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    FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!



      FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!


           After using FileMaker pro for over 20 years successfully developing databases for my project management work, I am now retired and would like to use it as a personal database/ or with small networks.

           Since FileMaker has still not implemented iCloud for FileMaker pro and FileMaker Go, does anyone have a practical workaround that will allow the synching of my Mac, iPad, and  iPhone

           Using FileMaker Server or dedicating a computer to host the FileMaker database are not economical or sensible  solutions for my requirements.  Without a practical syncing solution for my Mac and iOS devices, the value of using FileMaker is greatly diminished.


        • 1. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!

               What kind of "synching" do you need to do?

               In some situations, that simply means that you open the database on Device 1 to collect/delete/edit data and then you need to send all those changes back to a second device such as your personal computer. In which case, simply copying the database file back and forth between the two devices is all that you really need.

               In other cases, one user is modifying data on device 1 at the same time that another user is modifying the data on device 2. That's a much more complex issue when it comes to "synching" that data.

               And please note that FileMaker Server is not required for hosting a database if the number of users accessing that database at any given time is small. You can host the database with FileMaker Pro and have several (up to 4 in FileMaker 13, I believe...) iOS devices using the free FileMaker Go app to connect to and access data in that hosted database.

               You may find this PDF on the subject of interest: http://www.filemaker.com/solutions/ios/docs/fmi_guide_sync_en.pdf

          • 2. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!


                 Thank you for your prompt response to my question this morning. I have started studying the information booklet that you suggested and can appreciate that this subject can become very complicated very quickly!

                 The type of syncing that I am referring to would  resemble a system that you might achieve by having the FileMaker database hosted on iCloud.  If an individual is using this as a personal database, then accessing the database using a Mac, iPad, or iPhone would in essence be accessing the same database.  The experience would be similar to hosting the database on my Mac and using the Mac and iOS devices all on the same Wi-Fi network.  I have done this and the experience is very good – until you leave the Wi-Fi network.

                 It appears that Apple has done something similar to this with their new Numbers app, and I've had good experiences with the implementation of iCloud by PDFpen and Notability.

                 By using a FileMaker database as a personal database by an individual or with a small network, many of the complications go away as described in the FileMaker brochure you recommended.

            • 3. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!

                   The "cloud" for a FileMaker Database in your example would be a copy that is hosted by either FileMaker Pro or Server with port forwarding set up to permit access to devices outside of the network where the host computer is located.

              • 4. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!


                     Right, and what I am saying is that this is neither a sensible or satisfactory solution for the individual, personal, FileMaker user.

                      If Apple can implement iCloud in the fashion that they have which serves the personal spreadsheet user with their Numbers app, I cannot understand why FileMaker cannot do the same for their database app.

                     When FileMaker withdrew the Bento app from the marketplace,  they betrayed many loyal customers.  These are database users that invested considerable time and money into developing personal database applications for their use.  By providing the type of iCloud solution that I am proposing for FileMaker, many of these former Bento users might be attracted to upgrade to FileMaker and use it as their personal database app.

                • 5. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!

                       I don't understand . What would make you assume that Fiemaker solutions (they are not applications) would be able to be accessible on iCloud?

                  • 6. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!

                         I didn't read any assumptions in the above statements, I read a user desire for a new feature.  Syncing devices with computers has been around since the Blackberry / Palm days.  I think it would a good idea to allow syncing if file sharing is turned off. 

                         Feature Request


                    • 7. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!

                           Yet Paulbert isn't really asking for a "synch" capability. He appears to want to host a FileMaker database from the cloud without using FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Server to actually host the file.

                           This section of the Forum is intended for getting assistance in how to use FileMaker Pro. There's another section for Feedback where you can post complaints about FileMaker's products and suggest/request new features where other forum participants can see and discuss them. (Not a big deal that you posted here, but if you post here, expect posts like mine telling you how to get what you requested from the current products available.wink)

                           Then there is also the feature request page for which S. Chamblee has provided a link that is the best place to post a request for new features where FileMaker Inc. personnel can see it.

                      • 8. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!
                             Thanks to all for your comments and discussion. 
                             Please allow me now to refocus the discussion back to my original request in the initial posting which stated:
                             "Since FileMaker has still not implemented iCloud for FileMaker pro 13 and FileMaker Go 13, does anyone have a practical workaround that will allow the synching of my Mac, iPad, and  iPhone?"
                              I was requesting this workaround in the context of using  FileMaker pro 13 (without additional features) to develop personal database solutions for my use as a single user or very small network.  The use of FileMaker Server or a host computer in that context, I feel, is unnecessary overkill based on my own experience in developing much larger FileMaker solutions for business purposes. 
                             I mentioned Bento as an example of a product that allowed developers  to develop personal database solutions that synced the database between  Mac, iPad, and iPhone -  without requiring a host computer.  Since FileMaker has withdrawn Bento from the marketplace, I am attempting to replace  it's simple capabilities of syncing - with FileMaker - which will allow much greater possibilities in the future.  Many former Bento developers may also benefit! 
                              If there is anyone out there that has devised a workaround to allow syncing as described (using DropBox or other  ingenious combination! ), please jump right into this conversation without hesitation!  
                              Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we will all look forward to the implementation of iCloud with the FileMaker pro and FileMaker Go development platform.  If FileMaker does nothing more than follow  the example set by their Mothership Apple in implementing iCloud with their Numbers software and IOS Apps, we all have a lot to look forward to!
                        • 9. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!

                               Good point, just sked the same - if it is possible to store the FileMaker database in iCloud for easy access to it via both OSX and iOS7!

                          • 10. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!

                            filemaker on icloud please ... thx

                            • 11. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!

                              runtime on icloud please .. thx

                              • 12. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!

                                I just wanted to say that as a new FMP13 user and an ex-Bento user I have some perspective on how I would like to use FMP13. I completely agree with Paul Bert. I think the ability to use FMP13 in coordination with FM GO is great but the scenario I want to use the 2 programs is simple as an individual using it I want to do this.  I want to use FMP13 at home on my desktop or iPad to add data as needed and then sync the data when the two devices are together in the same network. (The problem now is when I am not connected on the same network I have no data on my iPhone at all.) I want to be able to have all that same data on my iPhone or iPad for when I am out and about and not connected to my local wireless network in my house. Just a simple example I might have a database of restaurants and then I happen to be in a certain area and I want to be able to find any restaurant in the area I am in. Now obviously I am not going to spend $1000 to get Filemaker Server to do something as mundane as that.

                                I think the solution so have the Filemaker files reside on the iCloud would be perfect so you would be accessing these same files from your home computer or from your iPad/ iPhone would be great.  I really don't get why this solution is not already in the FMP13 software. The usage scenario doesn't seen that unusual to me. Specially since we are in the times of mobile devices now.

                                I gotta say though the even better solution was doing what Bento did as part of it's inherent basic functionality. There was a copy on the desktop and a copy on the iPhone or iPad and then you could independently update data on either device and then just sync the data between both devices (while in the same local network) to then make sure you had all data on both devices. Sync'ng data between devices isn't that had specially when there are only two devices in the pairing.


                                • 13. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!

                                  If you want to synch the files while on the same network, you don't need the cloud, just a synch tool. I've read of at least three different such versions offered by third party developers here in this forum. You might do some web searching to learn more about them. And it's not impossible to create your own "synch" process if your needs are sufficiently modest--especially in cases where only one person is using all of the devices...

                                  And when you post to this thread saying "I want FileMaker to do this...." you are telling fellow users of this product line what you want fileMaker to do. That probably isn't the best audience for that message. FileMaker has a specific place where they collect feature requests for that purpose. The link can be found earlier in this thread, but here it is again: http://www.filemaker.com/company/contact/feature_request.html

                                  PS. this thread is old enough that it no longer appears in recent items when new comments are posted to it. Thus any comments posted here will be seen by relatively few readers. I happened to notice this one just by accident myself....

                                  • 14. Re: FileMaker, Apple, whatever happened to iCloud?!

                                    Chet Shannon

                                    Filemaker Go doesn't require FMS. FMP can host a database with up to 5 concurrent connections. You can also put your database on your iOS device to run the database on the device.  iCloud is behind, but there is another service that works better and that is dropbox.  You can install dropbox on your computer and iOS device and send your database back and forth. Dropbox has a free account and then you can purchase additional storage, if needed. You can also manually import your records.

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