1 2 Previous Next 21 Replies Latest reply on May 2, 2016 8:02 AM by rgordon

    filemaker go


      I'm working on a reference app for filemaker go.  the filemaker app on the server is really just there to be used maintain the app. 

      The intent of the app is to have data available on the iphone whether the user is connected to a network, or not (this part is done, works fine).  and have popups for location (passing lat-long to google maps works fine).  and have two or three or four pdf's for each record in the db.  I have about 1000 records in the db, it could grow to 3000. 

      The problem I'm having is setting up the pdf's to access in filemaker go.  I tried loading them into container fields, and found that is deadly -- one can never open that table again, as it takes forever.  Tried loading them as externally stored, and found that is as bad as loading them in the table. 

      I would like to have file links to the pdf's, so they would be completely external to the table records, but, have not found a way to do that so the entire reference library (all db records plus all pdf's) can be copied (through itunes) to the filemaker go.  so the user can run "autonomously" when they are out of range of any network.

      Has anyone tried this type of setup?  is it possible to have external files referenced, copied to the filemaker go, and opened by the filemaker go? 

      Thanks for any assistance.

        • 1. Re: filemaker go

          Container field must be embed to work in FMGo.   PDFs open in FMGO just fine, there may be an issue  (Corruption) with your file.    Run recover on your file to check corruption.  Recover does not always find all corruption.  If it does find issues with your file then you need to use a backup copy that does have corruption then import your data from the repaired file.


          I would recommend using Dropbox to transfer your database to your ios device it is much faster than using iTunes and you don't have to connect your device to the computer with a usb cord.

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          • 2. Re: filemaker go

            When you loaded the file with PDFs, did you have the file set  to open in a blank screen.  Sounds like it was opening to a layout in table/list view or a layout with a portal. Having a file that contains up to 10000 PDFs or dumping 10000 PDFs in your filemaker documents folder might be pushing the limits. How big are the PDFs?

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            • 3. Re: filemaker go

              Thank you. 

              Yes, the pdf's open fine when embedded.  looking at the table in list view is the killer.  filemaker opens every pdf in every cell. so as one tries to scroll down the list, the refresh is awful.  looking at the data in a form view (one at a time) works fine. 

              Sorry to learn that the pdf files must be embedded for the filemaker go to work.  I was hoping to find a way to call a pdf viewer app and pass it a pdf file name to open.

              Thanks for the tip about using dropbox.  saves the itunes / wire issue.  great idea.

              • 4. Re: filemaker go

                Yes, I was trying to open the table in list view.  when it didn't crash filemaker, it was terrible to try to scroll, as filemaker was busy opening each pdf, in each container field.  woof. 

                all works fine when in a layout, viewing one record at a time.

                average size of each pdf is 80K.  so loading up all the pdfs (2 or 3, sometimes 4 per record) comes to about 400.  I haven't tried that yet.  I did load 1 per record (about 80 mb), and filemaker worked fine in single record view -- didn't try it on fmgo.  skip list view.

                now that I understand the pdf's must be embedded for go, i'll see what happens on volume test.

                • 5. Re: filemaker go

                  Put the Pdf container in a popover (popover button).  Then the Pdf will only load when the user clicks the popover.  iPad / iPhone have less memory than a full computer.   The older devices had 1 gb of memory, the ipad air has 2 gb, the new smaller ipad pro has 2 gb with the new larger ipad pro has 4 gb.  Most computers have 8 or more gb of memory, then you consider a slower processor compare to a full size computer so yes I could see issue with loading a large number of files.   You have design your layouts differently for ios devices for that reason and  different screen sizes and orientation .    You can view the PDF on the iPad / iPhone and there is a share icon in the top right corner of the device so you can share it with a another app.

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                  • 6. Re: filemaker go

                    If you don't want to embed the PDF, you could store the PDF in the FMGO documents folder and then view it in a webviewer. In FileMaker all you would need to do is store the file name. The path is always Get(documentspath) & file name.  Not sure what happens if you put a. boat load of PDFs in the documents folder.   Unfortunately you can not use folders in the documents folder.

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                    • 7. Re: filemaker go

                      thank you.  yes, I did put the pdf's in popovers.  makes going through the tabular data quick, and the pdf opens quickly.

                      • 8. Re: filemaker go

                        Fill up the device, then it would probably take forever for FMGo to load and may even crash.   I will let someone else test placing 10,000 pdf in the Document directory of Go.

                        • 9. Re: filemaker go

                          Thank you.  I was reading that some folks (in other discussions) did not like the browser viewer, so I never tried it.  I would like to keep the pdf's separately, so I will give that a try.  (reason to keep them separately is that they can change from time to time, and if I can just swap the file with another of the same name, without having to recreate the table in FM, that would make maintenance easier.)

                          • 10. Re: filemaker go

                            No problems with the view of a PDF on my iPhone, it fill the screen when I tap the PDF in the container, then I can swipe up to the next page. 


                            You can create a sync system or use a premade sync system.  The user would sync the device when they are connect to the network.   Seedcode GoZync has a free version that will let you sync one table.  Sync your pdf table. FileMaker Sync for Pro, Go and iPad: GoZync - SeedCode

                            • 11. Re: filemaker go

                              I also wouldn't like to try putting 10000 files in the documents folder but maybe it works. Can the PDFs be converted to jpg files and then use a thumbnail of the jpg for smaller sizes.


                              If you embed all of the files, you could create a delivery file that updates the PDFs. Email the delivery file to the user. When the user opens the file on the iPad it calls a scrip in the main PDF file that imports the updates from the delivery file into the main PDF file. Set the import to matching records and add new records. After the import have the script blast the delivery File.  This should give you a nice way to update without much user intervention.

                              • 12. Re: filemaker go

                                Thank you. i hadn't heard of the sync programs.  I'll take a look. 

                                • 13. Re: filemaker go

                                  Thank you.  seems like a very good way to do updates.  I'm not sure if I have the skill for that scripting.  I'll see what happens. 

                                  • 14. Re: filemaker go

                                    Sure you do. The scripts are very easy. I'd help you if you need it.

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