Events Calendar


Cris Ippolite Presenting at Bootcamp for FileMaker

By admin | February 9, 2010

 I will be speaking at Bootcamp for FileMaker this year on Friday, Feb 19th! Please come by!



What is Bootcamp?  A week long intensive immersion in FileMaker development.  FileMaker Bootcamp was started 5 years ago as a homegrown, grassroots event where people could come and discuss the fundamentals of database development as it pertains to FileMaker. It is an opportunity to spend a concentrated period of time in an intensive learning environment filled with unique educational resources. Bootcamp offers a broad range of sessions that extend beyond simply learning how to use FileMaker as a tool. The concept of the Bootcamp event is to experience the System Development Lifecycle and put FileMaker into a larger context, while providing resources for a solid foundation of database development.

Content:  Basic Relational Design and Modeling, Data Normalization, Relational Graph Management, Business Analysis and Project Management, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing, Scripting Methodologies and Script Triggers, Reporting, External SQL Sources, File Management, Database Security, Interface Design and Reporting, plus content requested by attendees.

Speakers and Knowledge-base:  John Sindelar, Kirk Bowman, David Knight, Cris Ippolite, Steven Gallagher, Andy LeCates, Alexei Folger, Lee Lukehart, Michael Frankel, Ray Rubenstein, Jonn Howell, Laramie Ericson, Allen Imbarrato and Russell Kohn, plus more who are still being confirmed.

Dates:  Feb 15th – 19th (Opening Dinner on Feb 14th)

Location:  A University Campus in Westlake Village,



Special Event:  Andy LeCates will present a TechNet Members-Only luncheon during the Event (available to attendees of Bootcamp 2010).

Enrollment:  Limited enrollment to preserve the intimacy and intensity of the Bootcamp experience.

Registration:  $1250, Breakfast and lunch are included. Dinner on Sunday and Friday is included, as well. FileMaker will be hosting a dinner one night for all attendees. Day rates are available @ $250/day. FMPug members get a discount.

footprintBootcamp.gifHotel Arrangements:  A room package has been arranged with the recently remodeled Hyatt Westlake Plaza in Thousand Oaks. Rooms are $99 per night, single or double occupancy at one rate, and feature luxurious pillow-top beds. The hotel is located in the same parking lot as the Pepperdine campus, and will be the location of evening case study groups that will be coached by the Bootcamp staff. The Sunday night Welcome Dinner is also hosted at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza Hotel.

Topics: FileMaker | Comments Off


By admin | January 5, 2009

Today FileMaker, Inc announced the launch of FileMaker 10. In addition today announced the launch of the FILEMAKER 10 ESSENTIAL TRAINING videos.

FileMaker Pro 10 Essential Training
with: Cris Ippolite

Course Description:
From organization comes efficiency, and with efficiency, creativity can flourish. To help users create more efficient workflows,  Cris Ippolite introduces the new features and basic functions of FileMaker Pro 10. In FileMaker Pro 10 Essential Training, Cris explains why this desktop database application is used by everyone from Fortune 500 companies to individuals. He demonstrates how databases work, how to manage information and understand its relationships, and how to work with calculated fields. Cris also shows how to import and export information, share results, and build interesting and attractive reports. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics Include:
• Touring the interface
• Managing records and fields
• Formatting information with layouts
• Working with the Web Viewer function
• Building reports using the new Dynamic Reporting feature
• Learning the new Script Trigger function

8.25 Hours

Topics: FileMaker | 3,642 Comments »

MACWORLD 09: Creating Dynamic Interfaces with Flash & Databases

By admin | December 30, 2008


Conference: Users Conference / Inspire Track
Track: Inspire
Session Code: US912
Speaker: Cris IppolitePresident,iSolutions, Inc

Wednesday, January 7, 2009 / 1:00pm – 2:15pm
Room: 2002, West Hall

For the database designer looking to create state of the art dynamic solutions for his customers, the combination of Flash and Filemaker offers a compelling combination. In this stimulating presentation, you’ll see a variety of applications presented and deconstructed to show you how dynamic data can be communicated and integrated between Flash and Filemaker to present stunning interface solutions to enhance Web, standalone and networked apps.

If you are interested in an expanded DVD version of this
article, please visit:

“Integrating Flash and FileMaker Extended DVD”

Topics: Flash and FileMaker | 2,591 Comments »

FMPUG: Seattle and Portland

By admin | November 2, 2008

I recently presented “Extending the Web Viewer” at both the Seattle and Portland FMPUG groups.Click here to download the sample files i usedAlso check out this podcast I did while in Portland: click here 

Topics: FileMaker | Comments Off


By admin | October 4, 2008

The use of embedded SWF files within a Web Viewer is one of the most exciting and dynamic advances in FileMaker interfaces. However an important change imposed this year by Adobe requires a new approach when using these technologies.

With the introduction of Adobe Flash Player 9,0,124,0, Flash Player will not make a socket connection directly to a server without first obtaining explicit permission from that server. This will require some systems and networks to open up ports or run new services in order to support granting permission.

Because this behavior will be new to system and network administrators, this article provides a brief background on why this process is necessary and what they will see on their networks. In addition, this article includes an overview of sample code that Adobe is providing for creating socket policy file servers in testing environments.

This means previously effective embedded SWFs will no longer be able to receive data from FileMaker Server via a socket connection.

Flash Player has required the presence of socket policy files since the introduction of the feature within Flash Player. Flash Player 9,0,124,0 introduces two major changes to socket policy files. The first change is that Flash Player will require socket policy files for all sockets. In prior versions of Flash Player, it was possible to connect to ports greater than 1024 if the SWF file was connecting to the same server from which it was hosted. The second change is the introduction of a centralized location for socket policy files that can host a socket master policy file.

Adobe has filed with IANA, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, to reserve port 843 for the purposes of serving socket policy files. By introducing a centralized location for socket policy files, Flash Player enables a system administrator to define what ports are available through one master policy that overrides any other policy file on the host. If Flash Player 9,0,124,0 cannot retrieve a master policy file from port 843, then it requests a socket policy file on the port where it is trying to connect. However, if a policy file is available from a service on TCP port 843, then Flash Player considers that to be the authoritative set of permissions for that system.

The fix involves creating a “Socket Policy File” and running it on the server that hosts FileMaker.

For more information on this see: ADOBE SUPPORT 

However even if you do not use a socket connection for your application, you may still be experiencing issues with “CROSS DOMAIN” policies.

n 2003, Flash Player 7 software introduced a channel of client-server communication that was new to the web: direct cross-domain data loading, authorized by policy files. Before policy files, web content could only perform two-way communication with its own server, such as runtime configuration or transactions without page reloads. Policy files allowed servers to open up their data selectively to client content from other domains, or generally to content from anywhere. Since the introduction of policy files, domain boundaries have been less of a barrier for authors of rich Internet applications. Like most new technologies, policy files weren’t perfect when they were first introduced. After four years, the Internet security community has found two undesirable situations (described later in this article) that can arise from the existence of policy files. The basic premise of policy files remains valid, and Flash developers can continue to rely on policy files just as they have since Flash 6. To address the new concerns, however, Adobe is specifying some stricter rules for the use of policy files. Additionally, there are a number of improvements that make policy files more useful and usable. You can learn more about how to fix this situation here.

Understanding Flash’s new security restrictions will help you solve any suprise issues with your existing SWF based applications on your network.

Topics: Flash and FileMaker | 325 Comments »

Speaking at SeattleFMPUG

By admin | September 30, 2008

I will be speaking at Seattle FMPUG in October. For more information, click here.

Topics: FileMaker | 1,639 Comments »

Making a Case for FileMaker Pro

By admin | September 3, 2008

FileMaker Pro. Many of you have heard of it or may have worked with it, but did you know it has been in the marketplace for more than 20 years?

In that time, more than 13 million units of FileMaker software have been sold around the world. FileMaker enthusiasts include ALL of the top 50 universities in the U.S., the top 250 U.S. school districts, and 70 of the Fortune 100 companies.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Apple, Inc., FileMaker isn’t just for Mac users anymore! Cross-platform capabilities that run natively on both Mac and Windows platform make FileMaker the premium database software on the market today. It has muscled its way into IT infrastructures in all industries.

Currently on version 9.0, FileMaker underwent a massive database engine redesign in version 7. It allows for multiple “tables” to be combined into a single FileMaker file. This feature has cut down both development time and cost, and has brought forward some of the most powerful features in the product’s history.

Most notably, FileMaker now allows for up to 250 concurrent users via Server, full support for php Web integration and a partnership with the MySQL alliance that spawned a connection kit (called “ESS”), allowing for LIVE connections to data sources running MySQL, SQL Server and Oracle!

Imagine connecting to your organization’s SQL Server, Oracle and MySQL databases from one place, and using the information without additional programming. With FileMaker, you can! FileMaker Pro 9 creates secure easy one-way or two-way connections to External SQL Data Sources. The SQL data acts just like FileMaker data. Create custom reports, add calculations and other fields, build relationships with existing FileMaker data, using the easy-to-use tools of FileMaker Pro.

There are new layout objects that allow you to do everything from automatically resizing your layouts to embedding FULL web viewing functionality into your existing FileMaker database layouts.

With the PHP features of the FileMaker Server, you can publish information to external websites, gather information from Web users, and create new solutions combining a Web-based front-end with a rich, FileMaker Pro back-end. Support for popular open source Web standards PHP and XSLT means you and your Web developer will be reading and writing live FileMaker Pro data in no time.

All these reasons support FileMaker Pro as the #1 best-selling standalone database for both Macintosh and Windows.

When business professionals outgrow spreadsheets, they depend on FileMaker products. Customizing, creating, and sharing easy-to-use software solutions is quick and easy. FileMaker is powerful enough to integrate with corporate data environments, share on the web, and evolve with your needs.

Topics: FileMaker | 3,719 Comments »

Sessions Files from Creative Transitions Conference

By admin | August 12, 2008


Conference: Creative Transitions Conference

For the database designer looking to create state of the art dynamic solutions for his customers, the combination of Flash and Filemaker offers a compelling combination. In this stimulating presentation, you’ll see a variety of applications presented and deconstructed to show you how dynamic data can be communicated and integrated between Flash and Filemaker to present stunning interface solutions to enhance Web, standalone and networked apps.

If you are interested in an expanded DVD version of this
article, please visit:

“Integrating Flash and FileMaker Extended DVD”

Topics: Flash and FileMaker | 136 Comments »

FileMaker and Flash Integration DVD

By admin | August 11, 2008

For more information on how to integrate FileMaker (8.x and higher) and Flash , check out this DVD from


Topics: FileMaker | 3,209 Comments »

The Return of the Thin Client and the Future of Databases

By admin | August 11, 2008

One of the most interesting trend in computing is the re-emergence of the Thin Client. This time it is more significant than ever.

For those in the software and web development fields, this latest trend should not be ignored. In this article I explore the cycle that brings back what looks like the old mainframe client-server model but is instead something exciting for anyone who develops database or web applications today.

If you currently work with Flash you can now leverage your existing skills to create DESKTOP applications, thus opening up your potential market and making yourself much more valuable. Flex and AJAX developers have probably already been creating Web Applications and now those can be brought to the desktop with additional advantages not found in the browser while still taking advantage of Thin client technology.

Its worth a look. Plus, the AIR showcase has a bunch of really cool free apps if you simply want to get familiar with AIR by using the applications themselves.

One of the repeated cycles in the software industry is that we constantly go through this “thin client / thick client” cycle.

In the 1980s, there was still a lot of software being developed for the mainframe.  These were basically “thin client” applications – most of the processing was done on the server and the model was that of centralized computing with “dumb terminals” acting as the primary interface.  These dumb terminals were indeed pretty dumb (not much processing power, and character-mode interfaces).  But, there were certainly advantages to this centralized model.  The software could be updated on a single server, security was simpler, viruses and other malware were not a big issue.  An important point to note is that these applications were mostly “stateless”.  This allowed a user to believe they were interacting with their application directly, when in fact, 99% of the time, the server was simply waiting for another request and idle users were not consuming any resources.  This particular model allowed a very large volume of users to be served, because not each user consumed server resources (CPU, memory, etc.) when they were not active.

Then, came the “thick client” wave in the form of client-server.  An important thing to note here was that in the client-server model, we did not simply transfer all of the power back to the desktop – but a lot of it.  The reason for this shift to thick-client applications was simple:  There was a lot of horsepower in the PC and it could be leveraged to create better and more usable applications.  It seemed a waste to let all that horsepower sit idly around and use the PC as just another dumb terminal.  So, with this shift to client-server, we saw a rethinking of how applications were designed, built and deployed.  The server, in most of these applications was a database server and did nothing more than act as a persistence layer to store and manage data.  Along with the shift came new tools and technologies to help make it easier to build applications for the new paradigm (one that comes to mind is FileMaker).

In the late 1990s, we saw again a shift to “thin client”.  Now, this client was a “much smarter dumb terminal” in the form of a web browser.  This trend was fuelled by a number of things:

1.  It was painful to manage desktop applications on hundreds and thousands of desktops
2.  There were classes of applications where the server horse-power and data storage required exceeded the power of most PCs
3.  Internet standards made it relatively easy to build applications that would work across a variety of hardware platforms and operating systems

So, everyone started creating web applications.  Interestingly, and not surprisingly, these web applications too were “stateless”.  So, the web application could serve tens of thousands of users using the same model made popular in the mainframe days.  Instead of CICS or IMS-DC we now had HTML.  This made the user interface better than the mainframe terminals but still was a huge step backwards compared to all the progress that was made in the user interface arena in the client-server days.  But, this new thin-client model solved a lot of problems with the thick-client apps.  You could leverage the resources of huge servers, do things you simply couldn’t do on your desktop and had a nice, consistent set of behaviors from hundreds and thousands of applications that were just a browser-click away.

However because it was browser based, we couldn’t access the desktop and couldn’t store applications locally. Also mixed platforms could cause issues for both running your applications and installing them. What the world needs is a Thin client that solves these issues but still provides the ability to make changes on the server to push out to clients, make management and support of your system easier and control costs while maintaining a secure enviornment.

Enter the modern day Thin client applications enviornment. There are many popping up that require notice, but the most significant has been the recent release of Adobe AIR,  a cross-platform runtime environment for building rich Internet applications using Adobe Flash, Adobe Flex, HTML, or Ajax, that can be deployed as a desktop application.

Adobe made a public preview release of AIR (then called Apollo) along with a software development kit (SDK) and extension for developing Apollo applications with the Flex framework, on March 19, 2007. On June 10, 2007, Apollo was renamed to AIR and a public beta release of the runtime was launched. Public beta 2 of AIR SDK was released on October 1, 2007. Public beta 3, was released on December 12, 2007, and version 1.0 was released on February 25, 2008.

AIR is intended to be a versatile runtime environment, as it allows existing Flash, Actionscript or HTML and JavaScript code to be used to construct a more traditional desktop-like program. Adobe positions it as a browser-less runtime for rich Internet applications that can be deployed onto the desktop, rather than a fully-fledged application framework. The differences between each deployment paradigm provides both advantages and disadvantages. For example, a rich internet application deployed in a browser does not require installation, while one deployed with AIR requires the application be packaged, digitally signed, and installed to the user’s local file system. However, this provides access to local storage and file systems, while browser-deployed applications are more limited in where and how data are accessed and stored. In most cases, rich internet applications store users’ data on their own servers, but the ability to consume and work with data on a user’s local file system allows for greater flexibility.

This provides developers all the advantages of the Thin client, yet AIR applications can operate offline, and then activate further functionality or upload data when an active Internet connection becomes available. So no pendulum swing back to Thick client as the happy medium has been discovered.

Adobe currently provides three ways of developing AIR applications:

Dreamweaver CS3 requires an additional extension to compile AIR applications, as does Flash CS3 in the form of an update. The cross-platform nature of the runtime means any HTML editor, coupled with the AIR SDK, can create AIR applications. AIR itself uses the WebKit HTML rendering engine, along with Flash and PDF technologies.

You can experiment with Adobe AIR by visiting the Adobe AIR website. You can also download AIR for free to be able to run all of the applications currently available to play with.

The Adobe AIR Showcase has all sorts of existing applications with many already created by some top notch companies.    There are several interesting case studies from The New York Times as well as AOL, eBay, NASDAQ, Yahoo, Nickelodeon and many more companies who have already made the commitment to AIR.

However this is not just a call to developers about the next wave, its also a call to software companies. The old model of thick client/server architecture is dead. Web 2.0 has ushered in a new platform for both the browser AND the desktop. Within 5 years this model will overtake current models and software companies will need to take note and adjust accordingly.

Some companies are already offering platforms that are using the browser to become the development and  working environment for database systems. They are worth a look because a hybrid of these applications with a deployment environment like AIR could become the next big thing. Right now that prototype doesn’t exist, but check out these offerings for the closest thing to a preview.


Dabble DB helps you create online databases on the web. It’s easy to use yet extremely flexible and powerful. Check out this demo video to get a better idea of how it works.


Aware IM is a web application builder that requires no programming, no scripts, no HTML, no database, web or user interface knowledge.  Driven by business rules Aware IM works on any platform and supports all popular databases (MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle and others). Deploy your web application on the Internet or on your company’s LAN.
Check out the demo of awareim here.


Rollbase is a new Internet platform for business users and web developers to rapidly create on-demand applications using point & click, drag & drop tools in a standard web-browser. Simply put, Rollbase allows businesses to focus on application innovation rather than software development and all of the infrastructure behind it.

Check out the Rollbase demo by clicking here.

So its coming…or maybe its here. Its at least worth a look for both developers and software companies alike.

Topics: FileMaker | 1,761 Comments »

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