6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 5, 2013 5:18 AM by mikebeargie

    See what's in a desktop folder from within Filemaker

    carlsson

      Windows, FM 10.

       

      Is there any way to see what's in a folder outside Filemaker, eg on a connected server?

       

      The idea is the following; The client have one folder for every project they are working with, containing files. Every project have a corresponding record in the Filemaker solution. Now they want to see what's in the folder from within Filemaker.

       

      Is this doable (with or without a plugin)?

       

       

      They are still on FM v10, but if it's doable in v12 I may finally be able to get them to upgrade...

        • 1. Re: See what's in a desktop folder from within Filemaker
          GaryTate

          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

          end tell

           

          Cheers

           

          Gary

          • 2. Re: See what's in a desktop folder from within Filemaker
            carlsson

            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?

             

            Thanks,

            /andreas

            • 3. Re: See what's in a desktop folder from within Filemaker
              GaryTate

              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 ;-)

               

              Gary

              • 4. Re: See what's in a desktop folder from within Filemaker
                RubenVanDenBoogaard

                Hi Carlsson,

                 

                There are several plugins which can show the contents of a directory, like the Troi File plugin or  the free BaseElements plugin http://www.goya.com.au/baseelements/plugin

                 

                Hope this helps,

                 

                Best regards,

                 

                Ruben van den Boogaard

                Infomatics Software

                ruben@infomatics.nl

                • 5. Re: See what's in a desktop folder from within Filemaker
                  carlsson

                  Thanks for the input guys!

                   

                  I'll talk to the client and see what happens.

                   

                  Cheers,

                  /andreas

                  • 6. Re: See what's in a desktop folder from within Filemaker
                    mikebeargie

                    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

                     

                    Get(DocumentsPathListing)

                     

                    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.