Constructor - July/August 2014 - (Page 87)
FileMaker's Customization Beneﬁts
Contractors on the Go
BY DEBRA WOOD
AS BUSINESSES INCREASINGLY TURN to
mobile solutions to improve productivity,
they often find off-the-shelf software
lacks some of the functions needed. The
FileMaker Platform allows people to easily
create customized applications tailored to
meet their specific requirements.
"It has helped our business tremendously," says Matthew Byrtus, information technology director at Consolidated
Engineering Laboratories (CEL), a provider
of engineering and materials testing services in San Ramon, Calif., and a member
of AGC of California.
"Without FileMaker, we would not have
been able to tackle the projects we have
with the iPad," Byrtus adds. "It has added
layers and layers of mobility power to
An Apple subsidiary, FileMaker of Santa
Clara, Calif. recently released FileMaker
13, with enhancements and WebDirect,
allowing users to develop customized
solutions to share, without any software
development experience, says Eric
Jacobson, group product manager for client
technology with FileMaker. FileMaker
works on Macs and PCs and is designed to
support native iOS devices, such as an iPad.
CEL has built several applications in
FileMaker, starting with one for drivers to
map a route and more efﬁciently pick up
concrete cylinders for testing. After that
success, CEL developed a program that
would allow soil samples to be logged,
tested and billed within the FileMaker
application, which then would feed the
information to the company's enterprise
accounting system for billing.
"It closed revenue leakage in our soil
laboratory, by making it more efﬁcient and
increasing productivity," Byrtus says.
CEL also developed with FileMaker
an off-line syncing tool for inspectors to
access soil sample results.
"That application eliminated communication delays between the ﬁeld and the
lab," Byrtus says.
Most recently, CEL created a FileMaker
application that allows inspectors to
download all of the dispatches with form
templates. Once they complete the form,
the reports department can combine that
information into a single report that the
Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' work order form created on FileMaker.
@Constr uctor Ma g
customer can access. The application gives
the company the ability to produce the
report documents within 24 hours, rather
than the former standard of two weeks.
FileMaker automatically knows sizes
of different devices and adjusts the layout
accordingly. The most recent version
includes users to select from one of seven
new keyboards to match the type of data
being collected, such as a numeric keypad,
and will scan bar codes with no additional
FileMaker comes complete with
background themes and style sheets, so
headers will match from screen to screen.
Users can drag and drop elements into
"We've been very happy with the
customization options available in
FileMaker," Byrtus says.
FileMaker uses AES 256-bit encryption,
so web transmissions remain secure and
information is protected. A visual indicator
shows when a connection to the server is
secure and whether or not a third-party
certiﬁcate has validated the encryption.
FileMaker 13 for servers costs $29
per month, billed annually, and includes
WebDirect and unlimited copies of
FileMaker Pro. Concurrent connections
cost $25 for ﬁve licenses. FileMaker Go
for iPads is free. More than 1 million
people have downloaded the business
productivity application. The FileMaker
Training Series: Basics is free of charge
and The FileMaker Training Series:
Advanced is available at $19 for a PDF.
"The excitement and buzz around this
release has been wonderful," Jacobson
says. "People are excited about it."
5201 Patrick Henry Drive
Santa Clara, CA 95054
J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 4 | www.constructormagazine.com 87
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - July/August 2014
BIM: Where Is the Money?
Life Inside the Cone Zones
Cost-Effective Mobile Apps for Contractors
The AGC Alternative Cuts Cost and Burden of Health Insurance
Recipe for Success
Profiles in Synergy
Equipment Costs Down, Bottom Lines Up
Willis and AGC: Partners in Safety
2014 AGC/willis Construction Safety Excellence Award Winners
Recent Trends in State Laws Affecting Construction
A Contractor’s Perspective: Where Is Our Industry Headed?
Defying Gravity and All Odds
AGC in Action
Innovative Program Gives Job Seekers Virtual Experience in Highway Construction Careers
From Classroom to Construction
Opportunities Grow, but Contractors Find Challenges With Sureties
Member and Chapter News
Legislative and Regulatory News
The Ship in the Bottle and Other Bookish Tales
More Content On
2014 Regional Resource Guide - a Special Advertising Section
Index to Advertisers
Constructor - July/August 2014