6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 26, 2016 8:20 AM by alecgregory

    FileMaker batch picture upload




      I have a database for which I want my users to be able to insert pictures.


      As with every software, I want it to be as quick as possible. The way I would like to set it up is to have a local "drop" folder into which the users would insert their pictures where the FM client would go and get the files references to insert new records. I would like to then have the server do the big work and insert the images as external storage to free up the client so the users can do other things while the images are "really" getting inserted. I then run a cmd script to delete the files once they have been properly inserted in the database and are not required anymore.


      I have tried multiple strategies:

      - insert from URL using the client's IP address, couldn't get it to work, FM Server would always return error 100, I knew it was a long shot as all I have read regarding this strategy mentioned the Server can't really get anything beyond its "little document bubble";

      - base 64 encode on the client, works, but takes too long;

      - base 64 encode on the server, the result would only be the encoding of the file reference and not the file itself.


      Do you guys have anything to suggest. Ideally, if I could get the server to base64encode the image inserted as a reference only it would be ideal...



        • 1. Re: FileMaker batch picture upload

          FileMaker Pro can import a folder of files (note, not FMServer)


          If you set up what is commonly called a "robot" (with FMPro), this may be an option for you.


          Otherwise, you may look at the File-type Plug-ins to assist with the process.

          I happen to like Troi File


          & 360 Works Super Container




          • 2. Re: FileMaker batch picture upload

            You've got to move the bits from the client machine to the server machine. There's no way around that.

            If you want the user to be able to keep going with FileMaker while those bits move, you'll have to go outside filemaker to move them.


            I don't have experience with doing this, but you could have users put stuff in DropBox or an SFTP folder or something similar and have Server run scheduled scripts to check for files in a folder. You'll have to figure out how to tie the file to a record (renaming it?). Or you could use a Web Direct session to just handle the file movement.


            I don't think Base64 won't save you any bandwidth. It's the same number of bits, just in a different format.

            • 3. Re: FileMaker batch picture upload

              Hello David/Beverly


              Thanks for your reply.


              I'm trying to get the server himself to fetch the bits from the client. Basically, since I inserted the file as a reference, I have the path to the file (or to every file I am trying to insert if I want to do multiple files).


              Using the Get(systemIPAddress) function, I was trying to add the system IP address and the file:// prefix to the file path I had to point the server to the file I was trying to insert, which would then do the transfer on its own. The URL address generated would look like file://192.168.XXX.XXX/C$/.../whateverfile.pdf.


              I would then get the server to loop through records and re-insert the file using the path provided using Insert From URL script step, thereby freeing the client machine to do anything while the actual import is taking place. Even better feature is that inserting the file as a reference would give the illusion to the user that the file import is done as a thumbnail is generated, even though a lot of work is happening in the background.


              The bits would then get transferred to the server as you mentioned, only I'm not having the client do all the dirty work!


              My last resort with this solution is trying to use a shared network folder to host the pictures while they're being imported, some sort of central dump folder where all the pictures in need of import would end up where the server would have access.


              If this doesn't work, I thought about the dropbox thing. Only thing I'm not sure is if I'll be able to erase files on the dropbox drive or not? I don't know if any of you guys have any experience managing the content of a dropbox folder through FM?


              If possible, I'd like to stay away from plugins.


              Thanks for your advice!

              • 4. Re: FileMaker batch picture upload

                check out 360Works SuperContainer ...app that runs on the FMServer, not a plug-in.

                • 5. Re: FileMaker batch picture upload

                  Yes, using JAVA and web viewer. But still considered a "plug-in" (meaning not-native), right?

                  my post has a link to SuperContainer. they have a lot of videos to help you get started.


                  • 6. Re: FileMaker batch picture upload

                    Isn't Base64 actually something like 35% larger?