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milanm

Storing container files on a different volume

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I am asked by a fellow FileMaker Developer is it possible and in which way to store container data of the file that is hosted on a FileMaker Server 17 on a different or even remote volume. Strait from the bat i would say no but then i read this on https://fmhelp.filemaker.com/help/16/fmp/en/index.html#page/FMP_Help/container-fields.html:

"•FileMaker Pro saves externally stored container data in the same folder in which the database file is located. When externally stored container data is hosted on FileMaker Server, the data CAN BE located on a different volume from the databases, including on a remote volume. See Managing external storage of container data and FileMaker Server Help.

For the love of god i could not find any clue at the offered links to relate to the above sentence ( the "different volume" and "remote volume" are not mentioned anywhere further on.)

I know that you CAN store container data on a different volume if the Filemaker File is on the local machine.

I also thought i know that you CAN NOT store container data on a different volume if the FileMaker is hosted on the Server.

According to the above sentence from FileMaker documentation it looks like it might be possible but no clue is given further. The nice touch to it is that FileMaker on the server does give you an option to choose a different volume that you have setup previously when the file has not been hosted and then sets up that path inside its RC folder.

So, i am betting that you CAN NOT store your container data on a different volume if the file is hosted on the server and i would love if someone would prove me wrong.

Of course, without Python, shell script, Apple script, plugins etc... only native ways.

Edited by milanm

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To achieve this (separate volumes / drive / computer ) I would recommend SuperContainer where you could put your files on a separate machine altogether.

As soon as you move the RC folder elsewhere it opens that up to the case of the cleverness of users and IT people and may damage the contents. The RC folder should be sacrosanct.  

Not to mention the impact of backups that it would cause because backing of a different path. 

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Thank you,
now you tackled a different but equally interesting subject of backing up those files. This is a particular case of a museum  with tons of various container data that is hitting the disc limit. So, as far as i can see the best we can suggest is to either get the super container or buy a larger disc.

That might be good enough in this case.

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Or, you could do what I do. The business I work at is a photography business. They take some 15TB of photos every year. Can't possibly import all that into FM. So I use references. I have all images stored on a NAS. I use Base Elements (a plugin, yes, its the only one I use) to check whether an image is accessible (contrary to FM, Base Elements can check any mounted volume on Mac or network drive on Windows), and load the image as required into a container. The server doesn't even need to be involved, you could load the image into a container using the client if needed.

That allows you to handle backups of those images outside of FM as well. I backup to a second NAS, and from there to AWS.

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The issue here is that images stored as a reference is listed on the official deprecation list. It would be ill advised to start business venture requiring this feature with this knowledge and it may pain existing developers to increase efforts to find a suitable alternative.

Product Deprecated Operating Systems / Technologies / Features
FileMaker Pro  
  • Image formats: EPS 
  • 32-bit architecture
  • FileMaker Pro runtime
  • Support for EPS files (*.eps)
  • Container field option: “Store only a reference to the file”
  • DBF import/export format
  • Support for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1
  • Send DDE and spelling script steps
  • DDR HTML format
  • Type 1 fonts

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I wasn't talking about FileMaker container references. I mean filesystem references using Base Elements, using drive letters\folders or volume mount points/folders. A simple text field can hold such a reference. You can check the file exists using BE functions, load it into a temp container if desired or simply open the file using whatever app it uses (ie word, image viewer, whatever).

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