8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 30, 2011 8:33 AM by philmodjunk

    Syncing

    ChristineLindgren

      Title

      Syncing

      Post

      I am thinking about purchasing Filemaker Pro11 and Filemaker Go. I talked to a sales rep and he stated that if I enter data into my database on my iPad at home with Filemaker Go, then when I come into work and connect to the same network as Filemaker Pro is on, it will sync the new information to the database within a minute or two. Is that correct? I'm asking because I read that syncing on the iPad version was not supported.

       

        • 1. Re: Syncing
          philmodjunk

          This is not a built in feature of FileMaker Pro and Go. The only way this would happen is if you set this up your self. If by "sync" you just used iTunes to copy the file from your iPad to the computer, replacing the file entirely, then this might be what the salesman meant. Anything more sophisticated than that would need someone to design a script for importing records from the copy on the iPad to the copy on the computer and "syncing" could potentially be a very complex process if it is possible for one or more users to modify the same record on different copies of the same databse file...

          • 2. Re: Syncing
            ChristineLindgren

            I am not that sophiticated to write script.  I am looking for a way that I can have employees out of the office make notes, add to records, etc and then when they return to the office the changes or addtions they have made will sync with Filemaker Pro11 without replacing the entire file or creating duplicates.  Is there anyway to make something like this happen with FilemakerPro11 and Filemaker Go?

            • 3. Re: Syncing
              philmodjunk

              Yes, but you or a database design consultant will need to design that capability into the system. FileMaker Pro is a tool for creating custom designed databases. It's not an "off the shelf" product you can just load on your machines and start using, someone has to use it to create the database first.

              • 4. Re: Syncing
                ChristineLindgren

                I was under the impression that Filemaker Pro was an easy to use database system that someone without a ton of experience could use.  I have used Bento for awhile - but it does not sync information - and creates copies when modified.  This is very frustrating - I need the ability to have all of my employess add info to one main file per client. 

                • 5. Re: Syncing
                  Sorbsbuster

                  There are a couple of easy ways you could consider:

                  - have the off-site staff hook up at a wi-fi spot and log on to the hosted file live and do their record creation there.

                  or

                  IF the synchronisation is only one way as you describe, ie: the main database only has to accept new records from the various staff members' files:

                  - you could give them each a file with the basic data-capture fields and when they return to base you could import their new records into the main DB.

                  I am not familiar with Bento (except to think of it as a stripped-down version of FM) but if it can import records then you could use it to do that instead.

                  • 6. Re: Syncing
                    ChristineLindgren

                    Thank you for the ideas!  When they import their records into the "base" filemaker, will it merge records or duplicate?

                    • 7. Re: Syncing
                      Sorbsbuster

                      Ah, sorry - I should have paid more attention to your 'add notes' comment.  It's still not too bad as long as the synchronisation is guaranteed to always be one-way.  You can streamline the process by:

                      - marking the records 'imported' in the data-collection files as they are pulled into the main file.  Then you know how to exclude them from the next import.

                      - Import all records marked as not yet imported in one script, with the import set to create new records

                      - you can track via the record modification date the last time the record was modified.  If that date is >= the date the file last exported records, then import all of those too, with the import set to update existing records, matched by the unique RecordID

                      All of this becomes a nightmare is the sync'ing has to be two-way; for example, if anyone can update the main database after a record has been imported.  Then it's a whole different barrel of fun.

                      • 8. Re: Syncing
                        philmodjunk

                        I was under the impression that Filemaker Pro was an easy to use database system that someone without a ton of experience could use.

                        I have yet to meet a salesman for any product that didn't "accentuate the positive" to some degree. "Easy to use" is a very vague term that can be read a number of different ways. "Easier tp use" is more accurate. Compared to other database design systems, its much easier to use than most of them when it comes to building the database, but database systems, by nature, can be very complex things to construct and there's no substitute for the need to understand how a relational database functions and how it should be designed.

                        IF you can find a ready made file that does what you want, then it can be very easy to use indeed, but that's not really what FileMaker is designed for. It's really a tool for you to use to build your own system to function the way you want it to work and that requires time and effort on your part to learn how things work "under the hood" so that you can in turn get the most out of your use of this product.