12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 9, 2014 1:18 PM by philmodjunk

    Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go

    ChristianBoyce

      Title

      Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go

      Post

      I have FileMaker files stored on Dropbox. I have Dropbox on my iPhone. If I go to Dropbox on my iPhone, I see the files, and if I tap one to open it FileMaker Go does NOT launch. Instead I see a big mess of text, as if FileMaker Go is not being invoked at all (I'm sure that's the case). 

      If I try to do it the other way around (starting in FileMaker Go) I can't locate the Dropbox. 

      Has anyone managed to open a FileMaker file stored on Dropbox? The demo/infomercial mentions Dropbox at the end, saying "it works" but it sure doesn't work here. The FileMaker file icons don't look right on the files when viewed via Dropbox on the iPhone though the files work fine on my Macs. Every other file type that I tried opens fine: Excel, PDF, Word.

      iPhone 4, iOS 4.0.1, FileMaker Go 1.0.2 (started with 1.0.1 this morning, same issue), Dropbox 1.2.3. I tried restarting the iPhone also. No luck.

        • 1. Re: Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go
          Steve Wright

          I have been able to open files from DropBox, however one thing I would have to ask is whether or not these files have the .fp7 extension.  If they have your own runtime extension (such as .usr) they will not open since your extension is not associated with FileMaker Go.

          • 2. Re: Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go
            ChristianBoyce

            My files do have the .fp7 extension. They don't look like FM files when viewed from Dropbox on the iPhone. They look generic. How do yours look to you?

            When you open FileMaker files from Dropbox, do you go to Dropbox and simply tap a FM file? Or do you start in FM Go, and then navigate to the FileMaker file you want to open?

            My file is called "practice.fp7" and it was created in FileMaker Pro Advanced 11 on my Mac. It opens from Dropbox on either of my two Macs. It is at the top level of my Dropbox (not within any folder).

            Thanks for your help.

            • 3. Re: Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go
              Steve Wright

              They do not have the FM Go icon, here is the screenshots

              1. A runtime file with my own extension - will not load from dropbox
              http://i563.photobucket.com/albums/ss76/sws-solutions/IMG_0008.png

              2. An fp7 file
              http://i563.photobucket.com/albums/ss76/sws-solutions/IMG_0007.png

              I cannot simply click the file to open it, however can use the link at the top right.

              • 4. Re: Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go
                ChristianBoyce

                I see now. The file does not open directly, but you can open it with the link at top right (bottom right on the iPhone) if you wait long enough.

                It appears that FileMaker does not use the file directly from Dropbox. Instead, it seems to copy the file and use that. Open it three times from Dropbox and you get three copies of the file in FM Go's browser, like so:

                practice.fp7

                practice 1.fp7

                practice 2.fp7

                Each appears to be a unique file, not just a pointer or alias to a single file. Test it: Open a file from Dropbox using FM Go, add a record, close the file. Look at the file in Dropbox on the iPhone. The file will not show that it has been modified recently. Open the file from a Mac and you will not see your newly added record.

                Go to Dropbox on the iPhone again and open the file again. You'll create another copy (you'll find it in the FM Go file browser). This one won't have your changes either (because it's another file).

                Basically, it appears that every time you open a FileMaker file by going to Dropbox first, and then tapping your file, and then tapping the "Open with..." icon, you are making a copy of the file. Changes you make in this file will NOT go back into the file stored on Dropbox. This is not the way Dropbox is supposed to be used; if you make a change in a file stored on Dropbox, the file is updated and all machines belonging to that Dropbox account are updated. It's easy to test with two Macs-- make a change in a FileMaker file stored on Dropbox, then quit it, and open the file from another Mac. Your changes are there (of course). Not so if you use Dropbox with FM Go. 

                Based on what I've seen so far I can't recommend using FileMaker Go with Dropbox. It seems that FileMaker Go just doesn't "get" Dropbox. FM Go seems to see Dropbox as just a place to get a file, rather than as the very handy, always-synchronized service that it is. I use Drobox with FileMaker files all the time, and while I have to be smart about it--- remembering to close a file on Machine A before opening it with Machine B-- it's worked like a charm, saving me endless copy-back-and-forth operations. FM Go, while still useful, can't be part of the Dropbox mix other than at the start, when it copies a file for FM Go's own use. 

                It's a shame, really. 

                • 5. Re: Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go
                  GillesBAULARD

                  I was to buy FM go but it seems useless in fact if you cannot update a file shared in dropbox.

                  Only it allows to make a local copy, but then no way to send back the modifications....

                  I will write some small dB in Php/html and access it from safari iphone, and this will work and be cheaper.

                  Gilles

                  • 6. Re: Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go
                    Steve Wright

                    Using drop box you cannot get the modified file back, but using iTunes you can.

                    Either that, or use FM Go as a client to a hosted version of your database thus avoiding file transfers altogether, this is the same principle as using PHP / MySQL really, since your are remotely accessing everything.

                    If you are still not convinced, skip FM Go and just use instant web-publishing. Go is far better than IWP though.

                    Ultimately, it depends on where your data resides and what you want to achieve.

                    • 7. Re: Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go
                      ChristianBoyce

                      Yes, of course I can use iTunes to get the modified file back, but apart from being clunky, it's one more thing to remember to do. Dropbox does it all for you. FileMaker Go is misusing Dropbox, and that's really too bad. Dropbox works so well for me and FileMaker files (of which I am the sole user) as long as I use them on Macs and not via FileMaker Go.

                      If I were to connect to a hosted version, and then lose the connection from my iPhone, what happens to the database? Will it be damaged? There are so many scenarios where the connection could be dropped: iPhone is turned off, iPhone goes to sleep, iPhone is switched to some other app, iPhone loses internet connection-- what are the risks to the database at the host? 

                      • 8. Re: Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go
                        StenKaspersen

                        You better use file exchange via iTunes

                        • 9. Re: Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go
                          Steve Wright

                          If I were to connect to a hosted version, and then lose the connection from my iPhone, what happens to the database? Will it be damaged? There are so many scenarios where the connection could be dropped: iPhone is turned off, iPhone goes to sleep, iPhone is switched to some other app, iPhone loses internet connection-- what are the risks to the database at the host? 

                          The same applies to a file running locally on the device.  Im pretty sure the file wont be damaged, FMI must have thought of this.
                          On that note, you need to ensure that you have processes in place to deal with disconnections (even locally)

                          For instance when receiving a phone call, or the user presses the home button, the local file will abort the script part way through. Im still experimenting with things like this myself.

                          Some light reading :-)  http://www.geistinteractive.com/blog/2010/07/filemaker-go-and-transactions

                          • 10. Re: Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go
                            dnehrs

                                 When I click on the FM file (.fmp12).  It exports it--where I don't know.  I see the line at the bottom that slowly turns blue as it moves to the right.  That usually means it's exporting it.  I open Filemaker Go, and I can't see it anywhere.  Where does the file go?  BTW, I don't see the icon at the bottom right of my i-Phone.

                            • 11. Re: Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go
                              TSGal

                                   David Nehrkorn:

                                   Thank you for your post.

                                   The last post was from 2010 when FileMaker Go was initially released.

                                   Dropbox should copy the file to the FileMaker Go work area.  If the file isn't appearing, reboot FileMaker Go 13, and tap "Device" again.  Does the file now appear?

                                   TSGal
                                   FileMaker, Inc.

                              • 12. Re: Unable to open files stored on Dropbox using FileMaker Go
                                philmodjunk

                                     Here's how I use drop box in iOS7 on my iPhone to copy a file into the FM GO sand box:

                                       
                                1.           I place the file in my drop box folder on my computer.
                                2.      
                                3.           I open Drop box on my phone and find the file. I check the update info to make sure that the latest change from my computer shows here.
                                4.      
                                5.           I tap the file to try to open it.
                                6.      
                                7.           A progress bar fills in while the file is copied into my phone.
                                8.      
                                9.           I get an error message that the file cannot be opened.
                                10.      
                                11.           I then tap the control in the lower left corner that looks like a box with a vertical arrow pointing up out of it.
                                12.      
                                13.           I then tap the "Open In" button ( Three large dots )
                                14.      
                                15.           I'm then asked to choose the app with which to open the file, FM Go appears as the only option.
                                16.      
                                17.           I tap the FM GO icon and FileMaker GO then Launches and opens the file.
                                18.      
                                19.           From that point, this file is now found in the FM GO sand box with all the other FM GO files.