You can’t tell from their website, but FMPDX puts on some great meetings. Tonight’s presenter was Vincenzo Menanno of FM::Nexus, showing off the essential Inspector, as well as Dragon Web Surveys and Account Manager.
Great stuff, but the show-stopper for me was his new Web Services Plug-in. This thing gives your FileMaker solution direct access to all kinds of web services. E.g., eBay, Amazon, Google, Authorize.net, census data, shipping services and on and on. You can add a new web service by simply dropping a new WSDL file (Web Services Description Language) into the plug-in’s folder. The functions then show up as external functions in the FileMaker calculation dialog. It’s still in beta as of this writing, but should be released soon. What I saw of it looked very, very cool.
I highly encourage Portland-area FileMaker developers to attend these monthly meetings. In addition to great presenters, you get a chance to chat face to face with representatives from FileMaker, Inc. — tonight’s guests and pizza-patron was Phil Smith, your regional sales rep — as well as your peers. Good times.