Tim Dietrich

Custom Software Developer

Home Services Portfolio Blog About Contact Newsletter

FileMaker DevCon 2014: Day 1

It was a great first day of sessions at FileMaker DevCon 2014. Here's a summary of the sessions that I attended…

5 Lessons for FileMaker WebDirect
By Bill Heizer of FileMaker, Inc.

The emphasis of this session was on what developers (and Bill in particular) have learned about WebDirect since it's release last December. Bill described scenarios where he has seen WebDirect used and it simply wasn't a good fit. Two examples: Projects requiring some sort of online registration, and those where some type of results (such as results of a race or some other type of competition) are being published. In other words, Web-based solutions that are public-facing and that could end up getting a lot of traffic (especially at one time).

Bill also showed the impact that WebDirect can have on both the app server and database server, and how the same types of activities (finds, deletes, etc) can have different impacts on FileMaker Server depending on whether a user is accessing a database via FileMaker Pro or WebDirect.

Amazingly, despite losing power to the projection and sound system during the session, Bill was able to deliver an amazing first session that was full of great information about WebDirect. If you get a chance to see this presentation in the future, I highly recommend it.

From Developer to Designer
By Matthew O'Dell of FileMaker, Inc.

This session was particularly interesting to me because Matthew was previously a developer, and by his own admission, he created solutions that were not well designed. So apparently he made the same types of mistakes that many of us who are “design-challenged” have also made (and, if you're like me, continue to make). Matthew described a number of things that he's learned over the years - techniques that now allow him to approach a FileMaker project from the point of view of both a developer and a designer. As a result, the solutions that he creates today are consistently effective and successful.

This is one of those sessions that I'm really looking forward to reviewing. There was a lot of great information and advice to take in, and a number of techniques that I am looking forward to using on future projects.

Get Plugged In At FileMaker
By Julie Sigfrinius of FileMaker, Inc.

Julie's session described the purpose of the FileMaker Business Alliance (FBA), the many benefits of the program, how to join it, and more. I've been an FBA member for several years now, and I can say without a doubt that joining the program has been the best business decision I've ever made.

During the session, Steven H. Blackwell, a prominent member of the FileMaker community and long time member of the FBA, spoke about what the program has meant to him, and how members can work together to strengthen the alliance and better serve the community. His dedication to the FBA program, and service to the FileMaker community as a whole, are very inspiring.

Using FileMaker As A Powerful Business Intelligence Tool
By Luke Rochester of BizNet

My last session of the day turned out to be one of the best DevCon sessions that I've ever attended. Luke is a Business Intelligence consultant who has found that the FileMaker platform is a great way to create Business Intelligence tools and Dashboards. His examples were absolutely stunning, showing very clearly how FileMaker Go and WebDirect can be used to deliver valuable business information to decision makers. After seeing Luke's work, it as easy to see why he is so successful.

Some of my big takeaways from this session were the importance of the Business Intelligence Stack, the use of storyboarding to effectively determine what KPIs are important to the client, and more. This is another session that I am looking forward to reviewing when I get the chance.

In summary, Day 1 of DevCon 2014 was an absolute success. The sessions that I attended were full of great information, the speakers were engaging and knowledgable, and the conference is very well organized. I'm anxiously looking forward to tomorrow's sessions!