FileMaker Developers Conference 2011 Plans

From Dwayne Wright PMP
Certified FileMaker Developer

TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

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As I write this, the 2011 FileMaker Developers Conference is just over 2 weeks away. If you are not familiar with the event, here is a link ( ). Luckily, my employer is picking up the expense, which is considerable. The bottom line amount (conference, travel and what not) usually runs in the neighborhood of $3,000.

I’ve attended about a third of all the FileMaker DevCons and I always try to have a session attendance game plan in mind. This includes picking out the sessions I plan on attending and then knowing the location of the “plan B” option. This is necessary because sometimes a session you think is going to be great, quickly shows that it may fall short of your expectations.


6:30 p.m. Opening Keynote
8:00 p.m. Welcome Reception

Comment: It does make it difficult sometimes to make the opening session after traveling in from out of town. I'm pretty sure that I will be able to make it.

Generally the opening keynote is significant because you get a pretty good idea about the overall tempo of the conference and where to focus efforts while there.


9:00 a.m. Under the Hood WAN Performance
10:45 a.m. Introduction to FileMaker Pro and SQL Integration
2:00 p.m. Trigger Happy (2.0)
3:45 p.m. The Year In Review

Comment:  We have a lot of ESS SQL integration aspirations (with one very good one under our belt) and the first two sessions would help in with back office interactions. Script triggers are always huge and John’s Year In Review session is often the most anticipated session each year.


9:00 a.m. The Fundamentals of Exceptional Interface Design
10:45 a.m. Synchronizing Data Between FileMaker and SQL through ESS
2:00 p.m. Use FileMaker Server to Help Stop Worldwide Robot Domination
3:45 p.m. Guerrilla User Research

Comments: Who can ever say they are completely satisfied with their UI and none of the other sessions really grab me. Our 2011 / 2012 project goals make attendance at every SQL session mandatory, so 10:45 is a no brainer. The session "Use FileMaker Server to Help Stop Worldwide Robot Domination" sounds silly but it actually has a lot of promise. It focuses on having the database perform server side tasks after traditional business hours. However, the inability for server side scripts to run across multiple files is simply killing us. We have a keen interest in DocuBin but absolutely no interest in the other topics in 360Works 3:45 PM session. As much as I like and respect Ray Cologon, I have never seen the appeal to his approach to relationships and embrace a more anchor/buoy approach. Guerrilla User Research doesn’t really grab me either but perhaps it is the conference sleeper session (meaning the one underestimated but fantastic). There is one at every conference!


9:00 a.m. Surviving as an In-House Developer
10:45 a.m. Panel of Design Enthusiasts
2:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: FileMaker Integration with Other Technologies
3:45 p.m. Scripting for Portability
5:30 p.m. Closing Session

Comments: Logic dictates that I should attend the 9:00 a.m, Surviving as an In-House Developer session. However, I feel that I have a pretty good handle on the topics listed and keep looking at the Best Practice for Error Capture and User Abort session. The 10:45 AM sessions really do not grab me, so I imagine I may be wandering between them. I was interested in the Panel session until I saw that it was categorized for beginners. Ugh! The 2:00 PM sessions are just the opposite, all of them sound like they have potential! At 3:45PM, Scripting for Portability is an easy choice, even with stiff competition from Creating Great Interface Design Patterns for FileMaker Pro!