10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 21, 2010 2:33 PM by BrxTn

    Synchronize data between two computers without using the internet?

    Eldon

      Title

      Synchronize data between two computers without using the internet?

      Post

      I need some help to lean how to synchronize information between my laptop and my office computer.  I have a single user license.  My secretary will make changes and then when I return from a trip (I've had the laptop and have made changes to the data base) we need to synchronize the information.  How do I do it?  

        • 1. Re: Synchronize data between two computers without using the internet?
          RSchaub
            

          The easiest way to do , is buy another license, (if you can go on trips, you can afford another lic) and since

          FileMaker won't allow you to have them both openon a network at the sametime. Then an import using the

          update matching records in foud and add remaining data as new records.

           

          Also if you had 2 lics. you could serve one file and it would always be synced.

           

          OR you can doit the hard way and export from your copy to csv or excell and then import

          to her copy, ad hope you don't get duplicates and or mess up original data.

          • 2. Re: Synchronize data between two computers without using the internet?
            etripoli
              

            I've setup something similar with a handheld computer (HPC), and a FMP9 database hosted on a server.  The two databases are slightly different, mainly to accommodate the way the info is used on the handheld.  A script setup on the HPC performs finds based on the modification timestamp of the records in each table, then runs a script on the server copy of the database to import the records over.  After that is complete, another script can be run to freshly import all the data back into the HPC database.

             

            The important thing is this: to keep from having duplicate record IDs, create a Text field that is serially incremented in both copies of the database.  On the 'main' database, start at 'M1'; on the handheld, start at 'H1'.  That way relationships based on record ID won't break.

            • 3. Re: Synchronize data between two computers without using the internet?
              LaRetta_1
                

              Synchronizing is not that easy unless your rules are very clear.  What if you (on the road) change a field on a record and your secretary changes a different field on the same record?  How do you reconicile?  Best to use your laplop and log in and work off the same file.

               

              These issues of different prefix to serial sound fine as well.  But what about child records they create?  Do the child records also have different prefixes?  Listen ... been there, done it ... now with internet, use it. Save yourself from the nightmares.

               

               

              • 4. Re: Synchronize data between two computers without using the internet?
                BrxTn
                  

                Most of my work is done on my desktop computer but now that I have a laptop I would like to be able to take it downstairs and record inventory on my laptop and come back upstairs and sync the files between my 2 computers, (etc.).

                 

                I have a micro business, no employees, don't take business trips, I am the only user, I don't have my databases on a network, have no need for remote access.

                 

                So far I can tell which of my databases have been changed on my laptop but I have about 50 databases and eventually I won't be able to remember which computer has the most up-to-date version. How can tell, between the two computers, which databases are the most recently changed? And how can I sync them? Of course, I can just drag the file from one computer to the other and replace the older one but considering all the file-syncing technology going on today FM10 must have a better solution. 

                • 5. Re: Synchronize data between two computers without using the internet?
                  ninja
                    

                  BrxTn wrote:

                   

                  I have no employees,... I am the only user

                   

                  And how can I sync them?  


                  Easy answer:

                   

                  Have a docking station for your laptop and stop using FMP on the desktop computer.  No syncing needed...ever.  Use your laptop as the 'desktop computer'.


                  • 6. Re: Synchronize data between two computers without using the internet?
                    BrxTn
                      

                    I presume you are speaking in jest. Just one of my active files on one partition from my desktop computer exceeds the entire capacity of the laptop. Then there's my HD video work which takes a huge amount of hard drive space and needs to run from an internal drive since the external USB drives are not fast enough - they're OK for storage. No, it is not practical to replace my G5 with the laptop.

                     

                    So, getting back to the file syncing question I was asking, I take it there is no way to do this?

                    • 7. Re: Synchronize data between two computers without using the internet?
                      Steve Wright
                        

                      I really dont see how Filemaker could provide its own 'one solution fits all' for synchronising.

                       

                      Each solution has its own specific rules to which Filemaker surely couldn't conform. 

                       

                      My suggestion is to figure out how you would go about doing it manually, what rules you would need to follow, then see if you could implement this via scripts and imports.

                       

                      If your only ever updating the data on one PC at a time, then its going to be fairly straight forward based on timestamps etc

                       

                      However if two or more copies of the file are being updated, well lets just say its going to be a difficult task and no matter how you do it, there is always going to be some cases where human interaction is required.. 

                       

                      Why not use web-publishing or peer to peer, to serve it to your laptop ? 

                      • 8. Re: Synchronize data between two computers without using the internet?
                        BrxTn
                          

                        It doesn't seem to me that this should be difficult. Ordinary programs like Calendar and Address Book seem to be able to be synced with ease between two computers, or one computer and an iPod or iPhone. Those are just simple databases. Why not 2 FileMaker databases? Or any other document for that matter. Look for the newest one and make them both the same. I can see things getting more complicated when you have more than 2 copies of a database, or if I was to change both copies at once - which I would have to avoid doing.

                         

                        There would be 2 identical folders of FileMaker databases, one one each computer. I would just be a matter for FileMaker to compare the two and identify which files were the newest and synchronize the two files with the newest data. I suppose I could "strip down" the laptop set since there would be some databases that would be of no use on my laptop. But then, the two folders would no longer be identical and FileMaker would have to figure out what to do when only one file existed.

                        • 9. Re: Synchronize data between two computers without using the internet?
                          comment_1
                            

                          BrxTn wrote:

                          Look for the newest one and make them both the same.


                          Unfortunately, true synchronizing is MUCH more complex than that. Suppose you have a record for "Joe Smith". In one copy, "Joe" was corrected to "Joseph". In the other copy, a telephone number was added. What is now the correct version of the record?

                           

                          Also, a Filemaker FILE can be modified without changing any "real" data, so that's not a good indication.

                           

                           

                          You could probably load the current data to the laptop, record some changes and import them back to the original using "update matching records" - provided no one is editing the original data at the same time.


                          • 10. Re: Synchronize data between two computers without using the internet?
                            BrxTn
                              

                            Aha! The frustrating thing I find with software help is that you have to know the precise words to search for or you don't find anything useful. Having this phrase "update matching records" is exactly what I needed! The phrase itself doesn't tell me anything in itself, but putting it into FileMaker help gave me exactly what I was looking for. It's just a matter of knowing the right thing to search for. This is exactly the sort of thing forums are good for. When a situation is described some more experienced user out there will know those magic words.

                             

                            Thank you!!!!