The first database many businesses build in FileMaker Pro is a contact management system. However, many companies later want to add a calendar and scheduling solution or integrate their existing one (such as Microsoft Outlook, Entourage, TeamAgenda, and so on) into FileMaker. Some workgroups have simpler needs and just want to have a calendar pop-up in FileMaker Pro whenever someone wants to enter data in a date field.
You can implement these types of solutions with various FileMaker-friendly products.
TeamAgenda Pro Group Scheduling Software
If you need a full-blown, cross-platform (even Mac OS X!) group scheduling solution that won’t break the bank and that can be easily integrated with your existing FileMaker Pro database system, consider TeamAgenda Pro from TeamSoft. It includes the following features:
Setting Up FileMaker Pro Integration
Fortunately, TeamAgenda’s standard install comes with all you need to get started integrating an existing FileMaker-based database system with TeamAgenda software.
TeamSoft uses a plug-in with two pieces. One piece is for use on the computer that has its TA Server software and FileMaker Pro installed; the other is for use on all user workstations where the FileMaker database system and TeamAgenda are accessed, to coordinate the syncing of a FileMaker database’s records with corresponding contact and calendar records in TeamAgenda. Once the plug-in is installed on your copy of FileMaker Pro, you (as developer) use a couple of FileMaker Pro “bridge” databases that TeamSoft provides and that sit between your existing FileMaker solution and TeamAgenda. All you need to do is to add a couple of fields and scripts that link your existing database solution into TeamAgenda using the bridge databases.
You should review the TeamAgenda FileMaker Pro Integration for Windows and Mac OS manual that comes with TeamAgenda for the details of hooking an existing
FileMaker solution in to TeamAgenda. Once it’s all set up you’ll be able to:
Workgroup-wide deployments of TeamAgenda take some time to set up, and a somewhat significant investment in software and hardware, especially if you’re using FileMaker Server. For instance, you’ll need a dedicated FileMaker Server computer, and a dedicated TA Server computer in addition to enough client licenses for everyone that will be using TeamAgenda (and additional licenses for everyone who wants this FileMaker-to-TeamAgenda linking). But if you need to integrate your FileMaker databases with your group calendaring software, this is probably the best solution.
Life $uccess Institute has built a great freestanding all-FileMaker group scheduling application called Schedula Professional (also known as SkedPro). It allows for many different calendar views, PDA integration, auto-sequencing of dates, reminders, and a built-in contact management system.
The Hive is a FileMaker-based group scheduling tool. It has an elegant interface, handheld integration, and powerful built-in project management tools (including a great Project Wizard that helps you set up a project quickly and consistently). It promises to offer Web integration too, soon.
Ascending Technologies offers two cool (Mac-only) calendar related products. Calendar Monster is a group scheduling suite that can quickly be integrated into your existing database system (or used as a stand-alone product). It has an awesome interface and many of the other features mentioned in other solutions. MiniCalendar is a little tool you can use when you want someone to enter a date in a date field by clicking that date on a graphical calendar instead of typing the date in manually. Cross-platform versions of both are promised.
Cleveland Consulting has an excellent and cheap calendar solution in FileMaker Pro that is designed to integrate quickly into an existing database system.
The great thing about this solution is the speed with which it allows you to integrate your existing solution. The author was showing projects from a project database on CC Calendar’s month view about five minutes after following the setbup instructions. CC Calendar can be downloaded free as a locked, light version, or purchased fully unlocked so that you can modify it. CC Calendar as well as Cleveland Consulting’s other FileMaker-based products are all well worth buying and can add a lot to your solution.
This is the first of two calendar plug-ins featured in this section. PopCal from Datamatic Software calls up a minicalendar to use for selecting a date or a range of dates in a date or text field.
Users will love it and welcome this quick and easy way of entering dates.
Calendar Popup Plug-In
The Calendar Popup Plug-in from Productive Computing offers even more features than PopCal. The interface for its pop-up calendars is beautiful on all platforms, and you can select from six different color schemes. Second, you can select a date from a mini month calendar, a year calendar, and two calendars (for date ranges). There’s also a pop-up for entering times, and the pop-up calendars can be displayed in six different languages (English, French German, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish. Swedish?!).
Here’s a look at its pop-up year calendar that you can select a date from:
Also check out Productive Computing’s Web-based multi-user calendar system that utilizes a FileMaker database system on the back end.
Datavations’ FMC-Calendar offers a way to link FileMaker data with a custom-built calendar application that can show your FileMaker-based data on a calendar in day, week, and month views that allow you to drag and drop of appointments (something you could never do in FileMaker alone. This solution is Windows-only.
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