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Data Separation - Local UI and dynamic data source

Question asked by Steve Wright on Nov 4, 2012
Latest reply on Nov 7, 2012 by psijmons

My existing solution uses a launcher file which allows the user to enter their IP address into a field then (via url) opens up the hosted ui and hosted data file, but its really pointless transferring all of the UI data across the network, especially if moving to 12 since the file sizes are generally larger due to the underlying UI code.

 

I am contemplating a complete re-write from scratch, so have been experimenting with having the UI locally and connecting to a hosted data file, this brings up one problem..

 

How could I allow the end user's to specify the IP of the data source in a similar way to above, considering that my solution has all admin access removed and this is the way I intend to keep it for various reasons. Basically, Manage External Data Sources is not accessible when deployed.

 

 

So far, I have come up with a few ideas, but only one of them seems to fit:

0. Variables are not allowed, so that ideas out of the window.

1. I tried opening the local UI, then opening the data file via url and hoped it 'recognises it as the source', why I thought that would work I have no idea, but tried it anyway.

2. I tried adding a range of ip's, but this is impractical, slow and not really where I want to be heading.

3. I have considered having users change their 'computer name' again, impractical really.

4. I have considered having users set one of x static ip addresses, but I could never account for the variations realistically, so again impractical.

5. I tried fmnet:/*/data which is not recommended by FileMaker according to various documentation, however in my limited test cases does seem to work.

 

So I guess my other question is, considering test 5 works ( fmnet:/*/data ) what are the implications of using it, why is it not recommended, does anybody use it?

 

I know * is a wildcard, therefore FM will be searching the network in some form or other but its considerably faster (in my tests) than for instance having

fmnet:/192.168.1.1/data followed by

fmnet:/192.168.1.2/data etc etc..

 

 

Maybe I am approaching it wrong, or maybe there really is no solution other than manually editing the data source path.

 

I would love to know how others handle this because a local UI does appeal to me, its just the above gets in the way of a simplified deployment.

FMI have advised against using the only method I have found to work so far and allow easy deployment with no intervention (ie editing the solution files)

 

 

 

 

 

EDIT:

I forgot to add that the wildcard usage is advised against here:

 

FileMaker does not recommend using an asterisk (*) as a wildcard character in network file paths as it slows FileMaker network traffic. When possible, replace an asterisk with the appropriate IP address or use variables in file paths. If you have converted a database from a previous version of FileMaker Pro, review the converted data sources and replace any asterisks with known IP addresses or network file paths.

src:http://www.filemaker.com/11help/html/create_db.8.32.html


 

However, It would be great if it was clarified what is meant by "slows network traffic" in terms of slow whilst discovering the database, or also slow whilst interacting with the database files. Of course being unreliable is also a concern.

 

And probably the most important fact, I am only concerned with Local Network's

 

 

 

 

Many thanks,

 

Steve

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