Tim Dietrich

Custom Software Developer

Home Services Portfolio Blog About Contact Newsletter

Project Updates and "EasyMaps" Announcement

This morning, I released the beta version of FM EasyCalendar, an open source FileMaker solution that can be used to generate data-driven calendars. This is the fifth open source solution that I've released this year, and I'm really excited about it. I'm looking forward to getting feedback on it -- and based on the interest that I've received since announcing EasyCalendar a few weeks ago, it won't be long before the feedback and suggestions start coming in.

A short while ago, I updated the Projects page here on my site. It now includes all of the projects that I've been working on, as well as few new projects that are still in the works. Here's an update on where things stand...

The Absolute Beginner's Guide to FileMaker Pro. At long last, my first book is in the final production stages, and is now scheduled for release in December. I've said before that there is a long story about how this book came to be, the delays that we experienced, and so on. I'm going to save that story for another time, but the good news is that it finally (finally!!!) is on the way.

FM EasyAudit. I released this open source auditing solution for beta testing a few weeks back, and have received a lot of positive feedback. The only complaint I’ve received is that setting up auditing for events (other than inserts and updates) is time consuming. That's because you have to wire up the database to log these other types of events (including deletes, imports, replace field contents, etc) using buttons and/or custom menus. The problem is that we don't have script triggers for those events, and it would be much easier to log those events if we did. In any case, I'm hoping to release Version 1 of EasyAudit in a few weeks, with a more robust demo database and more thorough documentation.

FM Blogger. I announced this project a few weeks ago, and quite a few people have contacted me about it. FM Blogger is a simple FileMaker-based blogging platform. In fact, you're looking at it right now. My own blog has been running on it for about a year now, and I've been thrilled with it. It's a blast to open up FileMaker Go on my iPad, write up a blog post, and post it - and feel good about it at the same time. You see, FM Blogger is built on FM WebFrame, the extension to FileMaker's API for PHP. It makes use of many of the features of FM WebFrame, making the blog fast, reliable, and secure. My goal is to release FM Blogger sometime in Q1 of next year. Before doing so, I want to add support for themes, a media library, support for markdown, and more.

FM EasyMaps. This is a new project that I've been working on, and like many of my other open source solutions, this one was the result of a client request. FM EasyMaps is much like EasyCalendar, in that you can easily integrate it with an existing database and make use of data already stored in the database. In this case, that data is addresses. The solution uses the Google Maps API to create an interactive map, complete with pins that you can click to "drill into" an address to see what it is all about. Early testing has shown the map to be fast and highly customizable. I'm hoping to release the beta in late Q4 of this year. (A sample map that was generated using EasyMaps is included below.)

FM EasySync. I've been sitting on version 1.3 of EasySync for about a month now, waiting to do just a little more testing of it before releasing it. This version will resolve a handful of bugs that have been reported over the past few months. It will not contain any significant new features. My hope is that we'll see some... let's call them "enhancements"... to the ExecuteSQL function in... okay, let's call it "a future unannounced version" of the platform, which would make some of what EasySync does a lot easier. In other words, if all goes well, you'll see an improved version of EasySync later on. I can't say much more than that at the moment.

FM WebFrame And finally, there's FM WebFrame, an extension to FileMaker's API for PHP. This was the first open source solution that I released, and it is still one of my favorites. I released v13e in July, just before DevCon. Version 13f, which I'm hoping to release in a few weeks, will provide an improved function for container publishing - especially for publishing images that are stored in containers. It completely eliminates the need for the custom 404 error handler, and all that jazz. I'm still testing the new function, but so far it seems to work like a charm. So we'll finally have a really seamless way to publish containers. Version 13f will also come bundled with the FileMaker API for PHP, making it even easier to install - especially on sites using shared hosting plans and so on.

There you have it. Look for updates here on my site, and over on Twitter.

An example of a map generated using FM EasyMaps, a FileMaker mapping solution that I'm working on. Click the image to see a larger version.