Tableau Conference 2022 – Highlights

Hello from Tableau Conference 2022 (TC22) in sunny Las Vegas! Attending in-person from Beezwax were Rob, Sarah, Vince and Jay from our Tableau/Analytics team, with several more Beez joining virtually.
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Claris Connect integrates Eversign, FileMaker and more

Let’s talk about Claris Connect as the way to orchestrate data-driven workflows involving Eversign digital signatures, Claris FileMaker, Slack and a range of other possible platforms! Fabio Bosisio from Beezwax will walk through details for setting up these types of integrations.

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The Benefits of Automated Testing

Software changes over time. Your company’s web site this year does things you had no idea you needed two years ago. How can we keep the cost of change manageable?

Automated testing is one way. Especially for large software projects, the practice of automated testing can dramatically reduce the cost of adapting software to new business necessities.

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The Human Resource – Beezwax Anniversary Edition

26 years in, a founding Bee reflects.

Julian Nadel is president and founder of Beezwax. He’s celebrating the 26th Anniversary of Beezwax with this update to his original Beezwax Blog post.

In 2014, a colleague interviewed me about Beezwax; the interview transcript was the orginal basis for the article herein. It was then and still is now one of the only public summaries of my thoughts on how Beezwax works, and why.

Since being published, the article has been a meaningful springboard for many conversations I’ve had… with existing Beez, clients, and colleagues… and people new to Beezwax. As we reach another milestone – completing our 26th year – I’m taking this opportunity to revisit the article and provide an update.

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Beezwax Wins Claris Excellence Award

Beezwax Recognized for Advocacy Excellence, Sharing Expertise and Passion with Customers and Developers In the Claris Community

CUPERTINO, Calif. – Dec. 15, 2021Claris International Inc., an Apple company, named Beezwax Datatools Inc. as winner of the Advocacy Excellence Award as part of the Claris Excellence Awards for 2021, which honor Claris Partners and Claris Community members who have made outstanding contributions and accomplishments around the globe in 2021.

Partners and community members are selected for their award-worthy achievements using the Claris platform. The Advocacy Excellence Award recognizes a Claris partner for sharing expertise and passion while increasing awareness of Claris products and expanding the Claris Community of users and developers.

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OOP Fundamentals: Quick and Dirty Guide to Testing

There are entire books written on testing. And it surely feels more an art than a science. My approach is similar to Kent Beck’s:

I get paid for code that works, not for tests, so my philosophy is to test as little as possible to reach a given level of confidence (I suspect this level of confidence is high compared to industry standards, but that could just be hubris). If I don’t typically make a kind of mistake (like setting the wrong variables in a constructor), I don’t test for it. I do tend to make sense of test errors, so I’m extra careful when I have logic with complicated conditionals. When coding on a team, I modify my strategy to carefully test code that we, collectively, tend to get wrong.

https://stackoverflow.com/a/153565/1015566

He goes on to add that different people will have different strategies and, at the end of the day, you just have to do what works best for you and your team. Extremely practical, and the approach I personally follow.

This won’t be a detailed post on every possible topic on tests and testing in Object-oriented Programming (OOP). There are many books about that already. Instead, this article will cover the basics of testing, so you understand how and why we test, and you can adapt it to your own needs.

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A fast, flexible Tableau Connector for FileMaker

Building a custom Tableau® Connector for Claris® FileMaker® enables faster, more reliable and more flexible connections between Tableau and FileMaker datasources, compared with the legacy Web Data Connector.

For a number of Beezwax client projects, we’ve installed and deployed a Tableau Connector (aka “TACO”) for FileMaker. The TACO was built using the Tableau Connector SDK (provided by Tableau) to connect to datasources on FileMaker Server. The TACO method uses JDBC rather than the FileMaker Data API for the connection between FileMaker and Tableau, and in our testing the performance of data extracts was up to 10 times faster.

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The Value and Benefits of Transactions with Claris FileMaker

Let’s talk about Claris® FileMaker® and transactions! Vincenzo Menanno discusses what transactions are, how they relate to FileMaker data operations (creating, updating, and deleting records), database normalization, and how to use transactional concepts to improve FileMaker performance, especially over a wide area network (WAN).

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bBox for FileMaker v0.98 with M1, GraphicsMagick & Sips

We are pleased to release bBox version 0.98, with with new image file functions and M1/Apple Silicon support.

bBox is a free utility plug-in to extend FileMaker solutions to easily use code libraries and macOS-based functions from Python, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, AppleScript, C/C++, Bash/sh, XPath, and SQLite. Also included is a demo file that has over 220 examples of how you can put bBox functions to work for you.

Some of the changes in version 0.98 are:

  • M1/Apple Silicon binary
  • Ubuntu compatible version (in addition to CentOS)
  • updated to libxml2 version 2.9.12
  • added bBox_GraphicsMagick function & script step
  • added bBox_Sips function & script step
  • modifications to several functions & script steps to add parameters
  • fixed template text used in several functions & script steps to better describe parameters
  • limit POSIX commands to 3 cores
  • new mode to combine stderr with stdout

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Q Foundation – Increased Agility For Social Services

Beezwax helped the Q Foundation get ahead of a persistent pandemic and quickly pivot to decentralized operations to support a remote workforce.

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InspectorPro 7.2 for FileMaker – Faster on M1!

Everything about the M1 Apple silicon leaves you simply delighted and surprised. It’s like the first time you drive a super-charged Tesla and feel the rush of powerful acceleration OR I imagine it’s like when Han Solo first blasts the Falcon into light speed: it must be experienced to be believed.

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OData for FileMaker – Examples, Tips and Nuances

This blog post is the second of a three-part series about the FileMaker OData API, introducing a demo file with more than 40 examples plus helpful tips, along with Q&A. Part one of the series highlighted some of the key features of the API which make it an exciting addition to the FileMaker platform. As a follow-up, this post will cover the basics and dig into the nuances of using OData with Claris FileMaker.

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OOP Fundamentals: The Decorator Pattern

The decorator pattern is one of my favorite patterns. It is simple, extensible and powerful. It feels like it follows the essence of object oriented programming beautifully. Sadly though, it is also easy to be misused or misunderstood. So, in this post I will show you the essence of the decorator pattern, illustrated with a few examples.

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OOP Fundamentals: The Dependency Inversion Principle

The dependency inversion principle is one of the cornerstones of object-oriented programming. Without it, there is no object-oriented design. It’s that important.

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Integrating your dev workflow with WSL

Windows Subsystem for Linux, or WSL for short, is a quite impressive piece of technology, and one of the best moves Microsoft could have made to attract developers. Particularly web developers.

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Math in a FileMaker field, for Inputter’s sake

Editor’s Note: An often-ignored reality of data management is that entering data, correctly and cleanly, into all of these database apps we build can be a royal pain in the…
Assumptions can be dangerous, like assuming that your office manager-doubling-as-bookkeeper wants to manually calculate tax on every Invoice row. Or even has the time to.

Not many job titles (anymore) are simply “Data Entry Manager,” and yet entering data is a task that continually must be managed, by one or by many, in the role of “Inputter”. Just entering data can be tedious enough — so, let’s not make it harder. In fact, let’s strive to make it easier. With that in mind, Beezwax Senior Developer Christos Savva provides an example of performing math in a FileMaker field, using a custom function. This is designed to improve data entry user experience, for the sake of Inputters everywhere.

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Setting FileMaker’s startup file from CLI

We had a client that was upgrading their system to FileMaker 18. They had already pushed new FileMaker Pro clients out to their user’s desktops. But now that the upgraded system was ready, how could they give users a quick and easy way to launch right into the new database system?

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How to enable WebKit and JavaScript debugging in FileMaker Web Viewers

FileMaker supports bidirectional communication between a web viewer and data or scripts. So, you may find yourself doing more development using plenty of web code and JavaScript integrations.

If you’re having difficulty getting your HTML, CSS, or JavaScript to render in a FileMaker web viewer, there’s a great way to help inspect and fix it. You just need to know the hidden option to enable WebKit debugging in FileMaker web viewers.

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Common Code Smells in OOP

Over years of reviewing Ruby code, the same things tend to come up over and over. In this post, I’d like to address some of the most common code smells I find when reviewing OOP code (and Ruby code in particular).

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Claris Connect in action

Doing the simple is hard. Someone recently reminded me of this when discussing business workflow. Tasks like scheduling, calendaring, communicating and sending notifications are individually manageable, in a world where tools for these tasks exist online. Calendars, email, databases, Slack, and a collection of other apps and services make this possible.

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