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FileMaker DevCon 2009

Posted in Points of Interest on August 19th, 2009 by Rick Stringer – Be the first to comment

Corbin Design has had FileMaker Pro in our software arsenal since the early ’90s. However, we were not using it to its potential. We had some basic databases that someone here had started for our sign message schedules. Everyone just cloned that file made a few adjustments, and went on with their business. It was just another application for us. Then last year all of that changed.

We purchased Studio Manager by Janet Tokerud. It was suggested to us by another design firm. Studio Manager is a vertical market product built for creative services businesses. It is a good product. This isn’t a review of Studio Manager, but I thought it was important background for what I really want to talk about.

Studio Manager is setup so that we can make changes to it. We can add layouts, modify existing layouts, all types of things. What we quickly discovered was that this is a very complicated database. It is far beyond anything that any of us had created in FileMaker Pro. That was when I realized that I needed to learn more about FileMaker Pro, so that I wouldn’t seriously screw up this database. As fate would have it, I received a mailing about FileMaker Developers Conference 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. It was not cheap, but it sounded like a great opportunity for me to learn more. I did learn a ton. I also learned how little I really knew about FileMaker Pro.

A year has passed since I went to my first DevCon. I’ve had time to work with the application, and get to know it better. That really helped me at FileMaker Developer Conference 2009, in San Francisco, California. I got so much more out of DevCon this time, because I understand FileMaker better than I did a year ago.

I’ve known people who think FileMaker isn’t powerful enough, or versatile enough, or they just haven’t heard of it. I’ve even known people who think it is just a Mac thing. Which is funny, because FileMaker has been cross-platform for most of its existence. Well, anyone who thinks any of those things, hasn’t been to FileMaker DevCon.

There was no way that I could go to all of the sessions at DevCon, but what I saw was impressive. The big thing this year was the new feature for FileMaker Pro 10, “Script Triggers.” Script Triggers make it possible to run scripts based on actions in a database. There were several sessions on the topic. It is an exciting addition to FileMaker Pro that really has changed how developers are working with FileMaker.

I saw demonstrations of FileMaker doing things that I didn’t know it could do. It is fascinating to watch some of the FileMaker masters show their stuff. These people have dug into the application and found little gems for the rest of us. One really great thing about DevCon, is the fact that all of the presenters provide real files that we were able to bring back with us. These files have all of these wonderful little secrets in them for us to add to our own solutions.

Was FileMaker DevCon 2009 worth the expense and my time? Absolutely. The things that I learned there, and will continue to learn will far exceed anything that I would have picked up on my own.

Now, I have to get to work on building some great FileMaker Pro databases for us.

Here are some of the presenters who I saw:
John Mark Osborne, Database Pros http://www.databasepros.com/
Jonathan Stark, Jonathan Stark Consulting http://jonathanstark.com/
Kirk Bowman, Mighty Data LLC http://www.mightydata.com/
Rosemary Tietge, FileMaker Inc. http://www.filemaker.com/
Bill Heizer, FileMaker Inc. http://www.filemaker.com/
Steve Romig, FileMaker Inc. http://www.filemaker.com/
Debi Fuchs, Aptworks Consulting http://www.aptworks.com/tools/index.html
Matt Navarre, MSN Media http://msnmedia.com/
Linda Pitts, Compu-Books http://compu-books.com/
Jesse Barnum, 360Works http://www.360works.com/
Ray Cologon, PhD, NightWing Enterprises http://www.nightwing.com.au/FileMaker/
Geoff Coffey, Six Fried Rice http://sixfriedrice.com/wp/

All of those people really know FileMaker Pro. I want to thank all of them and everyone else who contributed to the FileMaker Developer Conference 2009. I benefited from your hard work. I also had a great time.

You also may want to check out Tim Dietrich‘s FileMaker Addict blog. http://filemakeraddict.blogspot.com/

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