9 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2011 11:37 AM by philmodjunk

    Is there anyway to automatically have FM generate a runtime solution?

    DanielClark

      Title

      Is there anyway to automatically have FM generate a runtime solution?

      Post

      I have my database using FM Advanced on my server with all my employees gaining access to the database through the FM Network as a lot of them have FM Client on their machines anyway. We all use Macs (including the server). However, some employees don't have FM Client on their machines, but they are using Macs (and btw any of these Macs can run windows just fine if the solution to this post is to use Windows somehow). I love the runtime feature of FM Advanced - and this is absolutely perfect for the employees that don't have FM client (and who only use the database for reference, not for data entry). However, because the database gets updated daily. I want them to be able to stay up-to-date with a new runtime solution on their machines once a day. I already have a syncing routine setup between employee computers and the server - the issue here is being able to have FM Advanced to automatically generate these runtime solutions on a daily basis. Is there any way I can do/schedule this? If I can't do it through FM Advanced, I can probably figure out a way to muscle-f**k it through Mac OS's Automator - but that's messier than I'd like. Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Is there anyway to automatically have FM generate a runtime solution?
          philmodjunk

          There isn't really a need to generate completely new runtimes each time. You just need to swap out the data files for new on a regular basis.

          Try this:

          At a time when no one is modifying the database, Create a runtime solution with bind key and all. Open the folder and find the database file created and bound to the run time version of FileMaker. Replace your hosted copy of this file with the one created by the runtime generation. Now, all you need to do is distribute copies of a backup generated by server to your "read only users" by inserting it into the original folder replacing the older copy of the database file with the new.

          This should work since FileMaker server can host runtime files and you can open and update them with Advanced just like any other FileMaker database file. The one thing to avoid is the option to strip out the admin accounts as you need to keep the file in a form that enables you to update its design from time to time.

          • 2. Re: Is there anyway to automatically have FM generate a runtime solution?
            DanielClark

            I'm confused about your explanation. I generated the runtime solution and I have 4 things in the folder it generated - a folder called extensions, a pdf called FMP Acknowledgements, my database file's app ("OTW.app"), and then another file called ("OTW.USR"). Which is the database file bound, and which is the runtime? The USR doesn't open and just prompts with "The primary file 'DEBUG' cannot be found and is required for this application" and then it launches a finder window to find the DEBUG File, which I don't know what that means. And the other launches my database as a runtime. What's my hosted copy of the file? And I just don't understand the rest.

            • 3. Re: Is there anyway to automatically have FM generate a runtime solution?
              philmodjunk

              OTW.USR is the database file. Double Clicking it should launch OTW.app, but you may have another runtime that uses Debug.app and your operating system is attempting to find and use it to open OTW.USR. Use Get Info (I think they still call it that on Macs) to check and see what application is set to launch when this file is opened when you double click it. I suspect you'll find it is set to use Debug when it should use OTW.app. If you redirect it to OTW.app, double clicking the USR file will open it automatically with the run time application.

              None of that matters for what I am suggesting. You can use the .USR file for ongoing development. Launch FileMaker, then use Open from the File menu to open the USR file. Make sure that Sharing is enabled, close the file and then upload it to FileMaker server. With it open on Server, your regular filemaker users should be able to connect to it via Open Remote and you can distribute updated copies of this file by distributing back up copies to your run time users. They can simply drop this into their runtime folder and tell the Operating system to go ahead and replace the older copy of OTW.USR with the new copy.

              You do have to set up server with the right settings to host the run time file:

              From the FileMaker Server Help:

              In Registered Runtime Solutions, select Allow FileMaker Server to automatically host registered runtime solutions.
                •
              To register a file type for a runtime solution, click Register and type the filename extension. Click OK.
                •
              To remove a registered file type, select the file type in the File Type list and click Remove. Click Yes to confirm.
              If you host runtime database solutions created by FileMaker Pro Advanced, you can enable FileMaker Server to automatically open runtime solutions when FileMaker Server starts. Runtime solutions must be stored in one of the designated locations. See Default folder settings.
              If the runtime solutions do not have .fp7 filename extensions, you must register their filename extensions in FileMaker Server.
              • 4. Re: Is there anyway to automatically have FM generate a runtime solution?
                DanielClark

                Oh, ok so I can host a runtime - and just use the backup routine I have been using? That's great. Then what's the difference between hosting a runtime, and an fp7 file? Is there any? Can I still make layout changes, and database mods to the runtime?

                • 5. Re: Is there anyway to automatically have FM generate a runtime solution?
                  philmodjunk

                  There are no functional differences that I am aware of. You can use FileMaker Pro or FileMaker Advanced to modify the design of the file just like any other database file. The key difference, is that once you have modified the design of the file or edited its data, you can swap it with the file in the run time folder without having to "bind" it to the run time application you have already created. (That links the file to the run time app so that launching the runtime app also opens the runtime database file.)

                  • 6. Re: Is there anyway to automatically have FM generate a runtime solution?
                    rjlevesque

                    I have one thing to add, I use the method Phil is speaking of regularly and it wrks just fine with one exception you must keep in mind.

                    Should you change the design/layout or anything with the base structure of your solution the old DB file will not work in the new runtime solution. As long as your database design stays the same, you can use that single DB file to keep it all up-to-date forever.

                    • 7. Re: Is there anyway to automatically have FM generate a runtime solution?
                      rjlevesque

                      Oh and if you are admin in your network you can setup a nice Perl or BAT file to distribute the new DB file across your network flawlessly.

                      • 8. Re: Is there anyway to automatically have FM generate a runtime solution?
                        DanielClark

                        Ok cool, one more thing - How do I make sure that my runtime solution is read-only?

                        • 9. Re: Is there anyway to automatically have FM generate a runtime solution?
                          philmodjunk

                          Use Manage | Security to set up a password that uses a read only privilege set for all your tables. Give only that password to your run time users.