1. Can I access the data in SUNRISE Contacts on a secure web page of my choosing?
Yes, you can. Once you have established a secure web server (using a combination of https and a VPN), you have to use Apple's own FileMaker Server 16 or higher to access SUNRISE Contacts. At more than $1,000 and a monthly or per user subscription fee, it isn't exactly the most cost-effective solution (1) for the average consumer. Businesses? Well, that is another matter altogether, and only if there is a guaranteed profit from taking on this "bleed me financially dry" approach.
Stop press! There is a cheaper approach, to be discussed later in this page. In the meantime, there is a free way to get multiple users (i.e., a family) and not just small companies to access SUNRISE Contacts.
2. Can I use SUNRISE Contacts on an iOS device?
Yes. In fact, almost immediately after the move by Apple to remove the free web publishing feature in the standard FileMaker Pro app, the company quickly introduced the much cheaper option (actually, it is free): of running your databases on any number of iOS and Android devices! However, there is one tiny catch. Apple can technically gather data coming out of a FileMaker Pro database. Better still, use our PC version of SUNRISE Contacts and run it on your combo laptop/tablet device, and enjoy the full power from the plug-ins we supply as standard (including high-level encryption). But remember, any data you wish to transfer from your PC to Mac users will be noticed by the Apple servers. So it isn't a perfect and most secure solution. It is a kind of compromise. Your only option here is to encrypt your data (2).
The power of encrypting data
The availability of encryption technologies is considered a major problem for governments and law enforcement agencies and has been classified as a weapon by those who feel entitled to look at everything you do, and that includes all your personal and business confidential data.
As of June 2018, Australian, French and some American (e.g., the FBI) law enforcement agencies are trying to force Apple and other major commercial software companies to provide some kind of a secret backdoor to their encryption technologies as an easier means of accessing your data. This means that once the data in certain lower quality FileMaker Pro databases or other software tools goes through the Apple servers, encrypted or not (which is easy to do, such as sending and receiving emails or copying/pasting data within the database), there is a high probability some people you don't know, including the software companies offering the encryption technology, can still read your data from the servers.
As of 3 June 2018, the Chinese government is seeing a major advantage in this backdoor approach. In particular, it likes to see this method applied to all software so it can control its own population knowing the effective power digital data can provide over networks. And it is done under the umbrella of Anti-terrorism laws. It does not matter if you have sensitive business confidential or personal information and you are definitely not involved in illegal activity. The burden is going to be on you (with the help of software developers and vendors) to prove you have nothing illegal to hide.
About our encryption technology
Our encryption is not based on Apple or other big software companies' tools. We are independent, and have no intentions to provide "backdoor solutions" to our encryption. Any attempts to do so would only compromise your security and privacy and can render the internet useless for economic purposes, such as consumers purchasing online with their credit cards. This is particularly true should any "backdoor solutions" get accidentally leaked onto the internet for hackers and organised crime syndicates to exploit.
Should some authorities still feel worried about not knowing what is happening in the community because people are using these encryption technologies, the only effective long-term solution to the problems arising from those few selected individuals and/or groups who may cause trouble for authorities is simply this:
- Start a new world order.
- Establish a minimum wage for all.
- Provide a safe place to live and grow.
- Provide free education for all.
- Give extra rewards to people who provide brilliant new ideas that work in reality and will solve any problems people will have.
Or, to sum it up, show true love for one another. If the current system does not provide it, then change it.
3. Can I use this product on any portable tablet?
Yes you can, and generally this is a reasonably secure approach. However, beware that if you are on the internet with your iOS device for any length of time, Apple can still quietly push the information held on your mobile devices through its own servers, including any data that comes out of SUNRISE Contacts or other FileMaker Pro databases.
Should you choose this option, we recommend that you run our PC version of SUNRISE Contacts straight out-of-the-box on an Intel-based combo PC/tablet (such as Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro or other similar machines) running Windows 7 or higher, and then you can benefit from a more secure solution and gain the full features, including all our plug-ins (which include encryption) and those from third-party plug-in developers. If you intend to use FileMaker Server 16 running on your own server machine to transfer data over the internet to your portable PC device, always use a VPN with encryption service.
Too expensive to buy FileMaker Server 16? We hear your pain. That is why we think it is better to find a trusted third-party FileMaker Server hosting solution for a minimal monthly charge (usually around AUD$59.95). Remember, Apple's decision to stop Web Publishing of FileMaker databases in a free manner on your own machine and with the company's choice of a different processor for its iOS devices (which will naturally disable our plug-ins) means you must use our PC version to get the full power and decide whether paying for a FileMaker Server 16 hosting solution is essential for your line of work.
4. Can I use SUNRISE Contacts with Cloud services?
SUNRISE Contacts and the Cloud (i.e., a place to host your databases on online servers) are a match made in heaven. Our recommendations for good FileMaker Server 16 web hosting (3) are:
As Carl Horton said: "Our FileMaker 16 Dedicated Database Hosting service starts with a 15 day free trial and can host up to 125 databases.". After the trial period, it costs $59.95 per month. (4)
- Foxtail Technology
Comes with a 30-day trial. Costs US$50.00 per month for shared hosting of 5 FileMaker databases, or US$100.00 per month for 10 FileMaker databases. These people will soon be offering FileMaker Server 16.
These web hosting services do not require that you purchase your own FileMaker Server 16 license key from Apple, Inc.
If you intend to host SUNRISE Contacts within your organisation or at home for a long time, the most cost-effective and secure long-term solution is to buy a perpetual license of FileMaker Server (roughly three times the cost of a yearly subscription) and purchase a cheap second-hand Mac or cheaper PC of reasonable speed to act as the server to run FileMaker Server and host the databases. Then all you need is IT support to set it all up, which should be a one time labour fee of around US$150 (if the support is good and experienced with FileMaker Server, it should be done in a little over one hour). If maximum security is not absolutely critical, hosting will not be long-term, and/or you prefer to pay-as-you-go (with the advantage of upgrading to a new FileMaker Server in 12 months time), not to mention all IT-related problems associated with the server hardware (if they occur) and software are handled by others outside the organisation at no cost to you, a yearly (or monthly, but don't choose an hourly) subscription and running FileMaker Cloud on the data centers at Amazon.com is perfectly fine.
5. Why do I see a Mac message on first launching SUNRISE Contacts suggesting that the software could be unsafe?
Are you seeing the following dreaded message on your Mac computer?
Welcome to the strange world of the macOS ecosystem created by Apple.
Don't worry. This is seen by Apple as an allegedly normal notification introduced since OS X Mountain Lion. It is there to let you or more notably the Mac novices know that Apple has not checked SUNRISE Contacts for malware and is unaware that we are a trusted software developer. This is not a problem. Our software has been checked against the world's best antivirus tools. These include VirusTotal.com and Kaspersky Anti-Virus. If these tools cannot find viruses or other malware in our software, neither will Apple. Furthermore, if your own anti-virus software on your Mac can't pick up a malware in our software, you can be assured SUNRISE Contacts is safe. If you don't believe us, we offer a free license key to anyone who can find a virus or other malware in our software. And you can benefit from a cleaner software once we address the malware.
For the safest copy of our software, you should only download it from our web site. If you do, the exact file sizes for version 4.2.7 should be:
Mac (sunrisecontacts2018.dmg): 222,829,426 bytes
PC (sunrisecontacts2018.zip): 232,130,983 bytes
Use Get Info to confirm the size of the download file. In addition to this, when you open the DMG file containing our Mac version of SUNRISE Contacts 2018, it will be verified on your system. Any unexpected changes to the DMG file will stop the DMG from being opened and will be described as corrupted or unrecognised. Only the original version of our DMG file will be fully verified and open safely.
As for us being described as an "unidentified developer", this is our choice. We don't think it is worth spending US$99 a year to Apple just to let them know we exist and to stop an annoying GateKeeper message. Mac users are intelligent people. They will know where to find good quality and safe software. Still, Apple remains unconvinced about your ability to make such reasonable decisions (or more likely it is to control software piracy by forcing all users to purchase software from the company's dedicated Mac App Store, or MAS for short). As a result of this lack of confidence in Mac users, Apple has decided it is in the best interest for all Mac users not to consider running a wider range of high quality software outside the Mac App Store (MAS). And to make sure of it, in the most recent macOS versions (namely Sierra and High Sierra), there is apparently no option to select "Anywhere" in the Security preference pane to stop the nagging message.
This kind of condescending behaviour from the company on all Mac users is certainly unnecessary and is not a good look for the company. It is like having a virtual Nanny watching over you all the time because it thinks you are forever a child with the inability to think on your own. This might be fine for novices of the Mac platform with absolutely no knowledge of computers and the internet. However, for more experienced users, Apple is doing far too much to restrict people from making their own reasonable decisions.
Apart from dealing with software piracy, the other reason is to give Apple a slice of the profits made by developers for any Mac apps they create and sell. Apple only has to offer a web site to advertise the apps and developers must pay for the privilege. The only problem is, these developers must choose to let Apple display their products on its MAS. And the way the OS has been designed, it effectively forces developer to pay $99 to Apple just to join the developer's club established by Apple. The word "forced" is not too strong to describe this situation. Many novice Mac users are becoming unaware that they do not have to buy software from the MAS. The OS is forcing the Mac users to see the MAS as the only way to buy software, thereby stifling competition and the opportunity for more competitive prices outside the MAS. Basically the company is trying to monopolise the Mac software market by making sure it is too hard for developers who do not want to join Apple's developer club to install their software on other people's Macs thanks to the way macOS has been designed.
This is remarkably similar to how iPhone users are being forced to purchase iOS apps from the MAS. The only slight difference is that the U.S. Supreme Court has recently (June 2018) ruled against Apple's claim that it is doing nothing illegal in creating its own closed system of Mac software apps and only the developers control and decide on the price. The reality is, developers have no choice but to be on the MAS because iPhone users are forced to go on the MAS to find all their apps and Apple provides no easy way for users to put apps on iPhones for those developers wishing to set up their own storefront and sell apps outside the MAS. The MAS is no longer a storefront where iPhone users can check the apps and prices and later shop around elsewhere for the best price. The company is effectively telling developers how to sell and acting as a monopoly by getting all Mac software to be sold on the MAS and no where else. And with this move, Apple takes a sizeable share of the profits from developers for the privilege of being on the MAS.
But it isn't just money and monopolising the Mac software market that Apple is seeking.
As certain developers have discovered, even if they pay their annual subscription fees to Apple to receive a code signing certificate to put into our software, Apple can easily delay and choose to deny certain software from being sold on its online store. We see this with our software through the interesting anti-competitive practices the company has applied to reduce the success of competitor's products, undermining our price for instance, using its marketing power and brand awareness to get its own cheaper competitive product (i.e., Bento) out to users, adding bugs to FileMaker Pro with no aim to fix them even when notified over the years of those bugs and so make it harder for developers to offer alternative and well-designed and workable products, and to force FileMaker developers to move onto the latest macOS by controlling where FileMaker Pro can be run because it wants to gather details of all developers through its servers. Given the considerable effort by Apple to reduce competition in the Mac versions of certain CRMs by third-party developers (because Apple wants Mac users to use the company's preferred contacts.app supplied with macOS and iOS), it would not be too surprising if Apple finds a way to affect the success of some developers in selling their products even if they pay the subscription costs to go on the MAS.
In a sense, it would be seen as a waste of money.
Consequently, there is a divide in the Mac developers' sphere. On one side we have those developers who choose MAS and follow Apple's rules based on the way the iOS and macOS are designed to force ordinary Mac users (mainly those who are not sure where to buy software and are somewhat described as "novices" in using the Mac) to use only the MAS for all their software needs. And on the other side are those who sell independently and provide tools/advice to Mac users on how to run a wider range of Mac software on their computers, just to give them the choice. But for the latter group of people, there will always be at a distinct disadvantage in selling their software on macOS computers.
At the end of the day, it should be up to you to decide which software to use, and to apply common sense techniques to the situation of deciding what is the safest high quality software to run on your computer.
6. Can I stop the annoying Mac message?
There are two ways you can do this:
- The Easy Way
To install the Mac version, download the file to your FAT32-formatted USB thumb drive, remove the USB drive and re-insert it, and open the file. This should solve GateKeeper issues, including any attempts to lose the link between SUNRISE Contacts 2018.app and the primary database file (i.e., contacts.fmp12). Then you can open the DMG and transfer to any location on your computer. Launching SUNRISE Contacts 2018.app should be fine from this moment on.
Use Disk Utility.app in the Utilities folder inside Applications folder to re-format a USB thumb drive to a FAT32 (MS-DOS)-formatted device (remember to save all your important files on it to a separate disk before erasing it!). Downloading Mac apps to this drive will solve all Gatekeeper issues. Alternatively, you can disable GateKeeper through Terminal.app (see our FAQ page for further details).
- The Geeky Way
If you are comfortable and confident as a Mac user in knowing how to find, download, and run safe quality software, you can disable GateKeeper's annoying message. For macOS Sierra and High Sierra, you do this using Terminal.app located inside your Utilities folder of the Applications folder. With Terminal open, type the following command:
sudo spctl --master-disable
Press the Enter key. You will need to type in your administrator password and press Enter again. Gatekeeper's "Anywhere" setting will now be restored, and it will also be selected by default. If you ever want to enable the Gatekeeper settings again (not sure why), type:
sudo spctl --master-enable
Of course, no such problem exists for PC users. Just unzip and use the way software should be.
NOTE: If you are worried about viruses and other forms of malware, the MAS can never guaranteed you will not be affected. Apple can only do so much to check with an anti-virus tool and beyond that the user must effectively take a risk with any software obtained from the MAS. Should you be concerned about this possibility, you are better off purchasing an effective anti-virus software solution of your own and do the checks yourself. And even then, you are no better than Apple. Your best protection is to listen to people, read their blogs, and get reviews of sites that offer software outside the MAS or the software itself. If there is no evidence of any malware, Apple will never find any if the software was offered on MAS. At the end of the day, and with experience, you will decide where to find the best software on the planet.
7. Has your software been tested for malware?
Most certainly. Our product has been fully tested for malware using VirusTotal.com and Kaspersky Anti-Virus and has a clean bill of health. If you should find any viruses or other malware in our product with your anti-virus software and we can reproduce the results, you will receive a free license key (and a cleaned up version of our software).
8. Why is my database showing only some records on launching even though I had already applied Find All in the last launch session?
It is likely you are running SUNRISE Contacts on different user accounts on the same computer.
What has probably happened is that after finding your selected records and quitting in one account, you went ahead to re-launch it again on another account. You tried to apply the Find All records and so far everything looks okay. However, after quitting and re-launching once more, the database was unable to remember the change you had applied. The cause for this is the file permissions are not set correctly for the database. On a Mac, quit SUNRISE Contacts. Select the entire SUNRISE Contacts folder containing all databases. Press Command I to see the Get Info dialog box. At the bottom click the lock icon to unlock the file permission settings, and type your Administrator password. Now press the + button and add the accounts you want Read & Write privileges to be established and set it to this. Alternatively make sure "Everyone" has Read & Write privileges if the databases will only be accessed by you on your computer. In the Gear icon popdown menu, select "Apply to enclosed items...". This should solve the problem.
9. How come I can see this black container field for holding my PDF documents inside?
Adobe Reader or your Adobe Creative Suite/Creative Cloud package will naturally install two plug-ins for viewing PDFs in a web browser or any other app with PDF display capabilities. However, OS X/macOS already has PDF viewing capabilities built right into the system since version OS X Leopard. As such, the OS and Adobe PDF viewing technologies are interfering with each other and causing the container field in SUNRISE Contacts to display a black background. Rest assured your PDF document is still in the container field. You can export the document as usual with no ill-effects, but it is not pretty to look at and will not help you to see the contents of the PDF's first page. To solve this problem, log into your computer as Administrator, and find the following plug-ins:
These plug-ins can be found in one or both of the following locations:
Move the plug-ins into the Trash.
Finally, quit and re-launch SUNRISE Contacts and go to the container field again. You will find the field will now correctly display the first page of the PDF. Proceed as usual in deleting the plug-ins as they are of no further use.
10. There is this continually annoying message claiming AdobePDFViewer cannot find a compatible app to view my PDFs in SUNRISE Contacts despite having selected the Adobe PDF viewing app. Why?
Sounds like you are seeing the following message appearing again and again each time SUNRISE Contacts has been re-launched and you go to a container field containing a PDF:
"AdobePDFViewer cannot find a compatible Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader to view this PDF. Please select one."
Rest assured, the solution is the same as in 9 for black container fields. Get ride of those Adobe plug-ins and you should be right to use SUNRISE Contacts without any further problems.