5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 15, 2009 12:14 AM by FentonJones

    Having other applications communicate with FileMaker

    hopkins

      Title

      Having other applications communicate with FileMaker

      Post

      Is there a way to make other applications communicate with FileMaker?  I know that I can take the products of other applications and place them into FileMaker container fields.  That entails generating the document in the other app (Pages, Keynote, Mail, etc.), saving it, and then me leaving the other app to go fetch the document and place it into the desired FileMaker container field.  What I am thinking of is to have the other app do its save of the generated document directly into the desired FileMaker container field.  Is this possible?

        • 2. Re: Having other applications communicate with FileMaker
          hopkins
            

          Thanks Dave,

           

          It is the other way around that I want; other applications to use FileMaker, specifically to get other applications to place their documents directly into a FileMaker container.

           

          I have only just dabbled with Applescript and am not comfortable with it.  I guess I will have to learn it.

          • 3. Re: Having other applications communicate with FileMaker
            FentonJones
              

            Applications save their documents to files. A FileMaker container can contain a file, embedded entirely, or hold only a reference to that file. It can also calculate a path to a known location to show a file. But the other applications must save as a file before anything can happen. This could be only a temporary folder. An AppleScript can watch that folder, via a Folder Action, or an "on idle" AppleScript, or via a launchd agent (most modern, also most geeky).

             

            One of the slickest methods I've seen for adding/linking a document to the current FileMaker record is using the Troi File plug-in. It allows you to drop a file on a special area of the layout, which can then capture the path. Kind of expensive though. 

             

            A lot of this depends one what you want/need to do with the file later, what your network is like, etc.. There is no one solution that fits all situations and skill levels, hence Super Container is often suggested, to relieve some of the heavy lifting.

            • 4. Re: Having other applications communicate with FileMaker
              hopkins
                

              Thank you Fenton,

               

              I am trying to develop my own personal EDMS for my Mac (I know of none, only the ones for PCs), using FileMaker as the database to hold the document repository.  This will include version control, which implies keeping various versions as separate but linked files together in the repository, and attachment to retention schedules. 

               

              Clearly, I will have to learn a lot of AppleScript. 

              • 5. Re: Having other applications communicate with FileMaker
                FentonJones
                  

                Yes, it is good to know some AppleScript. Particularly as FileMaker has a Perform AppleScript step, which runs AppleScript very well and fast. AppleScript is good at selecting and moving files, as well as reading contents of folders, and creating folders, even hierarchal folder structures. It knows many of the paths of a Mac, including the various OS "temporary items" folders. FileMaker also has a Get (TemporaryPath) function, which actually works well in FileMaker 10. But it is a different one, FileMaker's own; there are several temp paths on a Mac.

                 

                Another piece of the puzzle to learn about is how you can use Script Variables to pass a file path (FileMaker syntax) to an Insert File step.