2020 has been a year like no other. As we wrap up the year, I am often asked about my top lesson learned or MainSpring’s take-away for the year. You may think that my response will include the word “pivot.” Yes, we have all had to pivot in the past nine months. But my advice to business leaders and development managers is to create a sense of normal in 2021. A snow day lesson As
As you plan for a new year, you may be wondering about the value of a virtual Chief Technology Officer (vCTO). Why hire a vCTO, what assets will they bring to the company, and the cost?  Recently, I wrote a blog, Inspire 2021. In that post, I list ways to inspire your team into 2021, including the use of virtual CTOs. Now, let’s look at the benefits of hiring a vCTO and how to make
This versatile function offers quite a bit of value to any developer’s toolkit. It gives us the ability to interrogate the state of different layout objects (also called introspection) which allows us to make our calculations and scripts smarter. Today we’re going to just focus on a one of the options, the attributeName parameter to take a look at some interesting behavior that could be leveraged as another tool in our developer toolbelt.  Parameters objectName – in order to use this function, the object to be interrogated must have a name set in the position tab of the inspector. I prefer to use the naming convention of “objectType.name”
During agile development in FileMaker, sometimes you may notice an unwanted performance difference after adding a new feature, or display a new field to a layout. In this blog, I’d like to address what I have found to be the most likely culprits of the slow and unwanted Find or Sort dialogs on FileMaker layouts: summary fields and “unstored calculations”.   Inside the storage options of the calculation field definition is where developers decide if
At MainSpring, we are looking back at 2020. I can think of a long list of words to describe an unforgettable year. What started as a booming economy turned into turbulence by March 2020.  Our team learned many lessons. I am sure that your business team and your family can say the same. We learned about new ways to communicate, and we knew that everyone changes and creates new habits. We also learned that we
A common feature I like to provide on my FileMaker list view layouts is clickable headers that sort records based on that column. Realistically, you don’t always have the luxury of being in a simple 1 table list view. In this blog, I will walk through a consistent way to dynamically sort related data in portals, using the column headers. I would like to preface this blog by saying this is not a concept I
Sometimes you can benefit from a method called abstraction where you use what’s called “indirection.” Indirection is a way that you can automatically iterate through a series of steps like set variable or set field. For instance, let’s say you needed to bring the contents of one set of fields in a table and create new related records in another, a process very common when dealing with legacy app data after importing it into a
Trends change. I’m writing this blog in November 2020, and trend watchers estimate that ten years’ worth of change has been compressed into the last nine months. Our kids are learning (or struggling) with virtual education. Walmart’s online orders are up 79% while local, small businesses are financially stressed. We are no longer gathering with friends at our favorite neighborhood restaurant but searching for unique to-go options. We have sat on our sofas, watching Netflix,
As I write this blog, British Airways was slapped today with a $25.9 million fine in the UK for a 2018 cyber-attack affecting over 400 thousand people. It took British Airways over two months to discover the hack.   What is the cost of a cybersecurity failure? The price is high for both business and their customers. Cybersecurity failures do not just impact big business. A cyber-attack affects business of any size and in any market segment.  Cybersecurity impacts us all  Many of us have received the
Since 1993, a priority of MainSpring is to provide clients with the infrastructure to secure their corporate data. This year, with the surge of WFH (Work from Home), it is time to audit existing plans. Can your current cybersecurity plan stand up to today’s change in the work environment?   It is time for a new cybersecurity checklist. In this blog, I provide eleven steps to ensure the security of corporate data.    The security risk of WFH  Recently, I published a blog about
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