Easily Create Public URLs from your FileMaker Calendars

You can now easily publish and share calendars and project timelines with folks outside your organization who may not have access to your FileMaker solution.

The new “share” menu in DayBack Online will create a public url matching your view: shares can include events from multiple tables and respect your filters. What you see is exactly what gets shared.

Changes made in DayBack are automatically synced to that url so it stays up to date.

We love this new feature and are using it to publish our own schedules, including the agenda for the PauseOnError conference (see the schedule).

Highlights

  • Share recipients don’t need a DayBack Online account (or a FileMaker account) to view your share. They just click on the url you’ve sent them, and they’re in.
  • If you want to share read-write access to your calendars they’ll need a DayBack Online account: here’s how to invite someone to your DayBack Online account.
  • Shares include DayBack-specific views like the horizon (gantt chart) and resource planning grids.
  • Changes made inside DayBack Calendar are synced to the share in realtime. Manual updates will sync changes made outside of DayBack, including records that weren’t part of the original share.
  • You can create multiple shares from the same calendar, sharing just a filtered subset of your schedule.

More details are available in our documentation, including notes on how to restrict the creation of shares, and how to style your shared pages. Here’s a quick video of what sharing looks like in practice:

Get It Now

Sharing is a benefit of your DayBack Online subscription and is already available in your group (or start a trial of 30-day DayBack Online here). Please check it out, share your plans, and get everyone on the same page.

Coming to FileMaker Pro (desktop)

Right now, clicking “share” is only available in DayBack Online but it should be available in regular DayBack (for FileMaker Pro client) in a couple weeks. This FileMaker client version will be the easiest way to share your FileMaker events–easier than plugins, Zulu, or SeedCode Subscribe, as it won’t require you to install anything on your FileMaker Server, won’t require web publishing (so it will work in FileMaker Cloud) and won’t even require you use FileMaker Server. =) Stay tuned.

Customers often want to track stats about the resources they’re scheduling in DayBack. They want to answer questions like…

“How many hours do these assignments represent?”

“What is the total cash value of the confirmed bookings this week?”

Stats like these are easy to add to DayBack and this post describes two different methods for calculating them.

Like many developers, I usually think of using relationships first when deriving date-range stats like these. While that works, I’ll suggest that using find requests is much easier and results in code that requires a lot less maintenance as your requirements change. A description of both approaches follows, along with unlocked example files.

In our examples, we’ll total a new field in the events table called “Cash Value” and count the number of events in a given week.

Overview

This short video shows what we’re trying to accomplish and introduces the two different techniques.

Step-by-step instructions for each technique follow below in case you’d like to add this capability to your copy of DayBack. And here are the unlocked example files for each approach…

Read Full Article →

A customer recently wanted ProMaps to default to Satellite mode, and since customers have access to the map’s html, this was a pretty easy mod to make. Step by step instructions follow, but here’s what it looks like:

(You can toggle the 3D display and switch back to an overhead display by clicking the grid icon in the lower right.)

Making satellite mode the default in your FileMaker map

1. To make this change in your copy of ProMaps, first backup your file. Really.

2. ProMaps stores its settings in a single FileMaker record on the MapSettings table. The HTML template is stored in the MapDataTemplate field. To update the MapDataTemplate, you’ll have to add the MapDataTemplate field to one of the Settings layouts. I chose the General Settings layout. Once you can get at this MapDataTemplate field, enter browse mode and select all the contents of the field, copy them, and paste all that HTML into a text editor of your choice.

3. In your text editor, search for the following line:

mapTypeId: google.maps.MapTypeId.ROADMAP,

Change that line to the following:

mapTypeId: google.maps.MapTypeId.SATELLITE,

4. Once you’ve made that change, copy the contents of your text editor and paste the entirety back into the MapDataTemplate field in your settings layout and commit the record. After making this change, you can run the “Upon Opening ProMaps” script and your map will now default to satellite view. =)

5. If the file is cloned, this record will get deleted, so we needed a way to restore the default settings automatically. To do this, you’ll find a hidden layout called “ProMaps Template”. You’ll want to update the layout in order to ensure these settings are carried over if you ever clone the file in the future.

In order to update the layout, navigate to the ProMaps Template layout in layout mode. Then replace the contents of the left-most field with your text editor contents and save the layout. Don’t add a new object to the layout: select the text in the object already there and replace the text with the new HTML you’ve edited.

With these changes, you should be all set to have ProMaps open in satellite mode by default, and any cloned files will have the settings preserved.

Enjoy!

Learn more about adding ProMaps to your file

Many FileMaker developers use FMP URL links in order to get FileMaker scripts to run from actions taken in a web viewer. For example, this is how DayBack calendar runs your FileMaker scripts when you edit an event in the calendar.

When FMP URL links are functioning properly, these scripts can update records flawlessly. When they don’t work correctly, they may try to open another copy of FileMaker, or just fail silently. And things that fail silently can be really hard to hunt down.

Here’s a great introduction to these URLs if you’re new to them: the FMP URL protocol in FileMaker. But don’t worry, you don’t need to know how these work to use DayBack, ProMaps, or any of the other apps based on web viewers. In fact, when you’re using DayBack and have your script debugger on, DayBack’s FileMaker scripts fire when you’re editing events just as if they were called without a URL.

When we were trying to come up with a way to verify that a client’s FMP URL links were working properly, we first came up with the idea to run a script upon opening the file that uses the “Open URL” function. This URL sets a global variable in the file to “true”, which is then checked further in the script to verify that FMP URL links are functioning. If the variable is not set, then the script throws an error.

Here’s our first attempt at seeing if the URL was firing:

Unfortunately, we found that the “Open URL” script step sometimes resulted in the test passing, even when FMP URLs were not functioning properly.

It turns out the “Open URL” script step works just a bit differently than FMP URLs started in the web viewer: the script step almost always targeted the correct version of FileMaker, while the same URL called from the web viewer would not.

It seems the only way to definitively test the functionality of FMP URL links is to start the test from a web viewer or a browser: we opted make a web page available that the user can browse to and click a link to run a script in the file.

You can see our test in DayBack’s documentation here: FMP URLs

One caveat to this method is that the user’s file name must match the filename in the link. This is why we’ve included instructions on copying and pasting the link into their browser’s address bar, customizing the link to their own file name.

FMP URL link issues can be tricky to diagnose. Hopefully, this can be helpful for those of you running into the same issues in your environment.

The latest in-app update to DayBack Calendar introduces 21-day and 30-day resource scheduling views, so you can look a bit further forward when balancing your workload. Like “breakout by resource“, introduced last week, these options let you work at longer timescales so scheduling problems don’t sneak up on you.

These new date ranges are available under the “days” menu when you click on the Resources tab in the upper right of the screen. This in-app update requires no FileMaker changes if you’re already up to date, so click “Account Settings” in DayBack’s settings tab, then “Check for Updates”.

Enjoy!

Checkout the great mod Eric Luce has made to get DayBack’s help scheduling editing suites for the Arizona Center for Digital Media Arts.

“We use the DayBack calendar in multiple instances, each for a slightly different purpose. Where you see the sidebar on the right side is for scheduling shifts of student workers. The other screenshots show the room reservation calendar where students can check out our Studios, Private Edit Suites, production offices, etc for their film and broadcasting projects.

Most of those rooms are very multi-purpose, so they can actually be used for film (audio and video), broadcasting, or graphic design.”

Love to see how well he integrated DayBack with the other tabs and tasks in his solution. You can learn more about DayBack’s resource scheduling options here: Resource Scheduling in FileMaker.

Learn more about DayBack Calendar

The latest in-app update to DayBack Calendar introduces “breakout” to Resource View. This lets you work at longer time scales (up to nine weeks at a time) while focussing on what’s scheduled for each resource.

Resources in DayBack can be your people, rooms, or pieces of equipment, and you balance your workload by dragging events from one resource to another.

Here’s a video of breakout in action:

Learn more about DayBack Calendar

DayBack Pricing

New – Breakout by Status & Collapse

The December 20 update to DayBack lets you breakout by Status as well. We hope to allow you to breakout the horizon view by all kinds of things (including by calendar and by project) so stay tuned!

And the January 10 update lets you collapse breakout rows (dimming the rows via CSS is a simple mod you can make following the instructions toward the end of the page here):

Breakout is a Free Update

If you’re already using DayBack, breakout comes as a free in-app update: just click “Admin Settings” on the settings tab then “check for updates”. New in-app updates are installed in one click: there is no need to re-integrate DayBack into your file. Though with this update you will add a couple of new lines to one of the calendar’s scripts so that you can control if breakout is on or off by default.

If you purchased DayBack more than a year ago as an outright purchase (not a subscription) your in-app updates may have expired (they’re included in your purchase for one year). Fortunately, you can extend your in-app updates if they’ve expired.

The latest in-app updates to DayBack adds the ability to duplicate events by dragging them, improved date fidelity outside the US, and a red line indicating the current time. None of these updates require any changes to your FileMaker file: just click “check for updates“.

Duplicating Events

Easily duplicate events by dragging them.

dragdupemd

Just hold down the Option key (Mac) or Control key (Windows) before starting to drag the event. Look here for more details and a movie of this in action.


Improved Date Formatting

We’ve done a lot of work to help DayBack better reflect your date and time preferences when you’re getting started. When your date formatting is set to “auto”–as it is by default–DayBack now does a much better job displaying dates and times that match your machine’s language.

Notes on how this works, and how to tweak these formats are available in a revised article on date formats.


Show the Current Time

DayBack now shows you a live indicator of the current time so that you can see how much time you have left before your next appointment.

The current time is available on all “hourly” views except  for the pivoted schedule: it will be available there, and on mobile, next.


Check out the new version by downloading a 30-day, customizable trial and see your own schedule in DayBack.

Download DayBack for FileMaker  

FileMaker Cloud lets developers host their solutions on Amazon AWS and looks to be the future of FileMaker Server. While Cloud is pretty different from the Server we all use now, all current SeedCode apps work in the new FileMaker Cloud. That includes DayBack Calendar, GoZync, ProMaps, and SeedCode Complete.

FileMaker Cloud and SeedCode Templates

And for most apps, you don’t need to do anything to get them working. FileMaker Cloud does require that the databases you upload be encrypted and that can be a little strange with GoZync but it works great and you’ll find a note about the easiest way to upload and encrypt GoZync here.

If you’re using FMChat, offline notifications won’t work from FileMaker Server as Cloud does not (yet?) support scheduled scripts on the server. Online notifications will still work, but you’ll need to set up a robot machine to run offline notifications.

FileMaker Cloud – what it means for developers

FileMaker Cloud is very new. And this first incarnation still has quite a few gaps between its capabilities and those of regular FileMaker Server. (For details, compare the two here.)

So for now, what it really means is that FileMaker, Inc. (FMI) is building the right product, focussing on the deployment problem, and building toward a server that requires a lot less babysitting. These are very good things. And it shows that FMI is leveraging existing tech when it can (using Amazon Simple Email Service ‘SES’, Elastic Cloud Compute ‘EC2’, etc.) and inventing where it has clear differentiators.

And we’re very optimistic about where they could take this new product.

For now, the biggest issues around Cloud are that it requires FM15, doesn’t support CWP, scheduled server scripts, or external authentication, doesn’t support a custom FileMaker WebDirect homepage, and only supports plugins if they have been designed to run in Linux.

Admittedly, that is a pretty personal list. Check out the links below for more.

The backup options are also a little strange to folks used to the flexibility of FileMaker Server. For some, that will mean they can’t move critical databases to Cloud…not that you’d want to move critical apps to a first-gen platform anyway. =) But Cloud is perfect–right now–for all that less-than-critical stuff and I’d encourage folks to try it out and get familiar with what is undoubtedly the future of FileMaker Server.

Some FileMaker Cloud References

FileMaker’s Overview

Backup Strategies (FileMaker Help)

Comparing Cloud and FMS

Backup Strategies (Soliant’s Overview & Workarounds)

Amazon Instance Calculator (pricing aid by Richard Carlton Consulting)

Some more arcane limitations are in the help under, “FileMaker Cloud Considerations“.

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