BETTER FileMaker: Advanced Methods

presented by
Albert Harum-Alvarez SmallCo.
David Head
Ray Cologon
Nightwing Enterprises

This is a unique opportunity to gain insights from three world-class FileMaker trainers. For one time only, you will learn practical skills around development, design and methodology of a FileMaker developer.

The sessions begin with the concepts and skills around connecting your FileMaker solutions to the world through APIs. Then we move onto ideas and concrete terminology around types of lists, APIs and bug fixes that will give you new ways to classify and clarify your work. And then we delve into innovative approaches to scalability, performance and connectivity with FileMaker development. We wrap all this together with an open panel conversation.

After these two days, you will certainly view your FileMaker development with new eyes, and develop with more clarity and forethought for better solutions.

The course is strictly limited to twenty (20) attendees.
This course will not be repeated.
Book your place now to avoid MOOF (missing out on FileMaker).

Course Location:
Novotel Sydney Central
169-179 Thomas St, Sydney, NSW 2000
Spring Cove Room (take elevator down to lower ground floor)

Course Cost:
$AU1200 (ex GST) per person

Book Online


The course will run over two days – Monday, 28 October and Tuesday, 29 October.
Each day will start at 8:30am and conclude at 5:00pm.

Monday, 28 October

0830 Arrival – coffee/tea provided, get set up with own laptop
0845 Welcome introductions from your presenters
0900 Morning Session – Connecting FileMaker to the World through APIs
1030 Morning break (15 min)
1230 Lunch Break
1330 Afternoon Session – A Call To Stronger Typing: Lists, APIs and Bug Fixes
1500 Afternoon break (15 min)
1700 End of Day

Tuesday, 29 October

0830 Arrival – coffee/tea provided, get set up
0845 Quick review of first day, outline of second day
0900 Morning Session – FileMaker Models for System Architecture and System Scalability
1030 Morning tea break (15 min)
1230 Lunch Break
1330 Afternoon Session – Plenary Session and Panel Conversation
1500 Afternoon break (15 min)
1700 End of Day

Book Online

The Sessions

David Head
Connecting FileMaker to the World through APIs

It is really a very connected world. And your FileMaker solution can and should be part of that. Rather than reinventing the wheel, use various services for what they are good at, and integrate them into your custom solutions. The API (application programming interface) is a standard connection between systems allowing data to be transferred back and forth.

In this session, you will learn:

  • the role of OAuth and JSON in API connections
  • how to connect from FileMaker to an API to authenticate your session, and then send requests and get responses
  • how to use native FileMaker functions to parse JSON into your records and write JSON out to external services

You will get the most out of this session if you have read a little about JSON and viewed the documentation for a couple of public APIs. Recommended prior reading:

Albert Harum-Alvarez
A Call To Stronger Typing: Lists, APIs and Bug Fixes

Tighten up fuzzy thinking with three sets of precision terminology that are useful and completely NOT obscure. After you hear Albert’s simple types for Lists, APIs and bug fixes, you will see your work with new eyes!

In this session, you will:

  • learn which type of List almost always pairs with a Detail view, and the three that nearly NEVER do.
  • understand why “All APIs are not created equal,” and learn how to construct your integrations for modularity and resilience
  • see three different API ETLs at work! Impress folks with all your new TLAs [Three Letter Acronyms].
  • classify your bug fix strategies, and learn to grade them from Best to Worst.

Attendees will do best with advanced coding experience. Recommended reading:

Ray Cologon
FileMaker Models for System Architecture and System Scalability

Extending our thinking beyond the familiar paradigms of FileMaker development reveals new strategies to expand the scope of the platform and to improve performance of new and existing systems. This session will explore options for data, file and system architectures and will provide a hands on example of an alternative approach to data analysis and reporting that may revolutionise your approach.

In this session, you will:

  • understand the available options for system design, and the differences between data, file and system architecture
  • explore innovative approaches to achieving performance, scalability and connectivity with the FileMaker platform
  • appreciate crucial distinctions between the FileMaker platform and other industry standard technologies – and when and how to leverage them
  • learn an alternative approach to reporting and summary data that will open new doors for you

Before this session, attendees are encouraged to:

Trainer Panel
Plenary Session and Panel Conversation

This session will draw everything together from the course content. It is an opportunity to review and consolidate material from each of the sessions, to explore implications and interconnections between the ideas presented, and to consider alternative approaches and viewpoints.

This session will be a free-form dialog between the participants and presenters, allowing deeper insight into the wealth of material under discussion. Your trainers will lead a conversation to challenge your thinking about how you approach and develop your FileMaker solutions. It is your opportunity to get deeper insight into the wealth of material presented and to gain clarity about how to apply concepts in your development practices.

To get the most out of this session you should be prepared with questions from previous sessions.

Book Online

Your Trainers

David Head

Solution Architect & Trainer, uLearnIT

David is a FileMaker veteran having started with FileMaker II back in 1989 (when it was a Claris product!). He has built hundreds of custom solutions for businesses and government organisations, and for personal use (including his own wedding planner for organising guest invitations and seating).

uLearnIT [ ] offers custom FileMaker development services, and training for all levels of FileMaker developer. David is a FileMaker Certified Developer and qualified teacher. He is adept at presenting abstract and technical concepts in a way that is easily understood.

Albert Harum-Alvarez

Designer, SmallCo.

Albert’s clients at SmallCo. [ ] include big and small companies around the world, including Apple, Claris/FileMaker[yes, both!], Harvard University, Cork University, Ivoclar Vivadent, Radio 7, Tupperware, Armstrong Ceilings, BNP Paribas Investment Bank, Fidelity Investments, The New York Public Library & SFMOMA. 

Albert has taught his DESIGN Masterclass [ ] in dozens of cities on four continents over 19 years. 

Albert and his family built their own home, a house with an electricity bill that is below zero and a site whose landscape is a giant carbon sequestration project. His home follows many of the same design principles as his software.

Ray Cologon

Director of Development, NightWing Enterprises Pty Ltd

Ray is an internationally recognised developer and author, winner of a FileMaker (now Claris) International award for Leadership and Technical Development with the FileMaker platform and presenter of FileMaker Master Classes in Australia, Japan, Europe and the USA.

Ray’s creative work includes FileMaker innovation as well as design, the creative arts and music. He brings these and also extensive business experience and his depth of knowledge and insight in education and psychometrics to his work with the FileMaker platform and his contributions to the FileMaker community.

As the creator of over a hundred ground-breaking demo files and techniques for FileMaker developers, and drawing on decades of experience with the platform, Ray offers a unique level of insight, experience and innovation.