3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 27, 2011 5:51 AM by ninja

    Updating layout and structures on different Computers

    user14040

      Title

      Updating layout and structures on different Computers

      Post

      My question is how would I update the layout and structure of the database solution without effecting the data they already have on their computers and without having to login to each computer remotely to make changes. 

      Is that what the DDR is used for if so how would it work? I know how to create a DDR but if DDR's are used to update structure layout how do I explain to customers how to update after I send them the DDR file or is their another way. 

      I am using Filemaker Pro Advanced and my customer base will be using Filemaker Pro. 

       

      I know DDR is the structure of a database solution but how do I use it to update layouts on different computers and not effect the data?

      Thanks

        • 1. Re: Updating layout and structures on different Computers
          ninja

           Howdy,

          Redesigning a layout does not affect data what-so-ever.  Put fields on, put fields off, whatever.  Deleting a field's existence in a table...now you are affecting data.
          The only thing to watch for is if someone is actively using the table (i.e. creating or editing a record) while you are monkeying with the layout it can cause a glitch.

          Going to each computer?  I take it you have a different database on each computer...?  Consider having multiple users share a single database (on FMServer or just peer to peer).  Then you change it once and you're done.

          Changing relationships will also not affect the data.  But it may affect what records are shown or related (which is of course why you would change the relationship)

          Changing the definition of a field (setting to global, making a text field into a calculation, deleting the field altogether, etc.) is about the only thing that will directly affect the data.

          DDR is a report on what your Dbase has, and how related, and what layouts/tables/TO's have what fields.  Whatever changes you want to make, I would keep my own punch list and simply work my way through the list for each Dbase installation.

          Backups, backups, backups...keep backups.

          • 2. Re: Updating layout and structures on different Computers
            philmodjunk

            The only thing to watch for is if someone is actively using the table (i.e. creating or editing a record) while you are monkeying with the layout it can cause a glitch.

            Hmm, well you can also corrupt the file if you experience a network glitch while committing a structure change to a hosted file if you make these changes from a client session of FileMaker. It's safer to take the file down off the server, make your changes and then put it back. In some cases, this means that when you put the upgraded copy back, you put up a clone and then import the data from the old copy into the new. This can be done with a script that imports data and automatically updates serial number field settings for you so that you do not have to chain yourself to the computer while managing the imports.

            The Convert to Seperation Model is also a method to consider as it reduces the amount of data importing that you need to do when deploying an update.

            • 3. Re: Updating layout and structures on different Computers
              ninja

               Good points by Phil,

              I regularly (sometimes daily) build and modify from a client setting.  Pulling the files off the host is not an option for me.

              The only glitches I've run in to to date (been four years) are when another user is actively using a record on the same table.  There is a risk, and it is good that Phil pointed it out, but from my experience it is a very tiny risk.  If you get caught in the glitch, however, you get incomplete or repeated data sets.  For me that's not so damaging...in other cases it may be catastrophic.  Know your tools and judge your risks...