6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 14, 2012 11:09 AM by philmodjunk

    Syncing Questions (Go vs IWP)

    MorkAfur

      Title

      Syncing Questions (Go vs IWP)

      Post

      We're evaluating a project and trying to decide between using "Go" (preferred since it's so cool looking and doesn't require a server connection) or Sharing via IWP.

      The problem we see using Go is that with multiple users in the field, synching the database updates would, as I understand it, become a major nightmare. There seem to be solutions like the 360 sync solution, but that's still $1,000+ for a basic deploymnet of a few iPads.

      I also understand that there's some type of sync guide coming soon from the FMP folks.

      So, my basic question at this point is Go vs. IWP?

      It seems with IWP you would need to always have 3G connectivity (can't be guaranteed by field service personnel) or with Go you'd need to sync the database from multiple users (also not ideal).

      Am I missing something? At this point, I'm really trying to confirm that I'm not missing something simple and obvious.

      It seems like the best I can achieve is about a 90% solution with serious design compromises choosing either Go or IWP.

      I can't find any documentation on the FMP site that descrbes these obvious use-cases of these two alternative approaches.

      Look forward to any suggestions.

      Thanks,

      -m

        • 1. Re: Syncing Questions (Go vs IWP)
          philmodjunk

          You are missing a 3rd option: Use Go as a client of a hosted database located on a computer on your local network. FileMaker can host up to 9 clients this way or Filemaker server (does not need to be advanced), can host a much larger number of clients.

          It's still the same connectivity issue, you need 3G, WiFi or (if using FMGO 12) 4G to get a "live" connection to the DB, but you don't have the interface design limitations of IWP.

          • 2. Re: Syncing Questions (Go vs IWP)
            MorkAfur

            Thanks for your reply.

            Yeah, we had considered that too. We would need Server Advanced, as I understand it, since we need ODBC/JDBC connectivity for remote Java/.NET access.

            i think the hosting company route will probably be the best way to go. Setting up an internal server with ports exposed to the Internet won't fly.

            From the research I've done so far, I'm surprised how much more expensive it is to host a FMP solution vs a regular web application in Java or .NET.

            Our use case is field service folks. And, for them I still need to find out if not having 3G and hence connectivity to the database would be a deal breaker. Say they're in the basement checking a furnace and there's no connectivity? That's where the Go solution comes in handy. But then there's the sync issue.

            No perfect solution here, but I think the sharing vs. synching will win in this case.

            Thanks again.

            - m

            • 3. Re: Syncing Questions (Go vs IWP)
              philmodjunk

              One thing to consider is that there is synch and there is SYNCH. If it's possible that your users can function by only adding new records with new data--not modifying existing data, or you can restrict the data that they modify to just records owned by them and other users can be banned from changing them, then SYNCH becomes synch and some fairly simple scripting can use Import records to pull the data into the hosted copy when they return to a location with reliable connectivity.

              Hmmm, if you need ODBC/JDBC, how could you make this work with separate copies on the iOS devices?

              • 4. Re: Syncing Questions (Go vs IWP)

                Debating IWP vs Go misses the point. If you can do IWP you have a connection that can be used by Go so why waste time with IWP that often becomes a real nightmare to work with.

                With that in mind I say forget IWP especially since Filemaker 12 GO is FREE. Hopefully forever Go will be free.

                Depending upon the complexity of your file, you could script your own sync using the copy on your IOS device to open the copy on your Filemaker Pro or Server.

                Now you need to consider how to modernize your data file to make it easy to update 20 remote users...

                I think you will need the host computer and a second developer computer to make the TOs work. I've had bad luck trying to do this on just one computer.

                I'll be considering this problem in more detail soon since I think one should not have to involve someone else's complex solution when one is creating their own databases.

                The secret seems to begin with a properly designed table...

                • 5. Re: Syncing Questions (Go vs IWP)
                  MorkAfur

                  Hi PMJ,

                  The JDBC would be against the server database assuming a shared connection per your earlier suggestion.

                  Sharing seems to be the best way to go from everything I've heard so far.

                  Question: How do you restrict a user from changing a particular record? Is that by going to File..Manage Secuirty and creating a data entry only user account name? Not sure if that's what you meant so users could only "enter", but not modify data.

                  Thanks,

                  -m

                  • 6. Re: Syncing Questions (Go vs IWP)
                    philmodjunk

                    That's not the only way, but most likely the best, most reliable way to do it. I thought of that method when I remembered how a company I used to work for "checked out" sections of source code to different programmers on a team. If "John" had checked out the source code files for the Telemetry Model Module, "Jim" was not allowed to upload modified code for that module...