interfacing with files of correspondence
Hi, all. I've been detailed in my department to work on the following problem. Note that while I'm a programmer, I work on unix, in other languages and while I'm good with SQL databases, my knowledge of Filemaker Pro is pretty basic.
For background, we are using Filemaker Pro 10, on an iMac OS 10.6.3. The database is kept and used locally.
This shouldn't be a complicated problem: I'm simply not sure what Filemaker Pro can or cannot do. We have a database that's a list of customers, with potentially associated names, universities, departments, and license numbers.
We also have a folder full of correspondence/email from these customers. The folder contains folders, all named with either customer name or sometimes the university name. WIthin each of these folders are individual files (each one an email/correspondence), and the name of each of these files contains some or all of the potential customer info (name, university, departments, license number).
I don't know to what extent Filemaker Pro can be set up to go thru these folders and files, and set up links to each of these individual files based on the information from their path and file name. I'm not even sure if Filemaker can store a link to an individual file (that could be clicked on when viewing that customer's record to show that individual file). I assume I'd probably need to do a separate script to generate the list of file names etc for each customer.
If Filemaker Pro can't link to a file on the local disk, then I'm guessing the other alternative would be to read the file into a text field so that it's actually part of the record itself?
Any thoughts about this, pointers to examples doing similar things, or even confirmation about what Filemaker can or can't do in regards to linking to external files, would be appreciated. I've gone thru the basic userinfo stuff that's provided with Filemaker Pro installations, but they are not detailed and don't get into this level of data management.