I’ve been thinking a lot about schedules lately–software production schedules, deadlines, sprint plans, etc.–and I ran into this from my Pause On Error session 4 years ago:

Below, I’ve proposed 8 “blockers” that, if true, seem to reinforce my skepticism that you can’t really share FileMaker development: that anything bigger than “one developer – one project – start to finish” starts to break down pretty quickly.

1. We have no accurate way to quantify the productivity of a developer.

2. Yet we have a gut sense for “productivity” and the productivity of individual developers differs greatly, often by an order of magnitude.

3. FileMaker code is not legos, and no mater how adept we may be at making things discrete and reusable, the stuff just doesn’t plug and play.

4. We can’t run someone’s code through a spell checker, and we can’t look at the code and know what it does.

5. “In any sufficiently powerful system, failure is undetectable” – John Gall

6. “The key problem with software methodologies [Agile, etc.] is that, implemented by smart people, the kind of people who invent methodologies, they work. Implemented by shrubs, who will not do anything more than follow the instructions they were given, they won’t work.” – Joel Spolsky

And when you see a software project that did work, was the methodology the factor, or was there just one, really productive programmer at work?

7. “It may well turn out that one of the most important effects of open source’s success will be to teach us that play is the most economically efficient mode of creative work.” – Eric S. Raymond.

Can you have a consulting business that is mostly play? Is that why I’m drawn to the product side vs the professional services side of the software business?

8. Many of these problems were already fully articulated in the late 1960s. Thousands of very smart people since and I don’t think we have any real answers.

Having launched a ton of product since that talk, and done 2 years on Blueprint, I wonder if I’d say any of that differently. (intro image from here).

“In our industry, we don’t get big game-changers very often.” – Jason Larson


Jason Larson’s sweet mod of GoMaps for Braun Electric.

We’re very psyched to see FileMaker, Inc. recognize Braun Electric’s very cool FileMaker Go deployment using GoMaps and GoZync. Read the full case study here.

Learn more about the SeedCode add-ons used in this solution:

GoMaps – plot your records on interactive, muti-pin google maps. Available for the desktop as ProMaps.

GoZync – reliable, scriptable sync framework for serious solutions.

SeedCode’s ProMaps lets you add your own links to Google Maps: users can click on a pin and run your own FileMaker scripts–going to that pin’s record in your FileMaker layout, for example.

While ProMaps could always do this for hosted files, FileMaker’s 13v2 update now lets scripts like these run locally, not just when your FileMaker file is hosted. Learn more and download a ProMaps demo to see how this works.

If you haven’t downloaded the 13v2 update, you’ll want to do so now. This update extends the use of fmp urls in FileMaker Pro to local files and is a big deal for javascript based add-ons like ProMaps. We’re psyched to see FileMaker, Inc. continuing their support for stuff like this.

Purchased versions of ProMaps let you paste the map into your own FileMaker file and show your own records as pins on the map. Folks who are already using ProMaps can update to the latest version by changing a few scripts in their file: instructions here.


Todd Geist has put together a great video showing how imports will let you down when you’re syncing records. Tricky stuff, but the basics are very well explained in this video. (Import failing begins at 11:40)

Todd’s article/video also includes a pretty cool demo file for showing how the sync / import works. It’s not fully fleshed out (i.e. it’s a demo) but it’s unlocked and has got a really nice FM13 interface.

Of course GoZync uses transactions: this is why.

Todd’s series on transactions is also highly recommended.

John Sindelar will be presenting The Year in Review at this year’s FileMaker Developer Conference.

“I get to see so much cool work from other developers over the course of the year, I’m thrilled for this opportunity to showcase some of it. I’ll be highlighting what our peers are finding most valuable in the newest version of FileMaker 13, and demonstrating new techniques folks can put to work in their own files.”

“As always, the goal is to find ways to make your FileMaker solutions faster, simpler, and easier to modify, while adding a healthy dose of magic. =)”

Registration is $300 off between now and June 3, 2014.

View the whole schedule here: DevCon 2014 Schedule.

Can’t make it? Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with what’s next.

“Q: How do we change the future?

A: Change the story people tell themselves about the future they will live in.”

“Seen through this lens, effective leadership is made up of of just two core disciplines:

Forging plausible, inspiring stories about the future we wish for ourselves, our families, our companies or our communities,


Sharing those stories with people in a way that allows them both to embrace them, and to make them their own.”

From http://www.crashdev.com/2014/02/the-stories-we-tell-ourselves.html


That’s the restroom key at DevLocal where FileMaker-Seattle meets.

Are we all just frustrated game developers? I know that’s what first got me coding, and I wonder how much of that original impulse still motivates what we do. Is that why we’re so into the animations and effects afforded by FileMaker 13?

Is that why folks found FileMaker IWP so frustrating for so many years: because it could make nice *looking* apps but couldn’t make things that had nice behaviors? How does Web Direct score on behaviors vs appearances?

Got this great screen shot in from Brent Foster at fastcuts.tv where they use our calendar layout to schedule video production

Most developers don’t take enough advantage of how easy it is to add columns to the day view of our Pro Calendar: easy and looks great. Thanks Brent.

• Learn more about our Pro Calendar add-on: built solely with FileMaker Pro scripts and layouts.