What kind of documents? Image files? PDF's or ???
I suggest that you import r insert (use references to keep your file size down) each of these files into a table with one container field per record. Users can then browse a layout displaying the documents in container fields so that they can then use a mouse click to pick a document from this layout to link that record to the desired record in your main table.
All documents are pdf. Problem is that I don't know how to set the directroy path for remote users. When a remote user logs in they can't browse to wanted document directory.
Additionally, there are thousands of pdf files involved.
Server OS and version?
Client computers' OS and version? All clients on the same router (subnet)? Gigabit network (router and clients) or slower?
Is the external drive shared? Can you mount it, and add, change, delete files? Are users and groups setup in server software?
Is the containing folder buried deep or at the root level of the drive? Folder named conservatively or badly named?
An SSD would be a good idea for speed considerations.
You may have it the magic answer about drive being shared. Never thought about that...too busy looking elsewhere. After mapping/sharing drive I will report results and answers to all the other questions.
Mapping the drive so that all users have identical file paths is one option. On a FileMaker 10 system I administer, I use that method and have some batch files that remount/map the shared directory so that users can just click a button to execute the batch file if a system misadventure disconnects the client machine from the shared directory.
But with FileMaker 12, you might also use containers with external storage and then all your users are supposed to be able to access the images without needing access to a shared directory.
No luck. Remote users have no problem accessing the database but cannot view document directory. My server is a Microsoft 7 Professional that exceeds min standards.
Containers sound like that is what I have been trying. Can you point me where to look/start? My setup has a shared external harddrive with all documents and the database is on the server's drive.
Why do they need to access the document directory? What I am suggesting would make that unecessary as they can browse the same list from a FileMaker layout based on a table where you have one record for each document.
Currently, each record has several fields that will allow a user to attach a document (pdf). Right clicking and selecting ‘Insert File’ is where the user will browse my server’s external hard drive. This is what I think I want, but if there is a better way I am listening. At present I have all the documents on my drive and all remote users will be loading their pdf files on my server.
I'm trying but just don't understand how to do what you are suggesting.
If you set up a table (PDFs) with one container field in each record, you can load this table with each of the files from your shared hard drive. This table can include an auto-entered serial number field to serve as the primary key for that file. Another field or fields can include the file name and other descriptive data about that file should such be useful.
Start with these relationships:
MainTable::__pkMainID = SelectedPDF::_fkMainID
PDFs::__pkPDFID = SelectedPDF::_fkPDFID
For an explanation of the notation that I am using, see the first post of: Common Forum Relationship and Field Notations Explained
You can place a portal to SelectedPDF on the MainTable layout to list and select a PDFs record for each given MainTable record. Fields from PDFs can be included in the Portal to show additional info about each selected PDFs record and the _fkPDFID field can be set up with a value list for selecting PDFs records by their ID field.
And there are a number of options you can use for selecting a PDF to link to a given record in Main. A value list of ID's and file names and/or description fields is one option. A portal of available documents is another and a script could even take the user to a list view layout where they can scroll through the PDFs records viewing the PDF's in interactive container fields and clicking a record to select it to attach it to the current record in MainTable. Note that any number of PDF's can be so attached to a single such record.
Still trying. Question: Does it make any difference that all my documents are in folders with names of the clients and within the client folder the pdf files all have the same naming convenction as all other client folders. i.e. smithbob/intake form.pdf? Each client folder has files named: intake form.pdf, medical.pdf, etc.
One more thing. Attached is a screen shot showing fields to add documents. My desire is to right click and select 'Insert file' by browsing the external hard drive. I can do this within the office; however, no remote users can browse my hard drive.
And I continue to suggest that there is a better way that does not require the user to browse the hard drive. Having the user browse the hard drive will create issues where it is very easy to select the wrong file--especially since you can't "point" FIleMaker at a specific folder such that when the user opens the dialog to select a file, the system automatically opens to the correct folder from which they should select a document for insertion.
If, instead, you insert or import the files for the user into a table, they can then use a standard FIleMaker interface to see a list of documents from which they can choose one to link to their current record. Your scripts can limit the records used in this list so that the user only selects from the list of documents appropriate to their context.
Another approach would be to acquire a plug in that can list the files in a specific folder. This would allow you to set up the same kind of "browse for a file interface" but through a fileMaker layout where the user sees a list of files from a particular folder. Just FileMaker, without a plug in, can also pull in such a list, but only through use of a system script specific to the OS on which FileMaker is running. In Windows, for example, a Batch file can generate a text file listing all the files in a specific folder and FileMaker can then import that text file to get at the list of files and their names.