It can most certainly be done... but exactly how will be determined by your network setup.
One easy method is to use a shared space in the cloud like Dropbox or iCloud or such... FM Go saves just fine to Dropbox. I haven't tested a scripted export or save though.
If you are using a LAN to connect to your server, getting the paths and the permissions for those paths right is critical. So long as on the windows side all the machines share the same named volume (rather than referring to it as X: or such). Also, if it is having problems, you might want to try replacing / with \
I like to do these things as File uploads using PHP... makes it really simple to not only upload and download the file but also to manage the processing of it. I have a solution where customers upload their files and fill in a FM database with their contact and order details via the web. Then the Art Department downloads and archives the downloaded files on the server. During the process of upload, the files are renamed (but incorporate origninal name) with IDs and order details which also match back to the database data and allow display within the database. In this case there is a coordinator for each group (schools) who also have logon details to see their own records to check and manage orders. All this functionality works within FileMaker WebViewers and can be controlled easily from any browser too.
Thanks for the reply, so what you are saying is to script some PHP code in order to get this to work? Then would I be having some sort of web server, like Apache on the mac server to complete this task?
I'm good with permissions and file paths on the server with getting the users connected. I dont want to use dropbox or cloud systems for this solution since uploading and then downloading the pictures to the cloud will take time, besides the pictures are technically already on the mac server (FM Server 12), I just want them copied to a different location so a desktop user can do a task with the selected pictures using a 3rd party application. I kinda call this shared space a "transfer" drive, since I have a script that runs every night to delete any files that are in this transfer share. This way it doesn't get filled up with a buch of pictures as each day goes one.
It seems like your current workflow is the right direction but with extra steps.
"exports them to the server (it names the pictures with an unique identifer and sequential number)"
Why are you exporting to the server here? The images are already accessible to all your users, right? A user can export to the Temp Folder on their own machine and move into the 3rd party app.
The reason for the export them to a server to a "temp" folder is so the User A using an iPad can export them to be found quickly be User B using a desktop 3rd party application. Currently, User A will take some pictures of a widget, and then will have to tell User B the account number, then User B accesses that account via the desktop version of Filemaker, exports them to the temp folder and then puts them into a 3rd party application. The step I'm trying to elimanate is for User B to have to "find" the account to export them. I want User A to have the ability to export the pictures via the iPad to the temp folder that everyone in the company can "see".
The other reason for the temp folder, its easy to find the pictures that User B requires. Every night the temp folder contents are deleted, compared to looking into a pictures directory which will have 100,000 photos.
It still sounds like you're putting the solution before the horse. It's unclear that you need an Apache server, PHP code, and a file server here.
It sounds like your issues are:
1) Notifying a user when new photos are available
User B needs to know somehow that new photos are available, whether they live in FileMaker or a folder. With Filemaker you could put a button that User B clicks and it finds all photos that have been added since the last time User B checked, or in the last day, or hour, or whatever.
2) Easy export...again, you can script this so a found set of records containing photos all get exported with the click of a button.
3) Easy to find...again, this can be scripted...
The only thing I see as being a problem, which you haven't mentioned (one way or the other) is if not everyone that needs to see the photos has FileMaker installed. Is that the case?
Thanks again for the reply... Yes everyone in the company needs to have the ability to see the photo's (which they do now, the FM Desktop export pictures script works), User A doesn't know exactly who is going to move the pictures into the 3rd party application. Sometimes the receptionist will actually do it if she is slow at work. Lyndsay was recommending PHP code, I'm not that familar with that route and would need a better explanation (I took HTML coding back in the early 90's ;-))
(in response to your bullet points)
1) we are working on a "dashboard" that is specific to each user, so you are on the correct path of thinking, however User B or User C or User D -- still has to check the dashboard, click on the widgets job #, then it goes to the record, then clicks the export pictures button, then goes to the 3rd part application to use the pictures. It would be more efficient to have User A with the iPad to already export the pictures, since he/she is already in the job record. Then User B,C,D see's it on their dashboard and then immediatly goes to the temp folder to put into the 3rd party application.
2) That is exactly what happens in the desktop version, its working fine. But I want it to work on an iPad/iPhone.
3) This is the reason for the "temp/transfer" folder, during most days there will only be 8 widget jobs (each job containing around 15 photos), then its labled via Job # + sequential number. That temp folder is deleted nightly, so it doesn't fill up.
David - thanks!!
With all of these problems you might want to rethink the Dropbox suggestion. Or Google's product, or Microsofts. Since Filemaker can export or save to any of these folders, you could then delegate one person to open that folder and distribute the photographs, deleting them when done if needed.
I've used these products to create backups of my Filemaker Pro files and its nice to be able to open or copy a file onto any of my other computers if I need to.
All of the cloud store houses seem to be adding the feature to automatically archive your photographs.
Would it be a solution to run a script on the server (if you use FMS 13) or use a server script that runs every x minutes that checks for new
pictures and exports those pictures?
Ruben van den Boogaard