DevCon 2009 Day 2

After last nights celebrations I think we were all a little tired in the morning, but there were too many good sessions to miss.

The main highlights for day two for me were ‘Web Services with FileMaker Pro‘ by Jesse Barnum and Matt O’Dells session on ‘Performance Monitoring with FileMaker Server’.

Web Services with FileMaker Pro
In this session Jesse covered the several plug-ins that allow you to work with 3rd party web services, many of which are either free or commercially available online for anyone to use. These web services are based on WSDL (Web Service Description Language) and are accessed online. Some of the many services available allow you to do the following: address look-up, SMS and voice messaging, payment processing or just grabbing a list of public holidays. If you just want to use some of the more useful services without the need to learn new languages you should take a look at the FREE plug-in from 360 works ScriptMaster that can offer Encryption, QuickTime frame grabbing, get file data and URL decode to name a few. For those who really want to get into working with the WSDL format and/or linking with SOAP then take a look at the Web Services plug-in from Beezwax, Web Services Manager from 360 works or SmartPill PHP from Scodigo.

FileMaker Server Configuration: Performance Monitoring
Matt O’Dell from FileMaker Inc. covered the different ways to monitor your FileMaker Server to help configure it to get the best possible performance. There are several free monitoring tools across Windows and Macintosh that can help you do this. On Windows the Performance Monitor that is built into the Operating System offers excellent features, which have now been expanded upon in Windows Server 2008. On the Macintosh you have the Activity Monitor, Big Top or for the brave a command line tool called SAR built into Unix. All those tools aside Matt then showed us how to grab the server log and import that into a FileMaker database to monitor the server over an extended period of time. With Shell Scripts and FMS10 scripts to import data this can be totally automated. Once your log is in FileMaker you can sort and search on it in any way you wish and even produce charts to help view the performance through time.

Evening Social
The evening saw us all taken over to the water front were we boarded the San Francisco Belle, a wonderful boat designed in the old steamboat style, with three decks, each hosting different entertainment. After dinner was served we had the choice of a DJ and dance floor on the top deck, live jazz band on the middle deck or casino on the bottom deck. Of course the money at the casino wasn’t real which made for a fun evening of wild gambling on the roulette and blackjack tables. Yousaf Shah even broke the bank at one point (remind me not to play cards with him 🙂 ), who we also have to thank for the photos below. It was a great night, that could have gone on longer but unfortunately we had dock and de-board far too early.

San Francisco Belle
San Francisco Belle
Casino Floor and Dinner
Casino Floor and Dinner
The UK Crew
The UK Crew
Paul de Hallé

Paul de Hallé

Paul de Hallé is the CEO and founder of Linear Blue, having set up the company in 1999 to focus on intuitive database solutions and web integration. Paul is a FileMaker Certified developer; and has also been a key player in the implementation of the FileMaker Certification program since it's inception with FileMaker 7. A regular guest speaker at FileMaker Business Alliance & Technet meetings in the UK and the FileMaker Developers Conference in the USA, along with contributing to various technical publications around the world.

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