Very doable with AppleScript, but that would need to run on a Mac. No doubt there are ways on Windows machines but that's not my area of expertease.
By moving to v12 you can control the folder structure and use FM to manage the files in and out. You will however run into problems if people access the folders directly (ie add & remove files without using FM) and that would have to be managed.
Here is a very simple AppleScript that will return names of all files on the desktop. You can get all sorts of info and from any folder the OS can get access to, give me a shout if you need help on this.
tell application "Finder"
get name of every file of desktop
Thanks for the answer Gary!
Unfortunately they are Windows only, but it's good to know that Applescript can present a solution.
You mention that FM12 are able to control the folder structure. That is new to me, how do you do that?
In this case they have non-FM users as well, so the FM solution must be able to refresh the view of what's in a certain folder. It sounds to me though, that if FM12 is able to control the folder structure it should also be able to refresh the content of the folder, right?
Container fields in v12 are a whole new kettle of fish ;-)
It's not necessarily the best way to use FM but depending on the size and useage it might be an option. It does mean users directly accessing the server (although you can control which folders) as a file share.
You set the container field to be stored externally, FM then dumps and fiels in a folder. You can set the path it uses to be the result of a calculation, hence set up job folders etc.
If you think AppleScript can provide a solution, do you have any Macs or would you be silling to insert a Mac? You could then have it run as an automation machine and regularly trawl the folder structure and create/modify records as necessary to reflect changes made.
However, as mentioned above, you probably don't want users accessing the server as a file share so it would probably be better to have FM simply hold the fact that a file exists and hold a reference to it, hold the files on a file server, have an automation machine then trawl this folder styructure and create/modify FM records based on what people are doing in the file share.
If this sounds like a possibility and you want a hand give me a shout ;-)
Thanks for the input guys!
I'll talk to the client and see what happens.
Another alternative to dropping a mac into the environment just to fulfill one purpose would be to use: http://www.filemaker.com/help/html/func_ref2.32.23.html
You would have to change your "trawl" directory from the desktop to the documents folder, but you could use the result to parse all the files into containers in filemaker, and then from there manage subversioning. This DOES support subfolders, so you could create a /projects/ folder and read everything from within that specific directory from the results.
Else, my recommendation is BaseElements. It's free, cross-platform, and you can deploy plugins via scripts to your users, leaving no excuses really for not wanting to use plugins with your solutions.