6 Replies Latest reply on May 28, 2013 7:37 AM by mikebeargie

    Link clients to Appointments in iCalender?



      I'm very new to databases and file maker pro, and am feeling a little overwhelmed with all the information on this site, so i was wondering if someone can help me out.


      I am about to start a mobile dog-washing business and i want to use my iPad as my POS and my client database. I need a place to put in client details such as owner name, dog name, address, email, photos and notes about history of service and purchases. I then want to link this to the calendar so that I know which client I am going to see and at a touch can bring up all their details. If we could get a little fancy, i would also like to be able to bring up all my clients email addresses that i have inputted into their profiles so i can send newsletters and offers etc.


      Can Bento do this for me? And is it relatively easy to use?


      Any responses are much appreciated



        • 1. Re: Link clients to Appointments in iCalender?



          Bento is not really the right product for this. I don't believe it really has any interactive capabilities at all, and is limited in the customizations you can do. Filemaker is a lot more robust, but given your iPad requirement, there are still challenges that you would face for integrations you are trying to make.


          What you might want to consider is a Custom Web Publishing solution, which would allow you to have a filemaker database backend, and a web site front end that can be accessed from anywhere. This would allow you to do your "heavy lifting" on the server sending appointments into iCal. You could then generate links to your client info, stored in your calendar items, that would return data for a user from the web site.


          If this is a mission critical application, you might find it worth the investment to hire a consultant to build a product for you. The concept of what you are trying to do is relatively simple, but the two-way data flow from iCal makes it complicated.

          • 2. Re: Link clients to Appointments in iCalender?

            FileMaker certainly offers more options


            you can run an applescript from FileMaker, to add an event to iCal


            and if your calendar is in the "Cloud", you can access it anywhere



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            • 3. Re: Link clients to Appointments in iCalender?

              A year ago, I would have said Bento is reasonable choice. While a lot more limited than FileMaker, Bento is a good starting point (and has a pretty good developer community of its own). What it used to do much better than FileMaker was iCal, Contacts, IPhoto, Mail, etc integration. But Apple has discontinued a lot of that integration with Bento 4. More details here.


              It could still be an ok choice if, but you've got to read through the documentation. Especially if you can find an older version of Bento for the iPad.

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              • 4. Re: Link clients to Appointments in iCalender?

                You might want to note that the applescript would have to be executed from the server, as that's not an iOS compatible script step.

                • 5. Re: Link clients to Appointments in iCalender?

                  Thanks everyone!

                  You have been most helpful!


                  • 6. Re: Link clients to Appointments in iCalender?

                    I'm hoping filemaker GO starts to give us some of these functions in newer versions, IE sending/pulling items to the native iOS apps like mail, calendar, contacts, maps.


                    I think rio also mentioned wanting to use it as a POS, which I know you can do in filemaker go with some of the partner apps / URL protocol handling.