Peer-to-Peer Sharing with FileMaker Go

Idea created by eric on May 31, 2018

    This is long overdue, especially since I always assumed iOS devices were incapable of doing this. Why else would FMI overlook such a great opportunity for so long?

    FileMaker Go really needs to support "Peer-to-peer sharing",

    not just with a desktop, but also with other iOS devices,

    and not just over wi-fi and cellular, but even over Bluetooth.

    Imagine the countless uses of being able to share data directly from one FileMaker Go device to another—without a server or even wi-fi.


    Of course, if FMI wants FileMaker Go to show up absolutely anywhere and be the life of the party, FileMaker Go would have to go to allowing up to 9 concurrent connections to qualify for most party games. In fact, I had this thought years ago when I wanted to play Scrabble with friends on my iPhone while camping where there was no service.


    Anyway, if you want something to go viral, then it should be something small, shareable, and easy to contract—like a ubiquitous virus—not big, expensive, and difficult to house and support—like an endangered rhinoceros.
    Is there any good reason why FileMaker Go and FileMaker Go apps shouldn't Go viral?


    If FileMaker Go had peer-to-peer sharing, how would you find it useful? Please add a reply below.


    Now with the sensor functions, FileMaker Go can sense all kinds of things, even those simplistic little iBeacons (over Bluetooth)—except for the most obvious thing you might want to sense: another mobile device, especially one running FileMaker Go with data to share or an app to interact with.


    This idea is for every scenario where there's a bunch of people who could have a FileMaker app but no FileMaker Server within reach—which is almost always. One big giant glaring example would be DevCon!

    Thousand of copies of the DevCon2Go app at a developer conference with

    • no FileMaker Server to connect to
    • no easy way to transfer my notes and my session schedule between my own devices or my teammates'
    • all of them reduced to sharing contact information between on-screen barcodes and cameras


    Yeah, sharing contact information with on-screen barcodes using jbante's barcode generator seemed pretty cool at the time—until you realize that data like that should be handled by some sort of peer-sharing. Then it looks pretty perverse, watching everyone trying to mate their phones' cameras with everyone else's screen.


    In fact, from the DevCon example and countless others, we can argue that peer-to-peer sharing can accomplish things that mere client-server technology can not, even when it is available. BitTorrent isn't just a good idea for pirates—it's just a good idea that finds countless uses once it's available.


    Here's the demo I want to see at DevCon next year:

    1. The presenter has some useful content to share and proceeds to share it using DevCon2Go.
    2. The nearest DevCon2Go apps in the audience detect the shared content, connect, receive it, and share it in turn.
    3. The room, full with over a thousand DevCon2Go users, all receive the same content in less than two minutes without a server in sight. (Fully script-automated if necessary so users don't have to do anything to allow the content to disseminate throughout the room or even from room to room as they move throughout the conference).

    "Raise your device as soon as you got it" and watch the wave of data travel right before your eyes.


    MultipeerConnectivity | Apple Developer Documentation

    Multipeer Connectivity - iOS & Swift Tutorial

    See also the product idea comment for students:


    Note: I keep appending to this idea from updates posted below.