Claris FileMaker 19 is the biggest release since FileMaker 7. It has the potential to change how we think about and build FileMaker applications forever. There are a host of new features for FileMaker users and advanced developers can now use powerful technologies, like machine learning and JavaScript to extend the platform in new directions, but it is the ability to build and share feature rich Add-ons that turns FileMaker 19 into the first Open Platform release for FileMaker.

 

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Geist Interactive is here for you. Our three featured products, Otto, FMPerception, and LedgerLink are dev tools that you can use to be solve workflow problems for you or your customers. They’re used by many people all over the world, and they drastically improve your efficiency in your development work.

We realize these tools have lots of features and nuances of which you may not be aware. So we are pleased to be opening Office Hours on each of these dev tools starting the week of April 13, 2020. Experts (including the Geist Interactive Team and Dave Ramsey) will be available for you during the scheduled session. You can freely call in and ask questions and learn more about the featured tool in the session.

Benefits

There’s a lot of benefits to attending office hours. Let’s consider a few of them:

  1. You get to talk with the actual developer of the tool and those that use the tool everyday here at Geist Interactive.
  2. Your burning questions will be answered as we give you some real-time attention.
  3. You can simply listen in and hear what others are asking about the dev tool. It’s likely you’ll pick up something new about the tool just by listening.
  4. Feel free to offer your suggestions on how to use the tool.

See, in just four reasons, we’ve made a strong case for attending Office Hours at Geist Interactive.

The Details

How Will We Communicate?

Since you can’t come into Todd’s or Dave’s (Graham or Ramsey) office to physically sit with them, we will be using RingCentralMeetings for our sessions for now. You’ll download a small app to your machine as you join a session for the first time.

Scheduled Times

We’re still experimenting with the times, but for now we’ll try 1pm PDT. Virtual office doors will be open for an hour or so depending on the conversation happening. Let us know if you have suggestions on other times that would work for you!

Getting In

For now there’s no registration; simply follow this link and choose the tool and day you’d like to attend.

Upcoming Office Hours

We’ve scheduled two Office Hours sessions in the next week. Use any of the links below to schedule a time for this week or any upcoming session. There are two sessions scheduled for this week, shown below. But you can find future dates for each of the dev tools.

FMPerception Office Hours

Thursday, April 16, 1pm PDT

Schedule time with us!

Otto Office Hours

Friday, April 17, 1pm PDT

Schedule time with us

LedgerLink Office Hours

Schedule time with us

Come and attend Office Hours. Depending on your timezone, bring snacks and a beverage and kick back and discuss with others how you use these dev tools in your daily work. Feel free to stay as long as you’d like during the scheduled time and chat.

Newbury Park, CA  March 4, 2020  Geist Interactive is proud to announce that we are now a Claris Partner-Connect. This new designation demonstrates our ongoing commitment to support the Claris International Workplace Innovation Platfom’s mission and the confidence Claris has in our ability to provide excellent service to our clients.

Claris Connect is an Integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) that enables companies to easily connect FileMaker to other applications to drive digital transformation. In simple terms, iPaaS is a platform for building and deploying application integrations within the cloud and between the cloud and a company. With iPaaS, developers can create integration flows that connect applications residing in the cloud or on-premises and then deploy them without installing or managing any hardware or middleware. By automating manual procedures and integrating them with digital processes, companies can create customized systems that streamline business processes. Claris Connect makes it easier for companies to build automation workflows that augment and digitally transform their business.

Claris Connect is the perfect companion to Claris FileMaker. FileMaker custom applications can quickly integrate with any of the applications supported by Claris Connect creating truly unique and custom business systems, on-premise or in the cloud, increasing availability to greater numbers of customers.

Todd Geist, CEO of Geist Interactive, worked with Claris on its features and functionality and has experience using Claris Connect.  “At last year’s DevCon, I was asked by Claris to demonstrate just how easy it is set up flows using Claris Connect.  I estimated that I was able to replace about 50 hours of custom work by using Claris Connect to send emails through Office365.”

As a Claris Partner-Connect, Geist Interactive has decades of experience building custom FileMaker integrations and integration products that make it the perfect partner for any business looking to augment, automate and integrate existing systems by connecting FileMaker or any other application with an API.  For instance, when a company receives an electronically-signed document via one of the Claris Connect supported applications, it can automatically update the integrated sales app, upload the document into the cloud storage location and then notify the team using a communication or project management tool. This type of automated workflow saves considerable time and resources, so employees can spend more time on critical tasks that can’t be automated.

About Geist Interactive

Geist Interactive is the most trusted, innovative custom FileMaker development company that specializes in helping customers around the world automate, integrate, and augment their businesses. Geist combines decades of FileMaker experience with modern development practices, knowledge of several programming languages, cloud infrastructure expertise, and personalized design services to produce innovative results that streamline business processes and help customer continue their digital transformation initiatives. Geist serves every level of the FileMaker community with consulting and development services, award winning products and developer tools, and free online training resources

Geist Interactive believes in education. That’s why we commit so many resources to teaching everything we know about building valuable applications and digital experiences with the FileMaker platform. And it’s also why we helped found and directly support One Spark Academy, a non profit learning center for middle school age kids in Thousand Oaks, CA.

FileMaker Community Support

Many of you have donated to our Annual Year End Fund Raiser in the past. We appreciate it so much. Every donation matters. It is that time of year again and we hope you’ll consider donating again.  And for those of you who haven’t donated in the past, how about making 2019 the start of a new tradition. 🙂

Donate Now

In case you need more convincing we have a recent podcast episode and a new video 🙂

Podcast and Video

Recently Jeremy and I had Lori Peters, the executive director of One Spark ( and my wife ) as a guest on the Context Podcast. We had a great conversation about what makes One Spark so unique and so important. Please consider listening and giving us a rating.

Listen Now

We also recently released a new video about One Spark. In the video you’ll get to see exactly what happens when you give kids and teachers the time and the space to create meaningful relationships. The video is available on One Spark’s home page under the title “Relationships Matter.” Please take a look.

9th Year

We are in the middle of our ninth year. Your tax deductible donations will go to a providing more kids with an opportunity to go to a proven alternative program that has been making a difference for almost a decade. Please, if you care about education, if you believe we need more Life Long Learners, make a donation to our end of the year fundraiser. Every little bit helps.

Happy Holidays and Thank You!

Todd

Donate Now

That’s right, it is time for Geist Interactive’s 

 Awesome Cyber Monday Sale

All of our productsrenewals, and implementation packages are discounted big time! If the above image doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will!

Act fast. This sale is going on for a limited time!

There’s NO CODE needed. When you add items to your shopping cart, the discount will automatically be applied. Talk about easy!

Read on for more details!


Dev Tools and Add-Ons

Our award-winning professional dev tools are what you need for your development needs: real-time intelligence toolscustomize & deploy web viewer widgets, and automatic server-to-server migration are just some of the tools that enhance your development practice.

We also have add-ons for your custom apps. 

Renewals are also on sale. Log into your account and renew your subscription(s).


Implementation Packages

Hire Todd or Jeremy or any of the folks at Geist Interactive to customize an implementation or help you build any custom app you have.

We’re here to help! You will get experience and expertise and efficient development.

Purchasing an implementation package will default to the normal rate, but during the sale, additional hours will be added. When you purchase:

  • 3 hours: get an additional 1/2 hour
  • 10 hours: get an additional 1 hour
  • 20 hours: get an additional 2 hours

FileMaker DevCon 2019 is done, over, kaput. The FileMaker & JavaScript training session we led during the conference brought over 100 people together to learn the basics of JavaScript inside of FIleMaker. It was a long day of learning and stumbling and success, and many of the attendees found a lot of value in it.

But it was only six hours. It went fast–probably three hours in total. Also a lot of people couldn’t attend. That was too bad.

Never fear: We’ve spent the last month redoing the entire session. We’ve put together countless videos that walk through almost every part of the session (I did skip some of the mistakes I made during the actual training session 🙂 I did make some new ones. Don’t worry. ). Anyone now can ‘attend’ the session by reviewing the following pages and information and following the videos and downloading the playground file.. This is good. There are videos that describe what we did in the session (sans the mistakes).

You can now watch the FileMaker and JavaScript training session at your leisure. You can rewind, fast forward, skip, and pause the videos as you work through the examples. Isn’t that awesome?

You can view the entire syllabus here as well as get the training session files. And here’s the details about each of the groups of videos.

The Basics of JavaScript (inside FileMaker)

There are 27 different exercises in the JSPlayground file to learn some JavaScript. This wasn’t a masters course in JavaScript, but the exercises that we went through represent the type of JavaScript that we might use in FileMaker.

Go through the exercises, follow along with us as we explore some JavaScript.

Oh, and there’s plenty of resources available in the file. Review this video to learn more about the JS Playground file.

Setting up an Integration

In the next section of the training session we worked on integrations. We explored how to take a JavaScript library and set it up to work with FileMaker data. We also customized the Integrations.

We spent our time on C3 JS and the DataTables library. It was a good time, and we walked away with some good sense of how to work with any JavaScript library.

Work with the FM WebViewer Bridge

In the final hours of the session (we were pretty brain-shot), we took a look at how to work with the FileMaker WebViewer Bridge. We saved the best for last. The functionality of this API works like magic and solves a lot of web viewer problems.

We spent our time working with DataTables and the C3 Charting library (yes, the same ones as before).

We did, however, start by looking at a cool progress bar.

In these videos we explored how to write FileMaker scripts that trigger JavaScript functions which call the library’s API methods to change the web viewer’s state without the refresh.

You can also get to the DataTables and the C3 examples we used with the Bridge

A Few More Notes

  • You need to download the FileMaker and JavaScript Training Session materials. You can find those here.
  • As you work through the videos you might have questions. Please reach out at support@geistinteractive.com and we’ll be glad to help you through what you need.
  • We are thinking of offering a webinar where we can work together on some of the items from the training session. Please let us know if that would be useful to you.

Virtual FileMaker and JavaScript Training Session

Have fun. Let these videos help you pretend you attended the FileMaker and JavaScript training session. Explore FileMaker and JavaScript. Explore and see the power of JS in FileMaker (JavaScript is, of course, native to FileMaker). It is completely possible for you to learn and use JavaScript. So come along with us, will yah?

There’s a lot to talk about in the FileMaker world. And coming soon, the list of topics will explode as we welcome Claris Connect into the fold. Luckily there’s another avenue to discuss all things related to FileMaker: The Context Podcast.

We at Geist Interactive are excited to launch a weekly podcast in which we talk about all things FileMaker and the context of those things in FileMaker. We will discuss the context in which we use certain techniques or functions such as While(), Virtual Lists, ExecuteSQL, and others. Topics will also include bigger discussions about workplace innovation through the technology we have at our fingertips.

Jeremy (sometimes Jeremy and Todd) will talk with folks to get their take on the context of technology in the innovative workplace. We will ask people their thoughts on the context of problems we’re trying to solve and which techniques are good for a particular context. We might have agreements all around, but we also hope for some spirited debate and discussion.

Context is more than just the right layout in FileMaker. It’s meant to expand out to cover anything that the workplace innovation platform is designed to solve. And we will spend each episode trying to flesh out exactly what the context is and those best practices that fit the context.

Join us each week for a new episode. We’ve got some great guests lined up and some great topics ready to be given a complete review.

Check us out here. And we’re coming soon to all the major podcast-getting apps/sites. Stay tuned for more info on where The Context Podcast is available.

At FileMaker DevCon 2019, I led over one hundred FileMaker developers in six hours of learning and working with JavaScript. It was a good day. We learned a lot. We made lots of mistakes. We fixed those mistakes. We felt pangs of frustration with the web viewer object. And we shouted with satisfaction when we got the web viewer to render our chart or datatable. In those six hours, however, we had to gloss over a few things. I intend to double back and talk in detail that which I blew right by to give all attendees the fullest experience. So here I’ll discuss how to extract and use the FM Web Viewer Bridge code and scripts from the JSPlayground file to your own.

One note: If you didn’t attend the session, feel free to participate in this post and video. There’s a lot in this video I’ve skipped over. But never fear: through future videos and webinars, I’ll retread what we did in the DevCon session.

Extracting the FM Web Viewer Bridge code

Working with the FileMaker Web Viewer Bridge was sort of the culmination of the JS training session. We were able to integrate the C3 Charting library and cause it to change without the web viewer flashing as the code reloads and without the rendered chart losing its state. (Again, we’ll come back to this later in another video.)

But we worked with the Bridge API within the context of the JSPlayground2019 file. Which is fun to play in, but hardly useful for production custom apps. So here’s how to extract the FM Web Viewer Bridge code into your own file. Follow along in the video. I’ve also written down the steps below. It’s pretty simple to do, and once you’ve done so you can use that first extraction in all your projects going forward. Let’s dive in.

Video Explanation

(15 minutes)

Written Explanation

Okay. Here are the steps you need to follow to extract the C3 chart with the bridge functionality out of your Playground file.

Export the Code

Export the code we wrote using the red Export button on the top right of the JSPlayground.fmp12 file. This exports this single record and all its code into a .fmp12 file to your desktop.

In this file, there’s an HTML_Calc field, but it is a text field. You can update it to be a calc field so that you can continue to tweak the JS code and have the web viewer grab the latest code. Here’s the code for the HTML_Calc field:

Substitute ( Code_HTML ; 
 ["__Script__" ; Code_Script];
 ["__CSS__" ; Code_CSS];
 ["__Data__" ; Code_Data] ; 
 ["__Library__" ; Code_Library] ; 
 ["__Extension__" ; Code_Extension1] ; 
 ["__D3__" ; Code_D3] ; 
 ["__FileName__" ; Get(FileName)] 
  )

Set up the Web Viewer

Set up a web viewer object on any layout. It really doesn’t matter the layout since you’re going to use a script to load the code into the web viewer. In the example, I just use the base table. Clear out all the checkboxes of the web viewer object set up except the “Allow Interaction . . . ” one (the first one). And finally name the object in the inspector. I called mine “BridgeWeb”. But that can be changed and updated in the scripting.

Custom Function

There is one small custom function, RandomNumber, that I used in the CreateColors script to pick two random colors from a list. Use it or not.

Windows Users Only

If you’re on Windows, or if any of your clients that will use this chart are on Windows, you need to add one more field to the table of the context that the web viewer object is on. Add any text field–I call mine ‘CopyPasteTarget’– and set the field to the right off the layout. Name it “CopyPasteField”. This will only be used when the FM WebViewer Bridge API is working with a hash (the URL) that is more than 2000 characters. It’s just necessary. :/

Copy / Paste Scripts

The next step is to copy and paste the necessary scripts into your file. If you wrote the C3 chart scripts, then you’ll copy those along with the scripts that runs the FM Web Viewer Bridge API. Select each of these, then copy them. Finally paste them into your file. If you do it that way, you’ll get no broken script references.

Here’s the full list:

  1. Load Bridge Example: this is the script that loads the code from the HTML_Calc field into the web viewer. Adjust this as you deem necessary, changing contexts to get to the layout with the web viewer. Here’s one place you need to update the web viewer’s name if you changed it.
  2. C3 Chart Folder: These are the scripts we wrote in the session. Copy the entire.
  3. FM WebViewer Bridge folder: Some of these scripts we’ll keep and some we’ll delete once the folder is in our file.

Copy all of these scripts/folders at one time and paste them into your file at one time. That will prevent any broken script references from showing up.

There will be a few errors; most of these are just broken field references. As you paste the scripts in, each script with an error will open in the Script Workspace. Go through each of these and fix what’s highlighted in red.

Delete Some Scripts

We don’t need all the scripts in the FM Web Viewer Bridge folder. Here’s a list of the scripts you can delete.

  1. ClickOn
  2. Inlined
  3. All the “Set ENV” scripts
  4. Compile URL Copy
  5. IsWebViewer Loading
  6. Close Web
  7. Generate JSON object

As you delete them, test to make sure you haven’t broken anything. To be super-sure, use FMPerception to find unreferenced Scripts.

Complete

After the above steps, you should be complete. You’ve successfully extracted the FM Web Viewer Bridge Code. The scripts and the functionality is copied from the JSPlayground file to your own custom app. From here you can use your file as a template.

If you do implement more than one bridge set up in your app, simply copy over that integration’s scripts. You shouldn’t have to recopy the Bridge scripts. It should be ready to go.

On Going

In the near future, we will continue our study of FileMaker & JavaScript. If you attended the session, I’ll have more videos and posts regarding stuff I had to gloss over. If you didn’t attend, I can lead you on from the beginning. Stay tuned for the plans we have.

Okay. Here’s the file

I planned on not uploading the file that I demoed here, but decided to reverse course. The more people that see and experience JavaScript in FileMaker, the better. So here’s the file. Pick it apart. And feel free to let me know if you have questions about it!

We are very proud to announce that the Geist Interactive team won not one but two FBA Excellence Awards at FileMaker DevCon 2019. These mark our 4th and 5th awards in the last 6 years. Since next years event will has been renamed “Claris Engage”, these also mark the very last award given at a “FileMaker DevCon”.

Community Leader Award

Geist Interactive’s Evangelist, Jeremy Brown won the award for Community Leader for his tireless work helping build Claris’ online community. The community is a critical part of the Workplace Innovation Platform. Jeremy spends a lot of time helping people get answers to their questions, and he helps to ensure that the community continues to provide a positive experience for everyone looking for help with the platform.

Innovation Award

The innovation award is given to companies who create innovative solutions or tools, extensions or plugins that add innovative features to custom applications or make them better. In our case the award was given for our extensions and tools. Our three most innovative tools are likely the ones that got us the award. Remember they are on sale through the 16th of this month.

Here is quick look at three of the products that were entered and the developers who created them.

FMPerception

FMPerception is our realtime developer analytics tool. It is huge favorite in the developer community. Its blazing fast progressive search approach means you can get the information you need about your solution now, not later. You do not need to wait for long imports or parsing steps. You just ask a question and you get an answer. Access to this much information in realtime will make you a better developer.

FMPerception is a creation of Dave Ramsey and Hierarch LLC. Dave can be found each year at our booth with a huge crowd around as he waxes philosophical on the power of real time analytics

WidgetStudio

WidgetStudio is our vision for what we hope for the future of the Claris Workplace Innovation Platform. It helps you create, customize and deploy FileMaker WebViewer Widgets. Widgets are highly interactive user interface elements, that break free of traditions FileMaker user limitations. You can pick from the constantly growing set of included widgets or build your own and deploy it quickly.

WidgetStudio is the brain child of Cason Lind of Eagle Optimizations. This year he used FileMaker to control an industrial robot as it poured a cup of coffee. Amazing stuff from an amazing developer.

Otto and Otto Migrator

Otto is our FileMaker Server developer operations and data migration tool. You can turn tedious, error prone, slow manual data migrations into full automatic processes that you can kick off with the click of a button or at a particular time. You will not believe how good it feels. If you have a vertical market solution Otto will save you countless hours, when you push out new versions to your customers.

Otto can also send backups to amazon S3 for offsite backups. With just a few clicks you set up Otto to send a backup to S3 running in your own AWS account. Since Amazon doesn’t charge for uploads, your costs are really low.

The Last FileMaker DevCon

Although we didn’t know it when we arrived, this was to be the last FileMaker DevCon. In a surprise move FileMaker renamed itself Claris and changed the name of DevCon to Claris Engage. Although we are totally and completely psyched by these changes, it is a little bittersweet. Many of us have been to more than 20 DevCons. That chapter is now closed and new one begins.

Thank You

We get the trophy, but really we couldn’t do it with out you, our customers in over 50 countries around the world. Your dedication to the platform and your enthusiasm for our products is what made this happen. We thank you and we promise to keep innovating.

We are excited to announce that our Automated data migration and developer operations utility, Otto now includes an App Store. You can instantly install 3rd Party applications on your Otto powered FileMaker Server with a single click, making it super easy to demo interesting applications. Now Otto can migrate, backup, AND install FileMaker Applications.

It is available now. Existing users can download the latest version from their account on our website.

App Store

Available Applications

We are starting with a small list of applications from Geist Interactive and Seedcode. We expect this list to grow and are actively looking for apps from other developers to add to the list. If you are a developer with a server based application, that you would like to get into the app store please get in touch.

Pricing and Availablilty

Otto has a free version with some features limited. The App Store doesn’t require the full license. So you can enjoy the benefits of the App store without purchasing a full license. We hope you do purchase a full license though. Pricing starts at $400/year for a 3 server license.