How can I update the File at my end and have the data "auto-magicall" populate the new version when I send it to them?
Since I gather your solution has the data and interface in a single file, there's no simple way to avoid an import of data into the new file - at least not without also making structural changes (ie the kind of update you've described can be relatively painless if all the data is in a separate file). But you can automate it.
What I suggest you do is create a script that handles the whole process of bringing data from an old copy of the file into your new one, test it fully before you send them the file, then have the client open the new file and run the script (have the script set a value to indicate it has run successfully, and test for that value and abort if the client runs the script more than once).
Of course, it might be better still to have the client transfer the file to you (eg via ftp) at the end of their work day, run the update script yourself and have the new version tested, ready and back to them before their next shift. But that depends on whether there's a convenient down-time to do that in.
Either way, once you have an automated update procedure in place, of course, future upgrades will be a bit more straightforward.
R J Cologon, Ph.D.
FileMaker Certified Developer
Author, FileMaker Pro 10 Bible
NightWing Enterprises, Melbourne, Australia
Thanks for the quick response.
I sort of assumed that I'd need to create a script but was hoping that there may be something I was missing.
Oh well, it's all good practice for the future
If you can gain access to a copy of the live file(s), taking them out of the production environment. You can make the changes and return them to the client. Just a screen tweak and add one field doesn’t sound like it would take all that long. Maybe you could get the file(s) after the workday or weekend and return by the start of the next business day.
Even if you separate the data from the interface, adding a data field would require an import of data.
Just an Idea,
Timothy R Whisenant
Plastic Fusion Fabricators, Inc.
(256) 852-0378 x. 244
Fax: (256) 852-0388
The easiest solution is to update their database live at their end - Filemaker will have no problem with this, particularly with a small and simple solution such as you describe. Can you access their network remotely? If they have an IT savvy person they should be able to provide you an IP address or URL at which the hosted file can be accessed externally.
Once you know the address at which the file is hosted, if the file is hosted by FM Server, you can use the Filemaker "Open Remote..." command to open the database from Filemaker on your primary development computer and simply make the needed database field and layout changes.
If the file is being hosted by Filemaker Pro (rather than Filemaker Server) another approach would be to screenshare onto the machine (at the IP address they gave you), and simply use the copy of Filemaker that is hosting the file to make the changes. Or you could have them stop the database at their end with instructions not to use the database while you modify it, mount the remote disk the FM file is on, open the file from your home-base machine (FM might complain about slow performance when opening a shared file remotely, but it shouldn't hurt anything).
I'm not aware of any magic way for a newly modified Filemaker database to upload to a deployed enviroment and "synchronize" itself with an older version there, the data has to be re-imported.
Thanks for all the input. This is great.
Lots of ideas on how to acheive this, I'll be working on updating the deployed solution in the next coupld of days so I should have worked it all out next week.
I'll drop a note back here when I get it done.
Hi All and thanks again for all the suggested solutions.
I ended up Screen Sharing with the Client (they're 100 miles away) and getting the changes into the layout. It's a little on the slow side due to their Broadband speed but we got it done.
Not a perfect solution but job done.