Part two of our recap of the newest extensions to DayBack Calendar for FileMaker. These are published on the DayBack blog and in our new Extensions Library. Most come with example code you can paste into your instance of DayBack.

(Here’s part 1 if you missed it.)

Gantt Chart Style Progress Bars

FileMaker Gantt chart

Visualize the percent complete with progress bars on each task, adding warnings when they exceed estimates in DayBack’s Gantt Chart.


Add Custom Side Panels to DayBack

FileMaker Calendar Customization

Add custom workflows in your calendar by embedding forms, charts, and progress bars in each event. You can certainly do this using your own FileMaker layouts instead of DayBack’s popover, but if you want this in the popover, example code is included and implementation help is available. You can also add displays like this to DayBack’s tooltips.


Update Resources and Statuses for Multiple Events

Update multiple events FIleMaker Calendar

We’re adding more ways for you to reschedule multiple events simultaneously. This action lets you drag-select events and switch their statuses and resources all at the same time. If your events have multiple resources, this action makes it easy to swap out some of those resources for a new one, leaving the remaining resources untouched.


Read-Only or Hidden Fields

Read-Only Calendar FileMaker

In addition to making entire calendars read-only in DayBack, you can now designate individual fields as read-only or hidden. Read-only fields are helpful when you’re rendering calc fields in the calendar and don’t want DayBack to try and edit them when you drag or duplicate events. Hidden fields are useful when you need a field in a tooltip or custom action but don’t need the field taking up space on screen.

 

That’s it for now. Keep up with all the updates to DayBack on Twitter or on our blog.

We’ve been publishing a lot of new extensions to DayBack, many with example code to get you started. You’ll find these on the DayBack blog and in the new Extensions Library.

Here’s a recap of some of the coolest examples…

Print Your Calendar at a Custom Size

Print FileMaker Calendar

Printing calendars has always been tricky as some of the information you want to see is often off-screen. While printing in a regular FileMaker sub-summary report is often the best approach, sometimes you want to SEE the calendar grid or timeline. This custom action gets you closer to printing everything on one screen.


Adding a Second Color to Your Events

Color FileMaker Calendar

People love DayBack because they can bring colors and icons into their calendar letting them understand their schedule at a glance. We’ve published a number of examples for doing this, and this one adds a border down the left side of your event. This color can represent any field in your FileMaker table.


Automated Reminders

FileMaker Caledar Reminders
Sometimes you want to create events in your calendar from other applications. In this example, we wanted to schedule follow-up calls from inside our help desk software. DayBack can receive requests like this as URL parameters and render custom forms to make scheduling faster. Here’s an example of a form we built to schedule reminders. Part 1 of this post shows a simpler version; part 2 shows what we’re doing now.


Assign a List of Unscheduled Items

FileMaker Calendar Spreadsheet
Sometimes you have a list of items that you need to schedule instead of just one. Maybe it’s a list of project milestones or last month’s sales you want to follow up on. In this video, we demonstrate a way to copy and paste events from a list into your calendar. This has been a very popular workflow for folks with complex scheduling requirements.


Here is part 2 with more examples.

DayBack for FileMaker allows you to drag-select multiple events on the calendar and drag to reschedule them all at once. But what if you’d like to do something besides changing their date or time? You may want to delete them all at once or change their status.

Now you can add buttons to the calendar that will operate against the selected group of events. In this example, we’ve added buttons to DayBack’s “button launcher” to change the status of selected events.

Find example code and instructions for adding this to your DayBack here: Edit Multiple Events at Once.

We’ve collected nearly 100 of the most popular calendar customizations into a searchable library, making it easier than ever to change the way your calendar behaves.

FileMaker Calendar Customizations

Many of these mods are things you can paste right into your DayBack. Others you’ll want to download and modify. And a few will require our help to deploy. But most have example code and videos so that you can build the workflows and automation you’ve always wanted in your schedule.

FileMaker Calendar Customizations

Check Out the Library

Building realistic schedules gives customers confidence that you’ll keep your promises. Now DayBack gives your dispatchers the confidence to make those promises by visualizing drive times and distances in your schedule.

In this example, the DayBack compares a day’s mileage across a field service team:

SeedCode offers ProMaps as a stand-alone mapping template for FileMaker. ProMaps supports routes and filtering. But adding mapping inside DayBack can mean better scheduling decisions, not just better routing decisions for a schedule that’s not ideal.

Drive times in FileMaker Calendar

Drive time and mapping integrations in DayBack are customizations deployed as part of our implementation packages. We can create time and distance calculators to match your specific workflows and include warnings when your schedule exceeds your constraints.

  • Is there another agent closer to the customer this week?
  • Do you have enough time to travel between appointments?
  • Is one agent traveling too far overall this week?
  • In what order should we arrange today’s jobs?

Learn more here: Displaying Distance & Drive Times

Mapping and distance math are a big part of our calendar customizations. DayBack can warn schedulers if there is insufficient drive-time between appointments or if another asset is closer to the customer that week. And our ProMaps app lets developer add mapping into their own projects.

Occasionally we take this mapping expertise in entirely new directions. In this case study, engineering firm Marx|Okubo wanted to email damage assessment maps to property owners within minutes of a quake in their area. Ann Kiser, SeedCode’s director of custom projects, designed an excellent solution that listens to the USGS feed, finds potentially affected properties, calculates likely damage, and emails graphics and reports automatically.

FileMaker Map Seismic

SeedCode’s Ann Kiser with Alan Corkhill, director of technology for Marx|Okubo

This solution is now a vital component of the ASAP product (Automated Structure Alert Program) Marx|Okubo is marketing in seismically active areas. It’s one thing to build software for someone; it’s another for them to take our work into a product: we couldn’t be more proud.

Claris FileMaker Map Add-On

Damage intensity radiating from a quake

Plotting affected properties and their potential damage

Big thanks to Ann, Jason, and KC at SeedCode, who worked on this, and Alan Corkhill, director of technology for Marx|Okubo, for all the engineering know-how and inspiration. And thanks to the marketing team at Claris for filming a great customer success story.

Introduction to AI in FileMaker

Building an automated invoice processing app to scan, and code invoice line items using OCR and AI in FileMaker

For the last few years, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work as the primary developer on the custom FileMaker app for Blueprint Capital REIT, a real estate lending and development firm based in Seattle, WA. Although their app uses and integrates with a variety of tools and services, my head is usually living exclusively in FileMaker-land, extending the data model, building new layouts, and scripting workflows. So when the opportunity comes to integrate with something new outside of FileMaker, I get excited. And maybe a little nervous. And much more so (both excitement and nerves) for the prospect of adding some Artificial Intelligence to their app!

I, like many software developers, can often hold a (healthy?) skepticism of AI.

But as Blueprint’s accounting team took on more customers, they faced some challenges that improving the data-entry workflow alone couldn’t resolve. They estimated it cost $8 to process a single invoice; multiply that by an average of 1,200 (and growing) per month, and invoice processing quickly becomes an expensive task. Perhaps even more costly were the long hours and late nights the team put in each month. To make a significant impact, we would need to automate more of the process with the help of AI. Read Full Article →

Now filter your resources by skill or location to focus on just the resources needed for a particular job. Resources get a big upgrade in this release of DayBack for FileMaker 19: you can now add a description and any number of tags to your resources.

The new resource filter sees these tags so you can quickly narrow the schedule down to your relevant assets.

Resource Filters in FileMaker Calendar - screenshot

Watch a video of this in action and learn more: Resource Filters and Skill-Based Scheduling.

Single Page Applications (SPAs) have a significant advantage over traditional multi-page applications in that they load assets when a client initially accesses the app. This means that routing can be very fast; the user doesn’t have to load a new HTML file every time they navigate within the application. But this advantage also creates a unique problem: after deployment, users will only have the latest version of your app once they refresh the site.

Create React App uses Webpack to generate new builds, and Webpack will automatically hash filenames to make sure the client doesn’t hold on to old assets. Assuming your cache is properly configured, all you need from the user is a refresh to ensure they get the changes from your last deployment.

Alerting the User

So how do we let the user know they should refresh the app? Well, you may have seen an increasingly popular pattern for handling this: the new version available alert.

New version notification in Inbox (Screenshot)

Google Inbox (RIP) letting you know their team has deployed a new version

This pattern is used in many of Google’s products, including the Firebase Dev Console and Android Messages for web. It’s also used by my favorite budgeting app, YNAB. There are several ways to detect a version change on the frontend, including using service workers, regular calls to a server, and timers that run a check on index.html. All of these work, but they’re also fairly involved. Read Full Article →

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