FAQ: Can Kyo Logic link my website to FileMaker?

Every business considering a partnership with a FileMaker developer is going to have questions. In this series we will address the frequently asked questions that our customers have about our services.

Answer: In this digital day and age, you would be hard pressed to run a business without the aid of a website. With consumers connected to the "information superhighway" through computers and the mobile devices in their pockets, a company can become invisible without an online presence.

However the system is more complicated than just putting together a cheap site quickly so there is something in that space. A poor website can be just as, if not more damaging than having no site at all as it can make a company look unprofessional.

Once a quality website is created, the content then becomes king. There are many ways that this can be addressed and incorporating some software solutions into the website is one way to accomplish that.

It is not surprising that a company that has built a large database on the FileMaker platform would want to improve its business practices by linking it to the website. Depending on what the database was created for, having access through the company website can become a fantastic tool.

By partnering with Kyo Logic, we can help pair these two entities. For large volume sites we have built sophisticated synchronization tools that allow the site to use MySQL and other high volume databases. We can also link FileMaker via remote database protocols that syncs to a FileMaker server.

Doctor used FileMaker to create new EHR system

There are many examples of how the latest software solutions have changed the way traditional sectors operate. Health care, for example, has experienced a number of different booms when various systems have risen to prominence. Currently, the use of electronic healthcare records (EHR) has been the main topic of conversation.

Hospitals and medical facilities are converting their paper records into a digital format. They can then be accessed through a computer and mobile devices, making it much simpler to keep files organized and updated in real-time. It also becomes easier for accurate versions of records to be sent to other facilities if needed.

While these platforms are spreading across the healthcare landscape, it does not work for every medical professional. A recent article from InformationWeek featured an interview with Dr. Lloyd Hey. The founder of the Hey Clinic for for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery, he used and was dissatisfied with EHR systems. However, instead of just complaining about it, he actually replaced it with his own version that brings process and quality control to healthcare.

Using FileMaker, his goal was to maximize care, minimize errors and continually improve processes and avoid the bottlenecks that current systems are creating.

"The problem was that [the EHR] system wasn't really built for a surgeon. It was built more for a primary care physician," Dr. Hey said. "And the [vendor's] programmers weren't really willing to improve it, and it didn't interface well with my practice management system. We had these silos of information that didn't talk to each other well."

Current EHR systems are broken into different modules for different tasks. This means it can be time consuming for a practice that performs hundreds of surgeries a month to fill out the different modules like schedule, clinic and appointment.

According to Dr. Hey, despite the number of systems that are on the market, none of them were able to streamline these modules and work specifically for his kind of practice. EHR systems do not take care of the whole workflow like consent forms and operating room bookings. Since he has a background in programming, he decided to tweak and have all those modules work together in a single solution.

With the help of a FileMaker developer, he started gathering input from everyone who used the software from the head of billing to nurses. This meant the entire office was part of the creative process and tweaking could happen on a daily or weekly basis.

"We have to have an adaptable system because, not only are we learning new things we have to change, but new things are being forced on us. You're always going to have to deal with change, so we need systems that can rapidly evolve and change with us," Dr. Hey said.

Now, patient information only needs to be entered once and any doctor can pull up and review the data, add critical information and view images on his computer in the office or his iPhone while in the operating room.

This shows what is possible when a company or individual with an idea decides to create a custom FileMaker solution.

How FileMaker is helping push mobile business

Mobile devices are having a large impact on how business operate. All across the landscape, companies are using smartphones and tablets with different software combinations to improve operations and streamline tasks.

Recently, FileMaker conducted a survey of mobile strategies used by businesses. It is compiled of respondents from 499 customers who have deployed FileMaker solutions.

The study found that 59 percent of FileMaker iPad and iPhone users connect to on-premise servers via their LANs, 35 percent through the internet and 21 percent through a VPN. On top of that, 51 percent said they are replacing paper-based processes with a custom iOS database solution.

This approach is affecting departments across the entire business. Operations is on top of the list with 31 percent of companies saying that their department is using this approach to increase productivity. Rounding out the top five departments are information systems (28 percent), sales (23 percent), customer service (21 percent) and finance/accounting (17 percent).

"The next wave of business mobility, fueled by iPads and iPhone-equipped 'productivity warriors,' is delivering real ROI by automating processes in the building and on the company campus," Ryan Rosenberg, the vice president of marketing and services for FileMaker, said in the report.

The study also found the top 10 mobile tasks that companies are using. They include:

  • Contact and customer management
  • Inventory
  • Invoicing/quotes/orders/estimates
  • Field data collection
  • Project management
  • General data tracking and logging
  • Timesheets
  • Reports and analysis
  • Work tickets and scheduling
  • Medical records

In a recent guest column for Macworld, Willem Meyer, the Regional Manager of APAC at FileMaker, covered the survey and spoke about how the need to create custom business solutions is becoming more important. Early adopters to tablet applications have already achieved tremendous boosts in productivity including streamlined processes, cost savings, reduction in paper and improved customer service.

"With the push to get tablet applications to market as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, many smaller businesses and entrepreneurs are opting for a DIY route, as are workgroups within larger businesses," Meyer wrote. "They're taking advantage of low-cost or no-cost software and DIY application development tools that help them build professional-quality, highly customized business solutions for tablets and have their solutions ready to go in a matter of weeks, not months."

He added that with what has been learned from the survey there are several things that companies need to keep in mind during the development process. These include:

  • The goal is data – Tablet solutions are predominantly used to mobilize data. Companies need to make sure that solutions picked help push this idea further and should avoid having a dedicated database administration to manage your application once it's up and running.
  • Think good design – Applications that do not work well fundamentally will be rejected by employees. right out of the gate. Organizations need to make sure that strong design is always taken into account.
  • Security – Mobile security is an ongoing challenge and it must remain a top priority at every turn.
  • Don't stop building – Good mobile applications are never completely finished. Upgrades and troubleshooting should always be part of the process.
  • Know what other businesses have done – It is never a bad idea to know what the competition is doing as there is a lot that can be learned from this.

FileMaker and FileMaker Go have become main systems to help push mobile businesses to the next level. A custom database software developer can help any organization embrace this solution.

Can Kyo Logic work on files I wrote?

Every business considering a partnership with a FileMaker developer is going to have questions. In this series we will address the frequently asked questions that our customers have about our services.

Answer: Anyone who has ever asked for help on a complicated project knows that it is always easier to work with your personal tools and systems. Not only is there a familiarity with them, but it is easier to understand new concepts when the tools and systems being discussed are already familiar to the user.

Imagine you are rebuilding a car from the ground up and run into a problem with the engine. If you were to turn to someone for help would you rather have them explain it to you using a different vehicle, with different parts, or have them come your work location and demonstrate on the engine you are rebuilding?

This also provides those who are offering help a better opportunity to see where you stand and how well you grasp what you are doing. In the car rebuilding example above, by having the experts see your handy work, they can better grasp how well the lessons are taking root.

The same idea can be used when talking about FileMaker. At Kyo Logic, we work on the files of our clients all the time. Not only does this help organizations get direct help with their questions, but we like to see a copy of the files in order to evaluate what would be required before we start work. In the end, this provides us with the best opportunity to help our customers.

Philadelphia FileMaker Users Group Meeting

John Mathewson presented his material on Building a Solution on a Budget with Reusable Code. He covered the topics of writing usable specs and reducing implementation costs by reusing tools requiring little or no customization. The goal is to lower the cost of building basic systems while providing a consistent user experience. Download the attached file to review the sample code.

Kyo Logic now a Certified FileMaker 13 developer

Becoming certified in a particular software system adds validity to any professional's resume and the company they work for. At Kyo Logic, we are proud to announce that Tim Neudecker is now a Certified FileMaker 13 developer. This makes us a Certified FileMaker 13 company.

Neudecker is the Owner and CTO of Kyo Logic and has been with the company for 11 years and had over 20 years of experience as a professional FileMaker developer. He spent over 10 years as an in-house developer for companies like Macy's/Bloomingdale's and AGA. Aside from helping form Kyo Logic in 2003, he has also presented numerous times at the FileMaker Developer Conference on topics including security, system performance and developer tools.

This new certification is important to Tim and Kyo Logic as a whole because it shows our clients, both current and potential, that the company adheres to the highest standards and is a leader in the developer community. It shows we are committed to excellence.

"Um I am glad the test it over," Tim joked after completing the test. "I think this latest test is really important as the current version of FileMaker Pro really stretches the platform's capabilities and I think it is more important now that even before that our clients know that Kyo Logic is a leader in understanding the intricacies of using the platform to its fullest."

He added that he has taken and passed every FileMaker Certification exam including the "FileMaker Proficiency Exam" back from the Pre-Seven days.

FAQ: Can Kyo Logic help me find FileMaker Licensing?

Every business considering a partnership with a FileMaker developer is going to have questions. In this series we will address the frequently asked questions that our customers have about our services.

Answer: One of the most important parts of any business software solution is the licensing. This is a legal instrument and contract law that governs the use or redistribution of a particular piece of software. As part of United States copyright law, software is copyright protected and a license is needed to install and run it on a computer.

Typically, a piece of software comes with a single license that grants the end-user permission to access one or multiple copies. This prevents a single piece of software being purchased or downloaded illegally and installed on multiple systems. It prevents users from committing copyright infringement.

Licenses are also used as a way to create provisions that allocate liability and responsibility between the developer and the end-user. This means if there is an issue with the software and it has a warranty, the integrity of that is upheld when the end-user looks to get the problem fixed.

Every piece of software has a license and FileMaker is no different. By partnering with Kyo Logic, we can ensure that the copies you are using have the right license. There are two ways this can be done.

The first is an outright purchase. This keeps software updated but does have recommended annual maintenance after the first year. The second is annual leasing, which comes with an annual fee but requires maintenance. This does have possible discounting. There can also be not-for-profit pricing available for both models.

FileMaker Developers Conference ‘early bird’ registration ends June 3

It seems as though every major solution hosts a conference for those who use it. FileMaker is no different.

The annual FileMaker Developers Conference was announced for July 28 through 31 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas. An estimated 1,200 enthusiasts and 45 speakers from 27 countries will be in attendance.

According to a recent press release, those who have yet to register for the event only have until June 3 to do so for "early bird" pricing which will save $300 off of registration. The full conference fee is $1,595 for standard and $2,195 for the gold package.

"Attendees can choose from a wide variety of sessions on user-centric design and development for mobile devices, FileMaker WebDirect, performance, security, relational design, in-house development, integration with trending technologies and other new FileMaker 13 features," the release reads.

The event will also feature the DevCon Developer Cup competition where contestants can develop solutions to specific challenges for prizes. There will also be the "Visionary Bar" and "Tech Support Central" when FileMaker users and developers can meet with experts to troubleshoot problems and find answers to specific questions with the help of technical support agents.

Back in March, we went more in depth into the announcement of the 2014 developers conference and everything that will be available for those that attend. This includes the various tracks that business can follow to expand their knowledge of FileMaker in seven different ways.

The release also features comments by Ryan Rosenberg, the vice president of marketing and services at FileMaker. He said that regardless of whether you are a developer for yourself, a company or particular client, the conference provides those who attend with an insight into creating new, impactful solutions.

"The tech world is changing and FileMaker is too," Rosenberg said. "This conference ensures you are up to speed with the latest techniques in mobile applications, solution design and solution architecture. If you are looking to grow – or kick-start – a FileMaker development career, then DevCon 2014 is the place to be."

FileMaker is growing in popularity and those who attend the conference are positioning themselves at the forefront of the FileMaker solution providers. They will come out with ways to remain on the cutting edge of the solution and provide quality systems that businesses are looking for.

C.F.D.G. Meeting – May 21, 2014

The Connecticut FileMaker Developer’s Group will be hosting the next meeting on May 21st at 10:00 AM in the Student Center at the Central Connecticut State University. Tim Neudecker from Kyo Logic will demonstrate the synchronization tool Mirror Sync 2.0 from 360works.com We will also start our special project. Rich Austin will present his needs requirements to the group for an inventory tracking system for fire trucks. The group will discuss the possible ways FileMaker can fit into the work flow, and direct Rich in the building of the solution. ——————– Connecticut FileMaker Developer’s Group Meeting Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Student Center Central Connecticut State University New Britain, CT 06053 View the e-mail meeting notice. Subscribe to the mailing list.

FileMaker app redefining student assessment

When it comes to education, student assessment is a major tool to help schools and educators ensure that young people are acquiring the knowledge needed to meet today's challenges. In many instances, this means standardized testing, which is falling out of favor with more and more educators, as the belief is that these tests are actually counter-productive as teachers end up more concerned teaching for the test instead of providing a well-rounded education.

However, there are other tools out there that provide a more continuous assessment and guidance of students throughout their education. A recent article from the Sydney Morning Herald profiled former teacher and educational software developer Frank Ryder and Apple Distinguished Educator Gary Bass. The duo is responsible for a mobile application called Rubrica, which runs on an iPad and is powered by FileMaker.

Rubrica is a rubrics manager and tool for teachers. Rubrics have been around the educational landscape for decades and interest in them has increased in recent years as demand on teachers and students has increased. They help teachers deal with problems by creating a continual assessment and responding to the widely varying needs of students individually, in class or in a learning space. This helps educators better understand what students are good at, where trouble areas are and how performances might improve.

''The whole idea of student learning is that you want generous effort and improvement,'' Bass told the news source. ''You don't want minimal effort to achieve a desired score; not just get a score, but put in value and interpretation. Assessment is about the standard you achieve, not when you did it [as a single-shot examination shows]."

Bass went on to say that this is created by developers who had access to a high level of technology. However, there was a feeling that educational software was being used for trivial programs when it could be used to improve a number of things, most noticeably assessments.

This change is needed because the traditional way of handling assessments no longer works. For a process that has such high stakes, it is onerous and time consuming, while there is technology available that can make the process easier and more effective. It makes the need for a single standardize text obsolete.

''An example is dance,'' Ryder told the news source. ''It's more qualitative than quantitative. But you can use a rubric with a set of descriptive things that the assessor is looking for, and so an assessment can be done."

The App works with FileMaker Go and runs on an iPad. It allows teachers to load their student roster, track their progress against the rubric and leave comments. Completed assessments can be printed or transferred to other teachers and schools if the student was to be moved. Everything is stored locally, meaning there is no possibility of a network or cloud breach gaining access to the information.

This move by Bass and Ryder show what is possible when the latest technology is used to improve an older system. With the help of a FileMaker developer, any business can start taking steps to create a custom piece of software and redefine a traditional process.