5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 3, 2014 4:30 PM by MacDevGuy

    Scan to field possible?

    javadave

      Title

      Scan to field possible?

      Post

      I use Filemaker Pro 9.x on Mac OS X. I am looking for a way to allow a user to scan directly from an attached scanner (i.e., snap scanner or other similar) into a database field. I don't really care if a file is created in the filesystem and linked/placed/imported into the field, but if so, it must be invisible to the user, immediate, and require no action on behalf of the user. Is something like that possible with Filemaker Pro (or even Bento), without add-ons? With add-ons? If so, how might one create such a field?

        • 1. Re: Scan to field possible?
          philmodjunk
            

          Here's a plug in that may serve. Haven't used it myself though we're considering it.

           

          http://www.powersolutions.it/en/insidescan_history.html

          • 2. Re: Scan to field possible?
            david_lalonde@d-cogit.ca
              

            I have made exactly such a solution: Fujitsu ScanSnap and FileMaker Pro 9 on Mac OS X without the use of a plug-in. You do not just create a field. You create a field, a script, an AppleScript script and a Finder folder with an action script.

             

            The ScanSnap Manager software (part of the ScanSnap scanner solution) places the scanned documents into the Finder folder. The AppleScript script assigned as the Finder folder's action script fires the FileMaker Pro solution's script. The script inserts the scanned document into the field.

             

            Looks easy! Lots of work!

            • 3. Re: Scan to field possible?
              MacDevGuy

              David, I know it's been a while but do you have any information you might be willing to share on how you did implemented this solution?

               

              • 4. Re: Scan to field possible?
                david_lalonde@d-cogit.ca

                The little information I gave was pretty self-explanatory.

                Mac OS X allows you to assign an action to a folder. You assign an action script by left clicking (or control clicking) the folder. The command to assign an action script is tucked away in the services sub-menu.

                Action scripts must be scripts. That is why you need to be familiar with AppleScript. I have no idea if automator scripts can work as I never worked with them.

                The only thing the AppleScript script needs to do is open FileMaker Pro (if necessary), open the solution file (if necessary) and invoke the FileMaker script that will import the folder's content. Depending on your approach, you may want to pass along parameters such as file names.

                The FileMaker script does the remainder of the work. It is responsible for importing the file(s) in the folder, do what it needs to do with the imported file and cleanup. You could have the AppleScript script do the folder cleanup. In this case, you would need to manage a two-way communication between the AppleScript script and FileMaker Pro.

                I mentioned it was a lot of work. Keep in mind FileMaker Pro can only run one script at a time and AppleScript does not wait for FileMaker Pro. Keep also in mind that an action script can fire even though it is not your scanner that placed a new file in the folder. Heck, it is quite possible for a user to place a folder of files in the folder attached to the action script. In short, lots of error checking and a very forgiving logic.

                You can find more information about folder action scripts at the following address.

                https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/AppleScript/Conceptual/AppleScriptLangGuide/reference/ASLR_folder_actions.html

                I hope this helps. I am sorry that I can not provide a sample file.

                • 5. Re: Scan to field possible?
                  MacDevGuy

                  Thanks for the reply David. The challenge I am finding in this 'nut to crack' is that I need something that is more logic/intelligence based. I can write something to parse the data but making the choice about where the data should be inserted seems to be the bigger problem. I was hoping to avoid human interaction along with finding something "off the shelf" so I could avoid some of the coding.