Christchurch developer adds Web 2.0 to FileMaker

Plug-in comes with ready-made widgets

With 12 developers in-house, Christchurch software developer Digital Fusion is the largest FileMaker custom software development company in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the company. Eight of the 12 are certified FileMaker developers.

Digital Fusion’s FileMaker Pro plug-in, Reactor, recently won the Solution of the Year award at the international FileMaker Developers Conference, held in Phoenix, Arizona.

Reactor, a plug-in for the database system, seamlessly integrates Web 2.0 features into FileMaker Pro databases, allowing users to leverage various web technologies, such as charts, interactive graphs, calendars or other widgets, in their solutions, says Digital Fusion’s chief executive, Craig Saunders.

Drag-and-drop functionality, slider controls, dynamic buttons and pop-up menus are other features that can also be built into the interface.

The plug-in comes with ready-made widgets, for example, a Gantt chart, Day Calendar and Live Search features. Users can also add ready-made open source controls, available on the internet, or they can create their own widgets, says Saunders.

By providing these control tools to database developers, Reactor is mainly a time and cost saver, he says.

One of the things the company has focused on is simplifying its software, making it quicker to implement, says Saunders. The company has reduced the number of options users have to choose from, providing “all the things you need, but no more”, he says.

The tool has been in development for two years. Digital Fusion’s developers initially created it as a tool for themselves, but then saw the demand for it among clients. The plug-in was first released in August last year but since then the developers have done a lot of work aimed at making it easier to use, says Saunders. The ready-made widgets can be used straight away and so seems to have hit the sweet spot in the market, he adds.

Digital Fusion’s clients are mostly in New Zealand and Australia, but the company has also signed up a few US clients. A Hollywood company, for example, uses the company’s customised software to help put film shots in the right order, says Saunders. While it specialises in FileMaker, Digital Fusion also develops web applications using PHP and MySQL.

The company recently became a Platinum member of the FileMaker Business Alliance, says Saunders.

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Tags open sourceWeb 2.0filemakerDevelopment IDdigital fusionplug-in

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