13 Replies Latest reply on Oct 1, 2010 9:06 AM by JKellyBlalock

    FM Go and iDisk

    GregAllen

      Title

      FM Go and iDisk

      Post

      How does one access a Filemaker doc that resides in an iDisk folder using FM Go?

        • 1. Re: FM Go and iDisk
          giuspi

          I was posting a vey similar question: can I access a doc that resides ONLY on idisk? I need to access it from different computers without downloading it on hard disk. I have always beed doing that on my Macs; can I do the same on iPad?

          • 2. Re: FM Go and iDisk
            pdh

            While you can share a filemaker database by connecting multiple users to a disk share and it will work, this is not the correct way to do it as it should be shared via a Filemaker client or a Filemaker server. You will not be able to connect to a filemaker database wih FM Go unless it is shared already by a copy of Filemaker Pro client or server that has already opened it. The first computer to open the file becomes the server and FM Go can't do that. The only other option is to make a copy and put it on the ipad/iphone.

            Paul.

            • 3. Re: FM Go and iDisk
              giuspi

              Thank you Paul.

              Actually I am the only user of this document.

              I keep it only on iDisk so I can access from wherever I want (home, office, travel) and if one of my ibooks is lost or stolen the document will not be inside its hard drive. This is important for me. I would like to have the same feature in my ipad: if it is lost I will remove the document from the idisk and I have nothing to worry about...

              • 4. Re: FM Go and iDisk
                pdh

                On this version there appears to be no way to do what you want. The iPad and iPhone don't share data between apps very well for security reasons so you can't get to the areas that the files are stored in unless the app allows other apps to see it (and FM Go doesn't)

                If FileMaker decide to let you view your iDisk as a local disk on the iPad then you'll be able to do that but if you go out of wifi or 3G range you'd potentially damage the database. For the time being your only option is having a local copy on the iPad and syncing it to the iDisk via iTunes manually.

                Paul.

                p.s. I assume you have backups of your database and don't rely on iDisk as the only copy.

                • 5. Re: FM Go and iDisk
                  harlowtech

                  I would highly discourage use of an iDisk or similar service like Dropbox for storing a database you are working on (even if you are the only user) as you run a high risk of data corruption as if the service tries to sync the files while you have the database open the resulting copy would be damaged. I highly doubt FileMaker would ever consider adding this to GO  because of this and you are better off looking at having your FileMaker files hosted with FileMaker Server somewhere.

                  Daniel

                  • 6. Re: FM Go and iDisk
                    GregAllen

                    I'm not sure I'm following this correctly. Seems this discussion has veered a little in that a couple of you have suggested that iDisk is synching a file that is stored on it. This is not the case with any FileMaker docs I would happen to have on iDisk. They are manually placed there. The only reason I would have for putting them on iDisk is so that I have access to them when not at the computer. 

                    Since FM Go will access FM docs on a server I would think I could access them if they are on iDisk since that is in effect, a server.

                    Thanks,

                    G.

                    • 7. Re: FM Go and iDisk
                      harlowtech

                      FileMaker Server is a true database server where GO is acts as a client to it. This is drastically different then iDisk which is a webDAV (HTTP) server, and is iDisk is syncing files (even in the background) from your computer up to Apple's servers.

                      Daniel

                      • 8. Re: FM Go and iDisk
                        GregAllen

                        Ah, I see. Thanks,

                        G.

                        • 9. Re: FM Go and iDisk
                          pdh

                          Daniel is correct, if you are opening the file directly from iDisk via a fileshare and you lose the connection to the iDisk you risk damaging the database. This is the case even if you don't sync with iDisk. When you connect to a FileMaker server (or a client sharing the database) it will handle to data between the server and the client so that the integrity of the data transferred is protected in the event of a loss of connection. As I said in my original post using a file share will work but it's not the correct way to access the database.

                          You can test this yourself on a local copy. Open a local copy of a database in FM Pro (make sure you have a backup) and change some of the data, then while it's open force quit FM Pro. When you now open the file again, filemaker may give you a warning that the database is broken and needs to be repaired (depending on whether there was any damage). This is because FM Pro disconnected while the database was in use and is in effect what will happen if you disconnect from a fileshare with the database open. It's pretty good at repairing itself but it's not guaranteed.

                          Paul.

                          • 10. Re: FM Go and iDisk
                            LeeToomes

                            Sorry guy's being new at this sort of stuff I understand the complications of iDisk as you've explained, but what are the other options?  I have a small FM database, which I currently share on iDisk between the office and home. Like Greg I want to use Go to access it and update on the go.

                            exactly what kind of host does Go connect to, and is there a sharing option that you could recommend?

                            Thanks for any help, Lee

                            • 11. Re: FM Go and iDisk
                              giuspi

                              Thank you to everybody; I have just subscribed a tryout account with 888 server which looks quite unexpensive.

                              It seems it's working quite well at the moment and I might have solved my problem!

                              Giuseppe

                              • 12. Re: FM Go and iDisk
                                pdh

                                Ideally you need to share the files via FileMaker Pro Client or FileMaker Pro server. You can do this by sharing it from any computer connected to the internet that is running FileMaker Pro. If you are on a home broadband connection and want to share it from that this will also work so long as you tell your home router to allow connection to your computer on port 5003 (I think this is all you need to open). If you have a fixed IP address this is best but if not you can use a dynamic dns service like this - http://www.dyndns.com/ - to allow you to have a fixed domain name to get back to your variable IP address.

                                Paul.

                                • 13. Re: FM Go and iDisk
                                  JKellyBlalock

                                  Regarding Lee Toomes comment on July 24.  I have been using Filmaker since 1990 and AppleWorks/ClarisWorks variations since 1986..they are all related to some degree.  I got my iPad in June and our IT guy at my high school suggested I get an iDisk account to store my Filemaker Advanced files on, so I can work with them at school and at home.  It does not appear that I can access those files directly from iDisk through my Wi-Fi service at school or at home, but actually that is a good thing, because I have to manually update the files stored on the iPad through iTunes through the home computer.  That way I don't have changes coming from two or three different directions in one day and get them mixed up, and iDisk syncs the files as soon as it can when I am actually working with that file on either computer.  For security reasons, I don't want access to the actual database from the iPad.  For many years in our rather large district, we had a really elegant user-friendly FileMaker database solution developed by one of our counselors that fetched data from the mainframe, but it was updated manually in each building by a building program administrator for the users' work on a daily basis.  That way the many changes that might and did happen to each record in the course of the day on the mainframe file record only updated upon demand by the sysop or file administrator. (That mainframe system was phased out two years ago, and the database went with it.)  

                                  Yes it might be more convenient to work on the iPad directly from the iDisk file, but it makes me think a bit more when I have to change things intentionally when the downloads/updates happen on my iPad.

                                  For the record, the iPad is the most user friendly Apple product I have encountered for my personal and professional work, and it extensively used in my job.  And I am now working with my 9th or 10th Mac (I personally owned 5 or 6 Macs since 1990), and 4 iPods in the last 6 years.  Because of poor service and a much better Family Plan with another provider, I DO NOT OWN an iPhone.