6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 11, 2014 8:55 AM by beverly

    Total Newbie Assistance Needed


      I don't even know where to start. I don't speak "computerease". I am a Security Supervisor at a major health system who loves ios devices, so I got tapped to replace our antiquated pocket pc based devices with ios devices. Everything I know is self-taught. I've been playing around in Filemaker Pro and with Filemaker Go to create a database to capture our patrol officers' self-initiated field activity. So far, I have a pretty good handle on that and have managed to create a functional option. I now need to test this option with a few officers to get their feedback and see whether my creation is a feasible replacement. Currently where I am stuck is explaining to my IT people that I need somewhere for the database file to be hosted, so that I can complete testing on > 5 devices and gather enough data to convince the "powers that be" to fund this project. I have to run a test before the department will part with the funds to go live with filemaker pro server, server space, mdm, and the physical devices. Please bear with me because I'm not exactly sure what information to give to assist you in providing your expert advice. Ideally I would like to host the database on our shared drive for testing. I got the IT folks to create a folder in the shared drive for the database, but I think the problem I am running into is how to tell filemaker go to get to that location. We use Novell Services, so I guess my first question would be is if Novell Services is compatible with what I want to do. If it is compatible, how would I explain to my IT folks what I need to be done. It seems that everyone shuts down the minute you mention ios devices. Again I apologize for my lack of understanding of even the basics and appreciate any help you can provide.



        • 1. Re: Total Newbie Assistance Needed



          Hang in there, and I'm sure you can get what you need done. 


          Can you just use the peer to peer file sharing in Filemaker to do your test? (I believe it's good for 3 to 5 users)  You would have to setup your database in your copy of Filemaker on a PC or Mac, and then turn on Filemaker database sharing.  From there, you setup your app. to be shareable, and assuming your testers are on the same network, they should be able to connect to your copy of filemaker and your test database.


          You may need to open certain ports on your computers firewall or on a company firewall for others to see your machine.  Your IT people should be able to assist you with that.  I would think this would be your easiest route.  Simply haveing disk space on a shared drive is probably not going to help, unless your goal is for each tester to simply grab their own copy of the database.  If your using FMGO, you can do that simply by emailing them a copy of the database. 


          What version of Filemaker are you running?  Can you be more specific about how your trying to test your application?



          Lee Snover

          • 2. Re: Total Newbie Assistance Needed

            Hi Lee,


            For testing purposes, I would think that you can get by with having the database copied to each of the iOS devices. To do that, first download FMGo (free) onto each of the devices (iPads?)  Then plug each device into your computer and work through iTunes to get the database copied to FMGo. Granted you will not have real-time updates of activities, but the purpose of testing is to see if the officers even like the new way of working.  If they like it, then you can proceed with the rest.  I have helped implement a school where each room has an assigned iPad with an grade/attendance system.  Each room has WiFi access to the network where the server resides. The school is running FMS12 but with the new price increase for this in FMS13, I'm not sure they will upgrade.  I hope this helps. 


            Cheers, Mark

            • 3. Re: Total Newbie Assistance Needed

              Welcome, leeanne! There are remote FMS hosting providers that may allow a 30-day trial (their servers, their FMServer software). I'm sure this is not "free", but it would save you the hassle of setting it all up with your IT.


              That is, of course, if they will allow you to use an "outside" hosting, for testing. IF allowed, they may even consider using the outside hosting, if you build plenty of security into your files. It may be the most economical for you.


              See what they think about that!

              You can find providers on the FMI site. Get recommendations from this list, too.



              • 4. Re: Total Newbie Assistance Needed

                HI Everyone, thank you so much for your replies.  I have tried to get them to open my workstation and have met a brick wall so far.  We are a health system so we are subjected to HIPAA guidelines and a whole host of policies and procedures related to privacy and information security. Also, if my pilot program is successfully launched, I will be asked to assist with a similar project for our law enforcement activities which bring another host of regulations.  Currently I am running FM12 but I receive upgrades with my licenses, so I have FM 13 available.  What I need to be able to show the department is that multiple users can connect, input data, have access to others data and generate those ever important metrics needed to justify our existence.  Of course, I know this all capable with the project plan I have proposed but they won't just take my word for it

                • 5. Re: Total Newbie Assistance Needed

                  Hi leeanne,

                  Like Beverly said..

                  Try one of these hosting services, I have clients on both and the service is excellent. Easy to manage, get backups, upload files etc.





                  The way people normally go about this is to get a free trial, demo it for proof-of concept, and then start paying for the service.


                  The best part is that you don't need to figure out all the in and outs of FM server, Go and the concurrent connections (or pay for them!).


                  Best of luck

                  • 6. Re: Total Newbie Assistance Needed

                    Hudi, leeanne needs to comply with guidelines that may not allow the usage of third party (i.e. external) hosting. The research into these should still be done with the caveat that the hosting providers also can comply with the guidlines (some may). It still may be a cost effective way to test (with bogus data if necessary) while all variables are worked out even if they insist in being in house in the end.