3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 5, 2010 5:39 PM by RayMentor

    Container File Reference that Works for Both Mac and Windows Users

    RayMentor

      Title

      Container File Reference that Works for Both Mac and Windows Users

      Post

      I'm up against an issue that has been discussed on this board before. I have a LAN solution at a client's that was originally an all Mac network. Recently, PC clients were added. The database has container fields displaying PDF's. The actual PDF docs are stored on a Mac server.

       

      Problem is that the PDF's are visible to the Macs (they were placed there by Mac users originally), but INVISIBLE to the new Windows PC's. To add insult to injury, any PDF placed by a Windows user is INVISIBLE to the Macs.

       

      I've read through some of the suggestions that have been made elsewhere on this forum. However, I'm not able to understand the suggestions well enough to implement any of them successfully.  Is there a fully documented, step by step example of how to handle this problem? I gather I need to create a calculated text field with the proper "path" and that field is set for a "container" result. Seems like it's a common enough issue there would be something in the official Filemaker documentation to cover it, but I haven't found it yet.

       

      Thanks in advance for any help. What I really need is an idiot's guide for this niggling little bugger.... 

        • 1. Re: Container File Reference that Works for Both Mac and Windows Users
          mrvodka
            

          This is more an issue of the shared network paths rather than a FileMaker one. When you insert a file as a reference into a container field, it references it by storing the path. Considering that you have both Windows and Mac users, the path more than likely would be different.

           

           

          • 2. Re: Container File Reference that Works for Both Mac and Windows Users
            philmodjunk
              

            Wish I had a Mac on the network to test, If so, I could probably give you a more specific suggested solution.

             

            To expand on Mr Vodka's post, if you can mount a shared directory on both mac and PC's that have exactly the same file path, you won't have any issues like you do currently. I suspect that OS differences will keep this from working for you but could easily be wrong here. There are ways to set up a calculation field that computes different file paths based on which OS platform is currently in use and I think this is what you are trying to do.

             

            A quick way to see the actual file path being used in a store by reference container:

            Define a calcluation field set with a return type of text and simply enter the name of the container field as its expression. Place this field on your layout and resize it to 4 or more lines of text high. This field may be very helpful in debugging file path issues while you get your "calculated" container working.

             

            A test that can identify whether you are on a Mac of PC: Abs(Get(SystemPlatform)). This function returns a 1 for mac systems and a 2 for windows systems.

             

            Since all but the initial drive letter should be the same for both platforms, I think, you should be able to construct a calculation with this basic format:

             

            If (Abs(Get(SystemPlatform)) = 1; //construct the mac file path here ; //construct the PC filepath here)

             

            Select "container" as the return type (drop down in lower left corner of specify calculation dialog).

             

            I'd use the first, text calculation to compare the windows and mac filepaths and then see if I couldn't construct expressions that I can insert into the above calculation to come up with a container field that correctly references the file for both platforms.

            • 3. Re: Container File Reference that Works for Both Mac and Windows Users
              RayMentor
                 Yes, I'm making progress by proceeding along the lines you suggest. I'll post back tomorrow when i have time to work through it more.