When listing products, WooCommerce paginates the returned data as JSON arrays. The default number of items returned is 10. The max you can return is 100. That’s a very small shop if it only has 100 products. I had to loop and make several calls to the API to get all of the products. I left that part of my script as a traditional loop, but what I ended up with was several repetitions of the result sets — all independent JSON arrays. What I wanted was a single JSON array. This was a perfect problem to solve with the While function. So much so, I decided to just make it a custom function on its own for later use; however, you can just declare a variable and use this as an independent calculation. Start with initial variables. I know that my end result will be a new array, so I created: ~newArray = array1 I need to know how many times to get the contents of array 2 to insert them into my ~newArray so I use a combination of ValueCount and JSONListKeys to get a count of the array objects. ~array2Length = ValueCount ( JSONListKeys ( array2 ; “” ) ) I have to have an iterator. I’ll just use: ~n=0 Finally, I have to evaluate the length of the initial array so that I have an offset position of where to start adding the values from array 2. Just like getting the length of the array 2, I use the same evaluation on array 1: ~start = ValueCount ( JSONListKeys ( ~newArray ; “” ) ) My continuation condition will be while ~n is still less than the length of array 2 ~n < ~array2Length Now all that is left is to iterate over array 2, grab each element one at a time, and insert them into ~newArray, starting at an offset while also remembering to increment my iterator: ~newArray = JSONSetElement ( ~newArray ; “[” & ~start + ~n & “]” ; JSONGetElement ( array2 ; “[” & ~n & “]” ); “” ) ; ~n=~n+1 Starting at the offset, get the next element from array 2 and set it in ~newArray. The final calculation will look like this: While ( //initial vars [ ~newArray = array1 ; ~array2Length = ValueCount ( JSONListKeys ( array2 ; “” ) ) ; ~n = 0 ; ~start = ValueCount ( JSONListKeys ( array1 ; “” ) ) ] ; //condition ~n < ~array2Length ; //logic [ ~newArray = JSONSetElement ( ~newArray ; “[” & ~start + ~n & “]” ; JSONGetElement ( array2 ; “[” & ~n & “]” ) ; “” ) ; ~n=~n+1 ; ] ; //result ~newArray ) The Loop call to pull the product list from WooCommerce: The resulting multiple response variables: Formatted as a custom function for reuse – ENJOY – it’s worth your WHILE /** * ================================================================== * JSONMergeArrays ( array1 ; array2 ) * * PARAMETERS: * @array1 (JSONArray) * @array1 (JSONArray) * RETURNS: * (JSONArray) Merged array * * DEPENDENCIES: * FileMaker 18 or above * PURPOSE: * Takes 2 properly formatted JSONArrays * and merges them into one array * NOTES: * does not validate JSON * AUTHOR: * Rob Poelking rob@excelisys.com * Thank you Doug West for cutting out some of the cruft * REVISIONS: * v1.0 2019-08-27 Rob Poelking – initial release * ================================================================== * */ While ( //initial vars [ ~newArray = array1 ; ~array2Length = ValueCount ( JSONListKeys ( array2 ; “” ) ) ; ~n = 0 ; ~start = ValueCount ( JSONListKeys ( array1 ; “” ) ) ] ; //condition ~n < ~array2Length ; //logic [ ~newArray = JSONSetElement ( ~newArray ; “[” & ~start + ~n & “]” ; JSONGetElement ( array2 ; “[” & ~n & “]” ) ; “” ) ; ~n=~n+1 ; ] ; //result ~newArray ) Like this tip on using the new WHILE function in FileMaker? Check out more FileMaker Tips-N-Tricks from our development team. **This article is provided for free and as-is. Use, enjoy, learn and eXperiment at your own risk – but have fun! eXcelisys does not offer any free support or free assistance with any of the contents of this blog post. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining eXcelisys’ FileMaker Pro consulting & development services. Founded in 2001, eXcelisys (www.excelisys.com) is an FBA Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization. eXcelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating database solutions for Desktop, Mobile, and Web applications. Our core technology competencies are the Claris FileMaker desktop and web tools suite, MySQL and PostgreSQL for database frameworks, along with WordPress, PHP, CodeIgniter, Joomla, Drupal, Magento and WooCommerce for websites and web applications. Aside from providing eXcellent customer service, our goals are to use these technologies to intuitively automate your organization’s data solution needs seamlessly and flawlessly across the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact eXcelisys anytime for a free estimate and consultation about making your business more efficient through intuitive and effective software automation. 866-592-9235. The post Don’t Get Thrown for a Loop with FileMaker’s New While Function appeared first on eXcelisys. View the full article
  7. eXactly - options. Which option works best for each particular use and situation and skill set.
  8. Your first comment is valid and this was included as a demonstration of what NOT to do as a developer. We've seen several cases where "citizen developers" have made that mistake. Your second comment is not entirely true since we can just prevent access to the field in Browse mode so the user won't be able to edit the value. This allows number fields with auto-enter values to behave the same as a stored calculation that returns a number.
  9. Your first comment is valid and this was included as a demonstration of what NOT to do as a developer. We've seen several cases where "citizen developers" have made that mistake. Your second comment is not entirely true since we can just prevent access to the field in Browse mode so the user won't be able to edit the value. This allows number fields with auto-enter values to behave the same as a stored calculation that returns a number.
  10. Dogged by a Slow FileMaker Database? Cache in on this Quick Tip to Improve Layout Load Times & Report Generation By Joe Cellino, FileMaker Developer Have you ever wondered, “What is taking this report so long to generate?” or “Why does this layout take so long to load?” It may be that your FileMaker fields are set up inefficiently. If you have unstored calculation or summary fields on your layout, this will most certainly be the issue. Just as the names indicate, “unstored” calculation fields and “summary” fields don’t store any data. They must calculate the data each time the field is displayed. It may be easier to use unstored calculations in order to get your database functionality working, but this will inhibit your system from scaling with your business in the long run. The good news is — you can improve FileMaker performance with this data caching trick. Read More - > https://excelisys.com/dogged-by-a-slow-filemaker-database-check-out-this-data-caching-tip/
  11. Dogged by a Slow FileMaker Database? Cache in on this Quick Tip to Improve Layout Load Times & Report Generation By Joe Cellino, FileMaker Developer Have you ever wondered, “What is taking this report so long to generate?” or “Why does this layout take so long to load?” It may be that your FileMaker fields are set up inefficiently. If you have unstored calculation or summary fields on your layout, this will most certainly be the issue. Just as the names indicate, “unstored” calculation fields and “summary” fields don’t store any data. They must calculate the data each time the field is displayed. It may be easier to use unstored calculations in order to get your database functionality working, but this will inhibit your system from scaling with your business in the long run. The good news is — you can improve FileMaker performance with this data caching trick. Let’s look at an eXample. Let’s say we have a database with an Invoice and Invoice Lines table. The Invoice Lines table has a field called Totals — this is an unstored calculation with the formula Quantity * Price. Likewise, on the invoice table we have a field called Subtotal — this is also an unstored calculation field that sums the related Invoice Lines Totals. Each time you enter the Invoice layout, FileMaker must take time to generate the results of all of the Invoice Line Totals and then sum those results. Now, this isn’t too much of a problem with one record, but imagine trying to calculate 10,000, 100,000 or even 1 million invoices for a report! You could take a heck of a coffee break while you wait. As you can see, this has the potential to be a very laborious process (i.e. time-consuming), even though it’s a simple calculation. Now imagine what your FileMaker system must go through for some of the complicated calculations we developers create. You’re probably thinking, Well, I need my totals to calculate. What else can I do? Cache your data! The definition of cache is “to store away in hiding or for future use.” You want to store your data so that you can run reports in the future. Let’s make the necessary changes in our eXample above to improve FileMaker performance. Change the Invoice Lines Totals field to a number field and use the “Auto-Enter Calculated value” option for the formula. Ensure the “Do not replace existing value of field (if any)” option is unchecked so that the field will recalculate whenever the Quantity or Price changes. This solves half of the issue, but changing the Invoice Subtotal is a little more tricky. If you were to make the same changes as we did for the invoice line and make the Subtotal a “Number” field with an “Auto-Enter Calculated value,” you would notice that it does not re-calculate whenever the Invoice Line values change. The “Auto-Enter Calculated value” will not re-calculate if the field referenced is in another table. To get around this issue, we will have to use some scripting. We can add a script to the OnObjectSave script trigger of the Quantity and Price fields that will calculate our Invoice Subtotal. You should also ensure you update the Invoice Subtotal when deleting an invoice line record. Congratulations, you have cached your data and improved the performance of your FileMaker database! See how much faster your reports generate now. As a developer, I consider data caching a matter of good practice. My job is to not just create the desired features requested by clients but to ensure they are set up as efficiently as possible — for the present and into the future. Stay tuned for some more advanced caching in my next article: speeding up dashboards. Are you a citizen developer? FileMaker is a great do-it-yourself tool, but it is hard to know everything and easy to overlook how data structures impact functionality (as in the above eXample). If you enjoyed this tip, check out our FileMaker Pro Coaching & Consulting Services. We can hook you up with a developer like Joe who can teach you tips like this caching trick to take your FileMaker development to the next level. Want to meet some real in-house developers and business owners who utilize eXcelisys’ coaching/consulting services to improve their FileMaker craft? Check out: FileMaker Pro Coaching / Consulting … Because 2 Heads Are Better Than 1 The post Dogged by a Slow FileMaker Database? Check Out this Data Caching Tip appeared first on eXcelisys. View the full article
  12. Milcarb to Launch Remote Nitrogen & CO2 Beverage Gas Monitoring System eXcelisys Builds Mobile IoT App that Delivers Tank Telemetry Directly to Android and iOS Devices Gas (carbon dioxide and/or nitrogen) is a standard ingredient in beer. To achieve the ideal pour, pressurized gas is used to push the draught beer from the keg to the faucet. No gas = no beer. In most workplaces, it’s considered impolite to talk about passing gas. At Milcarb, that’s their job. For five decades, Milcarb has been a leader in the beverage gas industry. Milcarb’s gas-tastic innovations keep beer, craft cocktails, cold-brew coffee and soda flowing at restaurants and bars across the land. You can’t pour the perfect pint without a little nitrogen or CO2 to give it that bubbly mouthfeel. And who wants a flat, uncarbonated soda or seltzer? Yuck. Based in Aurora, Illinois, Milcarb innovates, manufactures and distributes beverage gas systems, nitrogen generators and custom components that help beverage-serving businesses cut costs, reduce downtime and serve better drinks. Milcarb’s ingenious product line includes the N2UⓇ Nitrogen Generator (makes unlimited on-demand nitrogen), the Carbo-Switch 5100™ (auto-switches CO2 tanks to eliminate disruptions) and the B2U Gas Blender (supplies the appropriate nitrogen/CO2 ratio to propel beer from the keg to the glass without disturbing the flavor characteristics). A few months back, those crafty product designers at Milcarb brewed up another great idea – turning their dispensing switches into “smart” devices capable of taking measurements through sensors, then transmitting the data to gas distributors who may be located hundreds of miles from the tanks they maintain. “The Internet of Things (IoT) has become a rising trend in the past five years, even more so in the beverage industry as of late,” said Milcarb Product Engineer Taylor Turner. The new devices provide remote beverage gas telemetry monitoring. Turner said the new Milcarb Switch-Series (patent pending) is aimed at gas distributors and will offer them “more peace of mind” because they will know how smoothly their customers’ beverage systems are running at all times. Say you’re a gas distributor and you’re wondering if you need to drive over to the Old Town Beer Shack two towns over to deliver a new CO2 tank. Instead of trekking over to check the tank, you can check your Milcarb App. Or, say there’s some type of emergency. Open the Milcarb App and hit the “kill switch” feature to shut off the system without even setting foot on the premises. Great for emergencies or for customers running behind on their bills. Bringing the Remote Beverage Gas Telemetry Monitoring System to Life Milcarb has been manufacturing tank switches for years, but they had no IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities — until now. With the new system, Milcarb Monitors take measurements and collect data, then feed the data to the cloud through wi-fi or a cellular network. The Milcarb App — built by eXcelisys — accesses the data from the cloud (hosted by Amazon Web Services IoT) and delivers the data to users. The Milcarb Switch-Series monitors tank pressure, ambient temperature and battery power and can be retrofitted onto most systems. The Milcarb Switch-Series is brand-new and currently undergoing a soft release to test the new remote beverage gas telemetry monitoring system. Milcarb App Features (download free in the app store) Push notifications: pressure status alerts and notification when the system switches over to the emergency supply cylinder Intuitive user eXperience: uncluttered, easy-to-navigate screens Real-time monitoring: Nitro-Switch includes real-time temperature monitoring that can be accessed through app Quick-start setup: Adding a new Milcarb Switch-Series device is quick & easy; app asks for device type, ID, location, etc., all on one screen Milcarb Switch-Series – works in conjunction with the Milcarb App Carbo-Switch (patent pending): manifolds 2, 3, or 5 high-pressure gas cylinders; sends notifications via phone or email when main and/or emergency supply is depleting; monitors tank pressure; auto-switches from main gas supply to emergency reserves; distributes pressure readings daily at 9 a.m. and midnight — wi-fi and cellular capable Bulk-Switch (patent pending): Designed for bulk CO2 systems and featuring a remote kill switch accessible in the app; auto-switches to emergency backup and sends email notification at this time to request a delivery — wi-fi and cellular capable Nitro-Switch (patent pending): for blended gas systems; monitors main nitrogen supply generator pressure and emergency nitrogen supply pressure; “Run-Time Controller” will shut down nitrogen generator due to compressor overuse (such as system running constantly due to an issue with leaks, etc.); kill switch can be deployed through app; temperature sensor for real-time temperature monitoring — wi-fi and cellular capable Milcarb App splash screen (above). Milcarb App home screen (below left). Selecting Activate > Add New Device on the home screen brings up the “new device” interface (below right), which walks users through the configuration process so they can add new devices and get the data flowing quickly. Above: Selecting Alerts on the home screen brings up this screen. Milcarb App-building Process The Milcarb beverage industry IoT mobile app was built by eXcelisys Web App Developer Zach Lawson working in conjunction with eXcelisys Project Manager Kurt Knippel. Initially, Milcarb envisioned a web app that would allow users to open a web browser and access the data — whether they were using an Android, iOS or Windows device. But web apps have some disadvantages: slower load times, data access problems (unavailable without an Internet/cellular connection) and a compromised user eXperience because the app cannot fully interface with each device’s built-in, native features. Given the limitations, eXcelisys steered Milcarb away from a web app for a variety of reasons, including that a native app would allow for direct OS level push notifications (a must-have feature) without the need to integrate third-party services or requiring browser-specific workarounds. Native apps are installed directly on a device after downloading from an app store. This means they load faster. Native apps can be more eXpensive, though, because these smartphone applications have to be developed specifically for each mobile operating system — like Swift (iOS), Java (Android) and C++ (Windows Mobile). To skirt the issue of having to develop separate native apps for each platform (iOS, Android, Windows), eXcelisys used React Native — a cross-platform app development framework that allows an app to run the same code on different operating systems. React Native allowed eXcelisys to develop for multiple operating systems using a single codebase (JavaScript), thus shortening the development cycle. In other words, React Native allowed eXcelisys to build three beverage industry IoT mobile apps in one. “I didn’t have to use separate coding languages for each one,” said Lawson. “This saved them time and money.” Milcarb’s new Switch-Series brings a little IoT to the beverage industry, offering gas distributors remote beverage gas telemetry monitoring. After the device auto-switches a tank to the emergency back-up, it sends a notification to request a delivery. In the end, Turner said that working with eXcelisys on the remote beverage gas telemetry monitoring system was an “overall positive eXperience,” although he thought that as design and spec changes were implemented, not everyone was on the same page with regards to communicating costs and vision. “The product looks great, but we ended up paying more than we wanted.” Costs for app development are always a tricky business, especially with custom development, said Knippel, the project manager. “We are building a custom solution the first time, every time.” As much as eXcelisys works to shorten and eXpedite the process, with custom development the entire cost is borne by the single client. In the case of the Milcarb app, said Knippel, the costs for Phase 1 of the development and the initial release came in within the estimated range as provided by eXcelisys at the beginning of the development process. At a Glance: Milcarb What: Designs and manufactures beverage gas systems and components to keep beer, craft cocktails, cold-brew coffee, tea and soda flowing at restaurants and bars. Founded in 1963. Where: Based in Aurora, IL Tagline: Good Under Pressure Tech Specs: eXcelisys Milcarb “Alert” App What: Milcarb App – download free in the app store; works in conjunction with the Milcarb Switch-Series (bringing a little IoT to the beverage industry) How it works: CO2 and nitrogen tanks are outfitted with special Milcarb Switch-Series devices that have sensors to collect data on tank pressure, ambient temperature and battery power. The data is fed to the cloud through a wi-fi or cellular network. The Milcarb App accesses the data from the cloud (hosted by Amazon Web Services IoT) and delivers the data to a user’s Android, iOS or Windows device. The app sends push notifications (alerts) when the sensors detect an anomaly or when the system switches over to the emergency supply cylinder. In the event of a problem, the app allows users to send control commands remotely to the Switch-Series devices – i.e. there is a “kill switch” feature that can be eXecuted from the app. The app walks users through the configuration process to add new Switch-Series devices to get the data flowing. Technologies: React Native, MongoDB, Node.js, AWS IoT Challenge: When eXcelisys started the remote beverage gas telemetry monitoring system project, the Switch-Series devices did not eXist in the physical realm. They were an idea – a prototype under development by Milcarb. Results: The Switch-Series and accompanying beverage industry IoT mobile app are currently enjoying a “soft-opening” release and will be available in 2020. Ready to roll out the barrel on your own web app or native IoT mobile app? Check out our custom app development services. The post Milcarb to Launch New Switch-Series for Remote Beverage Gas Telemetry Monitoring appeared first on eXcelisys. View the full article
  13. FileMaker Inc. Rebrands as Claris International Looking Toward the Future, Software Company Revives Name From Past FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 15, 2019 Names change. Google started out as Back Rub and Yahoo! was originally known as Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web. And FileMaker Inc.? That’s so old-fashioned. Last week, during FileMaker’s annual Developer Conference – AKA DevCon ’19 – the company announced it was going back to its roots, changing its name from FileMaker Inc. to Claris International. Anyone remember Claris? Back in the 1980s, Claris was an Apple spin-off responsible for creating software like MacDraw, MacWrite and FileMaker Pro. In the 1990s, Apple brought its Mac software back in-house and rebranded Claris as FileMaker Inc., letting the subsidiary continue on as its own database software company. Over the past two decades, FileMaker Pro has grown into a leading Workplace Innovation Platform for custom app-building. At eXcelisys, FileMaker Pro is just one of the tools we use to bring custom database solutions and web applications to life. While FileMaker Inc. is changing its name, the FileMaker product will retain its brand name and signature style. In other words, the FileMaker name change will not affect the product itself and eXcelisys will continue to utilize the FileMaker Platform because we love its robust capabilities. In publicizing the change, FileMaker Inc./Claris International announced the acquisition of the Italian startup Stamplay, which is known for its cloud development and API-based backend development solutions. With the rebranding and acquisition, Claris International has launched Claris Connect, a new cloud service offering that will complement FileMaker Pro by helping developers integrate cloud services and automate workflows between them. At eXcelisys, we are eager to dig into Claris Connect because it will help our clients. With Claris Connect, we will be able to integrate cloud services like Dropbox, Slack, Salesforce, etc., with less development time. Here at eXcelisys, we look forward to the future and the new opportunities these changes will bring in helping us eXpand our capacity to serve clients with the most innovative, mission critical solutions around! A Message About the FileMaker Name Change From Claris International CEO Brad Freitag When I accepted the position as FileMaker CEO, I knew we had a massive opportunity in front of us – not just as a company, but as a community. Digital transformation, which we define as automating workflows and processes, is changing the nature of work. I knew we could make a tremendous impact on enabling problem solvers in this new era of technology. I joined FileMaker in 2013 as Vice President of America’s Sales. At that time, FileMaker was transitioning from a single-user box product to a subscription model. There was a huge investment in mobile and we were trying to figure out how to scale for the Cloud. Our goal was to make technology easier to use and more accessible without limiting the imaginations of our talented developers or the sophistication of their applications. Since that time, the world has caught up with our vision. The ability to develop powerful software that solves clear problems within a business or industry has only become more valuable. The economy is going to be defined by the companies that harness technologies to transform the way they work. At the same time, the supply of web, mobile and app developers have not kept up with the demand. Read the rest of this article at Filemaker.com FileMaker Reborn as Claris Acquisition of Stamplay leads to new cloud service offering for community of more than 1M users SANTA CLARA, Calif. – [August 6, 2019] – Today at their 24th annual DevCon, FileMaker, Inc., maker of the world’s leading Workplace Innovation Platform, unveiled the start of a new chapter in the company’s history as Claris International Inc. In addition, the company announced its acquisition of Stamplay, a service that helps businesses of all sizes integrate data from third-party cloud services such as Box, DocuSign, and others into their apps. Claris has fully integrated this service and unveiled a new offering, Claris Connect. This service will provide customers with an intuitive interface for automating workflows across cloud-based services, saving them from the task of building custom-built, backend integrations. The Claris Connect team will continue to be led by former Stamplay CEO, Giuliano Iacobelli. “Claris stems from the Latin root ‘clarus,’ which means ‘clear, bright and shining,’” said Brad Freitag, Claris CEO. “Nothing better encapsulates the company’s mission: to empower the problem-solver with smart solutions that work for their business. By extending the reach of our platform as a modern, multi-faceted, and powerful merger of on-premises custom apps and third-party services, our customers can streamline their business processes across the cloud services that they use every day.” Read the rest of this article at Filemaker.com The post FileMaker Inc. Rebrands, Changes Name to Claris International appeared first on eXcelisys. View the full article
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