Create device-agnostic HTML links for mapping data

We recently did a project where HTML emails were generated with a list of stops for a delivery route. During the testing phase, we found that creating map links across devices was not so simple.

Apple Maps Link

Apple’s iOS URL handler is maps: but the preferred method is to use https://maps.apple.com/ with the location data. If you use this URL instead, it will open in the Apple Maps app on iOS/macOS or redirect to Google Maps on Windows/Android.

To display a map for a specific address, you would use a link like <A href=”http://maps.apple.com/?address=1,Infinite+Loop,Cupertino,California”>Map</A>

To display a map with a given latitude and longitude, you would use a link like <A href=”http://maps.apple.com/?ll=50.894967,4.341626″>Map</A>

For more information on Apple Maps links, check out the Apple Developer Documentation.

Google Maps Link

Sometimes mobile users don’t like the Apple Maps application and would prefer to use Google Maps instead. On iOS, there is no way to set a default Maps application so the workaround is to use a universal URL, simpliar to the Apple Maps URL. If the Google Maps app is installed on iOS or Android, the link will open in the app, otherwise it will open the map in the default web brower.

To display a map for a specific address, you would use a link like <A href=”https://www.google.com/maps/search/?api=1&query=1,Infinite+Loop,Cupertino,California”>Map</A>

To display a map with a given latitude and longitude, you would use a link like <A href=”https://www.google.com/maps/search/?api=1&query=50.894967%2C4.341626″>Map</A>

For more information on Google Maps links, check out the Google Maps Platform Documentation.

Encoding

Note that all maps links should be properly URL encoded. Each mail application handles links differently and you must encode or you may face issues. If you are using Claris FileMaker Pro, a function like GetAsURLEncoded can be used to encode your link data.

Preferences are always nice

If possible, add a preference for each email recipient so that you can dynamically create the map link based on their desired map provider.

While our primary development efforts at NRG revolve around shipping and carrier APIs, we often assist other Claris developers with projects related to other APIs. Contact our sales department for more information on our custom development services.

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It’s time! InsureShield™ Shipping Insurance is NOW available!

InsureShield shipping insurance has you covered.  InsureShield shipping insurance from UPS Capital Insurance Agency, Inc, is now available in NRGship Pro for UPS and coming very soon to NRG Ship Connect for FileMaker. Now you won’t have to worry when a package is lost, damaged or taken by porch pirates – you can quickly take care of your customer and provide them with the exceptional customer experience they’re used to receiving. 

The claims experience is fast and easy!
You’ll now be able to submit and manage your claims right through the NRGship platform. And, most claims are paid in 4 days or less1 – leaving you and your customers happy. 

Watch a quick video on how to file a claim or visit our website to see how simple and easy claims are with InsureShield coverage. 

Protect your bottom line.  Select InsureShield shipping insurance to protect your shipments against loss and damage plus get these additional benefits:

  • Superior protection to carrier liability
  • Online claim filing 24/7
  • Fast claims with most claims paid in days, not weeks   
  • Pay as you ship and keep money in your pocket
  • Protection against porch piracy
  • Affordable  

The brighter side of shipping is finally here. Protect your margins, reputation and your time with InsureShield shipping insurance.  To take advantage upgrade and download NRGship Pro for UPS now. If you have questions about the coverage, you can email an InsureShield specialist at isconnect@ups.com.

Upgrade Now!

1   Figures are based on aggregate insurance claim payment data collected by UPS Capital Insurance Agency, Inc. during the period of four consecutive fiscal quarters ended March 31, 2021. Individual results may vary.

Insurance coverage is underwritten by an authorized insurance company and issued through licensed insurance producers, including UPS Capital Insurance Agency, Inc. (“UPSCIA”), a subsidiary of UPS Capital Corporation (“UPS Capital”). The insurance company, UPSCIA and its licensed affiliates reserve the right to change or cancel the program at any time. You may be offered the opportunity to insure eligible ship­ments under a policy of insurance (the “Policy”) issued: (i) directly to you; (ii) to UPS Capital; or (iii) to the sender/ publisher of this communication. Where the Policy is issued to UPS Capital or such sender/publisher, such Policy extends coverage to your eligible shipments, but you are neither an insured nor an additional insured under such Policy. In the event of a loss covered under such Policy, any resulting claim payment shall be directed to you as a loss payee. Where insurance coverage is made available through a third-party platform, details regarding the terms and conditions of that coverage is provided by UPSCIA. This information does not in any way alter or amend the terms, limitations or exclusions of the applica­ble Policy and is intended only as a brief summary. Insurance coverage is not available in all jurisdictions and coverage is governed by the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions set forth in the applicable Policy.

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Connect WordPress Ninja Forms to Claris FileMaker Pro

We recently saw a posting on a FaceBook group requesting some help with sending WordPress form data from Ninja Forms to Claris FileMaker Pro thru the Data API without the need for the paid add-on Ninja Forms Webhook plugin. Even with the Ninja Forms Webhook plugin, you’d still need server-side code that would take the form data and convert it into a format that could be used with the Data API.

Soliant Consulting has an article with code for FileMaker 17 but the poster had issue getting it to work with FileMaker 19.

FileMaker Webhooks

We’ve built FileMaker webhooks for a varity of needs in the past and have found that creating a generic table to accept data is an easy way to add future functionality without having to change a lot of PHP code. Processing of the data is then handled inside of FileMaker with common scripting.

We created a github project for this free Ninja Forms plugin in hopes that it will benefit other FileMaker Pro users.

This project consists of two parts – the first is a WordPress plugin that you modify for your FileMaker Server host, and then upload to your web server. The second part is a FileMaker database that accepts the submitted form data. Please consult the readme file that is included with the download for a walkthru of configuring the plugin.

Our Approach

In order to simplify submission of multiple forms, we take an approach where we use a simple table that has two basic fields – the form name, and the form data as JSON.

Sample form data

There is then a script, Process Webhook, that gets invoked and that can be used to parse out the data for other needs. For example, if the form_title value is “Contact Me” then the script could create an entry in a “To Do” database for a salesperson so that they make contact with the person who submitted the form. Using a common table also allows for business logic in the processing script – for example, you don’t want create duplicate records in your CRM or you may want to add some filtering for invalid data.

If you’re interested in hearing more about how NRG can help connect your FileMaker database with WordPress, please contact our sales department.

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Using ShipStation makes sense for some FileMaker users

We’re all about using the best tools for the job. While we use FileMaker for most of our day-to-day development needs, we also dabble with other technologies like MySQL, MS SQL Server, Xojo and PHP. The same can be said for enabling shipping functionality for our customers. ShipStation has a workflow where Orders from multiple soures are turned into shipments during the fulfillment process. This is very similar to how NRGship is can be integrated with other FileMaker databases, but there are instances where sending order data from FileMaker to ShipStation, or pulling order data from ShipStation to FileMaker make sense.

NRG’s multi-carrier Ship Connect supports over a dozen parcel and freight carriers across the US, Canada and Australia and can be integrated to your FileMaker database so you have labels printing in about 10 minutes. In addition, Ship Connect has integrations to many of the top ecommerce providers like Shopify, Big Commerce, Magento and Amazon so you can download orders directly into NRG. For most FileMaker users, NRGship is the most cost-effective option to add shipping functionality to your database.

Where ShipStation makes sense is if you have multiple sales channels and need to manage inventory between them. For example, ShipStation could be used to download orders from Amazon, WalMart and other sources but also take in internal order data from FileMaker Pro. Building out all of the API integrations into your FileMaker system and then maintaining them is a monumental task – no in-house developer wants to be taking on that development and maintenance, nor do they want to pay an outside developer to code and fix future problems at an hourly rate. Note also that ShipStation does not allow shipping FROM FileMaker. ShipStation is simply an order manager that allows you to fulfill orders thru the ShipStation interface – whereas NRGship offers a full feature set for address validation, rating, shipping, pickup requests and tracking in FileMaker.

Send Orders to ShipStation from FileMaker Pro

We recently did a project where the customer was already using ShipStation and didn’t want to spend the monies to upgrade their FileMaker application nor integrate their FileMaker system with multiple channels due to overall cost. With our 20+ years of experience building solutions that simplify workflow, we took an alternate approach to create a simple replacement for an existing NRGship integration which would push order data to ShipStation and pull back tracking data after shipment. We started by adding a Ship button script that calls the ShipStation API with order data so it’s in queue for fulfillment. We then built additional scripts to get order status along with associated shipments so that the user can invoke a refresh on the order, otherwise a scheduled server-side process updates records so that FileMaker shows the proper order status to internal staff. One caveat was that in order to create an Order in ShipStation, we had to add additional scripts to capture ID values from ShipStation for Carriers, Services and Stores so that we could populate the correct values when creating orders.

Sample: FileMaker Scripts for ShipStation Orders

Downloading Orders to FileMaker Pro from ShipStation

Another project we did pulls order data from ShipStation for fulfillment. This customer didn’t like the actual shipping workflow in ShipStation, but did like utilizing all of the eCommerce integrations that were built-in. To start, they had bene downloading CSV order data and importing into their order system as a manual process. For this customer we built a server-side script which periodically downloads any new orders from ShipStation and creates records in their FileMaker order entry system. Orders are then shipped thru NRGship for more finite control. After shipment, we then update the ShipStation order status and provide tracking data. ShipStation then facilities updating the eCommerce system to reflect the order status with no additional development effort.

If you’re interested in hearing more about how NRG can connect your FileMaker database with services like ShipStation, please contact our sales department.

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NRGship Pro for FedEx adds additional return options

NRG Software is excited to announced that NRGship Pro for FedEx now supports two additional return label options in additon to the existing print & return option.

The first option is FedEx Call Tags. When you submit a call tag request, a FedEx driver will be dispatched to pickup the package and provide a printed label for the package. With this option your customer does not have to have access to the internet or a printer as FedEx will provide the shipping label.

The second option is an Email Return Label. With email returns, your customer will receive an email with a link where they can print a label for the package. In addition, they can take the package to a FedEx shipping location like FedEx Office or Walgreens and show a barcode in the email and the location can print out the shipping label for them.

Please contact NRG Software if you need assistance in upgrading your application or integrating return labels with FileMaker Pro.

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