9 Replies Latest reply on Nov 28, 2011 4:00 AM by AllegroDataSolutions

    Utility Needed

    AllegroDataSolutions

      I have a client (a very well known photographer) whom I have developed a lot of solutions for in the past. We are discussing putting his considerable body of films, images, interviews and press clippings on a web based server, so that they can be called up in a web viewer control in his FileMaker databases. Nearly all this material has been cataloged. But it is currently all stored in different local or network drives or removable media. Consolidating this collection makes sense to both of us. The client likes the idea of having everything in one place, under his own domain name. He would like to tap into some of the images for his web site. And he especially likes the idea of a database where the media files don't have to live in container fields (because some of them are very large). But he is daunted by the prospect of having to enter tens of thousands of URLs into his database.

       

      I have had other clients in a similar situation, at least one of whom used a utility that basically just searched a folder and cataloged the all the files and subfolder names below it, so that he could just import them into his database. I think there was more than one utility that did this kind of thing, but I don't remember their names. I am sure that one of them was a Mac application (and that is what the client in question would need). It may even have been part of another application suite. Does this ring any bells with anyone?

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Utility Needed
          karo

          Hi, if you only need the name and path of all files in a folder and subfolders once, you can use on mac the free editor Textwrangler (or BBEdit). With the menue command "Edit / Insert / Folder Listing" you can generate very quick a listing, which you can import in FileMaker.

          Or you can use AppleScript or the Troi file plugin.

          regards,

          karo

          • 2. Re: Utility Needed
            ErikWegweiser

            Hi, allegro:

             

            I agree, consolidation makes sense. It sounds like you want to end up with a FileMaker database that actually IS the file management system for all these media files. That means, once you have organized the consolidated collection and catalogued it, FileMaker would allow you to search file metadata and browse the library, as well as add, delete, move and rename files. You would not be using the operating system (desktop) or other management system to do this, or the FileMaker database would be out of sync. with the actual files.

             

            Does this sound like what you want to end up with and how it should work?

             

            Before you do anything in FileMaker, a key step in the process is coming up with a single organizational structure that works for you. That's sometimes difficult to negotiate, since the files can be physically organized in any number of ways, and combinations thereof (i.e., by type, date, project, subject, client, etc., etc.). Naturally, in the database, you can slice and dice any way you want, so long as FileMaker knows where each file is and contains necessary metadata.

             

            You could simply use FileMaker's own "Import Folder" process to grab the file name, path, thumbnail and actual image (or reference) of the entire library, including sub-directories. Then you can start adding more metadata.

             

            You would need to program the ability to manage the files. That would require one or more plug-ins for file manpulation or ftp functions or perhaps SuperContainer. All depending on what you need to do and how the system should be used.

             

            And there are some existing media management systems that might be applicable or serve as a modifiable starting point for you. One of my clients just started using ArtBase, for instance.

             

            ------------------------------------------------

            Erik Wegweiser

            Intelligent Database

            Boston, MA

            http://intelligentdb.com

            • 3. Re: Utility Needed
              ibrahim_bittar

              Hi Allegro

               

              Before reinventing the wheel, you may want to see this:

               

              http://www.canto.com/en/docs/flash/intro-demo-8/index.php

               

              This people has nearly 20 years doing the same thing and are really awesome.

               

              By the way the software has a REST API which you can connect to through the FM Nexus Web Services plugin and do some fancy stuff from FileMaker while leaving the heavy work to the server.

               

              Saludos

               

              Ibrahim Bittar Torres

              Director General

              Eikonsys, S.A. de C.V.

              FileMaker 10 Certified Developer

              http://www.eikonsys.com

              FileMaker Business Alliance

              • 4. Re: Utility Needed
                paulspafford

                SuperContainer is just the coolest for this type of thing. It is a server application, but comes with a plug-in that you can use to make it bend over backwards for you. You should really go to <www.360works.com> and download their demo.

                 

                 

                 

                --

                Paul Spafford

                FileMaker Database Superhero,

                Spafford Data Solutions

                 

                Tel: 613 838 9956

                www.paulspafford.com

                www.ottawafilemakerdeveloper.com

                www.fmlayoutmode.com

                www.fmscripts.com

                 

                FileMaker User Group in Ottawa:

                www.meetup.com/fudgeo

                • 5. Re: Utility Needed
                  AllegroDataSolutions

                  This is an archive of an artist's body of work over his lifetime. Once an image, film, press clipping, pdf, etc, goes into the library, it will stay there in the same location, for as long as he and his heirs want it to be there. FileMaker is only one of any number of different ways that this material will be accessed. (I mentioned one of them -- pulling in some of the images for his web site.)

                   

                  The cleanest way to do this is to simply display it in a web browser control. The other fields in the existing database contain the names, dates, keywords, and other information about these articles. We are simply talking about being able to view them with the data in a way that doesn't mean making duplicates, or thumbnails, or requiring them to be stored in container fields. I have done a lot of this sort of thing for artists and musicians with large libraries over the years and I know this client and the way likes to work very well. I am sure we have arrived at the best solution for him.

                   

                  What I'd like to do is for him to be able to consolidate all his existing drives to one that lives on his web server and can be accessible through his domain name and not have to worry about typing in tens of thousands of path names and getting them all correct. I think the TextWrangler or BBEdit option will probably be all he needs. Though I don't remember any of my clients using them in the past. I remember one, a magazine photographer, had some big software package that a lot of magazine editors use and it contained an applet that cataloged files the way I described. I think there was another in a big suite of applications (like Adobe Creative Suite) that did this as well. But, as long as it works, I'm sure he won't care what it is. (And being free, or a component of some software that he all ready owns would be a big plus, too.)

                   

                  Thanks.

                  • 6. Re: Utility Needed
                    LyndsayHowarth

                    Hi Allegro,

                     

                    You say that the existing material is cataloged... presumably in FileMaker.

                     

                    What is not clear is what current links exist between the catalog record and the files.

                     

                    If you have imported them into container fields... I am assuming you have only imported a reference...?

                     

                    If this is so, In order to move the files to a common drive and share via a URL... to either a web viewer or the internet... you first have to calculate the components of the existing paths and filenames that will be maintained when they are moved. You do this while they are still in the existing position.... and capture it as text that will not update. Use getascss(on the existing container field) to capture the current info. You will be able to capture paths, filenames and dimensions.

                     

                    Once this is done, you can create a new URL calculation which uses the retained path components.

                     

                    I also do this in reverse... using PHP... to find matched filenames with existing records.

                     

                    Many ways to 'skin this cat'

                     

                    - Lyndsay

                    • 7. Re: Utility Needed
                      AllegroDataSolutions

                      This particular database was built by the client. He has entered all the information he needs for each media file that currently exists. He has begun the process of importing images into container fields. It's making the data file large and sluggish and he doesn't like having to click on the container fields to open the pdf files. The modifications I proposed to make for him would use a web browser control as I described above. The only issue, as I said, is being able to import a list of all the file paths (which I would convert to URLs),

                      • 8. Re: Utility Needed
                        LyndsayHowarth

                        If all the files are in the database, you can still use getascss(on the existing container field) to capture the file name... Then export all the images to a common folder which is web hosted and create a URL calculation path to that folder + the filename....

                        You could make this more durable by using a category field for sub-folders and add that to the calculation...

                         

                        - Lyndsay

                        allegro wrote:

                         

                        This particular database was built by the client. He has entered all the information he needs for each media file that currently exists. He has begun the process of importing images into container fields. It's making the data file large and sluggish and he doesn't like having to click on the container fields to open the pdf files. The modifications I proposed to make for him would use a web browser control as I described above. The only issue, as I said, is being able to import a list of all the file paths (which I would convert to URLs),

                        • 9. Re: Utility Needed
                          AllegroDataSolutions

                          That's the general plan.