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Plugins - All Daylite 6

Now that Daylite 5 support has ended at Marketcircle, as of last September 30, and most users have updated macOS to Sierra or High Sierra (on both of which Daylite 6 is the minimum compatible version), it is high time to migrate all custom plugins to Daylite 6. In most cases it is a simple matter of changing some housekeeping details in the Xcode project. On rare occasion, Daylite 6 reveals some out-of-date APIs in code, but these, too, are straightforward to fix.

More importantly, though, there are new capabilities in Daylite 6, so an update is a good time to look for ways to improve the plugin. After all, your business methods have probably changed a bit since the last release. Want to explore ideas? Contact us.

Group Calendars in Daylite 6

One of my longtime clients has always complained about Daylite’s lack of a group calendar. It is the one thing for which he has tended to “ding” Marketcircle. Sure, each user has always been able to see his own calendar or view everything permissible in another user’s calendar — but what if he wants instead to see all the events intended for department consumption, whoever created them, and only those events?

It turns out that this has been possible in one form for a long time (and I set it up for this client in Daylite 4 & 5): for example, create a special “Department” user purely for “attending” department appointments. On both Mac and iOS, Daylite could view the appointments to which the “Department” user was invited. The trouble was that this required buying a license for that user. Ouch!

How might it be done less expensively and still view these appointments within Daylite on both Mac and iOS? My friend Amin Rahmani at Marketcircle suggested an answer to me while we were exploring cost-saving alternatives in the lead up to a client's Daylite Cloud migration. The key point is that in Daylite 6 for iOS, it is now finally possible to view the calendars, not just of Daylite users, but also of Daylite resources.

Resources are meant for managing company property that has a usage schedule, such as a meeting room, a projector, or a Gulfstream G650ER. However, the way resources work is just what a group calendar also needs - and it is built into Daylite 6 for Mac and iOS. This it a seamless feature across all your Daylite 6 devices! You don’t have to buy any extra licenses!

How does one set up a group calendar with a resource in Daylite 6, you ask?

1. In Daylite Preferences go to the Resources pane.


2. Add a new resource. Name it something like “Marketing Department.” Give it a color, if you like. Explain the details of how and why to use it.

3. Go to the Daylite 6 sidebar and select My Calendar. Click the “+” in the bottom left corner. Select New Calendar Smart List.


4. Select the user whose calendar is to be shown: specifically use the resource Marketing Department.


5. Make sure to name and share your new calendar smart list with the appropriate Daylite Teams of Users.


6. Have members of the department add the new resource Marketing Department to each appointment that should go on the shared calendar.


7. Now you will see together in one Daylite Calendar view all the shared events for the department, no matter who owns them.


Someone recently asked me why he should upgrade from Daylite 5 to Daylite 6. Here is one more good reason. And remember that you can save money if you buy soon!

Here are some live links for you:

There is a Daylite 6 Self-Serve upgrade promotion going on for the next five days (until October 31, 2016), and loyalty pricing for Daylite 5 users who move up to a Daylite Cloud subscriptions been extended until December 31, 2016.

Daylite 5 Upgrade Promotion

Yesterday Marketcircle announced big savings on upgrades from Daylite 5 Self-Serve to Daylite 6 - both Self-Serve and Cloud!

There is limited-time upgrade promotion of 15% off to upgrade from Daylite 5 to Daylite 6 Self-Serve. Or you can upgrade from Daylite 5 to Daylite Cloud and get the Early Bird Discount Plan – a 29% discount. These promotional offers are valid until October 31, 2016.

If you are ready to learn more or move up to Daylite, just contact us here at Putah Creek Development, and we will help you get started.


Plugins for Creating Daylite 6 Contacts and Forms

One of the most popular ways to use a custom plugin in Daylite is to control data entry. The data then provides identifying information and configuration to set up what you need to run your projects and pursue opportunities with prospective customers. For example, consider the following window from an eldercare plugin. The application here is to register an elderly person looking for some form of supportive housing.


The plugin action defines a rich profile of the client and organizes the data input process by using a different tab for each kind of information.

Once the user has entered all available information and clicks “Create,” the plugin processes the inputs and commands Daylite to create linked People and a family (Organization), add contact information to the client or her personal representative, describe all the client’s relationships within and outside the family, and specify in Daylite Forms linked to the client all the prospective residents’ needs and the preferred timeframe for completing arrangements.

By adding other actions, such as profiling residential facilities, searching for a match, and issuing documents like availability queries and contracts, a plugin like this one can make Daylite a very business-specific tool, not just a very good general CRM system.

This kind of “front-end” plugin action supports many industries:

  • Sales companies
  • Regulated industrial facilities
  • Analytical laboratories
  • Capital placement and investment firms
  • Pet boarding and training facilities
  • Photographers
  • Specialized home services
  • Bed & Breakfasts
  • Real Estate Sales and Rentals Brokers
  • Attorneys

Please contact us with ideas for your company’s next Daylite plugin.

What Does Daylite 6 Need to Run on an iPhone or iPad?

As I promised at the end of yesterday’s blog post, today we will look at iOS and Daylite 6.

Minimum Requirements

Marketcircle’s requirement to run Daylite 6 for iPhone and iPad is stated simply: iPhone or iPad running iOS 9.x and higher.

What does that imply for you? First let’s look at the devices that will run iOS 9.x. Apple provides these model lists:

iPhone

iPhone 4s

iPhone 5

iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus


iPad

iPad 2

iPad 3rd generation, iPad 4th generation, iPad mini

iPad Air, iPad mini 2

iPad air 2, iPad mini 3

iPad mini 4, iPad Pro





iPod touch

iPod touch 5th generation

iPod touch 6th generation






So what devices should you use with Daylite 6? All the above meet the minimum requirements. But wait. There’s more!

Recommended Models and Management

There are capacity and performance considerations, if you are looking to the most out of Daylite 6.

1. Your database will need to be stored on your device. I find that about 32 MB plus 10% of the database size on Daylite Server should be reserved for Daylite 6 and its database on an iOS  device. This could range from about 50 MB up to 350 MB or more.

2. Daylite 6’s user interface needs good device speed, too. It helps you use Daylite 6 more efficiently by reducing interface lag time. There are main factors for this.

  • Buy a newer device - it will have faster CPU and graphics. A good rule of thumb is to avoid devices more than three years old.
  • Buy enough storage capacity - a 16 GB device will probably have too little. Choose 32 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB instead.
  • Be considerate with apps, media, and settings - all these take up room, and many require the device to perform tasks, so they slow it down. Reduce the number of apps and media titles. Computerworld (9/21/2015) recommends that you turn down or turn off system features like Transparency, Motion, Siri, and Background App Refresh.

3. Your wireless network circuits should support 802.11ac WiFi (and 3G transitional LTE on Cellular models) to help speed up every Daylite 6 and CardDAV sync. You will find these higher speeds only on the following models:

iPhone

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus

iPad

iPad air 2, iPad mini 4, iPad Pro

iPod touch

iPod touch 6th generation


Conclusion

So that’s it. For optimal performance of Daylite 6 over its lifetime on iPhone and iPad (and iPod touch), including network, I recommend that you choose one of the following:

iPhone 6s Plus with 64 GB

iPhone 6s with 64 GB

iPhone 6 Plus with 64 GB

iPhone 6 with 64 GB

iPad air 2 with 64 GB

iPad mini 4 with 64 GB

iPad Pro with 128 GB

iPod touch 6th generation with 32 GB

What Does Daylite 6 Need to Run on a Mac?

Daylite 6 is made for building the future. It puts heavy demands on the computers that run it. Today we examine the Mac. Tomorrow we will get to iOS devices.

Don’t expect Daylite 6 or Daylite Server Admin 6 to function on that old iMac from 2006. Even Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) does not support everything it has to do. And memory? You won’t get by with 1GB.

So what does Daylite 6 need on a Mac? 

About This Mac 2015-12-05 at 10.52.52 AM

Copyright © 2015 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.

1. Let’s start with the operating system.

OS X 10.0.x (Yosemite), which came out in late 2014 is the earliest that will support it on the Mac. Naturally, you can also run it on the latest version, OS X 10.11.x (El Capitan).

DL6macset blog

2. What about hardware? Only fully 64-bit Macs can run Yosemite. Here is a list of models that should get you started.

  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, Early 2009, or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

These will run Yosemite and El Capitan, and the newer ones (say, 2013 and up) can be expected to support another OS X version or two.

3. How fast must the clock run?

An Intel Core 2 Duo processor running at a 2.0 GHz clock is the slowest Daylite 6 will tolerate - for now. Daylite tends to add new capabilities within a major version, and your own database will tend to grow, so its need for speed will also grow. What you really should shoot for is a recent Mac model, which will have a faster processor and chipset. Adequate clock rate generally comes automatically, if you do that. The numerical clock rate by itself means little - the industry has been putting out chips that run between 2 and 3 GHz for a decade. However, if there are two or more clock rates offered on the same processor, try to buy at least one step up from the slowest.

4. How much RAM should be installed in a Mac that runs Daylite 6 or Daylite Server Admin 6?

RAM (random-access memory) chips are the scratchpad for immediate use by software like Daylite. The more you install, the less a big app will use the slower alternative - your hard disk or SSD.

The minimum RAM that Marketcircle requires for Daylite 6 is 2 GB. My observation is that even on one of the two oldest qualifying Mac models, a Mid 2007 MacBook Pro with a Core 2 Duo running at a 2.4 GHz clock, 3 GB of RAM and an aftermarket SSD, 2  GB would be adequate. The memory usage of this computer while running El Capitan, Daylite 6, Safari, Mail, and a video conversion app never rises above about 1.7 GB. However, if you use a newer, hyper-threading, multicore Mac, it will generally make productive use of more RAM. For example, consider my work Mac, which is a MacBook Air (Mid 2013) with a Core i7 (dual core), 8 GB of RAM, and a 500GB SSD. The memory usage stays between 4.8 and 5.3 GB when I load it up: Daylite 6, Mail, Safari streaming Netflix, Xcode, Adobe Reader, and Sandvox.

So if you are checking a Mac for its ability to run Daylite 6, I would advise going to at least 4 GB RAM, and preferably 8 GB. Remember that you cannot upgrade RAM later in many newer Macs, since the chips are often soldered permanently to the logic board, so choose wisely at initial purchase.

So what about RAM for Daylite Server Admin 6 for those who Self-serve? The considerations and observations above still apply. Marketcircle doubles their RAM requirement figure to 4 GB. Remember that the server has to manage images for multiple Daylite clients, handle database backups, and communicate with the various CalDAV and CardDAV subscribers. Since you can also run Daylite on the same Mac, you should add another 1 GB or so for it. Therefore, I would advise boosting your Mac’s memory capacity to improve performance: 8 GB or even more will help a lot.

5. Finally, Marketcircle says that your display must  have a resolution of at least 1200 pixels (horizontal) by 800 pixels (vertical). Frankly, it would be hard to meet the other specs and fail to meet this one. I would take it higher again, but this time it is your own performance that improves: More screen real estate = More awareness and flexibility for you.

Remember, next time we will look at the iOS devices - iPhones and iPads.

Daylite 6 is Here - What has Changed?

According to Alykhan “AJ" Jetha, Marketcircle’s CEO, “It’s a big day for us!”

Daylite 6 has been released today, December 1. Throughout the day more and more information about the product will be appearing. Web pages are under test, blog posts are being written, emails to customers are going out, and the iOS App Store begins to list Daylite 6.

 Most of you will want to know what is going on. In this post I will give you my take on the biggest news.

Daylite now has a Cloud service.

Many users feel uneasy managing their own networks and servers. Many Daylite users have small operations that can ill afford a second computer. Some of these have been running Daylite Server on their laptops, though it isolates the server from iOS devices and additional users. This is no longer necessary. Marketcircle has established a robust Cloud server and is starting today to take requests for hosting on it. One caveat: for now the size limit for hosting is a database under 1GB. All others must continue to use the “Self-Serve” option with Daylite Server Admin on a host Mac. There is much more under the hood, but you don’t want to know that much on the first day.

Daylite Client is now Encrypted

Daylite has always encrypted its network traffic. Now, replacing the local database management system from postgres to encrypted SQLite, it protects your local copy of the Daylite database. This is part of leveraging Apple’s sandbox security system. Malicious users and software will now have an even harder time accessing your data than before!

Daylite Features Continue to Expand

There are tons of new features in Daylite 6. Most improve the usefulness and appearance of the interface, but there is a short list of important enhancements I will brief describe here:

  • Task Lists - A new layer of organization between objectives and tasks. Each Opportunity or Project can accommodate as many as you want.
  • Year Calendar View - An interactive color-coded overview of your entire year! Every day can be viewed separately by double-clicking it.
  • Sidebar Mini Calendar - A subset of the Year Calendar in the sidebar, visible for every object. Drag & drop a task or appointment to a date.
  • Faster Task Editing - The view is now List and Details. Always in Edit mode, it saves clicks. Tabbing after task-selecting jumps to task details.
  • Basic Filtering on iOS - Projects & Opportunities filter on Category, Keywords & Status. Contacts on Category, Keywords, First Name & Last.
  • Classification Preferences Editing on iOS - Now there is powerful, dynamic control over database customization - on iOS!

There is much more, and I will write about it in future posts, but this should whet your appetite. If you are ready to learn more or move up to Daylite, just contact us here at Putah Creek Development, and we will help you get started.

Something New is Coming!

I wish I could say more. For now I have to type about it and wait until Tuesday to show it to you.


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