11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2009 4:52 AM by mrvodka

    File Maker 5 and trouble pulling data

    DarrellRaines

      Title

      File Maker 5 and trouble pulling data

      Post

      Ok folks, I need a little help with a client of mine.  They are a small business that runs an ecommerce site.  The ecommerce site sends all orders to a server at their location (Mac running filemaker 5 server) and then multiple PCs running filemaker 5 and filemaker 6.

       

      The problem is the only machine that has ever been able to pull the new orders from the server was a small mac (g3 or G4 I think) which was fried during a lightning strike a couple of weeks ago.  Since then, they have not been able to pull new orders from the web.

       

      I have checked the machines that are still up and running (all windows XP) and they can process the data or at least act like it, but can't actually pull the data.  With the mac gone, I need to get one of the other machines to pull the data.  Is this possible and has anyone ever seen anything like this?

       

      Please tell me someone here can help with this problem.  

        • 1. Re: File Maker 5 and trouble pulling data
          mrvodka
             Without knowing how your Mac pulled the information, it is hard to assess and assist you. Do you have a copy of the file at least that was used to pull the data?
          • 2. Re: File Maker 5 and trouble pulling data
            DarrellRaines
              

            Unfortunatly no.  I am coming into this mess after the most recent IT guy they had couldn't fix it.  I was planning on going onsite to check on them in a bit and could pull any information that might be needed out with my laptop.  Unfortunatly I know pretty much nothing about this mess.

             

            From what I can figure out, the data from the website (customer info, product and what not) went straight to the Mac server running file maker pro.  From there 5 machines connected to the server (one mac, and 4 xp machines).  In order for them to get the new data (customer orders since the last data pull), they would go over to the mac and process a command that pulled every piece of data from the server (even old files) and would flag the new orders.  These new orders would then appear on the other machines and could be processed.

             

            The XP machines could access all data that appeared on filemaker pro and the employees are still adding data to the database by manually adding it on the XP machines.  They are taking all the orders by phone at the moment.  They are also still able to process credit cards and I guess everything else they need to.

             

            Is there anything that I can pull from the location to make it a little easier for you to help me?  I have complete access to the server as I made certain to give myself a backdoor in case I needed it (and did I ever when this started).  

            • 3. Re: File Maker 5 and trouble pulling data
              philmodjunk
                

              It sounds like you are going to have to pull filemaker pro files down off the server, open them with fmp 5 or 6 and spend quite a few hours analyzing them.

               

              • 4. Re: File Maker 5 and trouble pulling data
                comment_1
                   I think you need to find out how the data was (still is?) transferred from the ecommerce site. You say the site sends the data to the server - a more likely possiblity is that it's being either downloaded on demand, or imported directly.

                AFAIK, FMS 5 cannot import, so the chain was probably:

                1. Download the data from the ecommerce site to a local location (could be done using AppleScript).

                2. Use a FMP client to import the downloaded document.


                Or:
                The FMP client was used to import directly from the ecommerce site (less likely, as this can only be done by importing from an XML source).

                In either case, if I am guessing correctly, the import script is somewhere within the solution itself and can provide valuable hints.





                • 5. Re: File Maker 5 and trouble pulling data
                  DarrellRaines
                    

                  I would imagine though that the script was on the mac that was fried.  Perhaps I can see what is happening when the other clients attempt to import (pull down) the data. 

                   

                  I'm heading onsite to the client and will see what magic does or doesn't happen along the way.

                   

                  What I am begining to wonder is if the server only stored the data and allowed access while as I think you said the mac actually pulled the data via script and then pushed it into the server.  If that was the case, then unless we have a copy of that script, the employees will never be able to pull the data down again.

                   

                  I wonder though if the xp clients have the script and are missing something like a sql connection or whatever FM uses.  

                   

                  I will admit, I know nothing about filemaker.  I had never used it prior to this client and the closest I have come to it would be Bento on my Iphone (which I love, but crashes when I try to use the contacts database in connection with my exchange server, but I digress).

                   

                  I'll see what I can figure out today and update while onsite.

                  • 6. Re: File Maker 5 and trouble pulling data
                    philmodjunk
                      

                    And of course, check to see if there are any back up copies of the files that were on the Mac.

                     

                    If not, spend some time educating your clients about the importance of multiple backups stored in multiple locations and bill them for that time :smileywink:

                    • 7. Re: File Maker 5 and trouble pulling data
                      DarrellRaines
                        

                      Too good of an idea.

                       

                      Maybe a little background on this client would shed some light onto what I am dealing with:

                       

                      Owner:

                      In jail because he doesn't believe people should pay taxes. Owes way too much money.

                       

                      Employees: Hot 20 something girls who look more like they should be at the local strip club who have no clue how to run a business (when moving the quickbooks data to a new pc, they said don't, they wanted to start fresh because there was too much information in it and it confused them).

                       

                      PCs: Hodge podge of emachines, dell, hp, compaq and apple

                       

                      Server: Apple

                       

                      Network: 5 seperate routers that serve really no function.  No backup, no ups, no nothing

                       

                      The last call which is when the trouble for me began  when lightning struck twice in one night and fried every network wire (no clue how this happen but all were bad), the video on machine, the network card on another, the keyboard on another, the power supply on anothe, and the mac completely, and the network and USB on the Xerox phaser were fried.

                       

                      I have since run new data drops throughout the entire building, replaced all the routers with one asa 5505 by cisco, and a linksys switch (business class, not that it really matters), replaced all the hardware with exception to the video card machine which also had fried pci and agp slots so it was dead,  replaced the phaser with a new HP business class officejet, and had them install a UPS for every PC in the building.  

                       

                      Now if I get the filemaker to work properly, they may be somewhat back the way they were prior to the lightning strikes.  

                       

                      Remind me to hate my job later.

                      • 8. Re: File Maker 5 and trouble pulling data
                        comment_1
                          

                        DarrellRaines wrote:

                        I would imagine though that the script was on the mac that was fried.


                        I don't think that is very likely. I am not sure if it's even possible to push data into Filemaker 5. The fact that the process was initiated locally also points to import. If the import was scripted, the script must be in one of the shared files.

                         


                        DarrellRaines wrote:

                        unless we have a copy of that script, the employees will never be able to pull the data down again.


                        Why not? All you need to find out is how to get the data from the site (if it's one of the standard e-commerce packages, it should be easy). Then you can write a new script to import the result.

                         



                        • 9. Re: File Maker 5 and trouble pulling data
                          philmodjunk
                             Let's hope the check doesn't bounce. :smileywink:
                          • 10. Re: File Maker 5 and trouble pulling data
                            DarrellRaines
                              

                            Well I went by to work on the issue and the ladies decided to call it an early day today and left before I got there.  I feel unloved here.

                             

                            I will be in charlotte tomorrow to swap out my defective Iphone at the apple store, so it may be wednesday before I end up back onsite.  Hopefully I can figure out the problem then.

                             

                            As for the checks, so far I've billed out about 10 hours and 5 data drops.  The checks haven't bounced, so lets hope anymore checks are good.

                            • 11. Re: File Maker 5 and trouble pulling data
                              mrvodka
                                

                              DarrellRaines wrote:

                              I will be in charlotte tomorrow to swap out my defective Iphone at the apple store, so it may be wednesday before I end up back onsite.



                              Cool. Stop by and say hello. :smileywink: