SUNRISE Contacts

More about this product

Not your average software tool. Unlike other products that require you to store your data on the Cloud for them to work, we do not think "crossing your fingers in the hope that those Cloud services will always be available" is the way to go. It is better to start from the premise that you might be required to use your product without restrictions and needing to be on the internet all the time. This is why we created SUNRISE Contacts.

A database tool to store confidential information should be personal and kept securely. In fact, we emphasise the word "Personal" in "Personal Computing" when protection your personal or business confidential information and contacts, rather than "communal" or "share it with everyone" form of "Cloud Computing" (1). Being personal and confidential with your data is what improves the security of your valuable data held in a database solution. Don't believe the pundits who say you must always store everything in the Cloud. If you want a backup on the Cloud, go for it. Indeed we recommend it while it is securely protected and encrypted with a password. But the Cloud should not be essential to running your software. It is your information, not someone else's, especially in an age where hackers are online trying desperately to access such information. Let's face it, you should not be at the whim of online service providers forcing you to keep your data on their servers as a requirement to use their software. Why should you? Should they suddenly go bust or there is a security breach, you have no way of getting your data back, let alone re-create the work done on the data (even worse if you have spent months creating and organising your highly crafted data and lovely dashboards only to see it suddenly all go down the gurgler), or where the data has gone and how it is being used. And even when a service provider is online, why should you be continuously paying them for the privilege of accessing your own data? Nor do you have to sign away (and give away if you don't encrypt the data) your intellectual property rights to your information and any essential business confidential documents (e.g., patents) through complicated online contracts setup by online service providers just to use services from Google, Apple and others. Of course, we are not saying having internet access has no benefit. Rather, what we are saying is that, with the internet, you should expect enhancements to your software and to achieve more. However, in no way should the internet stop you from doing your work in the event it should become unavailable to you or you need to be more secure.

Among the quiet enhancements you will receive with SUNRISE Contacts when on the internet (with extra features unlocked when you purchase a license key) include Google Maps / OpenStreetMap, Google Translate, PayPal/QuickBooks invoice creation, Amazon OCR, Amazon voice-to-text recognition services, and access to Amazon's s3 file servers to store files and create links for people to download, just to name a few. What's that? You say you don't have internet access? Ah, don't worry! We won't stop you from using SUNRISE Contacts. Just run it on your computer. When internet access suddenly becomes available, you can always benefit from those extra features. Until then, feel free to enjoy your software the way it is intended — that is, on your "personal" computer (not on someone else's).

Of course, this is just the tip-of-the-iceberg. SUNRISE Contacts comes with a range of powerful database add-ons (or lookups as we call them) to help enhance your CRM. Think of lookups as like plug-ins. If you want to do more with your software, just add a plug-in and use it.

To learn more about the lookups you can add to SUNRISE Contacts, visit this page (will include some YouTube videos to explain how to use the tools). There are also a standard range of lookups already included with the free CRM and ready to be activated with a license key if you want access to them.

For something with reduced long-term costs and access to your information at all times, at least you have a choice with SUNRISE Contacts!

Problems you may encounter with SUNRISE Contacts

1. Why do I see a Mac message on first launching SUNRISE Contacts suggesting that the software could be unsafe?

You are probably seeing the following message on your Mac:

No surprise. Welcome to the strange "Alice in Wonderland" world of the macOS ecosystem created by Apple.

Don't worry. Apple claims this is a standard 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.

For the safest copy of our software, you should only download it from our web site. See instructions on how to install from this page.

Want to know how to be sure the software is genuine and clean? Apart from using an anti-virus software, the key to determining if a downloaded file from our web site is safe is to check the file size. We have officially provided details on the file size that it should be. Use Get Info in the Finder's File menu for Mac users to confirm the size of the download file. For PC users, right-click on the downloaded file and choose Properties. In fact, this is the basis of code-signing certificates (together with identifying details of the developer) created for apps. The certificates that comes with apps are mainly there as a confirmation that the app has not been tampered with.

As a further safety measure, when you open the DMG file containing our Mac version of SUNRISE Contacts, 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.

Has your software been tested for malware?

Our product has been fully tested for malware using VirusTotal.com and Kaspersky Anti-Virus (we recommend users purchase this software for your computer) and has a clean bill of health.

If you are worried about viruses and other forms of malware, don't expect the Mac App Store (MAS) to be any better than what we can do. Apple cannot guaranteed software downloaded on its MAS will be perfect and not affected by malware. 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 or anywhere else on the internet. 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. If there is no evidence of any malware, you are no better off downloading the software from the MAS. Apple will never find any malware. At the end of the day, and with experience, you will decide where to find the best software on the planet.

As a special offer, 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).

Should you become an identified developer?

Given the hassles in finding loss of key features in commercial apps that we use for creating software, as well as the monetary costs involved to prove who we are on a yearly basis, there is no need. We are happy to be an "unidentified developer". This is our choice. We don't think it is necessary to pay US$99 a year to Apple just to let them know we exist, we can be trusted, and to stop a simple but annoying GateKeeper message from nagging users about certain software titles. The whole idea is to ensure the apps are safe and in their original installer form (in whatever form they are distributed). Good developers will give details of what to look for to help users to see if the software is safe to use. Also, the length of time for a developer will reveal much about the quality of the software.

At the end of the day, Mac users are intelligent people. And as such, they should be treated accordingly and with respect. They will know where to find good quality and safe software. Still, Apple remains unconvinced even to this day and are willing to remove features that can by-pass this GateKeeper and code-signing nonsense. Even if you are not bypassing restrictions set by Apple and have a perfectly legitimate copy of, say, the installer for OS X El Capitan and want to reinstall it on your Mac, the signed certificate created and added to the installer by Apple just prior to download will be used by the installer to determine not just whether the software is genuine but also when to permit re-installation or a fresh install on a new disk. It checks on the date of the certificate. If it is too old by a year or two outside the certificate's and hence approximate download date, the installation procedure is stopped. Why? What madness has the company gone to to make this happen? Clearly the company has gone beyond the intent of the certificate. It should firstly and foremost be a way to prove the genuine nature of the software and installer. As Apple knows very well at https://developer.apple.com/support/code-signing:

"Code signing your app assures users that it is from a known source and the app hasn’t been modified since it was last signed."

Nothing else has been added to the web site, showing the official perception that Apple wants people to think is only of one thing: to show the software has been untampered with. That's it. Certainly it is not the intent of the code signing certificates to start setting a time bomb of when the software cannot be used again after a certain period of time. A stupid idea really. And indeed, it makes absolutely no sense to apply this kind of restriction on free OS X installers. Free means free, forever. Certainly you do not see this sort of thing happening with Windows OS. To this day you can still install Windows XP if you so choose (even though Microsoft prefers people to pay a license). Yet Apple goes ahead and quietly does something else with the certificates. So imagine what will happen in the near future for any code signed software. Eventually Apple could put a hidden time bomb in the OS to stop third-party apps with expired certificates from running, forcing people to buy and buy again until the developer is no longer around, or decides it is too much work to keep re-compiling, re-signing, and putting it up online.

It is a bit like the genetic time bomb put inside crop seeds sold by the agricultural and biotechnology corporation, Monsanto. Basically after the first set of crops have been grown, you are forced to buy more seeds from Monsanto because the genetic time bomb stops the plants from growing seeds in the next generation.

The reason why Apple software is never used in the aviation industry.

As for determining the genuine nature of a software downloaded from the internet, Apple is of the distinct view that every person who uses a Mac is unable to make reasonable decisions on the software he/she uses. People are basically incompetent when it comes to choices relating to getting software. Or does the company perceive software piracy as a major problem? Or is it more an attempt to maximise profits from other people's hard work who want to sell their software by forcing all users to purchase software from the company's dedicated Mac App Store, or MAS for short, and so forcing developers to sell their software on the MAS too? It should not make any difference where people get their software when developers are genuine about what they are offering to consumers and are doing the right thing to help people outside the MAS in getting a quality product.

As a result of this lack of confidence in Mac users, Apple has decided it is in the best interest of all its 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), Apple wants to hide the option to select "Anywhere" in the Security preference pane to stop the nagging message (similar to the way the Developer tools menu in FileMaker Pro Advanced were hidden to prevent regular use of the Runtime feature unless you could find the check box in the Preferences settings, and eventually Apple had the opportunity to think no one was using the feature, so Runtime was removed in FileMaker Pro 19).

This kind of condescending behaviour from the company on all Mac users is certainly unnecessary and 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 and make reasonable decisions (especially if you have nothing to hide). 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.

Then you have the issue of costs. The effort to force developers to pay Apple for the privilege of using the MAS and stop Gatekeeper messages on downloading the software 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 or 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 and in gaining any traction on the Mac platform (as there is a reason Apple prefers users to use its own "free" contact solution and other Apple apps), undermining our price for instance, using its marketing power and brand awareness to get its own cheaper competitive product (i.e., Bento, before it was suddenly removed by Apple for some unspecified reason) 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 only onto the latest macOS by controlling where FileMaker Pro can be run because it wants to gather details of all developers through its servers as well as maximise profit. Given the considerable effort by Apple to reduce competition in the Mac versions of certain CRMs by third-party developers (because Apple wants to discriminate certain developers by getting 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 have to 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 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 high quality tools/advice to Mac users, just to give them the choice. But for this latter group of people, there will always be at a distinct disadvantage — a form of discrimination — in selling their software on macOS computers when they are not on the MAS. That is the way Apple has chosen to set up the system.

At the end of the day, it really should be up to you to decide which software to use and where to get it (including the original developers' web sites), and to apply common sense techniques to the situation of deciding what is the safest high quality software to run on your computer.

2. How do I stop the annoying GateKeeper message on macOS?

As a Mac user, you certainly can (and encouraged to do so as there is nothing illegal about stopping the GateKeeper from harassing you about a lot things related to the internet, such as the files you download). Actually, it is highly advisable to follow the installation process shown on this page. Later you can decide whether it is worth turning back on the GateKeeper protection mechanism.

Interestingly, no such problem exists for PC users (or not in your face all the time from Microsoft). Just unzip and use — the way software should be.

3. 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.

4. 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:

Users/[yourusername]/Library/Internet Plug-Ins
/Library/Internet Plug-Ins

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.

5. 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 before for black container fields. Get rid of those silly Adobe plug-ins and you should be right to use SUNRISE Contacts without any further problems.

6. I get this message in FileMaker 18 and 19 when running SUNRISE Contacts about your plug-ins not being code-signed. What should I do?

You are probably seeing the annoying message:

Don't worry. The plug-ins will work fine in FileMaker Pro 18 and 19. To solve this minor irritation from Apple's over-zealous GateKeeper system, transfer the plug-ins (contains ".fmplugin") from the old Extensions folder:

to the new folder (now located in the Applications Support folder of the Library folder for FileMaker Pro 19).

To save time finding this Extensions folder, choose Preferences in FileMaker Pro and in the Plug-Ins tab, click the button that says, "Reveal the Plug-in Folder".

You will not see the plug-ins until you quit FileMaker Pro and relaunch. When you do, you will be greeted with the following message for each new plug-in (Zzzz,,,,):

To minimise this annoyance, make sure you put a tick in the check box that says "Always load this plug-in".

There will be six plug-ins in total to load up for SUNRISE Contacts (on a Mac, they will be named clipboard.fmplugin, Encryption.fmplugin, FileManipulation.fmplugin, FileZip.fmplugin, System.fmplugin, and Web.fmplugin; for the Windows side, the difference is fmplugin will be substituted with fmx64). For your peace of mind, the plug-ins are perfectly safe to use and you will never have to be bothered again with this silly message for these plug-ins ever again once you load them in permanently.

Should the plug-ins be code-signed?

Probably. But apart from being an annual financial drain to the developer to renew the certificate (worse for those developers who provide open source or freeware apps) and forcing users to download again and again the software to make them work (eventually even users will get annoyed by this code signing and re-signing nonsense from developers, and if there is any unexpected disabling of apps because of an outdated signed certificate, you can be sure users will resent Apple and other companies and decide to go outside MAS and other places to get their software working forever, including open source, and emulation programs to allow older software to run on SSDs), having code-signed plug-ins are only there to give greater assurance to people that what they are receiving is original and untampered with. In truth, it is not critical to have code-signed software just to run them. About the worse people should experience from receiving unsigned software is to get an annoying message about something not being "signed". Whoopy doo! As if everything in the world must be signed off before we can ever release and do anything in the world. It is like asking your boss for permission to take a leak in the lavatory every time you have an urge. You should not need that level of constant checking. We would be lucky to get anything done if we followed this approach all the time. The reality is, it is impractical in most cases. The same is true of software. So, if you do see this alert pop up out of the blue, just tell whatever is complaining about it that it is okay. Seriously, you are smart enough to know if the software is okay, right? You are intelligent. You know what software is safe. You know where to find a broader range or higher quality software outside of the MAS. Why should Apple dictate where you should get your software? You decide for yourself.

This brings us to the situation of whether it is necessary to code-sign everything. Perhaps, if you are in the business of making money issuing certificates to every Tom, Dick and Harry who wants to be a developer. An easy way to make a profit. Indeed, one smart entrepreneur named Carl Schwarz is doing just that. If you have a burning ambition to have another developer code sign your application and installer and "save your time plus the fee of an Apple developer certificate", visit https://schwarzsoftware.com.au. Hw would be more than happy to help out other developers But if all you ever want to do is create freeware or very low cost software to give to customers, probably not. So maybe the real question you should ask yourself is, do you apply common sense techniques to ensure the software you are getting is secure and from trusted sources (e.g., the original developer's web site)?

If you have downloaded SUNRISE Contacts from our web site, there is virtually no way a third-party entity can interfere with the digital download and insert some kind of carefully-crafted malicious code into our software. No hacker can be superman to uncompress our software during download, insert malicious code (and not affect the download file length), and re-compress the file all at the same time you are downloading the file (and somehow put it back on our web site, not unless the ISP we have is corrupt, which is highly unlikely). It does not happen. However, if our software is downloaded from a third-party web site not affiliated with SUNRISE, then there is a small chance that our software could get tampered with. In this situation, always verify by looking at the file length of the downloaded file. Or better still, download from our web site.

Of course, one could argue about the possibility that some developers could be hackers. Well, let us put it this way: the reputation of developers are on the line every day whenever they release software to users online. Any funny business detected in the software will be quickly determined. And before you know it, not only will developers lose their code-signed certificates and memberships to Developer sites, but those without a code-signed certificate will be forced to disappear as people turn away to search for better software. The Darwinian approach to software evolution will apply in the IT industry. Where the software is not code-signed, check the length of time the developer's web site and software have been around. If it is more than 10 years and still no signs of anything to suggest the apps and/or plug-ins might be suspicious, this is a very good sign that the developer and the software produced can be trusted.

As SUNRISE has been online since 1999, you would think by now that someone would have found something terrible and devious with our software. No one has, so that in itself should speak volumes about our integrity to provide a quality software for your own use.

With paranoia now running rife in 2020 for businesses and some consumers concerned about the security of certain software apps (and now plug-ins), and Apple and others are happy to cash-in on this paranoia, it is understandable that more and more software is receiving the code-signing certificate treatment. Unfortunately, it comes at a continuous cost to the developer (as the certificates have to be renewed and paid in the hundreds of dollars each time). We think it is not necessary to have software code-signed to the nth degree right down to the plug-ins themselves if simple security precautions are implemented by the user, the biggest of which is to always download the software from the original source (in the case of SUNRISE Contacts from our web site only). Anywhere else and you would need to check at the very least the file length to see if its is the same (we provide the number of bytes on our product page). But really? What's wrong with 100 per cent security by downloading directly from the developer's web site? It is the only way to be sure, and safe.

7. I see a red square pop-up from time-to-time. What does this mean?

The red square means the record is being used and/or edited and, therefore, probably contains unsaved data. It can be due to an external user accessing the record, or you are the one accessing it. The command itself to show this red box is suppose to focus on external users, but it would appear from closer testing that it also includes you working on the record even if the database is not being shared with anyone else.

You can see this indicator disappear as soon as you move to the next or previous record. As reliability of the data being saved is important and people in multiuser situations on a network accessing the same database may require access to locked records, this will give an indication of what is happening, and perhaps in the near future Apple can add details of who exactly has locked up the record.

As of 18 May 2020, the solution to making the red square disappear is to create a script to save the data after a period of inactivity. even when the script could be run at a set time, the Commit record command will not solve it. There is still a risk of losing data if it has not been saved. Furthermore, any solution we create will not be implemented for web users (e.g., WebDirect on FileMaker Server). The only solution here is to ensure the idle time feature is enabled but that is the only time the record will be saved and unlocked.

The importance of making the red square disappear cannot be emphasised enough because even after exiting from a field, the contents not properly saved can be lost in the event the database is suddenly quit at the user's end. Making sure the red quare disappears is your only safety feature of knowing whether the data has been properly saved.

8. I can see a white background in some graphics that is stopping the real background showing through. How do I solve this problem?

A common problem that Apple/Claris has either not seen before because they don't use the product very much, or it is a bug that they would rather leave in place to keep developers on their toes and fully challenged (while the company focuses more on what it considers "innovative features" to be added as a way to rake in the profits). If you are creating a database with FileMaker Pro of any version (even version 19) and import a picture with transparency regions, it may appear to work initially in Browse mode. However, use the database for a short while, and before you know it, the transparent regions turn white. Huh? It is fixed temporarily on restarting FileMaker Pro (and so clear the memory leaks that lead to this unfortunate drawing graphics issue). It does not matter if you use PNG, TIFF, or even EPS, which is, for some reason, less forgiving.

The permanent solution to this problem is to make sure the transparent regions are not perfectly transparent. Instead of opacity control of those transparent regions set to the perfect 0% (or transparency 100%), consider turning those regions into a subtle color with heavy transparency applied (but not totally transparency). It will make those regions virtually invisible to the naked eye, but will fool FileMaker Pro into thinking it has a color that must be rendered and displayed permanently on the layout.

To pull off this Houdini trick in a reasonably convincing way, our recommendation is to set the color in CMYK to 1 for each of the individual colors, or 1 for each RGB color, or 1 for a greyscale color. It will be a very faint grey color that will be shown. However, the trick now is to adjust the alpha channel, or transparency. Set transparency to 99% (not 100%). Or set the Opacity control to 1%. Save the image (PNG is fine, but not EPS as it still can't be rendered properly by FileMaker Pro — and yes, we still cannot import SVG of any size (other than as a button icon of a maximum 128px) — into a layout. ZZzzzzzz.).

Once saved and the graphic is imported into your layout, the color set for the transparent regions will be so subtle that hardly anyone can tell it isn't transparent. And the best thing of all, the "transparent" color remains permanent no matter what you do in FileMaker Pro. At last, the app faithfully renders the color without going into a digital fit of rendering it opaque white.

Another problem solved.

9. Why is the web viewer showing a white or blank background even though the URL is clearly provided?

It is quite likely your computer may have shutdown unexpectedly due to a loss of power. On restarting, the date and time of the OS was reset to a time that affects the security of web browsers in accessing web sites. Therefore, FileMaker's web viewer prevents this by showing a blank page.

To solve this, go to the Date and Time preference pane and make sure the time and date is current. Web access in FileMaker Pro will be restored.