(essentially because that's the only way I can save new data on my iPhone for Filemaker without paying to use a FM server and using FM GO)
This is not the case. I routinely use FileMaker Go (which is free) and FileMaker Pro without using FileMaker Server. I can use FM GO connect to a copy of my DB using FileMaker Pro to host my database. This only allows a limited number of clients, but that may be all that you really need. And I can copy my FM GO database file to my computer and then either import records into it or import records from it, moving the data to or from a FileMaker Pro file. (And you might be able to set this up to happen all from your iPhone with the right design.)
To do what you want--which could still be necessary even when importing from a FileMaker Go file on your iPhone into a FileMaker Pro file on your computer, You'd need to either examine the contacts before importing and click a check box field to select those that you want to use in your import or you'd import the data into a table in your database, review the records, deleting or omitting those that you don't want to use in the import and then import from this table into your final table.
Thanks for your reply. On the import question first:
I think I understand your solution: create a checkbox field and then (manually or with a script) import only the checked records. But I'd like to have a way to compare the matched records—i.e. see which fields will get overwritten if I import—and furthermore be able to choose which fields I overwrite, keep the same, or combine... Is this possible?
On the FM GO topic: Does this mean that I keep a local copy of the database on my iPhone, copy it to my mac, then import it into the master copy with FM Pro? Or are you referring to some kind of feature where FM Pro can act as a server (over a network, or ftp, or dropbox, or wifi?) for FM GO to access the database? Maybe there's a walkthrough somewhere on the web that can explain this so I don't ask you to spend too much time walking me through it.
This is possible if you have the data in a fileMaker table. You can use a relationship to match records in your main table with the data in your table of imported data. Then, a single layout can include fields from each table side by side for comparison.
Does this mean that...
Both options are possible and I was outlining both options. You can connect via WiFi or 3G/4G to a database hosted by FileMaker Pro on your computer. WiFi on your local network is the simplest to set up. I routinely use this setup as a quick way to check FM GO layouts while I am in the process of developing a new FM GO database.
You might find this documentation from FileMaker useful: http://www.filemaker.com/solutions/ios/docs/fmi_guide_sync_en.pdf
Phil, thank you!
I had just started to answer my own question about FM GO. I'm glad to hear it works this way—I had been a disappointed when I thought it wasn't possible without Server or hosting.
The solution you have for comparing updates side by side makes perfect sense. Still getting the hang of Filemaker land. I'll put it into practice and see how far I get. Thanks again.
I was able to set up port forwarding on my router and access my database from my phone. Thanks for explaining that that's possible!