4 Replies Latest reply on Nov 13, 2009 6:55 AM by hiatts

    Creating robots in FileMaker Server 9

    RAP

      Title

      Creating robots in FileMaker Server 9

      Your post

      I have an inventory management system built originally in FileMaker Pro 6. This system has an associated website built using CDML. Served to the web using FileMaker 6 Unlimited and IIS, it works very well.

       

      I have now converted the databse to FMP 9, and the website has been redone, replacing the CDML tags with PHP. This is also working very well, running on FileMaker Pro Server 9.0.3.325. OS is Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition.

       

      However, when using FM 6 Unlimited, my users can call a script via the web that creates a complex report, prints it as a PDF file using pdfFactory and, using the Troi File plugin, renames the file and transfers it to the web folder so that it can be viewed on line and subsequently downloaded by the user.

       

      As I understand it, neither FileMaker Server 9 or 10 can create server side PDFs.

       

      I have read a number of posts that refer to the use of robot machines to do this kind of work, but nowhere can I find any information on how to do this - i.e. how do you get FileMaker Server to access and run a script on another machine?

       

      This script needs to be run immediately, not at some later time.

       

      Likewise, I use SMTPiT to send an email: to the customer who is ordering online, to the warehouse and to the customer's account manager, notifying them that an order has been received.

       

      I believe this will also need to be done on a robot machine.

       

      Any information or pointers to information on how to do this would be very gratefully received.

        • 1. Re: Creating robots in FileMaker Server 9
          mrvodka
             Why arent you using PHP to creat the PDF files?
          • 2. Re: Creating robots in FileMaker Server 9
            RAP
              

            My problem is that I need to get this up and running for a client as soon as possible. I do not know PHP and have to use someone who does. His knowledge of FileMaker is like mine of PHP. The reports are all summaries of summaries and only visible in preview mode.

             

            I do want to move it all to PHP but I need to use the existing, working system, in the meantime.

             

            Hence my request for assistance to establish a robot connection.

            • 3. Re: Creating robots in FileMaker Server 9
              mrvodka
                

              The robot machine doesnt really work like that. Basically its a standard client connection which runs a script at a given time. Now if you have FMP10, you can run this script with the Install OnTimer script step to run every few minutes or so. If you are using a previous version, you can use Windows Scheduler or iCal to call an opener file that would open the file run your send script and close.

               

              However, you can not get an end user action to force the robot machine to run. Does that sense?

               

              You can have your end users create the report as a PDF, save it in a container or shared drive, create a log record, and then have your robot do the actual sending of all unsent log records.

              • 4. Re: Creating robots in FileMaker Server 9
                hiatts
                  

                We have a robot system, rather I call it a Master-Slave-Bot, or MSB.

                 

                This MSB is an FMP app that resides on a machine (all Macs here), and it uses AppleScript held within the FMP to control user accounts on another Mac. The control we use MSB for is to FIFO requests that are then sent to an idle account on the Slave mac where the Master generated AppleScript instructs the Slave Mac account to open up a remote FMP app and make it run, either importing files, connecting to other systems, and or generating exports and emails of the results.

                 

                MSB took about 1 day to make, to integrate it into each Slaved app, a couple of hours.

                 

                Think of it like this... the Master is like an end user, however as it is fast we have it control more than one user account on a single machine, resulting in processing times of about 100 human users.