7 Replies Latest reply on May 9, 2012 5:05 AM by Sorbsbuster

    Sync v12 to iPad/iPhone

    harringg

      Title

      Sync v12 to iPad/iPhone

      Post

      I've read the forum posts about this topic before posting, but many are one-two years old and for earlier versions of FMP.

      I've got Bento 4, Bento for iPad and Bento for iPhone.

      I am the only user of my databases on my laptop, no shared corporate enviroments.

      One database is a fuel log, I enter mileage, gallons, price when at the pump on my iPhone and sync when I get home to Bento.

      I am considering upgrading to FileMaker Pro 12 (I have downloaded the trial) and the FMP To Go 12 for both iPad and iPhone.

      Is this same sync scenario easily achieveable in v12 of FMP on my local home network?

        • 1. Re: Sync v12 to iPad/iPhone
          philmodjunk

          There's a forum for FM GO that you can post to (see tab at top of this screen). You'll find a number of discussions on this topic and FM 12/FM Go 12 does not offer anything new in this area as far as I know.

          There are several options for syncing between FM Go 12 and FileMaker 12: You can use iTunes to copy the files back and forth between computer and iOS device. Care must be taken to delete or move older copies so that you do not open one by mistake.

          If you have a good wireless connection, (3 or 4 G, WiFi...), your iOS device can function as a client of the FileMaker file open on your desktop machine. Changes made on it are saved directly to the file on the desktop machine.

          There are ways to script import records operations to copy data from one device to the other once you reach a location where you can establish a good connection between the two.

          • 2. Re: Sync v12 to iPad/iPhone
            harringg

            There are ways to script import records operations to copy data from one device to the other once you reach a location where you can establish a good connection between the two.

            I've seen that answer a lot on the forums, "it can be done with scripting", but never any links to where that specific information can be found.

            That's what I'm looking for.  Instructions on "how" to set up the sync scripts.  I've built scripts already for interactive buttons, so don't need a tutorial on scripting, just what steps (code) are needed to make that sync possible. 

            Please advise on specifics of how that is setup.

            In my case, having local wifi sync is useless, if I have to be in local wifi range of my FMP desktop database, why edit on my iPhone, I'll just use the full size keyboard/mouse/etc...?  Or are you saying that if I leave FMP running at home, and when I'm out at the gas station (3G connection), I can open FMP Go and it will sync to my desktop at home?

            • 3. Re: Sync v12 to iPad/iPhone
              philmodjunk

              In my case, having local wifi sync is useless, if I have to be in local wifi range of my FMP desktop database, why edit on my iPhone, I'll just use the full size keyboard/mouse/etc...?  Or are you saying that if I leave FMP running at home, and when I'm out at the gas station (3G connection), I can open FMP Go and it will sync to my desktop at home?

              If you have a good wireless connection, 3g, 4g OR WiFi, you can do this and yes, the file must be open in Filemaker Pro or FileMaker server on an accessible machine--which could be your desktop machine. And you may find accessing your DB from home via WiFi more convenient than you think. You might just be lying in bed reading a book on your iPhone and realize that you haven't updated data in your DB...

              The reason you haven't seen a more detailed example of the scripted synch is that this isn't a simple script and the details are very dependent on the specific design of your database. You'd need to have a pretty good understanding of Filemaker scripting before you try such an approach--and there's more than one way to set up those scripts also.

              • 4. Re: Sync v12 to iPad/iPhone
                harringg
                  So a four field, single table is too complex for FMP to provide a working sync script example. If its that difficult I may have to stick with Bento.
                • 5. Re: Sync v12 to iPad/iPhone
                  Sorbsbuster

                  "So a four field, single table is too complex for FMP to provide a working sync script example. If its that difficult I may have to stick with Bento."

                  Genuinely synchronising a one-table one-field file is not simple for any database.  Or file of any sort; Excel, Word, or PowerPoint.  That's why Dropbox took so long to invent.  It's why Eqnyte and SpiderOak can build a business on it.

                  Phil has suggested a fully-working option - run the host on your computer from home and if you have access at the point of re-fuelling (or soon enough afterwards) then you can log on directly to the database and log the data.  You can see that as 'synchronisation managed seamlessly by Filemaker' or 'No synchronisation needed anyway'.

                  "Is this same sync scenario easily achieveable in v12 of FMP" - what is the current sync scenario you are using on Bento?  Are you replacing the 'old' file on one device with the updated 'new' file from another device?  That's not 'synchronisation' as everyone might understand it.

                  We have a scenario where field engineers locally record the work they do on an iPad.  They may not have web access at the time.  When they get the opportunity to connect they click a button and the queued-up work-completed details are uploaded to the central database.  They can then also download an update to their work schedule.  For simplicity the customer and their engineers often refer to this as 'synchronising' but it is not - the system simply sends back to the central file all its records marked as 'Not Yet Sent'.  If that is what you want, and you are reasonably deft with writing scripts, then it is not too hard to build one that:

                  - Finds all records in the local file not yet marked as sent to the central file
                  - Goes to a layout based on a Table Occurance from the central file (mounted in the local file as an External Data Source)
                  - Imports the found set
                  - Marks the found set as 'Exported'

                  Is that what you want to achieve?

                  • 6. Re: Sync v12 to iPad/iPhone
                    harringg

                    @sorbsbuster

                    Sync with Bento is just push a button and it adds/updates/deletes any new records from phone to desktop on the same wifi network.  database is accessable/editable away from network.  It's a straight forward thing, but the issue is Bento is not a full fledged DB.  It has some DB functions (link records, sum fields, etc...), but I'm finding for my designs I'm outgrowing it.  If the same type of sync isn't possible in FMP, I'll have to live with the limitations of Bento.  But it's got to be, and I'm surprised there aren't more people trying to do remote data entry with the "sync" tools built into FMP.

                    I just created a small test DB in FMP, Sharing>FileMaker Network  Turned on my phone, FM Go saw it, I added data, it pushed the changes to the desktop in real-time.  I turned OFF my wifi on my phone (kept 3G on, as would be the case in my example, adding fuel records at the gas station) and the phone said it said "Error  The file "testing.fmp12" could not be opened.  Either the host is not available, or the file is not available on that host."  That needs a live connection to even see the data.

                    With the Instant Web Sharing, same thing.  But this time it wouldn't find it.  I turned off FM Network, turned on IWS, Open File Browser (on phone)>Add Host>my IP I just viewed in the IWS setup, DB is selected, all users chosen.

                    xx.x.x.xx/testing.fmp12

                    Error The file "testing.fmp12" could not be opened (Not Found)  File is open on desktop and wifi is ON on phone.

                    I'm hoping there is a script that will let me update/add records that are edited on the phone and send them to the desktop when I manually sync via wifi, like I was doing in Bento.  I found this, but need a quick help on implementing it:

                    Script: Import Records>Update exisiting records in found set, Add remaining data as new records

                    • 7. Re: Sync v12 to iPad/iPhone
                      Sorbsbuster

                      I've never used Bento as I was already an FM user when it came out.

                      "I turned OFF my wifi on my phone (kept 3G on, as would be the case in my example, adding fuel records at the gas station) and the phone said it said "Error  The file "testing.fmp12" could not be opened.  Either the host is not available, or the file is not available on that host."  That needs a live connection to even see the data."

                      It needs the ability to connect to the hosted file.  When you were inside your network the IP address was available to the phone.  When you go outside your network (by accessing via 3G) then the private IP is not available to it.  You need to set up port-forwarding, like you would for any service hosted behind a router.

                      "With the Instant Web Sharing, same thing.  But this time it wouldn't find it.  I turned off FM Network, turned on IWS, Open File Browser (on phone)>Add Host>my IP I just viewed in the IWS setup, DB is selected, all users chosen.

                      xx.x.x.xx/testing.fmp12

                      Error The file "testing.fmp12" could not be opened (Not Found)  File is open on desktop and wifi is ON on phone."

                      You don't have to turn off the FM network.  You cannot open the file just by typing in the URL, you have to append the correct port number.  So your URL might look like 192.168.0.3:591.  You will then see a list of the hosted files.