3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 30, 2009 8:20 AM by philmodjunk

    Updating tables for new versions

    RonG

      Title

      Updating tables for new versions

      Post

      Hi,

       

      First post.

      I'm exploring the possibility of moving a large, mature Access application to FM.  I have lots and lots of questions about how to accomplish this, which I'm researching, but I'm also looking into specific capabilities.  So, here's question 1.

       

      In my current application, I occasionally add new fields to tables or new tables to the database, which is shipped as an Access Runtime application.  When an update is downloaded and installed by the user, I have code in the program that looks at the software version number, which is stored in a table, and compares it to the version number for the update.  If the installed version is less than the update version, some code executes that allows the system to automatically add the desired fields or tables to the users installed application.  Is it possible to build that sort of capability into FileMaker?

       

      Maybe a more general question as well, which would be the 100,000 foot level view of how updates are made to FileMaker systems that are distributed as the FM Runtime.   This may show up in reading the doc, but I thought I'd ask.

       

      Thanks a lot for any assistance you can provide. 

        • 1. Re: Updating tables for new versions
          philmodjunk
            

          Welcome to the group and welcome to filemaker.

           

          I speak 'Access' as well as 'filemaker' so fee free to use terms from either system if that helps you better describe what you want to do.

           

          With regards to updates, there's no built in capability in filemaker to update a table's structure via a script, it's strictly a "do it by hand" operation. In filemaker, if you need to automate an update where the table/relationship definitions have changed, you have to write code that imports all of the data from the older file into the updated file.

           

          The other key detail to keep in mind about filemaker run time databases is that they are strictly single-user entities. If the users need to host the files over a network, they'll need to at least buy filemaker pro.

           

          • 2. Re: Updating tables for new versions
            RonG
              

            Hi, and thanks.

             

            As I'm reading in the doc, I'm realizing that there's some different lingo in effect with FileMaker, so I'll have to be careful about that.  

             

            I'll have to read more about application development in FileMaker, of course.  There are a lot of details to hash out.

             

            Regards multi-user applications.....

            What I be right in guessing that I could have a multi-user application as long as it resides on one PC and doesn't cross a network? An example would be, say, a 3 person company where they each are entering data into the system for their own sales, but have a single PC to use, and want to have combined reporting.  That could potentially all be handled by code within the application.  

             

            Is there a solution where you'd want to have a networked operation, but don't want the users to have to purchase and install Filemaker? Perhaps using the server version in some way where there would be a centralized database server servicing a handful of workstations, each running the runtime application? Or something like that?

             

            Offhand, could you point me towards some resources for application developers who make use of the Runtime to distribute their application?

             

            Thanks again.

            • 3. Re: Updating tables for new versions
              philmodjunk
                

              "I could have a multi-user application as long as it resides on one PC and doesn't cross a network? An example would be, say, a 3 person company where they each are entering data into the system for their own sales, but have a single PC to use, and want to have combined reporting."

              As long as you have just one user opening the database at a time, there's no problem. No need for special code.

               

              "Is there a solution where you'd want to have a networked operation, but don't want the users to have to purchase and install Filemaker? Perhaps using the server version in some way where there would be a centralized database server servicing a handful of workstations, each running the runtime application? Or something like that?"

              It's possible to publish a filemaker database to the web so that other users can access the database with their web-browsers. you could so serve up your file using instant web publishing (IWP) using a single copy of filemaker pro and then small numbers of users could access it via either internet or intranet. There are pros and cons to this approach. I'd read up on this in the supplied documentation and use the Advanced link above to search on Instant Web Publishing or IWP to get a better idea as to how this works.