My latest ramblings.
Enjoy! I definitely got important things to say
My latest ramblings.
Enjoy! I definitely got important things to say
If your company is like most businesses, you may find yourself juggling several different applications to manage your business. Because none of the programs work together, analyzing and sharing the data can be challenging, which is why our Creative Management Software was developed. Our FileMaker Pro developers worked together to design a software like no other, to benefit people who are juggling to many applications just like you!
At Dynamic Business Solutions, our FileMaker Pro developers understand that upgrading each of those programs can be expensive, and we heard you when you asked “isn’t there an affordable management software out there that will assist my company by integrating all of these functions into one multi-user, easy to use application?” We are listening, and not only will our product assist you by integrating several of your daily functions into one neat, affordable package, it was developed by advertising agencies just like yourself.
Unlike most software developed by FileMaker Pro programmers, the FileMaker Pro developer of Creative Management came from the advertising industry and had often been challenged to provide professional forms and reports just like yourself.
In 2000, an Advertising Agency called KTC Media started the ball rolling. KTC Media is a small agency that was looking for a product that could help organize their company without putting them into the poor house. Since KTC Media over 30 advertising agencies, photography studios and in-house graphic departments have contributed to the success of our creative management software throughout the US and Canada. Founder of NJ SEO agency 4PointDigital, Joe says, it helps remotely accessing custom business solutions on the device. Viewing, editing and searching for information is an ease at real-time and let it share with the team, Joe added.
Dynamic Business Solutions prides itself on offering the community powerful software that will help your company with the following tasks:
• Organize and manage all of your customers.
• Keep notes on leads gathered from sales force.
• Create estimates, project briefs, and change orders for clients.
• Create project orders for job bags and run traffic reports to analyze real-time project activity.
• Allow employees to view assigned tasks and enter time cards electronically.
• Create purchase orders against open projects.
• Manage documents and images.
• Invoice clients based on milestones completed.
Creative Management, is a custom FileMaker Pro database solution and is the perfect choice for any company that is looking to streamline their business, and get organized. FileMaker Pro is a cross-platform database software that can grow with your business, no matter how big or small that company may be.
For more information, please visit our website at www.filemakerproexpert.com, where you can learn more about this incredible asset to your business.
Make a list of the following items:
1. What are the tools my company is currently using to perform job tasks. Make a list of all software and cost to maintain your licenses or monthly fees.
2. Define how each application is used within your company.
3. Create an overall process of each task within the organization that needs to be covered in your new solution.
4. Break out data into groups. Contacts, Invoices, Purchase Orders.
5.Create a list of needed entry fields for tracking and reporting purposes for each group indicate field type. Numeric, Text, Date, and if the field should be limited to a drop-down option. List the drop-down options.
6. Create a list of all forms and reports.
7. Create a list for needed tasks: email client, schedule tasks, etc.
8. Create a list of how time is lost due to replication of efforts, loss of data, miscommunication.
Now that you have created a core structure for what your database will achieve. Cross out all applications, which will no longer be needed. Write down the cost savings. Now look at your employees, indicate the amount of time lost due to replication in efforts, loss of data, and miscommunication. Times the number for hours to an average hourly rate.
Based on the numbers above, how much money your company is losing and spending using the wrong tools. Are these tools good for business are they helping you gain the business you would like and freeing up the resources needed to maintain the new business. How much would you be willing to spend to achieve this goal?
Having an idea of what you want to spend before you hire a FileMaker developer is a good idea. There are many types of FileMaker developers to choose from some more experienced than others, some more expensive than others. Paying more does not mean you are getting a more experienced developer. There are many FileMaker consultants that are selling services and hiring young green developers to work on your database.
You are now ready to start looking for a FileMaker developer. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice.
1. When you spoke with your developer did you get a good sense he or she understood your needs?
2. Does the developer have experience in your field? Many FileMaker developers became FileMaker developers due to the need to organize their companies. Databases have only been around for a short period of time.
3. If you feel comfortable with your selected developer have asked them if they can create a proposal of time and cost. Some developers will not agree to provide a proposal and will indicate they can work for you based on an hourly rate. This can become very costly and you could end up with a partially build database. I do not recommend this, a good developer knows how long tasks take and will give you a range in cost. 10,000 to 15,000. 3 to 6 months.
4. Don’t just settle on a developer without speaking with others and comparing costs. More seasoned developers may be less expensive due to their library of starter files. Starter files can be used to create a new database without reinventing the wheel.
5. Ask to see screen captures or a demo of previous databases created. Some developers are very good at creating databases, which are not very user friendly.
6. Ask to see the relational grid. This is the back end of the database and although it will be quite confusing to someone who knows nothing about databases. Seeing a clean and organized relational grid will give you an indicator of their work style.
Ask the following questions:
• Does the database using common naming conventions?
• Does the database use Anchor/Buoy?
If the database is the most current version of FileMaker. If not this may be an indicator that they have not to work on the most recent version.
Ask if your database will be sold completely unlocked? Do you own the database? This is an important question some developers will not give you complete access rights or will claim they own your database.
How long have you been in business? Some independent developers find that being self-employed is difficult and take jobs working for other developers or no longer develop databases.
Choosing a developer can be difficult, but being prepared and asking the right question before getting started can ease your stress and create a long-lasting prosperous relationship for both parties.
Looking to hire a Filemaker developer in Orange County, CA? Call today and we would be happy to discuss your needs for updating or creating the Filemaker solution best for your project.
Looking to Hire a FileMaker Developer? Call today: 949-689-8915
Many of my clients use QuickBooks to manage their accounting, so it’s important for me to have a cost-effective database solution that integrates with QuickBooks without involving a lot of extra steps. With the FM Books Connector, you can easily bring the two applications together to work seamlessly as one.
FM Books Connector is a plug-in from Productive Computing that gives you control of QuickBooks via a two-way real-time integration. With it, you can Add, Edit, Delete, or Query virtually any QuickBooks data from FileMaker Pro.
One of the advantages of FM Books Connector is you don’t have to learn or know QuickBooks eXtensible Markup Language (qbXML) to use it. Similar to XML, it’s the core language for electronic exchange, creation, and management of accounting and other business data from QuickBooks.
Like most Filemaker Pro developers, I hate reading manuals. If a product isn’t somewhat self-explanatory, I tend to move on quickly. When I first downloaded and experimented with FM Books Connector, I was surprised by how quickly I was able to begin posting invoices from the supplied demo file.
I decided to take a closer look, so from the demo, I started to review the scripts, which are easy to read and well-commented. It all looked pretty simple, but I was still a little hesitant because in my experience after I try to replicate the fields and scripts to my own solution, it usually doesn’t work the same.
I spent about two hours importing scripts and updating field names with my live data. To my surprise, I had successful results!
When you download a demo of FM Books Connector, you also receive a folder containing:
• Plug-in, which you place in your FileMaker extension folder
• FileMaker demo file, which is an unlocked FileMaker Pro database with live examples and working scripts you can use for your own experimentation.
• Functions Guide that gives listings of external functions and expected parameters.
• Developer’s Guide, a helpful guide filled with instructions, code, and links to video tutorials at http://www.fmbooksconnector.com
In the FileMaker demo file, you’ll find several examples that show you:
• How to post a new customer to QuickBooks
• How to pull customers into FileMaker Pro
• How to update a customer in QuickBooks
• How to post an invoice to QuickBooks
• How to pull invoices into FileMaker Pro
• How to pull a customer balance into FileMaker Pro
The demo plug-in is a full working version. You can use it up to 30 days with 2-hour sessions of posting, programming, and testing before it times out.
Now that I had copied predefined scripts from the example, I started to venture off into areas not covered in the demo. With little to no knowledge of the plug-in, I began to build my own scripts, but when I posted a check for the first time, I received an error message. The message was clearly defined, but I didn’t know what was wrong. Rather than consulting the manual, I called Productive Computing. Not only did Productive Computing answer the phone, when I described my error message, they quickly gave me an explanation of the error and how to resolve it.
Posting error messages
There are some important things to know to help you troubleshoot and understand what QuickBooks requires to successfully post an invoice:
• Make sure your customer/vendor exists in QuickBooks
• You can post and validate records using either the ListID or FullName. The ListID usually refers to a QuickBooks record ID and the FullName refers to the actual QuickBooks displayed name.
• Make sure your invoice detail includes an existing quantity.
• Make sure your invoice items code exists and matches exactly in the QuickBooks items table.
• Your script code is case sensitive.
• FM Books Connector plug-in requires the person doing the posting to have the plug-in installed and QuickBooks open to post.
When you add and test the script to post data to QuickBooks, you’ll get helpful error codes if your data didn’t post successfully. There’s also a special function that exposes the XML generated behind the scenes for advanced programmers who understand and want to troubleshoot the XML.
The “Check for Errors” script is the same for all scripts and required before you can do anything else. It checks that you’ve installed the FM Books Connector plug-in correctly and the data you are posting is valid and complete according to QuickBooks.
FM Books Connector
Take it for a test drive
After experimenting with the code Productive Computing supplies, you’ll probably want to start branching out on your own. I can walk you through an example of how to duplicate and modify existing scripts to create new scripts for Creating/Editing Vendors and Posting Checks.
For my example of modified scripts, I used one FileMaker Pro database with the following table listings.
• Interface – All global data for generating XML coding pasted or posted to QuickBooks.
• Contacts – One file containing customers and vendors.
• Transaction – Check header data, to include check number, check date, check amount, Vendor (Pay to the order of), and memo.
• TransactionDtl – Detailed lines showing items included on the check.
Using Productive Computing supplied scripts on how to post a Customer and Invoice, I simply duplicated and modified the “Push Customer to QB” script to create a new script called “Push Vendor to QB.” I also duplicated and modified the “Edit Customer to QB” to create a new script called “Edit Vendor to QB.”
If your VendorListID already exists in QuickBooks, you only have to present the VendorListID and VendorEditSequence to update your vendor record to QuickBooks.
I then created a third script in which I combined my Add Vendor script and my Edit Vendor script into one script called New/Update Vendor that checks to see if the vendor is in QuickBooks by checking if the VendorListID is present. If the VendorListID doesn’t exist, FileMaker Pro pushes the new Vendor to QuickBooks and returns a Vendor List ID.
Additionally, I duplicated the Push Invoice to QB script from the FM Books Connector database. You can modify a couple of lines in the script to create a new script for posting checks to QuickBooks. The script first checks the transaction record to see if the check payee has previously posted to QuickBooks. If the payee has not yet been posted, the script will first post the vendor and then post the check.
Before FileMaker Pro can post your check to QuickBooks, it requires you to have created the vendor. Use the VendorListID to check for the List ID before attempting to post the check. If the vendor doesn’t exist in QuickBooks, the Push Vendor and Post Check script uses an if statement to ensure the vendor is added first. After you add the vendor, you can now post your checks. If your payee/vendor already exists in QuickBooks, you only have to present the VendorListID and post your check. You can duplicate and modify the Get Customer Edit Sequence script to create a new script called Get Vendor Edit Sequence. This script checks the vendor edit sequence before updating the record to make sure the information you want to post is the most current data.
Rather than reinventing the wheel and rebuilding all the scripts and fields required for integration with QuickBooks, you may be wondering if you can save time by using Productive Computing’s supplied file. The answer is yes; however, if you use the file provided, be sure to deactivate the open script, which is programmed to delete all data each time the user restarts.
After building and installing my new scripts, I began to test posting my data to my clients’ live QuickBooks database. Although everything didn’t go 100 percent smoothly (but what does?), I now had a clear understanding of how to troubleshoot my errors, and felt confident that if I needed further assistance, Productive Computing was just a phone call away.
I was so impressed, I even started to read the manual.
• Do not need to learn qbXML to use
• View account real-time accounting activity
• Affordable one-time cost
• Easy registration
• Offers resale program for FileMaker developers
• Does not require fields to be formatted for QuickBooks to accept
• Productive Computing offers superior customer service
• Only works on a PC; plans for a Mac version will be implemented if Intuit releases the qbXML SDK that is compatible with the Macintosh version of QuickBooks
• You must have administrative access to set up the plug-in for the first time
Great things to know…
The Intuit Developer Network is free to join and can be beneficial for gaining new customers who are currently using QuickBooks and may need assistance integrating with FileMaker Pro.
Mission Viejo CA 92692
Telephone: +1 949 689 8915