5 Most popular features introduced in FileMaker 17

FileMaker 17 is launched with the purpose of letting the users do more without spending much time. The new version also works towards its goal of letting the users do more with the FileMaker platform while they are on the go. This article showcases some of the most popular features:

Redesigned Layouts – FileMaker 17 has got an improved layout design which is more user-friendly. The new version has got the Field tab, Object tab and the Inspector all in a single pane. The new layout is very much responsive. When you move from browse mode to layout mode, the selected panes will slide out automatically.

Layouts FileMaker 17

Sensor support – The new version of FileMaker enables mobile apps to collect data from IOS sensors on the iPad or iPhones. Data captured includes air pressure, location, barometer, accelerometer, battery level etc. The drag and drop function is introduced for sharing of files, photos, links etc between two apps.

FileMaker Admin Console – The new FileMaker admin console is made more responsive and has got a simpler User Interface. The main objective behind it is to enable hassle-free administration of the custom apps. You can now see a graphical representation of the system usage and get more control over the backups.

FileMaker Admin Console

FileMaker Data Migration tool – The Data Migration tool in FileMaker 17 helps in the fast deployment of custom apps. Earlier the migration of date from one FileMaker file to another used to take a lot of time. But now due to the data migration tool, a large amount of data can be migrated within a matter of few minutes or even seconds. This tool is available through the FileMaker Developer Subscription.

Starter apps – FileMaker Pro Advanced has made it easy for the non-developers community to jump-start their development of customized apps. The new platform has around half a dozen starter apps. All are designed to develop different categories of custom apps. They are – Assets, Contacts, Content management, Inventory, Meetings and Tasks. One can easily add fields or tables and customize the app according to the need.

Starter apps FileMaker 17

Wish to upgrade to the newer FileMaker 17 version or have any queries? Contact our team of Certified FileMaker Developers of MetaSys Software, who has more than a decade-long experience in handling FileMaker projects. Our team has garnered high customer satisfaction over our large customer base through effective deployment of projects using FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Server, CWP, PHP API and FileMaker Go. FileMaker development experience includes project management systems, e-commerce shopping sites, cruise booking systems and more.

P.S. FileMaker owns the product and MetaSys do not claim any ownership on the features.


Implementing OAuth in Custom FileMaker Application

This article is a continuation of the FileMaker OAuth 2.0 Authentication  Here we will show you how OAuth works with some sample code and how it can be used to log on to Custom FileMaker application.

Steps Involved-

  1. Configure FileMaker Server / Cloud
  2. Create Application and configure it on provider’s account
  3. Set up Groups or Accounts in FileMaker file

1. Configure FileMaker Server / Cloud

The first step to use OAuth is to enable External Authentication on FileMaker Server/Cloud.

Enabling EA on FileMaker Server: First, you need to login to Admin Console of FileMaker Server and then you can go to Database Server>>Security and in Client Authentication area select FileMaker and External Server Accounts and then enable the OAuth Providers.

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Enabling EA on FileMaker Cloud: In this case, you need to login to Admin Console of FileMaker Cloud and then you can go to Configuration>> Client Authentication, and from there you can enable OAuth Identity Providers.

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2. Create Application and configure it on provider’s account

Now that we have enabled OAuth Authentication next we have to Create OAuth Client ID Credentials on provider’s account.


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Microsoft Azure

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With Azure, we can also configure to log in with group

  • Create Group in Azure Active Directory
  • Add User to the GroupEnable Group Authentication in Application manifest (set “group membership claims”: “SecurityGroup”)

FileMaker OAuth 2.0 Authentication

In this article, we take a look and understand what is OAuth Authentication in FileMaker? With the release of FileMaker 16, users can log in to a FileMaker database using OAuth 2.0. A feature that will ease the lives of FileMaker developers and their client’s lives as well.

What is Authentication, External Authentication, and OAuth Authentication?


Authentication is the process of recognizing a user’s identity. In authentication, an incoming request is matched with a set of identifying credentials. In FileMaker, Authentication is done by verifying a pair of Username and Password.

Oauth Authentication

External Authentication

External Authentication means we are not using FileMaker’s authentication mechanism and using a third party to do the authentication. FileMaker accepts authentication with these external entities

  • Windows Active Directory
  • Apple Open Directory
  • Local Groups/Accounts on FileMaker Server OS
  • And now- New OAuth 2.0 Authentication

The advantages of using external authentication are-

  • Account Management: You can continue to manage accounts with an external provider and can use existing credentials to authenticate FileMaker users. This makes account management simple.
  • Authentication features: You can use other authentication features provided by authentication provider e.g. Two-Factor Authentication


OAuth Authentication

OAuth is an open protocol to allow secure authorization in a simple and standard method from web, mobile and desktop applications but without giving them the passwords. Companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter permit the users to login using their accounts with third-party applications or websites.

It allows access tokens to be issued to third-party clients by an authorization server, with the approval of the resource owner. The third party then uses the access token to access the protected resources hosted by the resource server.

OAuth Authentication process

OAuth Authentication in FileMaker

With the release of FileMaker 16, OAuth Authentication is available on FileMaker Server as an external authentication provider.

OAuth supported providers are

  • Amazon
  • Google
  • Microsoft Azure

OAuth Authentication through third party


  • The database must be hosted on FileMaker Server 16 or higher
  • Fully Qualified Domain with SSL Certificate Required

To use OAuth Authentication, we need to host the database on FileMaker Server 16 or higher which have a Fully Qualified Domain Name and SSL Certificate.

If you are interested in more details on implementation, please click here.


FM Quizillaa – An app way to get FileMaker 16 certified!

FileMaker 16 Certification enhances a developer’s credibility and provides an edge amongst peer programmers. Some clients insist on some tangible proof of your abilities. Whether you are a programmer with a full-time job or student learning FileMaker you still need to prepare yourself for FileMaker 16 Certification exam. MetaSys fulfills this need with FM Quizillaa.

Developers need a well-defined approach to prepare for the exam.  An ideal approach to study with the help of this app is by LEARNING – EXPERIENCING – PRACTICING.

Learning – One can learn about FileMaker 16 by:

  • Taking a class from FileMaker certified trainer
  • Going through the training series
  • Reading all the whitepapers released by FileMaker

Experiencing – After learning from the traditional channels, the next step is to experience the test in the real world. That is not possible unless a person actually gives the exam. FM Quizillaa helps the developers by giving them a real experience of giving the FM 16 certification exam. It follows the same format of questions and answers which are asked in the exam. FM Quizillaa has all the features of FM Quizilla 4 like iPhone/iPad compatibility, module wise tests, practice tests, social sharing, and a dashboard with historical analysis.

Practicing – Developers can practice by giving the test on iPhone or iPad anytime and anywhere. In the practice test, the user gets to attempt 65 random questions according to module weightage, similar to the actual FileMaker Certification exam. The FM 16 certification exam tests the individual’s overall knowledge of the FileMaker platform. The questions in FM Quizillaa cover all aspects like -building layouts, defining database schema, writing scripts, deployment, data integration etc.

Developers would enjoy the gamification element of the app where they can compete with their friends. With the social sharing function, they can tweet the test score to their friends and competitors. Mistakes are corrected along the way and lead to learning. Plus you can practice anywhere anytime!!

FM Quizillaa increases your confidence level while appearing for the FileMaker 16 Certification Exam the app can be downloaded from the app store.

Please note: FM Quizilla 4 users are entitled to a discount if they upgrade the app through In-App purchase to the latest FM Quizillaa.




What’s new in FileMaker 16?

FileMaker 16 will change the way how custom apps are built. The new version provides ample scope for the professional developers to try out new features. It also offers a lot of educational content in order to help the developers.

So what’s new in FileMaker 16? Some of the most important features in this platform are:

  • Better support with iBeacons – FileMaker 16 automatically looks for known beacons and it can also be used to set up geofences. In the earlier version, one had to actively scan them.
  • Login via multiple platforms – Historically, FileMaker allowed single sign-on authentication through Windows or Mac OS X. Now it is possible to log in to FileMaker through Google, Amazon or Microsoft Azure. FileMaker 16 supports ‘OAuth’ which allows integration with external cloud authentication providers.


  • Support for JSON – FileMaker 16 allows accessing JSON in FileMaker. This will help in sharing of data from non – FileMaker sites. It solves the major problem of passing data from different sources to FileMaker. The new version is trying to move closer towards the objective of reaching out to a phase wherein it will be easily possible for FileMaker to connect with other services and vice versa.
  • Look and feel – The new version of FileMaker allows single-document interface model which liberates itself from the application frame. This makes the app look as a part of Windows 10 platform.

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Another feature is ‘Card window’ which is basically without a window frame and a menu bar giving a more browser like experience.

  • Usability –All document Windows are independent of one another hence they can be placed anywhere on the monitor. There is information about all the functions available in the Specify Calculation Dialog Box. This box provides information about the specific function. Copy pasting value lists with standard keyboard functions in FileMaker Pro is now possible.
  • Lock icons – You can view the encryption information about your connection and host by clicking on the lock icon.
  • Improved layout Objects Window – With FileMaker 16, you can easily select, hide or name objects that are present on the current layout.
  • Scripting – You can run a specified script when an Ios device enters a specific region. One can also open the Launch Center for opening, creating and managing FileMaker applications. Some other scripting changes are:
    • The zoom and volume settings for video can be changed.
    • You can provide animations when users switch or move across layouts helping the user to visually orient himself which further enriches the mobile user experience.
    • An enhanced signature capture using transitions provides a great user experience.
    • With the Print Now function one can create PDFs in the web browser.

MetaSys Software develops custom applications using Dot Net, PHP-MySQL, and FileMaker Pro. We have a team of Certified FileMaker developers with over 12 years of experience building FileMaker applications.

As a FileMaker Business Alliance Member, we are also authorized resellers of FileMaker licenses. If you are looking to buy any of the FileMaker licenses then please click here.

Microsoft Technologies

SQL Server on Linux!? – Meet SQL Server 2017

Over the last decade, DATA is the NEW OIL. While the increasing amount of digitization has led to data exploding exponentially, several other factors have also contributed. The cost of data storage has dropped substantially; enterprises are unwilling to delete any of their data. DATA is now a Corporate Asset and archived NOT deleted.

In the “Always On-Line” world all the systems accumulate huge amounts of data in real time.   Analysts & experts want to analyze these mountains of data, popularly known as “Big Data”. The world today believes that in order to prosper and grow, they have to have the ability to “spot” emerging trends and patterns before they become mainstream.

This has led to a spectacular increase in the use of the Apache Hadoop Linux platform for Analytics. Data scientists across the world have been using this platform to manage and analyze “Big Data” since traditional SQL databases were not suitable in this environment.In the past, Microsoft provided interfaces to these technologies. To aid its own expansion and grab a market share in the emerging technologies Microsoft released R server for Hadoop & Linux and included R services starting with  SQL 2016. They are further fortifying this position with the launch of SQL 2017 RC1.

Microsoft has introduced SQL Server 2017 RC1 which supports Linux. Interestingly Microsoft has chosen to support Red Hat Server & Desktop, Suse Linux & Ubuntu Linux flavors which cover most of the current installations. SQL server 2017 supports Linux and Active Directory services authentication for both Windows & Linux domain clients, allowing authentication of users across different platforms.

SQL server 2017 includes analytics using built-in Python & R services! Microsoft has always focused on security. SQL server 2017 has TLS support so the data between SQL Server & clients can be always encrypted!

Some of the features are not supported in this release of SQL server as yet. You can find details of the Microsoft release notes here.

MetaSys Software has been delivering high performance and secure database solutions using legacy SQL server version and recent undertakings are on SQL server 2016. If you are looking for web or database solutions, please connect with us.


Software Testing

Security Testing

With the onset of the digital age, a few clicks have replaced many day to day activities -like going to a bank for transferring funds or going to a store to buy a dress or going to a cinema hall to buy tickets for your favorite blockbuster movie. All these can now be accomplished with a single click on a plethora of devices.

To stay in the game, businesses have to move into the digital world. With this arises the need to make sure that their web applications, e-commerce sites, banking applications are safe, secure and not vulnerable to being attacked by hackers friendly or otherwise.

Security testing plays a key role here; by helping an organization to identify vulnerabilities to any kind of security attacks. Thereafter corrective measures can be taken to address the gaps in security. Security testing is a type of testing to check whether an information system protects data from outsiders, unwanted intruders and maintains functionality as it was intended. Basic aspects that a system must comply and adhere to are:

  • Authentication: Only valid users are allowed to enter/log in the system.
  • Authorization: Only valid users are able to access the content or information they are trying to access.

For example – In a company; employee, manager, the administrator will have different access rights based on their role.

  • Availability: The software application should always be running so that information and services are available whenever needed.
  • Confidentiality: Here information and services are only shown when requested and that too only to the intended users.For example, employees financial information will be available only to the concerned finance team/head not everyone.
  • Integrity: This means that information is right and up to date.In Security Testing the Tester must design tests to cover all the above-mentioned aspects.

Types of Security Testing

  • Vulnerability scanning: Here the entire system under test is scanned to find loopholes and vulnerable signatures.
  • Penetration testing: Here the tester has to think like a hacker to destroy the system and is a sort of simulated hacker attack on the system from the outside
  • Ethical hacking: Attacking the system from within to find out security flaws is Ethical hacking.

Process Steps

  • Risk assessment: All the above tests are conducted and the flaws and vulnerabilities are identified. These risks are then classified as High, Medium and Low depending on certain aspects.
  • Fix the Issues: The issues are studied in detail and then fixed by the development team with high-Risk items given a higher priority.
  • Security Review: The entire cycle of testing and assessment is repeated. The frequency is determined by the organization based on the type of business and their perceived vulnerability to attacks. There is also a periodic review to check whether the security standards have been implemented properly. With the increased sophistication of hacker attacks, it is essential that security standards are upgraded to deal with the latest threats.

What do Security Testers need to test?

Some very basic guidelines in ensuring whether an application is secured or not are:

  • Passwords are always in encrypted form.
  • Browser back-forward buttons do not break the secure login process.
  • An unauthorized user is not able to access pages he is not authorized for. Sessions should time out after a specific time when a user is not active.
  • Invalid content should not get uploaded and should be disallowed.
  • Test with random data which is included in requests.
  • Test using random data which is included as parameters.
  • Test using encoded random data included as parameters.

Website Security Testing tools in the market:

There are a variety of security testing tools available in the market. A few of these are listed as below:

  • Vega
  • ZAP (ZED Attack Proxy)
  • Wapiti
  • BeEF (Browser Exploitation Framework)
  • Google Nogotofail
  • NTOSpider
  • Brakeman
  • SiteDigger
  • NMap (Network Mapper)
  • OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project)

Security testing must be started at an early stage to minimize defects and costs of maintaining the quality. It is a good practice to understand the security requirements for an application at the time of requirement gathering, this ensures that quality and security of the end product will be appropriate to the business need.

Security should be an integral part of the software application and is an important factor in winning customers trust and confidence.

MetaSys Software offers web application development using secured and robust technologies like.NET, PHP MySQL and/or FileMaker. If you are looking for any consultation on these technologies? Then please feel free to contact us.