The new analytics in DayBack Calendar have really changed the way we work at SeedCode. Here’s a closer look at how we’re using it to manage custom projects, along with some of the things that have surprised us about the user interface and design.

Your Calendar is Not a Poster

https://medium.com/@seedcode/your-calendar-is-not-a-poster-its-a-game


 

New to calendar analytics? This is a free, in-app update to DayBack Calendar for FileMaker. Videos, screenshots, and use case examples here: calendar analytics.

Here’s an extension of SeedCode Complete designed by Jim Parvin of Parvin Paving and Sealing. In addition to the master-detail location browser on the left, Jim brought all the slide panels forward as tabs since he had large monitors and lots of space.

SeedCode Complete FileMaker Template

I like how Jim used the slide panels in Complete as a palette of interface elements and brought forward the ones he wanted, arranging them on a single screen. (Jim designed these layouts, and SeedCode’s Dan Wheelon and Ann Kiser put them together.)

We’ve seen many folks do this, moving things off slide panels into tabs or card windows and arranging them to build new interface elements. For example, the master-detail pane used for selecting locations above borrows filters from Complete’s contact selector. That was our goal with the SeedCode Complete template: to wire up the hard stuff and the basics so that developers could quickly add value with customizations specific to their business.

Big thanks to Jim at Parvin Paving and Sealing for letting us show off his app!

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New to DayBack for FileMaker, Calendar Analytics let you measure your schedule.

Plot progress against your goals over time, balance your workload, and quickly see patterns that are invisible in traditional reports.

Screenshot - Calendar Analytics for FileMaker Pro

We’ve been using analytics internally for a few months now and are impressed with how it’s helping us make better decisions.

The most common question for us is “can we take on this new work and meet the customer’s deadline?” Analytics lets us plot our capacity on the calendar as a threshold (the orange line in the screenshot above), so it’s obvious when we’re approaching our limits versus when we have the capacity to do more.

'Capacity' is what's missing on legacy calendars and what's hiding on most reports. DayBack Analytics makes it explicit. Click To Tweet

Examples

Balancing Your Workload with Calendar Analytics

Agile development means delivering a lot of small features every week. The goal is to meet any deadlines you’ve shared with your customers without over-scheduling yourself. We’ll drag and reschedule items as analytics tells us to start working on some items earlier and to focus on just one item at a time for the largest deliveries.

 

Blocking Off Time: Measuring Your Schedule

Measuring is crucial to make sure you’ve blocked off enough time to meet your goals. In a traditional calendar, it can be tough to see how much time you have before significant deadlines. Analytics measures your plans: because you only get the outcomes you’ve planned for.

 

Field Service Scheduling with Calendar Analytics

We’re all “scheduling within constraints,” perhaps nowhere more so than in field service where you only have so many trucks, or so many installers available to service all your customers. DayBack shines at helping you scan for gaps in your schedule so you can get the most out of limited resources. Analytics now lets you work at longer time scales, showing where you’re overscheduled, where you have opportunities, and how your revenue maps to order status over time.

 

Limitations

Calendar Analytics in DayBack for FileMaker is currently only available on the horizon view and is limited to showing one chart at a time. It also employs just one chart type (the line charts you see above). If you have use cases that call for more, please get in touch and tell us about them. We look forward to expanding analytics based on your feedback.

Get It Now: Analytics is a Free Update

If you’re already using DayBack, analytics comes as a free in-app update: click “Admin Settings” on the settings tab then “check for updates.”

New in-app updates install in one click: there is no need to re-integrate DayBack into your file. Though with this update you will be adding a couple of new lines to one of the calendar’s scripts so that you can set some default settings for the charts.

Subscribers to DayBack get free in-app updates for the life of their subscription. If you purchased DayBack more than a year ago as an outright purchase (not a subscription) your in-app updates may have expired: your purchase included a year of free updates. Fortunately, you can extend your in-app updates when you’re ready.

 New to DayBack?  Download a 30-day trial  

 

Check out this beautiful availability calendar using DayBack for FileMaker by Sam Rini of Bayou Haven Weddings and Events: http://www.bayouhaven.com/Calendar/Calendar.htmlPublic FileMaker Calendar

Shared views in DayBack are great for sharing schedules with clients, contractors, or the public. And you can embed them in your sites as Sam did for Bayou Haven. (They have a stunning venue!)

Learn more about public FileMaker calendars here: Sharing in DayBack Calendar

Analytics is coming to DayBack Calendar.

Analytics is now live! Available as an in-app update to DayBack Calendar!

Measure changes to your schedule, and chart calendar data against your goals. More info, and examples, here.

Calendar Analytics for FileMakerCompare schedule data to your goalsYou’ll be able to chart any additional fields you’ve added to the calendar. And you’ll know when the crests or troughs of your activity cross your thresholds.

In the example above, we’re looking at one developer’s billable hours in DayBack. Her target is 25 hours per week and she’s exceeding that every other week.

Calendar analytics show you the consequences of your decisions. Click To Tweet

Analytics respond as you drag events to reschedule them. It’s designed to answer questions like these:

• When do I need to begin work on this project?

• Do we have the capacity to take on this new job?

• Have I blocked off enough time to meet this deadline?

• How often are we exceeding our goals?

• Have I planned for any of this?

 

For many of us, this will be the first time we can answer these questions and have the answers right in front of us in the same tool we use to plan our work. We’ve been using analytics internally for a few months and are very excited about it’s improved our decision making.

New DayBack Calendar Analytics Logo

 


Add this to your copy of DayBack: coming soon

Analytics will be available as an in-app update very soon. If you’re new to updates, you can see how they work here: In-app updates to DayBack Calendar.

Click “Account Settings” in the Settings tab of the left-hand sidebar, then click “Check for updates” to see if you still have access to updates.

Extend your in-app updates

If you’ve purchased DayBack Calendar on a monthly or yearly subscription, you can download in-app updates for the life of your subscription. But if you purchased DayBack outright, access to free updates ends after the first year. Extend your access to updates any time by purchasing here: extend your in-app updates.

Extend your in-app updates

You can customize ProMaps to use different pins or icons depending on the status of your FileMaker records. But you can also use Google’s API to label the pin based on a field in FileMaker. In the screenshot below, Paula Powell from Wisconsin Fuel customized the pins to match her dispatching and routing statuses, taking the icon, the color, and the number from fields she had in FileMaker.

Pins for FileMaker Maps

Here’s how Paula explains her setup, “The colors represent field service technicians. The labels represent the order we want them to execute their field work orders.  The truck is where they are currently working.  Red pins are unassigned work orders. The dispatcher can assign field technicians and do work order sequencing right from the map using the popover. Pretty helpful for our dispatch process.” Nice work, Paula!

If you’d like to add this kind of labeling to your copy of ProMaps, KC explains the changes in this short video. (If you already own ProMaps and would like a copy of the file used in KC’s video, just let us know.)

You can extend this further by playing with additional properties in Google’s API: marker labels in Google Maps. Or get in touch and we can customize this for you as part of an implementation package.

Learn more about ProMaps

Here’s a simple mod to show unscheduled (dateless) events in DayBack Calendar.

This is great for events that haven’t yet been pinned down. They’ll get “UNSCHEDULED” appended to their name and show up on the current day until they’re dragged to an actual date/time. Here’s a movie of this in action:

Instructions

If you’d like to make this change in your copy of DayBack, here are the field definition changes mentioned in the movie above:

DBk_TimestampStartCalcNum:

DBk_TimestampEndCalcNum:

And the beginning of the DBk_WebViewerSource field:

Enjoy!

When you’re tracking project deadlines in DayBack, you can have the calendar forecast project costs as well.

DayBack user Gerhard Huber did that and customized his solution to estimate the cost of a project based on the time required for the task and the resource he’d assigned (each resource has their own per-hour billing charge.) Check out this video he made showing it in action:

Not only is Gerhard updating the project’s estimated cost, he’s automatically updating the event in the calendar and his summary portal in the custom sidebar he built.

That black sidebar in Gerhard’s video is a FileMaker layout object he added to DayBack. Custom sidebars like this are a great way to customize the calendar. You can see more examples of custom sidebars and filters here: custom sidebars for DayBack Calendar.

Very nice work, Gerhard! And thanks for providing the video. (Gerhard is scheduling the design and production of custom interiors and you can see his beautiful work here: Gerhard Huber : werkstätte für einrichtungen.)


If you’d like help implementing modifications similar to this in your DayBack solution, or any other mods, please get in touch and we’ll get you on the schedule.

If you have a distributed team, you’re painfully aware that there is no built-in support for switching time zones in FileMaker. There’s easy way to have your time fields translate themselves into a different time zone.

DayBack changes that.

By default, DayBack shows events on the calendar at whichever time is entered into your time field. But you can mod the calendar so users can select the time zone in which they want to view their schedule. Edits made in this mode are saved adjusting for the time zone they’ve selected. The mod takes advantage of a Moment.js enabled selector in a web viewer, along with some field and script changes. Detailed instructions and an example file follow below.

Here’s a video of the mod switching time zones in FileMaker:

 

How It Works

The most important thing to understand when implementing something like this is that the records will need to be saved in a specific “reference time zone”.

In an ummodified calendar, no matter where you are located, when you schedule an event in DayBack for 12:00 PM, that field will be saved as 12:00 PM in the record. A “reference time zone” is your team’s agreement as to what that “12pm” means. For SeedCode, we have users in multiple time zones, but our reference time zone for events is Pacific. The users living outside of the Pacific time zone have just had to manually adjust their events accordingly… until now! Most teams already have such a reference, even if it’s only in your head. In this mod, you’ll make it explicit.

After implementing this mod, if you are in Pacific time and your “reference time” is in Eastern, the field on your event record will actually be saved as 3:00 PM. =)

There’s a bit of work to implement this into your calendar, but you should be able to get there by following these instructions closely. If you run into any issues, please reach out to us.

Downloading the Example File

First, download the example file, try it out, and see if this time zone behavior is right for yout team: DayBackTimeZones

You’ll copy a few things out of this example and paste them into your file following the instructions below. You’ll add a new web viewer selector, a layout, scripts, and some DBk_WebViewerSource calculation additions to your file.

Read Full Article →

FileMaker makes getting an accurate latitude and longitude from an iPhone or iPad super easy. Say you want to update a properties’ exact location in ProMaps when you’re on site: why not get it automatically from your device?

Here’s a video of this in action:

Implementing Geolocation in FileMaker Go

This is easily implemented by adding a small script to your solution. Here’s a screenshot of the script we’d add to ProMaps (the only thing specific to ProMaps here is the location field which could be any text field in your solution):

FileMaker Script to Update Geolocation on iPad

The most complex part of this script is formatting the returned value into the comma separated “latitude,longitude” value required for the gm_GeoLocation field value, so I’ve pasted the value for the Set Variable step on line 20 here:

Now, you can call this script from a new button placed on your property detail layout. Alternately, you could call it automatically when uploading a new picture to your property. To do this,  add the highlighted lines in the screenshot below to the “Process Image…” script in ProMaps.

Geolocation in FileMaker Go for iPad

Hopefully, this example helps make your workflow with ProMaps even smoother.

Demo and Help

If you’d like to try out ProMaps, which allows you to display your properties on a Google powered map, including filtering and routing features, please download a demo at our ProMaps product page.

If you’d like help customizing this mod, or creating other mods like this, feel free to contact us and we’ll get you on the schedule.

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