2 Replies Latest reply on May 30, 2013 11:20 AM by Sorbsbuster

    Access a file from Dropbox in a Container Field



      Access a file from Dropbox in a Container Field


           We have developed a solution for field engineers who cannot rely on constant internet access.  The solution runs in FM12 at their office, and the engineers have a copy on their iPad.  They work entirely on the local copy on their iPad, and when they get a connection hit a 'Sync' button to exchange their data with the server.

           The office-based staff share the file on their PCs, over the LAN.  They have a common mapped drive which means that images or files 'stored by reference' can be opened by anyone.  That mapped drive can be a Dropbox folder (initial tests seem to show.)

           The only part of the completely-synchronised solution we are missing is to let the remote, unconnected iPad users also see the same linked files, and use the same (or a modified) link to access the files (that exist) in their Dropbox.  We can have a field with several filepaths in it (eg: C:Desktop/MyFiles/Photos... Z:/Shared Files/Photos... etc) and make the clicked button open the one appropriate for the user.

           But in order to have a filepath appropriate for an iPad user we have to know how to construct the path.  I know several others have asked this question, but I just find it impossible to believe that the answer is 'there is none'.  To try and figure it out we put a test file on the iPad with one script and two fields.  The script was 'Insert file...', one field was the container to hold the 'stored by reference' file and the other was the pathname stored, so that we could see its syntax.  Although Help says that the script step is fully supported in FM Go, the only files offered to insert were the FM Go files on the iPad (or else the 'Browse for other files' button is so big and inyerface that I've missed it).

           I have seen screen shots of solutions that imply workability such as this - remote workers browsing brochures, images, and technical drawings on an iPad while clearly on-site.  We have concentrated on getting all the 'hard stuff' of two-way synchronisation working, and seem to have been stopped dead by something we thought existed already: let FM Go link to a file in DropBox (GoogleDrive, SkyDrive, whatever.)

           - Is it possible to have a clickable link on an iPad, a replica of the clickable link on a PC, to open a file stored in a container field?

           - Even if the answer to that is 'No' (and I would consider that a very serious weakness of FM Go) and I have to put up with the DropBox link being a web-link, does anyone have an elegant solution to capturing the filename?  (For example, when adding a file in FM12 we let the user browse to wherever the file is and add it.  We then re-export it and re-name it in a controlled manner, store it in the correct location, and then re-name the link.  We would it to work very like that if possible.)

           - Although it would be such a small feature, small to the point of 'useless', can I link a pdf or an image file on the iPad,  using the FM Go file on the iPad?  If I could see how to do that it might open other avenues to explore.

           Thanks for your help.

        • 1. Re: Access a file from Dropbox in a Container Field

               As far as I know this can't be done from Drop Box. The examples you saw probably used images that were embedded in the container fields.

          • 2. Re: Access a file from Dropbox in a Container Field

                 Thanks, Phil, as ever.

                 A few of the threads I read before posting suggested that similar shots and touting seamless integration between FM Pro and FM Go were a bit wide of the mark.  So when Help says that the 'Insert File...' script step is fully supported in FM Go it means 'you can insert any other FM Go file (on this iPad) of your choosing'?  And files and images that are linked in the FM Pro version are impossible to view in FM Go.  And files the guys link in FM Go are... well, those guys can't link any pdfs or images, so I suppose technically there is seamless integration.

                 And there was us thinking that it was the two-way synchronisation that was the critical Proof Of Concept to confirm first.