7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 21, 2012 5:01 AM by Mike_Mitchell

    Filemaker 12 Container field behaviour


      Since the release of FileMaker 12 I have been very excited about the new container features and the possibilities that raised for storing container data on the filemaker server compututer.


      I have a number of clients using Filemaker 11 where we can attach source documents (as references) to client notes and allow users to inspect the documents by double clicking on the container field. To achieve consistant results we use mapped drives on each user computer, but the system can be fragile, particularly if people start tidying up and links get broken.


      I have found it impossible to reproduce the double click behaviour in Filemaker 12 using the external storage features. It is easy to put the files into the container, but I cannot find a way of easily viewing these file that my users would find satisfactory.


      I have had a look at the Content Management starter solution to try to get a few ideas, but it was less than useless. A pdf would launch if you went from list view to the detail screen, but that is not the behaviour I want. There seemed to be no way to launch the pdf on demand. My users may only want to view the source document 10% of the time.


      I have this feeling I must be missing something very fundamental. I noticed some discussion of using the OpenURL command but could not work our how this could relate to external storage locations.


      We do not want to use the export field contents command as I do not want copies of the files sitting on users computers and that is a multi step process that the users would find too hard.


      Something I thought would be so useful is throwing up a road block I cannot get around.


      Has anyone been able to find a way around this?



        • 1. Re: Filemaker 12 Container field behaviour

          Jim -


          What exactly do you want your users to be able to do? View the stored documents, or edit them and then push them back into the containers?



          • 2. Re: Filemaker 12 Container field behaviour

            Hi Mike


            The source documents are for reference only.  They should be read only.  They are attached to client notes that are locked.


            I understand the the need for having to export the data in order to edit it. But there is a real need for documents storesd in external storage to be opened on demand without going through the multiple steps of the export routine.


            I noticed the content management template will open a .pdf when moving from list view to document view. All I want to do is emulate that behaviour with a button.


            It seems such a fundamental need that I am feeling stupid that I cannot work out how to do it. Surely FM12 has not been put to market without the ability to do that.


            Thanks for your reply

            • 3. Re: Filemaker 12 Container field behaviour

              It hasn't.    


              FileMaker can display certain document types (including PDFs natively. All you really need to do is three things.


              1) Make sure the appropriate plugin is installed on the client machine. (It should already be there if they have the Adobe Reader installed.)


              2) Make your container field optimized for interactive content. This is done in the Inspector, Data tab, at the bottom.


              3) Make your container field large enough so the content can be displayed. (This last one can be accomplished via a list-detail view, or by just switching layouts using a button and appropriate script.)


              Should you want to have the documents open in their native applications, you can write a script to export them (using Export Field Contents) to the temporary directory (which most users won't even notice) and then open them from there by clicking the "Open Automatically" checkbox in the Export dialog.





              • 4. Re: Filemaker 12 Container field behaviour

                Hi Mike


                The material in the containers is often sensitive material and I do not want copies of it scattered around various users desktops.


                I have tried working on opening a new persistant window containing a full page version of the document when the User chooses to view the document.


                I cannot get that to work.  Nothing appears in the container field.


                I will put in a feature request for an View Container read only command.


                I cannot believe I have spent more than a day achieving nothing, trying to get this to work. I would be interested to see if anyone has been able to implement a workable solution for document management using remote storage.


                If it is this hard, it is half baked.



                • 5. Re: Filemaker 12 Container field behaviour

                  Jim -


                  I have it working fine in at least a few of my solutions with no download. I've seen three things stop it from working:


                  1) The container isn't big enough.

                  2) The container isn't set to display interactive content.

                  3) The user doesn't have the appropriate plugin installed.


                  Have you checked all of these? What are the security settings for the field - are users allowed to view it?



                  • 6. Re: Filemaker 12 Container field behaviour

                    Hi Mike




                    I have been playing on one of my internal databases (setting up a collateral store).  I have no problem exporting to the desktop from the containers, so the data is there. I have the Container field  set to Interactive but have not ticked the launch automatically box.  I can see the files  in the appropriate folders on the FM Server (I am using Open Storage). However I want to be able to view the pdfs by clicking on a button.




                    I created a new window with an a4  size container field set to interactive and Automatically launch. I have acrobat Pro 9 installed on the computer. The button opens that window and goes to the pdf display layout. But the container field does not display anything.




                    I am not sure what you mean by plugin.  Is this a Filemaker extension or a browser plugin?  No pdf extension in Filemaker, but a swag of adobe add-ons in Internet Explorer.




                    If it is this hard to get working at the home office, I cannot contemplate trying to make it work for 150 users in the real world.




                    I really appreciate the time you are spending on this.




                    Best Wishes




                    Jim Brear


                    COAMAS Services


                    PO Box 1542 Armidale NSW 2350


                    Mobile Phone: 0429 428 700


                    Home Office Phone: (02) 6772 3933


                    Fax: (02) 6771 3666


                    email: jbrear@coamas.com.au


                    Web  http://www.coamas.com.au <http://www.coamas.com.au/


                    COAMAS - Community Options, Advocacy, Management and Accounting Software

                    • 7. Re: Filemaker 12 Container field behaviour

                      Jim -


                      Try checking the "launch automatically" button. I have that checked in my solutions.


                      BTW - You do realize that, through the Adobe interface, people will be able to save a copy of the document to their desktop (or other directory), if you allow them to view it through the container field, right?