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Smef

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  1. This month at the Atlanta FileMaker Developers Group meeting we covered some topics we learned about at DevCon this year. View the full article
  2. This month we covered some of the new features in FileMaker 16. Check out the recording of our monthly meeting below. The sample files used in this demo are available for download from https://community.filemaker.com/docs/DOC-8138. This link is supposed to be available to download, but there’s been an error popping up on that page about restricted access which you may experience. View the full article
  3. I've added a new set of instructions for Let's Encrypt SSL Certificates with FileMaker Server for Mac.
  4. Looking for instructions for Windows? Click here! Let’s Encrypt is a non-profit certificate authority with the mission of spreading the SSL love across the internet. Though they’re not officially supported, we can use Let’s Encrypt to get free SSL certificates to use with FileMaker Server. We will use a Bash script and a LaunchDaemon to retrieve and automatically renew SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt to make sure our connections to FileMaker Server are secure. With this, there’s no reason anyone should have an invalid SSL certificate on their FileMaker Server deployment! Requirements: FileMaker Server deployed on a Mac server – Tested with OSX 10.11 but may work with other versions. The “FileMaker Database Server Website” page must be reachable through the public internet using a web browser at the address you wish to get an SSL certificate for, such as http://myserver.mycompany.com. This means opening or forwarding port 80 in your router, firewall, or security groups. We use the Let’s Encrypt HTTP verification challenge, so we must make sure that Let’s Encrypt is able to reach our FileMaker server through HTTP. Warning: FileMaker does not list Let’s Encrypt as a supported SSL vendor and usually alerts the community that non-supported SSL vendors’ certificates won’t be able to be validated by FileMaker Pro and Go. I believe we’ve solved this issue with this solution. We’ve had no problems with validating these SSL certificates with FileMaker Pro 13-16 but of course can’t make any guarantees. FileMaker Go 15/16 also seem to validate everything correctly, though FileMaker Go 14 can’t connect. Please post in the comments section below if you have any issues using these SSL certificates. This is an experimental script and procedure. Please proceed with the use of this Bash script and Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates at your own risk. Here’s a summary of what we’re going to need to do: Install Homebrew Install Certbot Edit the GetSSL.sh file Run the Bash script Change the FileMaker Server SSL Connections settings Set up a schedule to renew the SSL certificate 1. Download the GetSSL.sh Bash script First, you’ll need a copy of the GetSSL Bash script. Download the file using the link below and save it on your server where you’ll want to get the SSL certificate. Warning: This is an experimental script and procedure, and SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt are not officially supported by FileMaker, Inc. Please download and use this script with the understanding that it comes with no guarantees or warranties, and that you are doing so at your own risk. Blue Feather, Let’s Encrypt, nor anyone else are responsible for what happens to your server or systems when using this script. Download the GetSSL Bash script 2. Install Homebrew Homebrew is a package manager for Mac. It’s used to install tools and applications for your system. You can read more about Homebrew at the Homebrew website. We’re going to follow the instrucitions on there to install Homebrew on our Mac server. Run the following command in Terminal: /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)" 3. Edit the GetSSL.sh file The script file needs to be edited so that it know the address you wish to get an SSL certificate for. Open the script in a text editor like TextEdit, TextWrangler, Sublime Text, or through Terminal using an editor like Vim. Change the address, email address, and (if necessary) the FileMaker Server install path variables to reflect your server’s information and your contact information. Let’s Encrypt will use this contact information to reach out to you if there is a problem with the SSL certificate that they have issued to you. 4. Run the Bash Script WARNING: Running this Bash script will safely restart your FileMaker Server service, abruptly disconnecting any active users. Make sure that nobody is connected to your server before you run this script. With Certbot installed, we’re now ready to run the Bash script. Make sure nobody is connected or using your FileMaker server and then run the GetSSL.sh Bash script by navigating to the directory you have it copied to in your Terminal window and entering: sudo ./GetSSL.sh A bunch of text will scroll by in the Terminal window as the script requests, fetches, and installs your SSL certificate. Your FileMaker Server service will then be stopped and started again automatically. Your SSL certificate should now be installed! Go to your FileMaker Server admin console to make sure you’re seeing the new SSL certificate. You may need to close and re-open your browser if you had the page open already. 5. Change the FileMaker Server SSL Connections settings The SSL certificate is installed, but we want to force FileMaker Pro and Go clients to connect securely to our server. Log in to your newly secured FileMaker Server admin console. Select the Database Server options from the list on the left and then the Security tab at the top of the page. Check the “Use SSL for database connections” option (as well as “Use SSL for progressive downloading” if you would like) to force FileMaker Pro and Go clients to use a secure connection when connecting to this server. Save your changes and then restart your whole FileMaker Server machine or just the FileMaker Server background service. Your FileMaker Pro clients should now show the green lock icon when logging in to this server, indicating that the connection is secure. 8. Set up a schedule to renew the SSL certificate SSL Certificates from Let’s Encrypt are only valid for 90 days and must be renewed before that time. Let’s Encrypt does this purposefully to encourage automation and increase security. In that spirit, we should set up an automatic renewal for our SSL certificates so that we don’t need to manually re-run this every couple of months. This process is similar to setting up a scheduled script in FileMaker Server. Move the GetSSL.sh file to a relatively permanent location on your server. An example place for this might be /usr/local/bin/. You’ll need to create a LaunchDaemon schedule to run the script at the dates and times you want to do it. A LaunchDaemon will run your scheduled program or task at the dates and times, or at the interval, that you specify. These certificates are good for 90 days at a time, and the Certbot tool we’re using will only renew them once they’re at least 30 days out from renewal. You will want to create a .plist file to schedule this in a way which makes the most sense for you. You can have it run once per week, for example, and it will renew your certificate when it becomes eligible for renewal (It will still restart your FM Server at your scheduled time, even if there isn’t a new certificate – I’d like to update this in the future to only restart if there’s a new certificate.). You can use the example .plist file available at the download link below. You can download and edit this example file to run your GetSSL.sh script at the location you stored it at and on the days you want. This example one is scheduled to run once per week, on Saturdays at 6:21 pm. You can read more about writing your own LaunchDaemons from the Apple Developer site. Download example .plist As an alternative, there’s a great app called Lingon X which give you a really nice GUI for creating, editing, and installing LaunchDaemons. A demo is available, and a single-user license is $9.99, which may be worthwhile as it makes creating and scheduling LaunchDaemons very easy. Once you’ve finished setting your schedule, place your .plist file in /Library/LaunchDaemons/. With your LaunchDaemon installed you can tell your server to start the schedule by ( substituting your .plist file name and then ) running : sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaeomns/my-script.plist Done! That’s all that you need to do! Your script should run automatically at your scheduled time to renew your SSL certificate with Let’s Encrypt. Do a test to make sure that it’s all working properly, that it gets a new certificate for you, and that your FileMaker Server service restarts after it has retrieved the certificate. If there is an issue, you may want to run the script manually in PowerShell or debug with the PowerShell ISE to locate any issues. Keep in mind that your FileMaker Server service will be restarted after getting the new SSL certificate, so be sure to schedule it for a time when people will not be active in your system. This is an early version of this script and there is quite surely room for improvement. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or run into any issues using this scripting. Let’s make the FileMaker community a secure one! View the full article
  5. Marc Larochelle from Productive Computing presents about QuickBooks and FileMaker integration at our monthly meeting for May 2017. You’ll learn more about the world of QuickBooks Accounting, the various flavors available today and why customers are interested in connecting QuickBooks with FileMaker. We’ll explore the tools and skills needed to accomplish this as well as common integration strategies in use today. Then, we’ll take a deeper dive under the hood to see what a typical integration script looks like and how it all works from A to Z with FM Books Connector. After watching this webinar, you’ll know a lot more about how to get started with these integrations on your own and the right questions to ask a customer interested in making a connection between FileMaker and QuickBooks. You can purchase FM Books Connector from http://www.fmbooksconnector.com/. View the full article
  6. Nicholas Orr from Goya presented at our developer meeting this month. Watch the recording of the live-stream to see him demonstrate BaseElements and give a run down on the benefits of developer analysis tools in general, and BaseElements in particular. He’ll show you how to get the best solution possible from FileMaker using these tools, as well a quick demo of their update builder product : RefreshFM, Web Services server : RESTfm and the free BaseElements plugin. View the full article
  7. HA! I forgot to put that in there. I'll update this. Thanks! The work is all out of the office, not travel. Clients are all over the country (and sometimes outside of it), but it's almost all remote to their servers and things.
  8. I've got this on my list of things to do as well. It should be a pretty similar process.
  9. Blue Feather (https://bluefeathergroup.com) in Johns Creek, GA is looking to hire a FileMaker database developer. This is a client facing position where you will be gathering requirements and developing solutions to meet client needs. We’re looking to find someone with some FileMaker experience that we can train to become a very advanced developer, becoming proficient in complex integration solutions and technologies outside of just FileMaker. Daily work will primarily consist of business application development and design using FileMaker scripting, calculations, and layout tools. Our FileMaker solutions are custom-made for each client to meet their specific needs, so there will be new programming challenges each day as we work with clients in many different industries with different technical requirements. Work is currently out of our home office. Be ok with going to someone’s house every day for work, though it is a reserved, nice, office-focused area. Business hours are 10am - 6pm Monday through Friday. A person in this position will be responsible for: Custom business application development and design from scratch using FileMaker scripting, calculations, and layout tools Design and layout of user interfaces for business applications such as CRM systems A little bit of web design and development Managing client projects, requests, and requirements Tracking time working on projects for clients Maintaining current FileMaker Developer certification Requirements: Strong math and logic skills FileMaker Development Experience Demonstrable understanding of general software development and computer programming Desire to learn advanced development techniques with FileMaker and other platforms Nice to Have: PHP Java HTML / CSS / Javascript C++ Compensation Pay will range from $30k - $70k DOE and ability to earn bonuses by taking on projects Lots of one-on-one training to develop new skills Total of 15 paid sick/vacation days to use as you please Paid holidays Company cell phone, laptop Full-time hours, but flexible schedule available after you're able to work on projects on your own Please send your resume to jobs@bluefeathergroup.com
  10. Will this Run as Administrator? I don't think FileMaker Server normally has permission to edit the CStore folder, which is why "Run as Administrator" is required.
  11. It's definitely doable in a similar fashion, I just haven't gotten to doing it yet. I may have a Mac server available soon I can do testing on, and will definitely post when I get a script available for Mac.
  12. The warning FMI gives about using non-supported SSL certificates is that FileMaker Pro and Go clients won't be able to verify the SSL certificate. I believe we've solved this issue with this solution, and FileMaker clients as early as 13 are able to successfully verify the SSL certificate. There could be other issues lurking somewhere, but we've got this deployed in a number of live servers with no issues so far. It's definitely a good idea to do some testing after deploying this, all the same. If anyone does encounter any issues, please post them here, on the article's comment section, or send a private message or email to me.
  13. Hello Everyone, I've written a PowerShell script to allow you to get a free SSL certificate from Let's Encrypt to use with FileMaker Server. You can schedule this to run every few months and renew your certificate automatically. Now there's no reason to keep using that default certificate. Check out the post for instructions! How to Use Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates with FileMaker Server | Blue Feather - FileMaker Developer, Android, Web EDIT: One compatibility note for everyone - While it looks like it's all compatible with FileMaker Pro 13-15, only FileMaker Go 15 is compatible. FileMaker Go 14 is unable to connect with these certificates installed. I'd recommend using FM Go 15 anyway, but it's something to be aware of if you're still using FM Go 14.
  14. Let’s Encrypt is a non-profit certificate authority with the mission of spreading the SSL love across the internet. Though they’re not officially supported, we can use Let’s Encrypt to get free SSL certificates to use with FileMaker Server. We will use a PowerShell script and the Windows Task Scheduler on Windows Server 2012 R2 to retrieve and automatically renew SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt to make sure our connections to FileMaker Server are secure. With this, there’s no reason anyone should have an invalid SSL certificate on their FileMaker Server deployment! WARNING: FileMaker does not list Let’s Encrypt as a supported SSL vendor. We’ve had no problems with using these SSL certificates, but can’t make any guarantees for you. This is an experimental script and procedure. Please proceed with the use of this PowerShell script and Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates at your own risk. Here’s a summary of what we’re going to need to do: Download the GetSSL.ps1 PowerShell script Install the Microsoft PowerShell Package Manager Edit the GetSSL.ps1 file Change Windows security to allow PowerShell Scripts to run Install ACMESharp Run the PowerShell Script Change the FileMaker Server SSL Connections settings Set up a schedule to renew the SSL certificate Check out the video below for a walkthrough and continue reading for additional instructions. 1. Download the GetSSL.ps1 PowerShell script First, you’ll need a copy of the GetSSL PowerShell script. Download the file using the link below and save it on your server where you’ll want to get the SSL certificate. WARNING: This is an experimental script and procedure, and SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt are not officially supported by FileMaker, Inc. Please download and use this script with the understanding that it comes with no guarantees or warranties, and that you are doing so at your own risk. Blue Feather, Let’s Encrypt, nor anyone else are responsible for what happens to your server or systems when using this script. Download the GetSSL PowerShell script 2. Install the Microsoft PowerShell Package Manager Windows Server 2012 R2 does not have the PowerShellGet module installed by default, and so we must download it from Microsoft. Visit Microsoft’s download page or PowerShell Gallery to get the latest version of PowerShell for PS 3 and 4. Download and install the very small file. This will allow us to more easily install the modules we need to make this work. 3. Edit the GetSSL.ps1 file The script file needs to be edited so that it know the address you wish to get an SSL certificate for. Right-click on the ps1 file and select edit to open a text editor. Change the address, email address, and (if necessary) the FileMaker Server install path variables to reflect your server’s information and your contact information. Let’s Encrypt will use this contact information to reach out to you if there is a problem with the SSL certificate that they have issued to you. 4. Change Windows security to allow PowerShell Scripts to run Windows Server will not allow you to run PowerShell scripts by default, so you’ll need to modify your security settings to allow this. Open PowerShell or PowerShell ISE as Administrator using the “Run as Administrator” option and enter the command: Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope LocalMachine Unrestricted Enter “y” and press enter to accept the security warnings that appear. Note: PowerShell must be Run as Administrator for this step and all subsequent steps, or you will receive errors. Be sure you are running PowerShell or the PowerShell ISE as Administrator using the “Run as Administrator” option, not just a user named Administrator. 5. Install ACMESharp We’ll be using the ACMESharp PowerShell module to communicate with Let’s Encrypt to get our SSL certificate. Install the ACMESharp PowerShell module using the command: Install-Module -Name ACMESharp Enter “y” and press enter to accept the security warnings that appear. 6. Run the PowerShell Script WARNING: Running this PowerShell script will restart your FileMaker Server service, abruptly disconnecting any active users. Make sure that nobody is connected to your server before you run this script. With ACMESharp installed and our security settings adjusted, we’re now ready to run the PowerShell script. Make sure nobody is connected or using your FileMaker server and then run the GetSSL.ps1 PowerShell script by navigating to the directory you have it copied to in your PowerShell window and entering: .\GetSSL.ps1 A bunch of text will scroll by in the PowerShell window as the script requests, fetches, and installs your SSL certificate. Your FileMaker Server service will then be stopped and started again automatically. Your SSL certificate should now be installed! Go to your FileMaker Server admin console to make sure you’re seeing the new SSL certificate. You may need to close and re-open your browser if you had the page open already. 7. Change the FileMaker Server SSL Connections settings The SSL certificate is installed, but we want to force FileMaker Pro and Go clients to connect securely to our server. Log in to your newly secured FileMaker Server admin console. Select the Database Server options from the list on the left and then the Security tab at the top of the page. Check the “Use SSL for database connections” option (as well as “Use SSL for progressive downloading” if you would like) to force FileMaker Pro and Go clients to use a secure connection when connecting to this server. Save your changes and then restart your FileMaker Server service on your server machine. Your FileMaker Pro clients should now show the green lock icon when logging in to this server, indicating that the connection is secure. 8. Set up a schedule to renew the SSL certificate SSL Certificates from Let’s Encrypt are only valid for 90 days and must be renewed before that time. Let’s Encrypt does this purposefully to encourage automation and increase security. In that spirit, we should set up an automatic renewal for our SSL certificates so that we don’t need to manually re-run this every couple of months. This process is similar to setting up a scheduled script in FileMaker Server. Move the GetSSL.ps1 file to a relatively permanent location on your server and then open the Task Scheduler, which we will use to set up a new scheduled task. Once you have the Task Scheduler open, right-click on the Task Scheduler Library icon on the left side of the window and select the “Create Basic Task” option. Give your task a name and description so that you can recognize what is is and then press Next. Select a frequency for this task to run, such as Monthly and enter the times you wish the schedule to run on the next window. Enter “PowerShell” in the “Program/script:” field. Enter the path to the GetSSL.ps1 script in the “Add arguements (optional)” field. This should be a full path like C:\GetSSL.ps1. Click the next button to review, and select the “Open Properties” checkbox. Complete the setup and the properties window will open for you to make final adjustments to this schedule. You can edit the triggers and scheduling here, but the important thing we need to do is change the security options. Select the “Run whether user is logged o nor not” radio button and enter your password to allow the script to run even if you’re not logged into the machine. Also be sure to check the “Run with highest privileges” option to make the script Run as Adminstrator, which is required for the script to work properly. Done! That’s all that you need to do! Your script should run automatically at your scheduled time to renew your SSL certificate with Let’s Encrypt. Keep in mind that your FileMaker Server service will be restarted after getting the new SSL certificate, so be sure to schedule it for a time when people will not be active in your system. This is an early version of this script and there is quite surely room for improvement. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or run into any issues using this scripting. Let’s make the FileMaker community a secure one! View the full article
  15. We had a special presentation at the Atlanta FileMaker Developers group meeting last night. Andy LeCates and Darrin Quick from FileMaker, Inc. came by to present some of the new features in FileMaker 14 and answer questions from the attendees. We live-streamed the event on YouTube and Hangouts On Air, where we also had some remote participants watching and asking questions. The recording of the live-stream is available on YouTube below. View the full article
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