7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 17, 2014 6:33 PM by quirkycrone

    What happens (stepwise) when a "conflicted copy" is created?



      What happens (stepwise) when a "conflicted copy" is created?


      I am breaking the rules. I have been giving access to a database through Dropbox. I have read several posts about this, without finding an answer to this question.

      I note instances of "conflicted copy" in the Dropbox.  Sometimes I have even been able to watch them happen.

      I'd really like to know what sequence of action filemaker takes when a table in open and another user opens it from OS.

      Say I have an instance of the database open, but idling (no data entry going on), and someone else opens the database and starts entering data.  My presumption would be that this new User would probably open a "conflicted copy" instance of the database.  If they close the database, does the additional data now reside "only" in the conflicted copy?  Or does Filemaker attempt to merge the new data back into the copy that is "idling/"

      Trust me, I know you are going to say I need to use "remote access."  That does not stop me from wanting to know what transpires without it. Given the peculiar collaborative system of my work with my client, this problem is likely to rear its ugly head on occasion.I really need to know what is going on when a file shows up as "conflicted."

      Thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: What happens (stepwise) when a "conflicted copy" is created?

          What you will get is a major mess. Drop box flags each file that is opened. If two or more users open the same file, each is given a different copy of the file and the changes each user makes is then saved back to their copy of the file--which means that each file now contains a different copy of the data and none of the copies contains a correct copy of the data.

          The only way that I can see this approach working is if all your users are only permitted read only access to the data in the file. Then you conflicted copies will be identical and you can just remove them.

          • 2. Re: What happens (stepwise) when a "conflicted copy" is created?

            How about making a rule that you must download the file each time it is used and replace it when done modifying? If you deleted the file from dropbox (or renamed)when you downloaded, that should alert the other user(s).  My concern is that, while I make every effort to notify the client when I am modifying or working on the database, they are sometimes negligent in keeping up with their emails.

            Once again, I know that Server is the ultimate answer, just can't layout that money ATM.

            When I am in the database and they go in, it makes one conflicted copy.  Once again, I would really like to know, If I immediately drop out and contact them and get them to restart, then would the problem be confined to what they might have entered during the time (brief) that they came on-line?  This would work for me presently because I am usually at my desk when I am working on the active database, and I do get a screen notice that changes are happening in dropbox.

            I have already prepared them for the sticker shock of buying Server, but it won't happen until we are past the point of creating historical archives, which may be a year down the line.

            Thanks again, Phil.

            • 3. Re: What happens (stepwise) when a "conflicted copy" is created?

              You do not need to use FileMaker Server to host the file if the numbers of simultaneous users are small enough. FileMaker Pro can host the file.

              The problem with what you propose is that it is possible for two users to pull the file onto their desktop and delete the file simultaneously. And if the user forgets to put the file back, everyone else can't get to the file and you won't know which user has the file. If they damage or delete that copy...

              You are better off not doing development work in the same exact copy of the database that your users are accessing to use. This sets up all kinds of problems that can lead to damaged files and screwed up data when a change you are committing to the database locks all other users (and their scripts) from being able to modify data in that table until the change is committed. (And just opening the specify calculation dialog to look at an auto-enter calculation locks everyone else out of the table until you close the dialog.)

              Instead, modify a copy of the file, save a clone of it and then distribute it to the user with a script that pulls all data from their copy into the new version. If you use a Convert to Seperation Model you can distribute at least some updates without having to import data.

              • 4. Re: What happens (stepwise) when a "conflicted copy" is created?

                Thanks Phil..as a veteran of file management wars, I have a clue about the mess that can happoen when conflicts occur. I was just trying to figure out the parameters of this one.

                Do you recommend a separate machine if I am using Filemaker Pro as a host?  Do I then need a separate license for that machine?


                • 5. Re: What happens (stepwise) when a "conflicted copy" is created?

                  You might consider using a hosting service most have plans starting at about 20.00 a month


                  • 6. Re: What happens (stepwise) when a "conflicted copy" is created?

                    I have a followup question. I know it seems elementary, but I haven't found an answer yet in Knowledge Base or the Forums. I know that my databases work properly on either Mac or PC.  But if both platforms are using the file in a properly shared environment, is there any conflict or problem in using both operating systems simultaneously?

                    • 7. Re: What happens (stepwise) when a "conflicted copy" is created?

                      And, if you set up an appropriate sharing environment under Filemaker Pro, can the database be modified from the host side of the equation while in use by a client?