11 Replies Latest reply on Feb 12, 2014 11:13 AM by AllPointsMediaWorks

    Is it possible to alert Filemaker Pro Clients from a FMServer ESS Insert?

    AllPointsMediaWorks

      I have an existing old VB desktop applicaiton that is essentially a desktop client to a mysql server and polls for record updates and alerts on new entries to be acknowledged by the users.

       

      Is it possible with FM Server 13 with an ESS connection to the mysql server to replicate that type of behavior? IE to flag the user on the insert of a record. (Today that insert is being triggered by a web server with an asp based api that triggers these inserts).

       

      Was considering just creating a native windows app for this as a rip and replace and updating to but am kicking around looking at the feasibility of using Filemaker Pro. In the past, as I recall, the screens would not refresh automatically when ESS changes were made. This is an alerting style app so I need the prompting on insert as critical requirement.

       

      Regards,

       

      Jim

        • 1. Re: Is it possible to alert Filemaker Pro Clients from a FMServer ESS Insert?
          gdurniak

          If you update the SQL Tables directly, FileMaker will not be aware of the change

           

          Perhaps the web API could also update a FileMaker field, to indicate a modification

           

          You can also schedule FileMaker scripts to look for changes

           

          greg

           

           

          > Today that insert is being triggered by a web server with an asp based api that triggers these inserts

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 3. Re: Is it possible to alert Filemaker Pro Clients from a FMServer ESS Insert?
            AllPointsMediaWorks

            Ok so I added a jdbc connection from the external application to the filemaker server to enable inserts to filemaker tables.   Is there a script trigger or some means I can flag users of the change?  The records are now of course updating  and refreshing Filemaker Pro now but I'm trying to alert users of the new record for action to be taken on the workflow.

             

            The existing VB app polls and alerts the user of a new record with a sound until the record is acted upon by changing the user changing the state of the record to an acted upon state. That's the behavior I'm trying to replicate. 

            • 4. Re: Is it possible to alert Filemaker Pro Clients from a FMServer ESS Insert?
              gdurniak

              The "alert" could be a calculated text field that says "data changed",  or an on timer script, that runs periodically to Refresh Window ( and external data )

               

              Are you updating just a "flag" field in FileMaker,  or the actual field thru ESS ?

               

              That would be interesting, a SQL Insert to FileMaker, that updates an ESS value ...

               

              greg

               

              > Ok so I added a jdbc connection from the external application to the filemaker server to enable inserts to filemaker tables.   Is there a script trigger or some means I can flag users of the change?

              • 5. Re: Is it possible to alert Filemaker Pro Clients from a FMServer ESS Insert?
                wimdecorte

                If the external application can execute a URL then you can use the FMS XML API to actually run a script in the hosted file to do the alert.

                • 6. Re: Is it possible to alert Filemaker Pro Clients from a FMServer ESS Insert?
                  AllPointsMediaWorks

                  So I've progressed to thinking that I'd insert the message into a filemaker table which has related data to ESS tables.   So Filemaker now receives realtime data in it's own native tables via the third party app server and an jdbc connection.   

                   

                  The chief feature I'm trying to solve for is I need to alert users of the system if there is an unacknowledged message after a short time interval.  This way if they don't have filemaker in the foreground, they can get alerted to a new message, and if they have it in the foreground and observe a new message they can acknowledge it and avoid the sound.  That is effectively what is done today via the desktop application I'm considering replacing with Filemaker. 

                   

                  I'd like to play an audio file (the existing systerm has a number of alert audio sounds the user can choose from for their preference).  I presume it's possible to have these audio files stored in container fields and script the playback of one.  Checking into that now.   I think perhaps the interval script makes sense here but not sure if that's the best route or the FMS XML API iniated means from the third party server. 

                   

                  By using Filemaker, I can aleady improve the existing system just by nature of the simultaneious refresh of all the users vs the polling method that is used today to populate screen information.  That will be well received for sure. Hoping I can nail this notificaiton requirement as I think Filemaker will be a home run for this project! 

                  • 7. Re: Is it possible to alert Filemaker Pro Clients from a FMServer ESS Insert?
                    AllPointsMediaWorks

                    It's been a while since I've played with the XML API.  (I spend most of my time doing native mobile development).   That seems like a more efficient means of doing it vs a polling interval on the client side. 

                     

                    See above for the functionality I'm trying to solve for, ie notificaiton of users of the system via audio upon existence of an unacknowledged message.  Perhaps that is something that could be done on the FMS side itself as a recurring script step vs triggering from the third party app server as well.

                     

                    Still learning here.  Thanks for the sounding board!  

                    • 8. Re: Is it possible to alert Filemaker Pro Clients from a FMServer ESS Insert?
                      wimdecorte

                      audio won't work because that's a client-side only thing.  Through the XML API you can run a script on the server and update data when you need it to (as opposed to checking on a schedule).

                      But playing audio is client-side functionality that you can not trigger from the server.

                      You really do not want to use client-side timer schedules to check for things and then play the audio, that will kill performance and will be a dog to maintain.  If you really want to stick with the audio then check out the plugins that allow remote script execution.  You'll need a robot FMP (not FMS) machine that can check whatever data you update through XML or JDBC and can fire off a script on the target client.

                      • 9. Re: Is it possible to alert Filemaker Pro Clients from a FMServer ESS Insert?
                        wimdecorte

                        Or you can stick with your VB app and update it.  VB can run a FM script at will through the FM ActiveX interface

                        • 10. Re: Is it possible to alert Filemaker Pro Clients from a FMServer ESS Insert?
                          AllPointsMediaWorks

                          Thanks.  Yeah, I was hesitant to go down the interval script path.  I'll take a look at the plugin option but might just code a native app for the notification audio side.  I already have one that's websocket based for OSX so I could just build one for windows and call it done.  Was obviously just trying to get everything under 1 app but it's not a show stopper if I go that route.

                           

                          Thanks very much.  I think I'm off to the races at this point. 

                          • 11. Re: Is it possible to alert Filemaker Pro Clients from a FMServer ESS Insert?
                            AllPointsMediaWorks

                            An additional unmentioned desire was that there are some Mac users that would benefit from having access to the system as well.  Today they run Fusion to access.  I had considered considered going down the path of 2 native desktop notifers which would then lauch a web based SPA.  That still is in the running towards solving this.   Filemaker does have other draws to me from a speed of development perspective and ease of deployment of incremental features.

                             

                            Time to draw the pros/cons on the whiteboard.