Latest News

Job Well Done! - 23/02/2016

Blenheim is the centre of the Marlborough wine region. There are several companies providing man-power services to the vineyards and they have unique requirements based on needing to collect data out in the field and the complex statutory requirements around RSE workers. This is the second project we’ve done in this market and that expertise combined with the power of the FileMaker 14 Platform enabled us to really hit the bullseye this time. Read on…

Important Update - 23/02/2016

FileMaker have recently released a 14.0.4 patch for all FileMaker 14 products. If you are hosting FileMaker 14 remotely, it is critical that you update both clients and hosts to benefit from important security and product issue fixes.

We will be in touch shortly but do not hesitate to call if you have any concerns regarding this update.

Feel the Love - 24/09/2015

We’ve been working with FileMaker V14 for a couple of months now, and on the whole, we are absolutely LOVING it.

We’ve converted or started all the current projects to V14 and are really noticing the difference when we have to go back to V13 for previous solutions.

There are three primary stand-outs;

  • the new feature set solves some design issues that have been around for ages
  • the new Script Workspace is a massive productivity advance.
  • the WebDirect feature is a simply brilliant way of giving external people controlled access to your solution.

So Long Excel! - 24/09/2015

Alright, Excel isn’t actually being retired on anything like that. It remains a great tool and of immense use to accountants etc.

But… all our new projects this year share one common characteristic; they are migrations from Excel-based business solutions. In each case, the client had a very fully developed Excel sheet but had got to the stage where it was simply no longer adequate because;

  • It wasn’t multi-user
  • It didn’t support multiple recordsIt didn’t really support business processes. In fact, this was a voyage of discovery for some; the business rules were shaped by what Excel could do…
  • The interface was… well, it was a spreadsheet
  • It wasn’t available from multiple devices and locations simultaneously

Excel is great, but it is what it is, and it isn’t a database.

So if you know of someone who is getting bogged down by using Excel to do something it wasn’t intended to do, we can help!

Interesting Anecdote - 24/09/2015

When FileMaker did their pre-release roadshow recently, they brought their Director – Engineering down from the USA to address the natives.

He has a long career in database engineering, coming to FileMaker from Oracle. He reckoned what convinced him to jump from the titan of databases to a relative minnow was FileMaker’s Draco database engine. He thinks it is brilliant in the way that the load gets shared between the FileMaker Pro clients and the Server. Apparently that is incredibly hard to do; Oracle tried and failed, IBM succeeded but theirs was too hard to use and so nobody bought it.

And all along, since the 1990s, little old FileMaker has been doing it in both peer-to-peer and client-server flavours. Perhaps they should try their hand at the America’s Cup!

Useful tip: It does also mean that we need to build desktop/iPad interfaces differently from the WebDirect interfaces to maximise performance.

Go to Xero Demo - 29/09/2014

There is a basic perception problem with Xero custom Add-Ons. People just can’t believe that ‘custom’ software and ‘easy’ go together.

To get around this, we’ve developed the Go to Xero Demo App. This is a cloud-hosted FileMaker solution optimised for FileMaker Go 13 for iPad. It is designed to show just how easy it is to transfer data between a FileMaker mobile App and Xero.

You can open it here. It’s really simple to set up and use.

*** Special Offer *** - 25/09/2014

Looking to integrate your FileMaker solution with Xero, the beautiful accounting software?
Host your solution with us and get up to 50% off the first 12 months hosting fee…

Xero Compromises - 24/09/2014

We’ve been approached several times lately by people wanting to make the switch to Xero but are unable to move off a non-Xero-compatible favorite application – maybe a CRM or ERP system.

Can we help? Yes we can!

Providing the favorite application can perform a fairly basic data export, we can build a desktop utility that takes that data, checks it and uploads it to Xero. Each one has to be custom-built to match the favoured solution but it’s quick, easy and surprisingly cost-effective and most importantly, it just works.

Calendars! - 24/09/2014

Now you may be thinking that calendars are not exactly an exciting innovation and you’d be right. However, in FileMaker, calendars are not particularly easy to do either. There are several variants of third-party solutions, we’ve worked with a few of them with mixed success. In particular, they tend to slooow dowwwn when hosted on a cloud server and/or with a lot of users and appointments.

So in the best Kiwi No. 8 tradition, we made our own and we are stoked with it.

It runs much faster than anything else we’ve tried, it has drag-and-drop functionality, colour-coding, it integrates easily, it looks ‘modern’ and it can support gantt charting for scheduling tasks. We’ve already retro-fitted it to an existing solution and are looking to deploy it in a couple more upcoming projects.Calendar pic

BYOD? BYOA! - 24/09/2014

BYOD [Bring Your Own Device] is an acronym that has become very trendy since smartphones became commonplace. It has been a headache for central IT departments as it raises a lot of valid security concerns.

Now they have something else to worry about…

BYOA stands for Bring Your Own App and refers to the emerging trend of staff using their favourite App to do work-related tasks. Some of this is fairly straight-forward; there have always been multiple brands of email clients and web browsers and these days they are getting better about security and dependability.

There are now several generic app collaboration services out there that claim to be able to link a wide variety of Apps simply and seamlessly. That is the promise.

Our view is that you should go into BYOA with your eyes wide open. What for instance, if you opened your CRM to a variety of staff’s favourite Apps? Most of them could be fine but what if one (and it only takes one) has a hidden back-door that lets a third-party download your confidential data or worse inject malicious code into your databases… In either case, by the time you find out, its probably too late!