7 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2011 2:58 PM by TedN

    Storing a FileMaker Database Locally

    TedN

      Title

      Storing a FileMaker Database Locally

      Post

      I need to add data to a form in FileMaker Go on my iPad when I am in a location without WiFi or 3G coverage.

      In the tutorial "Getting Started With FileMaker Go" it talks about using iTunes to transfer a file to a mobile device and again using iTunes to save a file back to the PC.

      So I'm trying to get it clear in my mind how I would go about achieving the following.

      A large company has its own database. It wants data to be collected in the field and uploaded to the company database.

      My solution is to install FileMaker Server at the head office with a connection to the company database.

      The field staff would download form(s) from the FileMaker Server to their PCs in the field offices and then transfer the forms to their iPads using iTunes.

      Data could be added to the iPad form at remote locations where there is no WiFi or 3G coverage. The updated form could then be transferred back to the PC via iTunes when the staff return to the field office.

      Finally, the updated form could be sent to the company database via the FileMaker Server.

      Is the above doable using FileMaker Go and the iPad and are there any better ways of tackling it.

      Thanks,

        • 1. Re: Storing a FileMaker Database Locally
          TSGal

          TedN:

          Thank you for your post.

          If you have a file being served, have the users connect to it from FileMaker Go via 3G or Wi-Fi.  If coverage is not available, then have a clone of the file available that users can download to their mobile device.  When the clients return to the office, copy the file back to their desktop/laptop, launch FileMaker Pro, access the hosted file and the local file and have a script on the hosted file that downloads the data from the clone and either deletes the records (to start new again), or moves the data from the server to the clone file.

          Let me know if you need additional clarification.

          TSGal
          FileMaker, Inc.

          • 2. Re: Storing a FileMaker Database Locally
            MarkBoyce

            Hi Ted / TSGal

            Sorry to hijack the thread but this is eactly what I'm looking for as well. 

            I have Filemaker Server installed on Windows 2008R2 Server, and users with Filemaker Go on iPads.

            So far I've had no success with making the ipad cache changes to the database whilst connectivity has been lost and then resync once connectivity is re-established. Although I will say that it's possible I'm missing something obvious as I am _very_ new to filemaker and using this project as a reason to test it properly.

            Fom the iOS solutions white paper it seems that FileMaker Go should be able to do this;

            "Ability to support access when online and off: Depending on how the iPad/iPhone solution is used, there may be a need to provide offline access to information.  Commonly, an order-entry system might be designed to allow a sales team to enter orders even if there were no Internet connectivity (such as on an airplane, in a tunnel or in an office with poor wireless signal strength).  Once a connection is established, the solution would automatically update the company’s database."

            Cheers

            Mark

            • 3. Re: Storing a FileMaker Database Locally
              TSGal

              Mark Boyce:

              Thank you for your post.

              One option is to create a Date field with the Auto-Enter option to enter the Modification Date.  That is, whenever a change is made to a record, the Date field is updated with today's date.  This way, if you lose connection, open the file on the local iPad, make changes, and when you get back connectivity, run a script on the local device that finds the modified records, and updates the records on the hosted file.  Does this help?

              TSGal
              FileMaker, Inc.

              • 4. Re: Storing a FileMaker Database Locally
                MarkBoyce
                Hi TSGal Presumably this would need to be done on a 'local' database on the ipad which is then sync'd to the remote one, rather than an offline version of the remote database? Would it be possible to have a script run in the background every xx minutes in filemaker? (not played with scripts at all yet) The customers for this job are not technical in the least.  I'm not sure we would even be able to train them to press a 'sync' button safely. Cheers Mark
                • 5. Re: Storing a FileMaker Database Locally
                  TSGal

                  Mark Boyce:

                  There is a script step "Install OnTimer Script", as this will execute a script at certain intervals.  You specify the script to run and the interval in seconds.  Pull down the Help menu, enter "Install OnTimer Script", and select that particular topic for a complete description.

                  TSGal
                  FileMaker, Inc.

                  • 6. Re: Storing a FileMaker Database Locally
                    TedN

                    Hi all, thanks for your comments. I just got back from vacation and will no doubt be responding with some more questions in the next couple of days after I've digested the above.

                    Thanks,

                    • 7. Re: Storing a FileMaker Database Locally
                      TedN

                      Mark,

                      There is a very good tutorial covering FMP and FMG when used with a mobile device. It's called "Getting Started with FileMaker Go" by Arthur Evans.

                      The file name is Getting_Started_with_FileMaker_Go_AWE.pdf. I'm not sure where I got it from but a Google search should find it.

                      It covers both methods of transferring data between FMP and FMG on a mobile device.

                      1. Connecting FMG on mobile device to a hosted FileMaker database via WIFI or 3G. With this method you are basically updating your database from your mobile device (iPad/iPhone) in real time. You obviously need a WIFI or 3G connection to do this.

                      2. Storing data on your mobile device. This method allows you to copy your FMP file to FMG on your mobile device using iTunes. Once copied you can enter data data into FMG even if you are not connected to WIFI or 3G. You can then transfer your file back to FMP, again through iTunes with the option of creating a new file or replacing the original one.

                      It's the second option I need. I've tried it and it works very well. I've now got to get some scripts to better define the data process.

                      Hope this is helpful.

                      Ted