Fireside FileMaker Podcast: 'Keeping it in Sync' featuring Jesse Barnum on MirrorSync and more!
We have the perfect FileMaker podcast for your listening pleasure as you ease back into the office and start the new year!
Fireside FileMaker is a podcast collaboration between John Mark Osborne and Michael Rocharde discussing FileMaker related topics in a friendly and informative space.
Today, we wanted to share the 'Keeping it in Sync' episode of the podcast with you, featuring Jesse Barnum, President of 360Works, for a conversation on MirrorSync, plugins, FileMaker Cloud, Claris Connect and other interesting FileMaker subjects!
LISTEN HERE *Learn more about the NEW MirrorSync 6 and download here
*Follow Fireside FileMaker on iTunes or Podbean
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360Works Case Study: Sightlines Group Integrates FileMaker and Salesforce using MirrorSync
About Sightlines Group - Improving Organizational Systems and Processes
Sightlines Group, founded by Chris Barber, works with foundations, community-based organizations, and global technology and banking firms by helping them develop custom software, and by designing and delivering leadership development programs. Sightlines Group works with technical teams or with entire organizations who need to build better relationships with their constituents, track outcomes, research their impact, and tell their story. Furthermore, they provide leadership development and coaching work, including the design and delivery of hundreds of courses to clients including HSBC Bank, Hitachi Vantara, and The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund.
FileMaker - The Flexible CRM
Early on, Chris and his team developed some opinions about the role of customer relationship management (CRM) software, especially for foundations and nonprofits. “Often CRMs box people in and get in the way of adaptation,” says Chris Barber. Sightlines Group works most often with the FileMaker and Salesforce platforms to experience greater flexibility and scalability. FileMaker allows high flexibility, rapid prototyping, and rapid development. Salesforce allows out-of-the-box integration and enterprise scalability.
The Use Case - Syncing Data Between FileMaker and Salesforce
The CFE Fund (The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund: cfefund.org) is a national foundation that helps cities integrate financial empowerment into local government services. Their organization chose the Salesforce platform for its Case Management system which supports Financial Counselors located in cities across the country. First, however, the CFE Fund needed to transform and migrate several years worth of data from a legacy system into Salesforce. Sightlines Group used FileMaker’s rapid development tools to extract data from the legacy system and transform it into Salesforce’s data model. Rather than using traditional migration tools, they reached out to 360Works to see if MirrorSync could allow them to “sync” the data into Salesforce rather than performing a tricky one-time migration. This would allow the migration to happen over time, since data could be migrated to Salesforce, then inspected, and then further transformed from FileMaker, and then synced again to Salesforce.
The Solution - Using MirrorSync for FileMaker and Salesforce Integration
Upon first using MirrorSync, Chris and his team at Sightlines Group were pleased to find that they could trust MirrorSync to work reliably under the hood. “MirrorSync worked very well in the background, it has a lot of logic built in. Anyone who has worked with sync, knows that is usually not the case,” recalled Chris. The Sightlines Group team was able to be an important contributor to the use of this Salesforce configuration in MirrorSync for other FileMaker developers by providing helpful experiences they had while working. Chris shared that he was grateful for ongoing efforts from the 360Works team in always taking feedback and turning it around for improvements.
MirrorSync Provides Seamless Integration
MirrorSync was able to significantly improve the speed and efficiency in their workflow while accessing data between FileMaker and Salesforce. “Now, we can do this in a snap. We’ll work in FileMaker and watch it sync, using MirrorSync, to Salesforce a moment later. MirrorSync has made a big impact on our work. It's allowed us to merge the best that Salesforce has to offer with the best that FileMaker has to offer," shares Chris. He is very pleased with their new tight integration between FileMaker and Salesforce, he enjoys being able to hook in a variety of web services and have the choice of having them hook to FileMaker or hook to Salesforce.
Sightlines Group has configured their custom application for The CFE Fund to report back to FileMaker so they can take various actions based on the results in Salesforce, automatically. For example, they now have logic built in for posting to a Slack channel if there is any unexpected behavior within their application. It made their lives so much easier to receive clear information about what's happening back in FileMaker, without it feeling like a bulky add-on.
MirrorSync Manages Keys
The feature they enjoy the most is the way MirrorSync manages keys. “It automatically inserts, edits, and deletes child or parent records depending on your architecture. Salesforce keeps its own primary keys, so MirrorSync will take a new record in FileMaker, create a new record in Salesforce, get the Salesforce Id, and write that back to FileMaker, all automatically. If it did not work this way with managed keys, Salesforce would error out as Salesforce has strict key requirements,” reports Chris.
Final Result: A Complete, Synchronized Custom Application
MirrorSync is known amongst FileMaker developers to be an automated, customizable, and a fast-working tool. You can set it to sync just certain tables, fields, and records as needed - creating the most customizable synchronization solution. It even does bi-directional synchronization. It's a set-it-and-forget-it solution, and it's very fast. We can enter our data in FileMaker and 30 seconds later it propagates to Salesforce,” says Chris.
Chris and his team at Sightlines Group are experts in innovation. They work with millions of records in a single solution for The CFE Fund. The technology they choose must be robust enough to handle financial data at a large scale, at all times. Using MirrorSync allowed them to continue building the best possible, most reliable technology solutions for their clientele. “MirrorSync was a lifesaver! We have been using it for about a year now syncing a few million records and 10 tables. It is nearly bulletproof, Chris reports. ”It allows us to get our hands into the data in ways you normally cannot when working with nonprofits. With MirrorSync being bulletproof, we don't have to worry about the syncing, we can step back and treat the application as one: Salesforce and FileMaker.”
Contact 360Works for questions or a free 14-day trial of MirrorSync's FileMaker and Salesforce (SQL database) configuration at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the MirrorSync product page!
MirrorSync 6 and Zulu 4 Videos from the
FileMaker Developer Conference 2019
At the 2019 FileMaker Developer Conference, we presented our latest major releases: 360Works MirrorSync 6 and Zulu 4. In this article, we wanted to share with you the session recordings provided by Claris. If you did not attend DevCon, or want to hear the session again, now is your chance!
MirrorSync 6 is all about the developer. MirrorSync is the easy-to-use FileMaker data replication tool can quickly and seamlessly sync an offline database running on FileMaker Go or FileMaker Pro with a database hosted by FileMaker Server. It can sync various configurations of SQL databases, such as MySQL, Salesforce, Amazon DynamoDB or Redshift, and WordPress with FileMaker.
This new version of MirrorSync also makes it very easy to synchronize two FileMaker Servers to handle mission critical tasks like server clustering for load balancing and data disaster recovery. In this release, MirrorSync ships with many improvements for the synchronization setup and management process, safer syncs, more robust handling of large files, plus much more.
Zulu 4 is better for business. Zulu is an application that keeps your calendar events in sync with FileMaker records. It is able to sync with Apple Calendar, Google Calendar, and Exchange Outlook Calendar. Zulu 4 allows you to integrate your business workflows into the well known calendar interfaces your users are already using on their devices.
With the click of a link, a user can subscribe to a new calendar powered by your FileMaker solution. In this release, Zulu brings new support for Apple Reminders, improved calendar filters, and a better synchronization setup and management process as well.
Session Recordings for MirrorSync 6 and Zulu 4 Stay updated with 360Works
New Major Version Release:
The All New MirrorSync 6: Optimized for FileMaker Developers
The moment you've been waiting for is here! 360Works is proud to announce the release of MirrorSync 6. The easy-to-use FileMaker data replication tool can quickly and seamlessly sync an offline database running on FileMaker Go or FileMaker Pro with a database hosted by FileMaker Server. It can sync various configurations of SQL databases, such as MySQL, Salesforce, Amazon DynamoDB or Redshift, and WordPress with FileMaker. This new version of MirrorSync also makes it very easy to synchronize two FileMaker Servers to handle mission critical tasks like server clustering for load balancing and data disaster recovery.
In this release, MirrorSync ships with many improvements for the synchronization setup and management process.
Jesse Barnum, President of 360Works, says “MirrorSync 6 is the most major change since version 3. One of the biggest features is that MirrorSync can now automatically detect all new fields and tables." In version 6, there is no need to re-configure or re-paste script steps when you have solution changes (for client-to-server sync, as well as server-to-server).
Overall, the MirrorSync configuration client and sync management has been greatly improved. Creating and editing configurations is much faster, especially for many tables. Sync status updates are more responsive, and configuration changes can be made without canceling active syncs. New fields and layouts are automatically detected and added to the sync. Auto-detection of primary keys, creation / modification timestamps, and writebacks has been greatly improved. In addition, the configuration client no longers requires Java to be pre-installed, and is signed and notarized for compatibility with the latest versions of Mac OS X without annoying security pop-ups.
Try or Buy MirrorSync 6
Automatic File Transfers Between Servers
When setting up a server-to-server sync for the first time, you no longer need to manually download, copy, and upload the databases between the servers. Just install MirrorSync 6 on both servers and click the ‘sync now’ button. MirrorSync will transfer the files (even for multi-file solutions) and run the initial sync.
Automatic Version Update Between Servers
If you’ve used MirrorSync 4 or 5, you’re familiar with the automatic update feature, which automatically sends database updates to users in the field. MirrorSync 6 now uses the same approach for server-to-server syncs. Just modify a single calculation field, and MirrorSync will replace the database on the spoke server with a new version after the next successful sync. You can even schedule this feature, so that it runs overnight without disrupting connected users.
MirrorSync 6 Makes Syncs Safer
Deletion scanning now runs two separate checks to ensure a record has been deleted before deleting on the other side of the sync. Checks have been added to make sure that no client record exists in the MirrorSync table before downloading a copy for the spoke to sync. Recover mode is now more discerning about which records to re-write after a previous failed sync which helps to prevent situations where recovery could cause a large number of records to be modified. Lastly, there have been multithreading improvements for storing and accessing the internal sync database for better reliability.
Robust Enough for the Largest of Files
For users with large databases, MirrorSync now utilizes streaming when reading from FileMaker Server and Pro/Go. This allows fetching data of unlimited size, while reducing RAM requirements.
A common problem in previous versions of MirrorSync was a limit on the number of tables. When the table count approached 60 tables, the MirrorSync script would often hit the limit on script size in FileMaker. This issue is now solved: MirrorSync 6 can sync any number of tables. We’ve successfully tested MirrorSync 6 with a server-to-server sync for a multi-file solution containing 26 files, 127 tables, and over 30 million records.
MirrorSync now supports custom location for temp files. This is particularly important when using the database download feature with very large databases; you can now store these temporary copies on an external volume with more free space than the boot drive.
After upgrading your existing MirrorSync 4 or 5 installation, existing offline databases in the field will continue to be able to sync with the new MirrorSync 6 server. You can utilize MirrorSync’s automatic version update feature to update these users to the latest version after completing a sync with their older version.
Try or Buy MirrorSync 6
New System Requirements:
Java is no longer required to be pre-installed for the installer, web application, or configuration client. FileMaker Pro, Go, and Server 17 or later is now required. Certain multithreading speed improvements will only apply when running Server 18v3 or later.
Notable Features in MirrorSync 6:
Automated deployment and version management for server-to-server syncs Now uses the Data API (instead of XML or xDBC) All new MirrorSync script, re-written to support new features in FileMaker 17 and later Unlimited tables Leverages new FileMaker features for much faster container field syncs Configuration client is now a standalone application that does not require Java to be installed Added support for Get( UUIDNumber ) primary keys Added support for the iPod Touch (which is a great and inexpensive option for offline data collection)
See the complete changelog here.
Pricing and Availability
MirrorSync 6 is available now. You can download the software instantly from mirrorsync.com and start syncing with the new improvements. MirrorSync is free for 1 FileMaker Pro/Go device, with additional devices priced at $8-$95 per device depending on quantity. This price is for a single FileMaker solution, with addition solutions priced at $200/each, and server-to-server syncs priced at $1,600 - $2,000 depending on the types of databases. All prices are one-time costs, not annual. Complete pricing is available at mirrorsync.com
Active maintenance subscribers for MirrorSync or the 360Works Portfolio Bundle will receive the new major version 6 at no additional cost. All purchases within the last 12 months are still under active maintenance.
We are also pleased to announce that we offer hosting services for MirrorSync for the low price of $29 per month. This is included free of charge for customers hosting FileMaker Server with us. Contact us to find out more and get started!
Try or Buy MirrorSync 6 Stay updated with 360Works
MirrorSync 6: Update, Beta Test,
and Release Information
MirrorSync 6 Update
At 360Works we strive to provide the best quality software and to keep FileMaker Developers well-informed with updates to our products. MirrorSync 6 is making tremendous progress, however it is not yet ready for purchase. At this time, all of the new features have been implemented and we are moving into the quality assurance phase of our development.
As a reminder, MirrorSync 6 is all about the FileMaker Developer! It makes it much quicker and easier to configure sync in a new solution, but what you will love most is that with MirrorSync 6 there is nothing to re-configure when your solution changes (for client-to-server sync, as well as server-to-server). Additional new features:
Automated deployment and version management for server-to-server syncs Now uses the Data API (instead of XML or xDBC) All new MirrorSync script, re-written to support new features in FileMaker 17 and later Unlimited tables Leverages new FileMaker features for much faster container field syncs Public Beta Test
As we continue to work on the quality assurance of MirrorSync 6, we will open a public beta test. MirrorSync 6 beta testers will be a part of an exclusive opportunity as one of the first people to see and experience the new features with a 60 day trial license provided by 360Works. If you would like to be included in this beta tester opportunity, please email email@example.com. Be sure to let us know what type of configuration you will be syncing, and how many devices you need (if you are doing client-to-server syncs). Spots are limited and will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.
We are thrilled to be providing MirrorSync 6 and partnering with the FileMaker community in testing. We foresee the remainder of our quality assurance process to occur over the next few weeks. This means we are anticipating an official release date for MirrorSync 6 by the end of October. As always, we appreciate your continued support and involvement with 360Works products.
Information on Known Issues
Known issues - will be resolved in final release:
There are issues with time zones when the offline device, MirrorSync, and the server are not all in the same time zone. Add an email notification when a server-to-server version update occurs Importing and exporting configurations does not work Client-to-server syncs set to share the same password used in the configuration are still prompted for a password on first sync. Known issues - may or may not be resolved in final release:
MirrorSync 6 is not backwards compatible with MirrorSync 5, which means you won't be able to sync existing MirrorSync 5 offline copies with MirrorSync 6. Configuration client does not work on Mac OS X with Open JDK installed. Use Java 8 or paid Oracle Java instead. If that's not an option, do the configuration with Windows (via RDP).
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