I believe I have followed the instructions exactly (except that I have the files stored in a folder nested among my documents, rather than directly on the desktop)
the instructions say:
(Be sure that you have copied the entire Module 2 folder for this module onto your desktop.)
I'm sure that there is a "path" being used that depends upon the DESKTOP & you said DOCUMENTS. Have you tried deleting the files in documents and started over with the files in desktop?
Thank you, Beverly;
This has been quite confusing, but I think I have it half-way to sorted. FileMaker would need to follow a specific path to find the external files, yet it has no way of knowing when files have been moved in the Finder (or, similarly, in the Windows Explorer). The files shipping with the Training Series may have been written with the intention of running them from the desktop. Everyone has a desktop, so it may have been presumed that such a path would work. Still, not everyone has a desktop on a volume of the same name. Somewhere in that confusion, my copy of the training files can not find their external storage. Newly created files nevertheless find their external stores every time, regardless of where I place them, except that they can no longer find them after moving them (meaning, moving the FileMaker solution and the external store together).
The other half to sorting this would be understanding how to write the path to a file that has been moved. This would be especially important upon delivering a solution to a client, who might not be amused if the shiny, costly new solution could not find its data! Is it always be necessary to hard-code the path to the file, under the "Storage" tab of "Field Options?" That would be burdensome if one had sold the same solution to many different clients.
This information may help:
https://www.filemaker.com/help/14/fmp/en/html/create_db.8.41.html ( Creating file paths )
https://www.filemaker.com/help/14/fmp/en/html/func_ref1.32.100.html - Get ( FilePath )
https://www.filemaker.com/help/14/fmp/en/html/func_ref1.32.94.html - Get ( DocumentsPath )
https://www.filemaker.com/help/14/fmp/en/html/func_ref1.32.92.html - Get ( DesktopPath )
https://www.filemaker.com/help/14/fmp/en/html/func_ref1.32.152.html - Get ( TemporaryPath )
I've studied all your links, thank you. It seems rather complicated, with FileMaker offering so many ways to store data in containers: internally versus externally; securely versus open; storing a copy of the file, versus only a reference to it. I have to wonder whether some of the options are due to FileMaker's need to be backward compatible with versions going back thirty years.
Would I be safe, for now, to say that, in writing new FileMaker 14 or 15 files, it is generally best to store container data externally in secure storage, at the default, relative file path? Then I could move on from this topic for now, and deal with other possibilities if they ever arose, such as when, for example, working with a future client's old FileMaker solutions.
My sense is that:
Storing items internally bloats the solution, slowing performance, extending the time needed for backups, and risking corruption.
Storing only a reference to each item risks losing the link by which FileMaker finds the data to be displayed in the container, and can complicate finding data on a network.
Storing files in the open allows tampering with the files to wreak the solution's data, regardless of whether such monkeying was inadvertent or malicious.
Only storing externally in secure storage, with the default file path, allows FileMaker to properly protect and track the files, provided only that the folder containing the encrypted data is always stored together with the FileMaker file it feeds.
security is an issue. backups is an issue. the SIZE of the documents/images in the container fields is an issue.
Thank you again, Beverly.
I could imagine a special case in which it may be better for the FileMaker solution to store only references to files, such as if a client wanted a solution to aid in navigating a large, established collection of files happily stored in folders. Maybe some workflow requires access to those folders, so they want to keep them.
Still, is it safe to summarize this by saying that, ideally, whenever possible, I should store the data for container fields in external, secure storage, at the default location?
That leaves FileMaker in control and they have worked out ways to make it secure, backup, etc. If you need to also use the images/documents elsewhere (for user to be able to edit, or on web), then something like SuperContainer (plug-in) or a File-type plugin will be most beneficial.