Well, if you export them out of FileMaker without using External Storage, then it is no longer controlled by FileMaker. But you can do that and you can view any file via a web viewer, especially if they are pictures like a JPB. You just have to get the URL correct.
You can use the External Storage to use Open Storage which sounds great. But in reality, it has a lot of challenges that I find most people aren't prepared to handle. For example, most solutions I see using open storage store everything in one big folder. However, the results in significant performance problems, especially on Mac OS X when you have more than 200 files in a folder.
If you follow the recommended FM solution of using secure container storage, FileMaker takes care of all of the issues of folders and sub folders, as well as securing the attachments. If someone outside of FM needs to see those files, they need to go through FileMaker to see those files and not through the OS. You really do not want outside programs, including apache, using FileMaker remote container storage even if it is open.
You can always not use external container storage and that stores all of the binary information inside the FM database. That is OK for small container fields, but you will get better performance by using remote container storage.
So why don't we get back to the big picture? What are you trying to do with pictures or remote container storage? If you just want to drop a graphic in a container field, format the field in the layout as a picture and you'll see it in the layout where you dropped it in the field.
I know I'm not really sure what you are trying to do, but give us more info.
I have been asked exactly what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to find a
way to have photos accessed through filemaker in a much more efficient
manner than dealing with individual photos. I would like to have a
folder containing, say, 50 photos transferred into a folder that a
filemaker data base can 'see'. Image file names could be the relational
link or an ID created for each record when 'imported' linking the two files.
I have a situation where those people dealing with handling the photos
are not interested or have any need to use the filemaker solution. All
they need to do is 'dump' the photos in a folder so those working with
the filemaker solution can have access and use the images for their
Does that make sense. The images can be quite large so I didn't want
them taking up memory in a solution.
You are not fully understanding a lot of the FileMaker container technology and this should be good news to you. FileMaker will manage the containers, secure them, and display them at a resolution only up to the size of the layout container field you display. If you choose to manage it on your own, there are multiple technologies from security, file location optimization, to graphic display optimization that you will have to manage yourself. This are not trivial tasks and that is why FileMaker sells you software that does all of this for you. You are encouraged you to take advantage of these features because there is a lot behind them.
All you need is a table to store the JPGs in secure remote container storage. You can display them in portals or list views and make thumb nail versions. You can have popovers for large version or links to full size display layouts. You can have FileMaker import whole folders of graphics too if you want by getting the folder directory and importing them. Or you can use iOS devices to take pictures to store directly into FM container fields.
By the way, 50 photos is not a lot for FileMaker and FileMaker is even good at handling videos. What you will need if you want to handle large containers is a large and fast RAID or SAN, but that works great with FileMaker. I have one client that has over 20 Gigs of photos in remote container storage. It performs quickly in FileMaker, especially since FileMaker uses a technology to load the graphic partially until it fits the resolution of the size of the layout object, meaning that it does not spend its User Interface time loading the entire photograph.
Oh, I guess I should say, I've been assuming you will be using FileMaker Server to host the solution since remote containers do not work with FileMaker Pro hosted files.
Thank you for the info. My reference to '50' was just a measure to
understand the options available. There could be 50 or 300 on a daily
basis over time.
And yes it will be running on Filemaker Server.
When you used the term 'portal' what is the table link field that allows
this option please.
I can create the new file using Manage>Containers. When it's created any
existing jpg files in the data base will be imported into the new
folder, however, if I drop more jpg files directly into that newly
created folder, how do I get them 'seen ' by the data base file. Or is
that not an option ?
You can use the Get Directory function to get the list of file names of pictures in a folder and then run a looping script that imports them all into records in your database. Is that what you want?
I think I've solved my issue. Too easy. It's been a while since working
with filemaker and have only recently upgraded from version 9. I can do
what I need by importing the files (Reference only, Update existing
records) from the base folder and specify the linked data. Namely file
name and pic jpg.
When the base folder has more pics added the import will be automated by