Support Import Export of Filemaker format (fmp12) files on Server

Idea created by mrwatson-gbs on Feb 9, 2016



    Perform Script on Server has provided us with an extremely powerful technology for number + text crunching on the server. With this technology data can be moved or duplicated quickly - without disturbing the user.


    A frequently used method of transferring a set of fields from one table/record to another is using export and then import. If the field names are the same in source + destination tables, this technique has the additional advantage that the fields to transfer are defined in the export step and the import step just imports the file matching on names.


    HOWEVER, the lack of support for importing and exporting the FileMaker format means that


    • there is NO IMPORT/EXPORT FORMAT which can transfer TEXT FORMATTING
    • there is NO IMPORT/EXPORT FORMAT which can transfer container fields


    The FileMaker format is the only format which preserves text formatting and containers, and this is not allowed on the server.


    Basically the only workaround currently available to transfer text formatting on the server is:


    1. Perform the main import to get the basic data into the target records.
    2. Using a foreign key establish a relationship to the source record.
    3. Then each field that may contain formatted text has to be pulled via the relationship from the original record into the destination field


    This has several disadvantages:


    • Performance:
      • It is MUCH slower, because each record is being multiply written (and recalculated) and committed.
    • Complexity
      • The relationship graph needs extra otherwise unnecessary TOs
      • The script is much more complex than it need be
    • Maintainability
      • It is much harder to maintain, as new fields have to be hard-wired into the script




    The Import and Export Record script steps should support the FileMaker format on the Server.




    • f_negate( disadvantages of the current technology above )
    • Processes which process data with important text formatting can be easily moved to PSoS
    • Processor intensive manipulation of container content can be performed on server and vastly reduce network traffic
    • Text formatting can be transferred in the same way as on clients. / Developers do not need to vastly rewrite their processes for server side scripts
    • Greater productivity
    • Helps Improve FileMaker’s Integration Technologies


    Use Cases


    • Duplicating and converting trade documents, where text formatting plays a vital role in the meaning + communication of the line items.
    • PSoS processing of any data with important text formatting or images