In the product road map, "store a reference" is listed to be deprecated. I'm not objecting to that here, I can see reasons for updating this part of container field functionality. Having both "store a reference" and "External storage" is very confusing and counter-intuitive. There are also potential security issues when using "store a reference".
In the current version, there are things you can do with "store a reference" not easily done via other FileMaker features short of acquiring a plug in.
I'm posting one example of functionality that would be lost if this feature is removed and no corresponding new feature added. I encourage others to post their own examples if they have their own uses for "store a reference" and the ability to extract a file path from the container.
Consider the following script outline that I rely on heavily to provide a simple, user friendly process for importing data--perhaps as part of deploying a new version, but also in other circumstances:
Put a global container field on a layout.
Set up a script to:
a) Go to layout with container
b) Use Insert File to pop up an OS "Open file" dialog where the user finds and opens the file to import (Limit the insert to "store a reference"only.)
c) Use set error capture and Get ( LastError ) to check for and gracefully handle cases where user clicks "cancel".
d) Set a variable to the file path as extracted from the container.
e) Use the variable with Import Records to import records without opening any additional dialogs that are part of the Import Records process
So if FileMaker is going to remove "store a reference", I'm going to lose the ability to use this script to import data via import records unless they also provide an alternative method of opening a dialog for selecting a file and getting the path to that user selected file.