Here’s a beautiful mod to DayBack calendar by Brian Ouimette of NorthEast DataBase Solutions. Brian scripted DayBack so that some views use the calendar’s default popover to show events, while other views show the event details to the right of the calendar in a new FileMaker layout object. Best of all, Brian sent us an example file and the scripts he used to make this change so that you can add this to your own calendar.
Customizing FileMaker Layout with a Calendar
This mod lets Brian add lots more fields to the event, and includes tabs or portals, so users can see a lot more information about their event without leaving the calendar. DayBack already includes methods for using your own layouts instead of the calendar’s built-in popovers, but Brian’s mod means you can use FileMaker layout objects on the calendar, without having to leave the calendar or take users to a card window.

This is probably an easier modification if you wanted to use this split-view on every calendar view–that would just be a modification of the existing use your own layout script. Brian’s mod uses DayBack’s default popover on some calendar views and the split on others. It’s really nice work.

Here’s a movie showing Brian’s changes in action:

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SeedCode is looking to hire a beginner to intermediate FileMaker developer. This position would be a great fit for the part-time developer ready to jump-start their FileMaker career, or for an in-house developer looking to expand their depth and scope.

Find more details about the position and the hiring process here: https://dayback.com/hiring/

And if you have questions or would like to chat before applying, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

A customer reached out to us for help implementing ProMaps in FileMaker WebDirect. They wanted a mobile solution for their outreach campaigns. We’d already made some custom deployments of ProMaps running in WebDirect, but none of those were for mobile browsers. Working on mobile required redesigning an entirely new menu and mobile map view, which turned out really great!

Here are some screenshots of the final result:

FileMaker Maps on Android

ProMaps in FileMaker WebDirect

Filtering FileMaker Map on Mobile Phone

The entire solution can be accessed via WebDirect through a mobile or desktop browser so they can be out in the field and still access their solution through any device! We even added their current device location to the map so they can see where they are at all times in relation to the pins on the map.

If you’d like help utilizing ProMaps in WebDirect or want to create mobile map views like this, please get in touch.

Here’s a beautiful example of adding additional color-coding options and icons to DayBack Calendar. This customer wanted to retain DayBack’s default color-coding for status but add another color–shown here as the header of the event–for color-coding by resource (salesperson, in this case). They also wanted some icons to highlight a few facts about the event. Icons show if the event can be moved or if there is bad weather present.

Icons for your FileMaker Calendar

Click for a larger version

Calendar Tooltips

You can get very creative with DayBack’s tooltips and use them to deliver all kinds of extra information about your events. In this case, we’ve added tooltips to the individual icons and to the event as a whole. The icon tooltips are done in DayBack’s DBk_EventSummaryCalc field (below) with the title attribute shown here:

“<dbk-css title=” & Quote ( “Weather” ) & ” class=” & Quote ( “WeatherFlag” ) & “> </dbk-css>”

This looks really cool in use:

Add This to Your Calendar

Since you have complete control over DayBack’s CSS, adding these colored headers and icons is pretty easy. For an introduction to editing DayBack’s CSS, look here: Calendar Themes. And you’ll find step-by-step instructions for adding icons here: Adding Styles and Colored Icons. Like those examples, the implementation above customizes DayBack’s DBk_EventSummaryCalc field to add CSS classes to your events. It then styles those classes by adding some new CSS to the DayBack theme. Here are the files you’ll need for this:

Example for your DBk_EventSummaryCalc: iconsandheadersSummaryCalc.txt

The CSS you’ll add to DayBack’s theme: iconsandheaders.css

If you have questions about this, trouble getting the CSS working, or would like help creating your own CSS, please get in touch. We’re here to help.

We recently had a request from a customer to generate snail mail letters and reminders from their FileMaker solution. Rather than generic bulk mail, this is highly personalized correspondence–the kind of thing you’d normally send by email–they just wanted this done with physical mail. Think of a PDF or receipt containing order history, for example.

Our customer recommended the printing and mailing service, Postalocity. While we love the power of API’s and what they can accomplish, and Postalocity does have an API available, we discovered that we could also simply email them a PDF for processing. Here’s how it works.

Send Snail Mail by Email

Within your Postalocity account, you can set up Job Settings – things like mapping where the system should locate the address block on the pdf, print in black and white or color, and how many pages an individual mailing is. Once those job settings are saved, a unique email address is generated that you can then use to send documents to, and Postalocity’s system does the rest as it receives incoming attachments (including breaking up a multi-letter attachment into its individual mailings).

FileMaker Send Mail

Within FileMaker, this allowed for fairly straight-forward scripting:

  1. finding the relevant clients who’ll be getting a mailing;
  2. generating all their mailings into a single PDF using FileMaker’s built-in append to existing PDF functionality;
  3. using the native Send Mail script step to send the email and single attachment to the unique email for the job type (we set this up as a server-scheduled script that runs daily).

The customer has the confidence that their important mailings are going out, and one more burdensome task on the staff has been removed thanks to FileMaker and great service by Postalocity!

 

Here is a beautiful mod of DayBack Calendar by Denisa Myrta of Koni Solutions. Koni builds a vertical market app for the construction industry, and the whole app is gorgeous. Here are a few screenshots from the customizations they made to DayBack:

A custom theme for DayBack Calendar

I love the black styling they’ve added to the sidebar and the unambiguous use of icons and highlight colors. (If you’d like to add colored icons to your copy of DayBack, you’ll find detailed instructions here’s an overview with links to detailed instructions: adding text styles, colors, and icons to DayBack.)

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Here’s a great implementation of DayBack Online with a FileMaker WebDirect solution by Jason Trenary at the South Carolina School of Music.

Jason built an online portal for students to reserve recording equipment using the DayBack Online calendar interface. Students are able to see exactly when the equipment they’ve selected is already booked, and when there are openings they can select to reserve the equipment for themselves.

Here’s a video showing it in action: https://vimeo.com/314928217

The equipment selection process is all done in FileMaker WebDirect layouts. Then the calendar is loaded, passing the selected equipment and a unique session id as url parameters to DayBack Online. Using Custom Event Actions, the student is notified when they try to reserve equipment that is already reserved. And when they save a valid appointment, the calendar is automatically closed and the page returns to the related FileMaker reservation record with the updated schedule information.

Big thanks to Jason Trenary at the South Carolina School of Music for sharing his work with us!

If you’d like help utilizing DayBack Online to create a custom appointment booking solution like this, please get in touch.

At SeedCode, we schedule most of our screen-shares with Zoom, so as part of streamlining our workflow we wanted to schedule these Zoom meetings directly from our calendar. Button actions in DayBack Calendar let you add your own buttons to events in the calendar. These buttons extend the calendar’s capabilities they’re great for connecting your calendar with third-party applications like Zoom.

Overview

FileMaker and ZeitWe created a middleware service that runs the majority of the logic and sends requests to the Zoom API. Using middleware keeps the custom actions in DayBack much more straightforward than they’d be if all the required JavaScript were in these button actions. While this service could be run on just about any server, we decided that this would be an excellent opportunity to take advantage of Zeit. Zeit lets you spin up small instances of server-side code, similar to containers, without having to deploy and configure an entire server to run it on. Working with Zeit has been a great experience and is looking like it could be a pattern for future FileMaker API integrations.

I write a bit more about the technical side of this middleware (called DayBack Meetings Service) and Zeit further down in this post. You’ll also find downloads and a FileMaker example file that contains all the code you’ll need to add this to your own copy of DayBack Calendar.

Schedule Zoom Meetings from FileMaker

We’ve created buttons to schedule, start, and delete meetings. These actions also listen to DayBack events and reschedule Zoom meetings when you drag a meeting to a new time; they’ll also warn you if your new meeting time conflicts with another Zoom meeting.

Here’s a video of it in action: https://vimeo.com/314570405

 

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We’re about to launch a new in-app update to DayBack that will include a new look for the sidebar header. This new version is much easier to modify with CSS for folks who want to remove tabs, rename tabs, or switch between icons and text for the tab labels. We also think it makes it more obvious that users can close and open the sidebar.

If you’re already using DayBack and don’t like the new look, you’ll find notes and CSS below that will let you revert to the old style. This preview and the instructions below are for you.

Here’s what the new header will look like. The current version is on the left, and the new version is on the right:

Getting the New Sidebar Look

The new sidebar will be available as an in-app update in the next day or so.

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For most teams, there’s a fine line between not having enough work and having way too much. DayBack Calendar helps us see the difference. Here’s a behind the scenes look at how SeedCode balances developers’ schedules using DayBack’s calendar analytics.

What’s working here

A couple of key ingredients need to be in place before this kind of scheduling works.

Blocking off time to work. That orange dotted line representing our goal only works if our developer has actually blocked out 5 hours a day to work on this stuff. And that means she’s blocked off other time for correspondence and meetings, and that she’s defending the time she’s blocked off to code. Blocking off uninterrupted time to work is critical.

Getting realistic about capacity. Some shops really overestimate how much you can get done in a day: I think 5 productive hours of coding is almost the most someone can average week after week. You may be able to get in the zone for longer days now and then, and it’s certainly easier if you’re just working on one project week after week. But if you work involves any amount of gear switching, that takes a considerable toll on the kind of focus good coding requires.

Calendar Analytics for FileMaker


(Click for a larger version)

Timeboxing (estimating is too hard). A quick look at the calendar above and you’d be forgiven for thinking we’ve estimated all these jobs down to the hour and the spread those estimates across our calendar. Custom software is incredibly hard to estimate accurately. Instead, we’re timeboxing these deliveries: committing to deliver three, five, or ten hours of work, instead of committing to deliver a specific feature set.

Small chunks (estimate accuracy degrades with size). Planning a series of very small estimates and deliveries makes success much more likely. We spoke about this at DevCon in 2017, and it’s proved itself countless times since then: small chunks make a big difference.

These are calendar problems

The scheduling problems we’re grappling with above are not things you can solve on a spreadsheet or solely inside your project tracking system. Both your deliveries and the time you’ve blocked out to work are meaningless outside the context of your other commitments.

That’s why DayBack shows you multiple calendars at the same time, be that records from different tables and even different FileMaker files. Or you can use DayBack Online to show Google and Basecamp calendars alongside your FileMaker records. At SeedCode, the delivery dates you see in the movie above are FileMaker records, but we’re looking at them in a browser in DayBack Online so each developer can also see their personal Google calendars at the same time.

The key is to make delivery promises in the context of your other commitments; that’s the only way to make promises you can keep.

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