If you came by our booth at DevCon, you likely saw our science fiction timeline. DayBack can now show multi-year projects on the Gantt Chart, and we created some long timelines to show how well this works. One plots when milestone SCIFI books and films were set, starting with Kepler’s Somnium in 1608. Check it out.

FileMaker Timeline

Make Your Own Timelines

You can make read-only URLs from any view in your calendar using DayBack’s sharing. Sharing is a great way to publish schedules to folks who can’t log into your FileMaker solution. The timeline above uses the new long timescales feature introduced as a free in-app update at DevCon. If you’d like to play with the timeline above, you can download a copy of DayBack with this SCIFI calendar already set up:

DayBack DevCon 2019 Demo

The latest version of DayBack, including calendars for the history of FileMaker (1985 – 2038) and Milestones in SCIFI (1608 – 21500).

Date Limits in FileMaker

FileMaker doesn’t support dates after the year 4000 (same with timestamps). Yet, we needed dates up to 21500 to put Dune on our timeline. Fortunately, DayBack does support dates this big, and when looking at FileMaker sources it converts all dates and timestamps to numbers. So, for the SCIFI timeline in FileMaker, we used text fields for dates and wrote a function to turn those into timestamp-numbers. This is tricky because while FileMaker’s date functions understand leap years, we couldn’t use any of those functions on text-dates that far in the future.

FileMaker 18 While Function

Fortunately, FileMaker 18 introduced the while function so we could have loops within our calculation to express the leap year rule ourselves. This is a very rough implementation we put together for DevCon. It only works with dates in the MM/DD/YYYY format, but it was fun to play with “while” and to see events 20k years from now.

This calc is included in the download above: in the fields DBk_TimestampStartCalcNum and DBk_TimestampEndCalcNum.

At DevCon this morning, CEO Brad Freitag announced that FileMaker is rebranding as Claris. The presentation concluded with their new mission statement, “Power to the Problem Solvers.” We couldn’t be more excited about this change.

To celebrate this milestone, it’s worth remembering where we came from. So here’s the history of FileMaker and Claris:

The history of FileMaker and Claris


The history of FileMaker and Claris from 1984 through 2038.

'The past is never dead. It's not even past' - Faulkner, on @FileMaker and software legacies Click To Tweet

If you’d like to play with this calendar in FileMaker, here’s the file we used to create this timeline. This also contains the long time scales demo we’ve been showing in our DevCon booth, so don’t hesitate to turn on the SCIFI calendar and slide horizon view out a few thousand years. The online version of this calendar was created with DayBack’s sharing feature. Learn more here: publish your calendar.

DayBack DevCon 2019 Demo

The latest version of DayBack, including calendars for the history of FileMaker (1985 – 2038) and Milestones in SCIFI (1608 – 21500).

 

Deadlines sneak up on us because we’re always focused just a week ahead of time. Our tools don’t help since most calendars keep deadlines off-screen until it’s too late. We need a calendar that can easily zoom out from your daily work to scan your horizon of deadlines, goals, and commitments.

Long-term thinking is coming to DayBack at DevCon 2019.

FileMaker DevCon Long Term Thinking

Free in-app update

This will be a free in-app update for current users. (New to in-app updates? They let SeedCode add features to DayBack without overwriting your customizations: check it out.)

DayBack helps you work at longer time scales, so deadlines don't sneak up on you. Click To Tweet

What’s long-term?

It’s different for everyone. DayBack will easily slide from viewing a week, to a few months, to several years. It will also show inter-generational projects that can last for a hundred years. Or several hundred years.

Come by our booth at DevCon to see some really long term calendars.

Making custom software is hard. So is project management, estimating, accounting, and all the other things solo-developers and subcontractors are often expected to take care of alongside their code. Being a FileMaker Developer can be a great life–on your own, as a subcontractor, or inside a big firm–but it can also be very stressful.

Fortunately, our community loves to share what works, and there will be people talking about these tough issues at FileMaker DevCon. In fact, there’s enough on these topics to make a whole (unofficial) “Get your sh*t together” track at the conference.

So if you’re having trouble estimating, meeting deadlines, or getting paid, you might want to invest in yourself and check out some of these sessions: Read Full Article →

Maps and calendars work together to make field service more efficient. Here’s an example of using the routing options in ProMaps to optimize your schedule. SeedCode’s KC Embrey wrote FileMaker scripts to send a day’s appointments to ProMaps for routing, and then pull that route information back into DayBack Calendar to determine the start time for each appointment.

Route Scheduling for FileMaker Maps

Scheduling Routes with FileMaker and Google Maps

Routing is built into SeedCode’s ProMaps template. KC’s customization takes the response from Google’s route API and interprets it to schedule the day’s appointments in DayBack, assigning each a start time based on drive dive defaults used by the customer. A fancier version of this could use Google’s own travel-time estimates to set the start times. Here’s a short video of the customization in action:

Thanks to Duncan Chidley at Coastal Comfort for letting us share this customization!

More Map & Calendar Integrations

The movie above shows how our customer is using routing in ProMaps to determine the order of appointments. Here are some other customizations we can help you craft between ProMaps and DayBack Calendar:

  • Use travel times from the Google API to schedule the time between appointments
  • Color code the map by day-of-the-week so each day’s appointments are clustered near each other
  • Automatically assign customers to territories (or technicians) based on the customer’s location
  • Add leave-by times to the calendar for each appointment

If your field service operation could benefit from tighter integration between your routes and schedules, please get in touch. We’re here to help.

 

ProMaps lets you filter your properties by “area” or “territory” and show all those territory borders on the map. In the stock version of ProMaps, you’d create these territory borders once and then paste them into FileMaker. Map Territories in FileMakerHowever, if you have many territories or their borders are frequently changing, you may want to visually edit those borders inside FileMaker.

Here’s a customized version of ProMaps where you can visually manage your territory borders by dragging them around on the map inside FileMaker:

SeedCode can add this visual editing of borders for you (or customize ProMaps to run in WebDirect). Please get in touch for an estimate. Once these changes are in place, you’ll still be able to customize the map, add your own pin icons and colors, and add buttons inside the map to run your own FileMaker scripts.

Download a demo of ProMaps and learn more here: ProMaps for FileMaker

All DayBack calendar views are now available on mobile! This means you can now use resource scheduling, week, and grid views in your favorite mobile browser (shown) and in FileMaker Go.

Mobile calendar for FileMaker Go

On iPhone, you can also set up DayBack as a home screen app, getting rid of the browser chrome and giving yourself a bit more screen real estate. Once you’re on the calendar in Safari, tap the Share button, then tap Add to Home Screen. Simple =)

Add the New Views to Your Calendar

If you’re using DayBack Online, the new views are available for you as soon as you refresh the DayBack page in your browser. If you’re using DayBack in FileMaker Go, the new views are part of our latest in-app update. Instructions for updating your copy are here: get the latest updates to DayBack. (And don’t worry, you can always update DayBack without overwriting any customizations you’ve made.)

Here are  some of the cool new views available in this new update to DayBack Calendar:

All current SeedCode products are compatible with FileMaker 18. The newest version of FileMaker also makes some significant changes to the way FMP URLs are managed.

You can now specify a version-specific URL like “fmp18://sales.example.com/Clients.fmp12?script=ListClients” For developers who often find themselves working in two versions of FileMaker at the same time (versions 17 and 18, for example), this will make web viewer apps like DayBack and Pro Maps confine their URL calls to the version that opened the file (at least for versions 18 and higher).

It’s great to see FileMaker reinvesting in the FMP URL and in web viewer apps in general.

FileMaker 18 URL

FMP URLs in FileMaker 18

FileMaker changed two things about the FMP URL in FileMaker 18:

1. FileMaker 18 now sets the default protocol for you when you install FileMaker 18. This was omitted in FileMaker 17 and users who installed 17 found fmp:// trying to open FileMaker 16 (or the last version of FileMaker on that machine before 17). While it’s good to see this fixed; this “default” has never worked for all machines, so refer to our instructions here if the fmp:// protocol isn’t working after you install 18. (Or just switch to the fmp18:// format as described below.)

2. You can now specify FileMaker URLs as either fmp:// or fmp<version 18+>:// in the form fmp18:// as described here: Opening Files with URLs. If you want to calculate the URL for a file in 18, try Floor() like this:

Other Cool Features in FileMaker 18

• You’ll find FileMaker’s own recap of the new features here: What’s New
• Details on the new SetRecursion and While functions from Kevin Frank: SetRecursion and While
• From AppWorks: Delegating User Management without Full Access
• Using the new file script steps to perform imports on FileMaker Server, courtesy of Vincenzo Menanno: Imports without Tariffs
• The improved import dialog from DB Services: Redesigned FileMaker Import Dialog
•A longer view from Todd Geist: FileMaker 18: the End of the Beginning

For DayBack Users – Changing DayBack’s URL format in FileMaker 18

Note that you don’t need to use the new version-specific URLs in FileMaker 18. For many users, DayBack will just work when you open it in FileMaker 18. For other users, who may have had a lot of older versions of FileMaker installed on their machines, the instructions here will tell you how to point the fmp:// protocol at a specific version of FileMaker: you can point it at 18 and not make the changes below.

Read Full Article →

We’ve recently been adding lots of notifications to our customer’s calendars: sending emails and SMS alerts when milestones are approaching or when team members are assigned new projects. But notifications tend to get lost on your phone, so we decided it was time to level up our notification game with some FileMaker IoT.

FileMaker IOT device featuring Mjolnir

“You can’t automate everything,” a customer recently remarked. We’d been replacing their whiteboards with a to-do list based on DayBack Calendar, and some folks worried aloud that the software couldn’t account for some of the by-hand practices that had evolved around the whiteboard. We learned that one of those practices was to ring a gong every time a new construction permit was issued. We decided to automate that as well

We’d build a gong-ringer that received commands from FileMaker. And when users marked a permit as issued, FileMaker would ring the gong for them. The plan was to deliver it without anyone knowing, so that first new permit would be a big surprise.

And we’d ring the gong with Mjølnir, Thor’s hammer: just because.

3D Printing Mjølnir

In addition to designing the circuitry and motor for the device, Tanner Ellen also printed the hammer, motor housing, and hold downs shown in the photos below.

FileMaker and IOT Devices: Thor's Hammer

FileMaker Internet of Things Thor's Hammer

Read Full Article →

Here’s a great example of using filters to display multiple calendars, each from a different layer of your business. A custom sidebar uses FileMaker scripts and buttons to show and hide calendars using the resources from each line of business.

Our customer, Parvin Paving, wanted to show their field service schedules alongside the schedule of their estimates and sales teams. They also have calendars for booking conference rooms and back office operations. Each calendar has its own set of color-coded resources–rooms, people, or trucks–and they asked for a tree-view of their divisions’ schedules. This became a new left-hand sidebar to filter calendars in DayBack.FileMaker Calendar Layout

Read Full Article →

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