9 Replies Latest reply on Feb 16, 2012 9:40 AM by atalanta

    Is this possible?

    michaelone

      Title

      Is this possible?

      Post

      I have a small company that uses an Access  Database that syncs with 4 Palm zire handhelds.  The handhelds are used for data collection in the field, brought back to the office in the afternoon and synced with the Access database.  During the day the Access database will have been edited. 

      I would like to update to modern times with iphones/pads and a computer running Filemaker.  Looking through the forums it appears that you can have one copy of the database active and transfer it to a device, modify it on the device and then transfer the file back to the desktop.  Can this work with multiple handhelds? Each handheld would update a different subset of records. 

      Example:  We have 2 routes.  Each route has a different set of customers to visit each day of the week. 

      So, Route 1 Monday, Route 1 Tuesday and so on.  Route 2 Monday and so on.

       

      After each route is completed, would I be able to update Filemaker on the desktop without overwriting the previous device's data?  I hope I'm explaining this well enough.

       

      Thanks for any reply.

        • 1. Re: Is this possible?
          TSGal

          Michael Schapansky:

          Thank you for your post.

          There are a few options here....

          First, FileMaker Go can connect to a hosted database file via 3g or Wi-Fi.  If the people out in the field have internet access, then they should be able to update the database file in real-time.

          If the field agents do not have internet access, then FileMaker Pro does not have a "syncing" process.  However, you can create scripts so when you do get access to the hosted file, you could execute a script that would simulate a syncing process by finding the records locally, and then executing a script on the hosted file to import the data from your database.

          Let me know if you need additional clarification.

          TSGal
          FileMaker, Inc.

          • 2. Re: Is this possible?
            philmodjunk

            Please note that this detail:

            During the day the Access database will have been edited.

            Will greatly complicate any sync process if you don't want to accidentally lose edits when two different users modify the same record in different ways. I suspect that this is a problem with your current set up as well.

            User 1 opens main copy of database and corrects spelling of client's name from Jon Doe to John Doe. User 2 with copy on mobile device finds same record and changes phone number from 555-5556 to 555-5555. A "good" sync should incorporate both changes in the final merged copy of the data, but many such systems will revert the name change when the updated copy from the mobile user is used to update the main copy.

            • 3. Re: Is this possible?
              PolyPaparas

              TSGal

              Can you please direct me to some advice regarging these scripts for "syncing"?

              Many thanks for your help

               

              • 4. Re: Is this possible?
                Jade

                Hi Poly,

                This may be of interest to you if you do not want to build your own:

                http://www.seedcode.com/cp-app/ste_cat/gozync

                • 5. Re: Is this possible?
                  michaelone

                   

                  Please note that this detail:

                  During the day the Access database will have been edited.

                  Will greatly complicate any sync process if you don't want to accidentally lose edits when two different users modify the same record in different ways. I suspect that this is a problem with your current set up as well.

                  User 1 opens main copy of database and corrects spelling of client's name from Jon Doe to John Doe. User 2 with copy on mobile device finds same record and changes phone number from 555-5556 to 555-5555. A "good" sync should incorporate both changes in the final merged copy of the data, but many such systems will revert the name change when the updated copy from the mobile user is used to update the main copy.

                   

                   

                  I suppose I could modify my process to do any desktop edits at a time either before or after all devices have been synced.  That would avoid conflicts, wouldn't it?

                  I have no programming experience. I know this is an impossible question to answer but I'll ask it anyway. How difficult would it be to write suitable scripts for a beginner? Would it be unreasonable to believe that I could make an application with several tables work by April?

                   

                  Thank you very much for your input, it has been very helpful..

                  • 6. Re: Is this possible?
                    philmodjunk

                    Limiting edits to one user at a time for a given record or group of records greatly simplify the process. It doesn't really matter whether the edits are on the desktop copy or in one or more of the FM GO units. It's a matter of any two or more modifying the same record between "synchs".

                    I know this is an impossible question to answer...

                    Best way to answer that question is to download the free 30 day trial of FileMaker Pro--what you need to use to create solutions for Go anyway--and see how difficult it is for you to create scripts. You would also need to evaluate the amount of personal time you have to devote to this process.

                    • 7. Re: Is this possible?
                      PolyPaparas

                      Hi TSGal,

                       

                      thanks for the link, but I cannot afford tro pay $500 just for the syncing...

                      I was hoping you could direct me to some script that will do this comparing and "syncing" when the ipad is connected to the office computer...

                       

                       

                      • 8. Re: Is this possible?

                        Did anyone notice that he kept saying Access? Is that as in Microsoft Access? If so, then there is a whole kettle of different worms here...

                        There are one or two apps for Access on iTunes...

                        • 9. Re: Is this possible?
                          atalanta

                          I think the OP wants to convert FROM access TO Filemaker.

                          I'm working on a solution that sets a "lock" on the hosted record so that when the data is downloaded into the FM Go version, the record is locked and cannot be edited except by someone with special access.

                          The problem I'm having is getting the data back from the FM Go to the FM Pro. I can get the files out of FM Pro and into go, but my FM Pro file can't see the FM Go file. I tried the suggestion in the FM Go whitepaper but that isn't working. I'm setting the path to the client as $$path with that being Get(DocumentsPath)  & "Client.fp7" so in the Data Source window it has file:Client.fp7 and $$path. Should $$path be prefaced with anything?