14 Replies Latest reply on Jun 19, 2017 6:06 PM by gofmp15

    A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!

    user28222

      Hello all!

       

      I wanted share the good news that I completed successfully my first paid client project, thanks to your help.

       

      The filemaker application is a relatively straightforward POS order management system for a trucking company that delivers produce and grocery items to retail store clients. 

       

      Some of their larger clients are want to automate the invoice submission process.  They have asked me to investigate possibilities for electronic invoice submission.  I opined that we can send them a csv file of the related invoice records and send over to the other end to process.  I want to insure that it is something Filemaker has the capabilities for before I commit fully, or I would have to decline if it something way more complicated.

       

      Any suggestions or tips on how to handle this?

       

      With much gratitude,

      Wonmoh Lee

       

      PS On a related side note(for those experiencing the same problems) any news on Windows PC's having the keyboard entry issues with the arrow keys displaying random characters?  I had to sell them a Mac-based solution though they were Windows-centric client.

        • 1. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
          piaccounting

          There is an invoice starter solution available for download. Well worth exploring as a basis for your own solution.

          Did those kind contributors who helped you mention their commissions?

          Best regards

          Dave

          PS Well done.

          • 2. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
            gofmp15

            Assuming that you have an invoice form that prints to a laser, etc.

             

            You can print this form to a PDF and email that. You can also print your monthly statements to PDF and email them.

            • 3. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
              wimdecorte

              user28222 wrote:

               

               

               

              Some of their larger clients are want to automate the invoice submission process. They have asked me to investigate possibilities for electronic invoice submission.

               

              Sounds like a web service integration.  And the short answer is: yes, FM can do that.

               

              But start with finding out what services that they are using so that you can explore their APIs.  Those will be given so you will have to find a way to do exactly as they expect.  That will dictate how much work and what kind of work this will be.

              • 4. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
                user28222

                Thanks for recognizing the extra 'challenge' of my PS comment!

                • 5. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
                  jfletch

                  You can also create a spreadsheet and mail it. Many systems that don't have a formal API can accept Excel imports.

                   

                  You can even (S)FTP it to a server folder where their system can watch for it and import it when it arrives. (A lot of medical electronic data interchange transactions can work this way between disparate systems, although they use their own arcane data formats.)

                   

                  If your client's customers have an API, though, that is (most of the time) what you want to use.

                   

                  Pretty much any integration method you can think of, FileMaker can do it in some way. FileMaker is way more compatible with other systems than any other platform out there, IMO.

                  • 6. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
                    user28222

                    Hi Wim,

                     

                    The client is exploring both options: API as well as batch emailing of PDF invoices.

                     

                    I am guessing that the data entry folks would prefer the former, given that this would ease the pain of mistakes, as well as speed up financial transactions of payment etc.

                     

                    I just got off the phone with the client, and if they go with API(they mentioned Truecommerce as the intermediary vendor,) i guess you are saying Filemaker(I;m using version 15) can automatically log in and submit some sort pre-defined-formatted data for them to process?  Is this something that can be done relatively easily?

                     

                    As always the comments from the veterans and gurus are appreciated!

                    • 7. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
                      CICT

                      PS On a related side note(for those experiencing the same problems) any news on Windows PC's having the keyboard entry issues with the arrow keys displaying random characters?  I had to sell them a Mac-based solution though they were Windows-centric client.

                       

                      Congratulations on your project, long may your customers wish to add new features. A number of us have already brought the Windows arrow keys to FileMaker's attention and they have been aware of it for some time, for instance:

                      OnObjectKeystroke issues with arrow keys

                       

                      Hopefully we'll see a bug fix in the not too distant future.

                       

                      Regards

                       

                      Andy

                      • 8. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
                        user28222

                        Thanks fletch!

                         

                        I am hearing 'yes it can be done rather painlessly' from you and Wim.

                        • 9. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
                          wimdecorte

                          user28222 wrote:

                           

                           

                          I just got off the phone with the client, and if they go with API(they mentioned Truecommerce as the intermediary vendor,) i guess you are saying Filemaker(I;m using version 15) can automatically log in and submit some sort pre-defined-formatted data for them to process? Is this something that can be done relatively easily?

                           

                          In 15, you'd have to use a plugin like the free BaseElements one, pretty sure that they requests need to be HTTPS POST.

                           

                          Easily?  I think so; once you get the hang of it it is very straightforward (and very rewarding).  If you've never integrated with a web service before then there will be a bit of a learning curve but it is not that hard.  And we're here to help

                          • 10. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
                            user28222

                            Hi Andy(my fellow compadre in journey to fix key-entry problems with Windows)!

                             

                            Truth be told, Filemaker should recognize that there is definitely economic impact (not to mention many sleepless nights for a newbie consultant like myself) due to this rather peculiar phenomenon.  In my case, I had to play around with pricing(each end user outfitted with mac mini minimally costing $500 x number of users) instead of the perfectly functional PC they had on their desks to get my precious first client to buy-in.

                             

                            I just read(I think you did too) somebody commenting on the same issue upgrading from v14 to v16, so I guess it is not fixed yet.

                            • 11. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
                              user28222

                              Understood.  I will get to reading up on this topic(HTTPS POST) as well as explore BaseElements.

                               

                              Thank you.

                              • 12. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
                                CICT

                                Yes, I had a quick look through that link and saw your postings as well after I clicked the reply button.

                                 

                                We tested using the v16 pre-release and were disappointed to replicate the problem. Unfortunately, there's nowhere here we can debate pre-release software and raise these types of issues. TSGal has recently acknowledged a new report of the problem, so it is still with the technical team.

                                 

                                However, FileMaker have been the most open I've known them regarding reported bugs and do monitor and interact with this forum as well as the formal bug reports. We did get a big number of bug fixes with v16, which was good . However, as you're gradually finding out, when your income depends on the tools to hand, it can be frustrating. Our challenge today has been to put a 'kludge' in to 'fix' the different ways a pop up menu and pop up list behave in relation to tab order - there's always something!

                                 

                                I was stunned to report a problem with Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac 2 weeks ago, received notification of a new release last week and then a thank you for confirming that the problem had been dealt with - times are definitely changing (you could have knocked me down with a kilobit)  

                                 

                                Regards

                                 

                                Andy

                                • 13. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
                                  bigtom

                                  Getting yourself and your client on FM16 will make dealing with any API service easier. If the API has callbacks the FM16 Data API is nice to have (will have license limits in the future). Base Elements plugin is great and I still use it often, but the new native features in FM16 are really nice.

                                  • 14. Re: A good problem to have ... my first client wants to add features!
                                    gofmp15

                                    Each version of FIleMaker installs on Mac or PC and in 9 or so possible languages...

                                     

                                    Mac's and PCs can simultaneously login to a FileMaker Server.

                                     

                                    There used to be serious differences in the two platforms causing dev problems but I think that is no longer so.