7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 25, 2012 10:30 AM by AlastairMcInnes

    Storing a reference to a remote image in a container field.

    AlastairMcInnes

      Title

      Storing a reference to a remote image in a container field.

      Post

           I have a database of book data amongst which is the name of a jpg of the book's cover. At the moment, I'm displaying these in a webviewer control using a "data:text..." viewer setup.

           This works fine as far as the screen goes - the images appear and you can even click on them to see the full size version if you want.

           The problem is that the look very bad on paper - the resolution is far too low for us to send printouts of the book information to agents or clients.

           Which, I suppose, leads to the first questionn - is there a way to improve the quality of the images in the webviewer control when they're printed?

           However, the actual point of the post is that I've been wondering about using a container field to store a reference to the image instead. This works fine and looks great on both the screen and on paper. 

           My problem is how to store the reference. I have a text field which stores just the name of the jpg - usually the ISBN of the book in question but not always because not all our books have ISBNs. At the moment, the webviewer just picks this up like this:

           img src='http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/covers/" & Titles::CoverImageFilename

           I can't figure out an equivalent for a container field.

           The images are stored on our website server which is handy as they have to be accessible to me in Edinburgh, my colleagues in the Oxford office and in our offices in the USA.

           I haven't been able to figure out the syntax for including a reference to a remote server in the container field. For a local drive, it's easy enough:

           imagewin:/I:/978250352080.jpg

           But I can't find an acceptable combination of syntax to refer to the IP address of the remote server.

           Does anyone know if this is even possible and, if so, how to do it?

           Many thanks in advance,
           Alastair

        • 1. Re: Storing a reference to a remote image in a container field.
          philmodjunk

               You need to map/mount the remove server's drive or a shared directory on that drive. This makes the location "look" to your computer like you added another drive to it and you set up your path to point to it just like a file on a local drive.

               The simplest way to get the path right, is to put the file in that directory on the remote server and then insert it into your container with the "store a reference" options specified. It's possible to use a script that loops through a batch of records to export container field contents to a new location and to then re-insert them with the "store a reference" option specified to do a "batch update" of your container field data.

               This requires that each user map/mount the drive or shared directory in exactly the same way and this is why FileMaker 12 adds and external storage option as an alternative that avoids this issue.

          • 2. Re: Storing a reference to a remote image in a container field.
            AlastairMcInnes

                 Thanks Phil. I wondered about something like that, but I couldn't figure out how to map a drive to the remote server.

                 Which, I realise, makes this a Windows problem and not a Filemaker problem. However if anyone knows how to map a drive letter to an IP address, I'd love to know.

                 I don't know why I can't just map a drive to //xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/covers/

                 But Windows is unhappy about it.

                 Alternatively can anyone think of how to improve the printing of the webviewer? Or is there some, third way that I haven't thought of to store references to the images?

            • 3. Re: Storing a reference to a remote image in a container field.
              philmodjunk

                   This is an OS issue.

                   On Windows XP

                   Open My Network Places

                   Select "Map Network Drive" from the Tools menu

                   Click the browse button, then find and select the drive or directory that you want to map to a new drive letter for your computer.

                   I imagine that the steps are similar for other recent versions of Windows.

              • 4. Re: Storing a reference to a remote image in a container field.
                schamblee

                     I believe this is a image issue and not a web viewer issue.  I believe that your images are at a low resolution (Under 100dpi, which will look find on your monitor). Most images to look good on printouts need to be 300dpi to 600dpi.  I would try using 300dpi because the higher the resolution the longer it takes to load and print.  You may have to use imaging software to change the resolution. 

                • 5. Re: Storing a reference to a remote image in a container field.
                  AlastairMcInnes

                       Phil - that's pretty much what I was trying to do, but I can't persuade Windows (XP or 7) to accept the IP address. I can navigate to existing drives but I can't navigate to a directory on the internet. If I had a home network, or if I were in one of the offices, I'm sure I could navigate to a network drive, but the offices don't run on a common network. Of course, we could just have a directory of images on all the networks, but it seems kinda inefficient and would raise synchronisation issues.

                       It looks as if this may be a feature that exists on FM12, but we're not going for that at the moment because of the break in the file format. We have too many users and several databases on the fp7 format and don't want to have to buy a load of new licenses.

                       s. Chamblee - I think you're probably right about the image resolution. I'm not sure, off the top of my head, what the resolution actually is and I'm no expert in imaging software. The Oxford crew have gone home now for the day, but I'll get someone there to look at this for me tomorrow or next week.

                       Many thanks to both of you for the suggestions.

                  • 6. Re: Storing a reference to a remote image in a container field.
                    philmodjunk

                         Yes, this won't work if you can't map the drive, you'll need to use the web viewer or set up something like VPN so that you can map it.

                    • 7. Re: Storing a reference to a remote image in a container field.
                      AlastairMcInnes

                           That's what I was thinking, Phil, but I just wanted to check I wasn't missing anything.

                           I'll get someone to look into the image resolutions when they open up again in Oxford tomorrow. Maybe we can rejig them to print better.

                           I have a VPN connection to one of the US offices but not to any of the others, but it's a definite possibilty.

                           Thanks, once again.