DEVCON 2009: Friday Session 10:30 AM Breakdown

From Dwayne Wright - Certified FileMaker 9 Developer
TWITTER: dwaynewright

This is a post in an ongoing series in which I look at a particular session of the 2009 FileMaker Developer Conference and review which presentation I’m most interested in attending. I’ll post an overall set of links when I’ve covered them all. For more information about this annual conference, please visit .


The second session on Friday strikes me a bit odd and I’m not entirely sure what to make of it. We have three presentations and one workshop. When I wrote my “first pass” at this session, I came up with the disappointing conclusion that none of them sparked any interest in regards to where my FileMaker design business is taking me these days. I'm completely turned around about this now and really looking forward to one on these presentations.

BTW: If you have ever had your own FileMaker consulting business, you know that the business tends to take you where it wants to go. That myth that you are in charge of the rudder tends to evaporate somewhere in the first five years of business.

The Extend and Optimize FileMaker Search presentation is where I’m doing an about face. In previous podcasts and PUG sessions, I’ve heard that Matt Navarre was spreading the word about a Google like search routine in FileMaker. Topics like these bring the old lady screaming “Where’s the Beef!” out in me and generally that is a good thing. It goes back to the realization that a technique you hear about, can quickly sweep you into a productivity black hole. I tend to avoid any extensive coding technique that strays too far away from default FileMaker behaviors.

Flashback to 2000, I went to work for a FileMaker consulting company that gobbled up a bunch of independent developers. I had just quit my job at Apple and moved back to Illinois from Texas. The first project the consulting company put me on was a true Winchester Mansion database full with staircases that didn’t lead anywhere, doors that were really windows and unstable as could be. At the heart of the problem was a
“roll your own security system” using scripting and relationship techniques. It didn’t work and that is being kind. Remember, this was before FileMaker 7 vastly improved the security system we have now and many projects had similar coding to get around pre-FileMaker 7 limitations.

By mistake, I put the topic of the Extend and Optimize FileMaker Search into that same category. A total rewrite of the search process doesn’t interest me in the least. When I reread the session description, I began to see it in a different light. I’m skeptical that the session can cover all the topics .... within its description ... in the time allotted. Kudos for giving it the old college try and perhaps he will pull it off. Nonetheless, this presentation does have juicy nugget potential that doesn’t seem to be there for the other presentations ... again ... for my immediate business needs.

FileMaker Server Integration/Web
may be the holy grail for another attendee but not for me. I don’t ever plan on putting a FileMaker Server on the web. I got associates that really like doing that kind of work for a living and I will gladly pass that business to them whenever the occasion arises. Yes, it is important to know what you can do as a FileMaker developer, when to pass the baton to another developer and build a collection of trusted associates to pass the baton to when needed.

Another thing, I do offer and support IWP implementations but I use my hosting account at for this. This means I can do an end-around the timely and costly implementation of a public FileMaker Advanced Server configuration ... for less than $50 a month!

By the way, about FileMaker Server training ... check out the 6.5 hour FileMaker 10 Server training session from Wim Decorate available online from VTC. This online training is absolutely excellent! I’m just about 1/2 through this incredibly dense (dense being a good thing) presentation on FileMaker Server. I mentioned in a previous post how I got a 30 day trial VTC account and I’m certainly going to subscribe once that is over. Check it out!

Introduction to Script Triggers session really seems quite odd to me. Not that there is an introduction to script trigger session but that it looks to be largely the same content as the streaming webinar available on TechNet. Developing Plug-ins is a workshop given by someone that has major kung-fu in that area. But for the dman, it would be a tragedy to have someone like me taking up the breathing room and I’m sure the room will be packed with future plug-in superstars.

4/11/2009 UPDATE
I watched the Script Trigger webinar again and was a bit surprised that Steve Romig mentioned this in passing. He mentioned the webinar is basically 40 minutes of Script Trigger introduction and the DevCon session is 90 minutes. So there you go, the DevCon session is twice the Script Trigger goodness!
More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at

© 2009 - Dwayne Wright -

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