1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on Oct 21, 2012 3:19 PM by Oliver_Reid

    File Management System

    andrewtraub

      Is there a sample file management system out there for Filemaker 12?

       

      I know there is a starter solution for content management, but it is very basic.

       

      What I'm hoping to do is the following:

      1. Drag and drop files onto a container and have the file stored on a network drive (I know this can be done by setting the container to store the field externally).

      2. In my database, each file is associated with a person, so when a file is stored, it should be in a folder named after that person. If the folder does not exist, it should be created. This way, two different people can have a file in their account with the same name. To reduce chances of duplicates within each person's folder, I would like to append the hour and minute to the file name.

      3. A button to create a new version which will duplicate the existing file and give the old file a new name.

       

      Are there any samples out there that do something like this. Can this be done in filemaker? Any ideas on how to do it?

       

      Thanks,

       

      Andrew

        • 1. Re: File Management System
          BruceHerbach

          Andrew,

           

          FileMaker 12's native external storeage is somewhat limited in regard to your implementation.  It will store the files outside of the database,  but on the FileMaker server and not some other file share.

           

          Try looking into 360works SuperContainer product.  It has more flexibility and may work for you.

           

          Bruce

          • 2. Re: File Management System
            wsvp

            Actually you can (from within FileMaker) work at the OS level, create directories, rename and copy files etc...

             

            It requires you take a step back about 30 years on "Windows" (using DOS Command Lines), and dealing with some syntax issues on the "Mac" via AppleScript to perform (Unix Commands).  The script steps: "Send Event" and "Perform AppleScript" give you the means to accomplish this.

             

            Unless you are well versed in DOS and/or Unix/ShellScript/AppleScript It will require some digging to find the syntax for your specific needs,  Also on the Mac, there is some extra work to make the syntax compatible between FileMaker, AppleScript and Unix.  I found this to be the only time something was easier to accomplish on Windows than the Mac.  DOS is a relatively simple protocol (so on Windows this was not bad to get done.)  However...  as I am "NOT" versed in Unix or AppleScript, it was a "LOT" of testing and research to make the system work on the Mac, but eventually I did manage to accomplish my goal.  I suspect that someone with more knowledge in AppleScript or Unix could have slapped something together in a fraction of the time it took me (weeks.)

             

            Just be careful, as you are now tampering with things outside FileMaker.

            • 3. Re: File Management System
              sarahkmul

              Hello Andrew,

               

              You may want to look into our 360Works DocuBin product. It utilizes SuperContainer for flexibile container storage, mounts files like a drive, and can keep track of things in folders, favorites, user preferences, and metadata. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

               

              Regards,

              Sarah

              • 4. Re: File Management System
                andrewtraub

                Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.

                 

                I did look at DocuBin but $1,800 for a 10 user license is bit high since I only have 2-3 users (plus I still have to buy the container for $195.

                 

                I may just have to either hire an AppleScript programmer or handle documents outside of FileMaker.

                 

                Andrew

                • 5. Re: File Management System
                  techt

                  Depending on how many folders you need to create, you might just create the folders ahead of time manually and access them as needed going forward. AppleScript will work for this, and I did some testing a few years ago to get this built for a client. They ended up using Dropbox which they love, and I ended up just tying into that via FMP to access and open both folders and files. I did provide all users a setting to set their path to their local dropbox location, and each contact has a filename(s) and folder field in their record to complete the path. Don't know if that will work in your situation, but I can show you what I have it that helps.


                  TT

                  • 6. Re: File Management System
                    andrewtraub

                    That would be great - I'd like to see how you did that.

                     

                    Andrew

                    • 7. Re: File Management System
                      BruceHerbach

                      Andrew,

                       

                      I haven't tried to do this with it,  but I believe that the BaseElements plugin will provide the services you need.  The plugin is free,  you have to provide the scripting in FileMaker.

                       

                      Link to Website:

                      http://www.goya.com.au/baseelements/plugin

                       

                      Here is a link to the Documentation on the plugin:

                      https://github.com/nickorr/BaseElements-Plugin/wiki/Functions

                       

                      It would be fairly easy to do a quick test and verify that the basic copy/move functions will do what you need. 

                       

                      HTH

                      Bruce

                      • 8. Re: File Management System
                        techt

                        I'll get some screen shots put together and post them later today.


                        TT

                        • 9. Re: File Management System
                          sporobolus

                          on 2012-10-17 9:39 andrewtraub wrote

                          I may just have to either hire an AppleScript programmer or handle documents outside of FileMaker.

                           

                          if it's relatively simple myself and probably others can provide suggestions

                          here; or the BaseElements plug-in (free, mentioned above) may have what you

                          need — it can create folders and test whether a folder exists

                          • 10. Re: File Management System
                            Malcolm

                            May I edit that post. It starts well.

                             

                            you can (from within FileMaker) work at the OS level, create directories, rename and copy files etc...

                             

                            The script steps: "Send Event" and "Perform AppleScript" give you the means to accomplish this.

                             

                            Unless you are well versed in DOS and/or Unix/ShellScript/AppleScript It will require some digging to find the syntax for your specific needs

                             

                            That says it all.

                             

                            Malcolm

                            • 11. Re: File Management System
                              DrewTenenholz

                              Andrew --

                               

                              As others have said, this is possible, but you need some outside tools.  (Troi-File Plug-in could also be used.)  But, do you really need to do what you are asking for? 

                               

                              The current philosophy for 'Managed Containers' seems to be that you can let FileMaker handle all of this, including creating folders for itself on the FMS machine, adding/removing files, etc.  The 'managed' files are also included in the FMServer backup scheme, which you otherwise have to manage on your own. 

                               

                              If your users can accept that they need to go through the database to find the correct file before copying the 'master' version to their own machine for editing and then return it to the database (via drag & drop), then maybe you don't need a rigidly defined naming structure that you personally control.  I know people are used to going through the network sharing system to get to the files, and they like to be able to 'look something up', but FileMaker gives you lots more ways to do that, and you might see more efficiency if you create a good work flow within FileMaker.

                               

                              The main reason I see for 'breaking out' of the managed container option is when you need to place the files in some other location (e.g. a different physical, file sharing server), or need to share them beyond FMPro (e.g. web sites that use the same files as FMPro).  There have been several good suggestions on dealing with the web sharing and still having managed containers, but I don't know of any way to keep managed containers and still place their contents on another physical machine (different drive, yes, but not a different machine).

                               

                              -- Drew Tenenholz

                              • 12. Re: File Management System
                                andrewtraub

                                Thanks Bruce!

                                 

                                Andrew

                                • 13. Re: File Management System
                                  andrewtraub

                                  Thanks for Drew.

                                   

                                  I'm not really looking for filemaker to store the files, I just want a way that files can be created on a user's machine and then stored on the server and associated with a client for that file.

                                   

                                  In other words, when a user looks at a client's matter in filemaker, they should be able to see all the documents associated with that matter, open up the file, create a new file and associate it with the matter, and create a new version of that file.

                                   

                                  I think opening the file and creating a new version of an existing file could be done pretty easily, especially with the plug-ins already mentioned.  Creating a new file could be done with the 360 Works Scribe product.  But I'd also like to be able to take existing files that are created outside of FileMaker and easily associate them with a matter.  Hope that all makes sense.

                                   

                                  Andrew

                                  • 14. Re: File Management System
                                    ChrisPye

                                    Hi Andrew

                                     

                                    I have recently created a system similar to what you have described, using the BaseElements plugin (as others have suggested). Its for a magazine publishing company to create and track their production client folders and files, and it works a treat.  One thing to watch out for is forward slashes (and other not so filename friendly characters) in client names etc, otherwise it will cause problems.

                                     

                                    Chris

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