Is there a way to create an desktop alias to automatically open a remote database?
Yes - you can use the Send Link to Database command if you are using a current version of FileMaker. Drag a copy of the link to the desktop to create an alias
You can also create an opener database with a script to open a remote file, and then install it on the local machine with an alias on the desktop - I used to do this a lot in the old days. Especially for WAN remote connections - you can do error trapping to make sure the database is available before attempting to open it. This can be really handy for WAN users - lots of times users will try to open a file when they are not connected - also allows relogins (so the user can't save actual passwords in the keychain, for example. But it is a pain to install on lots of users if it needs an update.
I am attaching a sample file with the opener script disabled - you can see how that one works...
I've tried this but it just creates a text link. How can I turn it into an icon that can be saved on the desktop?
Look at Karen's sample file. I use these with a staff of 50 users, each with a copy installed on their desktop or Dock. It completely bypasses the Open Remote dialog while stil requiring each person to enter their own credentials to login if you use FM-based accounts.
Opener files are the most reliable method for what you want, unless you are talking about a web-published link.
I haven't looked at the file yet. I just thought the link would be simpler. But can you give me the pros and cons of each method? Right now this is only for one particular "cranky" user.
See if this works for the user http://forums.filemaker.com/posts/f1d8a8c821
It describes the process of both direct desktop shortcut and the opener file see davidanders post
If you want to create 'true' shortcuts/aliases instead of an opener file, here's what has worked for me:
Use the FileMaker Menu File > Send > Link to Database
(which you have already done)
On the MAC: Copy the URL from the email message created and paste it into the Safari Browser bar (but DON'T hit enter). Then, drag the little 'world' icon to the left of the URL onto your desktop or into a folder. This will create a file that ends in .inetloc You can rename the file all you like, and should be able to send it to others as an email attachment.
On the PC: Copy the URL from the email message created and right-click on the desktop and select 'create shortcut'. You should be able to paste the URL into the properties of the shortcut. I've had mixed luck sending this as an attachment, but maybe you can .zip it and then send it.
Opener files are really great, and before the 'link to database' existed, they were the only way to go. You get much better error trapping and can show a custom message for success/failure if you like. Basically, you get all of what you already know about FileMaker at your disposal. But, if you want a true shortcut, try what I suggested above.
Let us know how it goes,
Cranky users are who I try to make happy. That's one of my jobs as the Developer. Making it easy.
The opener file bypasses the Open Remote dialog, navigating the IP addresses to the server and removing the need for password authentication at the server level to access the list of available files (which I always turn ON).
The user's experience is they open the icon for the opener file, no need to open FM app itself as the opener file does that, and viola, they are the login screen for the correct file instantly.
Look at how an Opener is built, with a script to close it On Opening, and to open the target file during the On Closing script. Very simple, and with only one external data reference -- to the target file on the server.
The user needs only to:
On a PC you can create a shortcut to a hosted database by using a syntax like this:
For example, if the computer hosting my database was named Pluto and had an IP Address of 10.20.30.40 and the database file itself was named Invoices.fp7, I would use this syntax:
(you don't need to enter the .fp7 filename extension but you do need to enter the fmp7:// internet protocol at the beginning of the string)
Be aware that when you are creating the shortcut you cannot press the browse button to find the target (database file). You must key it in manually.
Also, I don't know if this works on a Mac. It works for sure on PCs but I don't know about Macs.
FYI - on the mac you don't have to put it in Safari first, you can just drag copy the link from mail to the desktop (or wherever you want to store it ) and it will work from there.
If you want a prettier icon - you can use the Get Info command to change the icon - I do my drag copy into the FileMaker Application folder (so when the user accidentally deletes it from the doc or the desktop, you can get it back... ) and then change the icon on the alias to a pretty FileMaker folder...
I wrote up step by step instructions that will allow anyone to quickly and easily create an icon on their desktop that will launch a specific FileMaker database that may be located on a remote FileMaker server. It works on Mac OS or Windows with slightly different procedures.
Hope it helps...
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