3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 14, 2012 4:28 PM by Malcolm

    Allowing all users on FM network to open referenced files by double clicking


      Dear FMP gurus


      I have a networked solution where the users want to store file references to various files such as docs, jpeg and movies. I am using FM 12 and FM server 12. The file references are stored in a container field in a table called media. How do I overcome the problem where one user creates a new "media" record, inserts a reference to a file into the container field and then another user on another machine gets the message that the referenced file cannot be found when he tries to double click it?


      Will storing a referenced file work when the source of the referenced images are on a server which is utilised by all users? Obviously this resource must be mounted before the user tries to double click a file reference in the container field.

      What happens when different computers such as Mac or Windows store the reference? How does one deal with that?

      I have looked at the reference by setting a variable with the result of GetAsText ( container )


      What are the best ways to standardise?

      Could I have a field where a path is saved, append (some of) the output from GetAsText ( container ) and then use the open URL step?

      What other methods are there to make this issue bomb proof?

      Can the external storage ability of FM 12 overcome these issues?

      The important thing is to store only a reference since some of the files are quite large.


      What a lot of questions. I sure hope someone can shed a bit of light on this.


      Thank you


      Chris G

        • 1. Re: Allowing all users on FM network to open referenced files by double clicking

          Hello, Chris.


          Short answer is yes, external storage will solve this problem. This will standardize the location where the media are stored (typically, in the same directory as the database). However, it will mean that users can access the media only through the FileMaker database.


          If that doesn't work for you, another solution will be needed. One solution would be, as you suggest, a standardized pathname stored in a field and an Open URL script step. (I have a colleague who uses this quite effectively.) However, you'll need to control access to the location where the resources are stored for this to work properly. If any Tom, Dick, or Harry can add (or, especially, remove) assets from the server, then the database won't be able to find them properly.


          Another possible solution would be to use a third-party product called SuperContainer, from 360Works. This product does have a few advantages over your typical container fields (like the assets being more easily accessed from a web application, and working within Instant Web Publishing), but again, in order for it to work properly, the resources need to be added and removed via the FileMaker interface.


          Basically, if you want this to work properly, you'll need to do two things:


          1) Restrict access to the directory (or directories) where the assets are stored. Users shouldn't be able to add or remove material through the OS, but only through the FileMaker interface (or another way you control).


          2) Break away from path name dependencies by allowing FileMaker to control the link to the asset, whether that be by intrinsic methods (external container storage, SuperContainer) or through your own efforts (inserting URLs into fields).





          • 2. Re: Allowing all users on FM network to open referenced files by double clicking

            Hi Mike


            Thanks for your reply. I'm glad that the open URL method is OK. I think I will go with that one. I understand about controlling access to the server where all these files are stored. Various people put the data onto the server. We will just have to work out a standard file structure and stick to it. I think things work out better in the long run like that in anycase.





            • 3. Re: Allowing all users on FM network to open referenced files by double clicking

              Use the new powers of v12 container fields to solve your problems.