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Duplicate Filenames Okay w/ Relative Addressing?


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This is a re-post with additional info and is made with blessing of forum administration. My original posting was in the Relationships forum; responses offered sound advice if earlier versions of FMP were being used. But I am interested to know if use of relative addressing allows old rules to be broken.

Here's the deal: I have a FMP 5.5 solution using related DBs that I want the user to be able to easily duplicate and to run as independent solutions on the same PC. Ideally, this will be as simple as duplicating the folder containing the dbs and giving the folder a meaningful name.

It was suggested (prior to forum postings) that this would work if I use relative addressing for relatioships and references to external scripts. I've tested this possibility successfully. Testing included running copies of the solution simultaneously on the same machine and intentionally messing up relationships by renaming or moving files. In the latter case I got a message when a file could not be found, so I was able to head off the damage that can result when FM automatically searches for and links files.

So, what's the problem? There are two problems, actually. One is the little voice in my head, plus the warnings by Forum members, that having duplicate names is asking for trouble. (Duplicate filenames must be the #1 gotcha in learning FM.) The second is that I can't find anything definitive about relative addressing: what it allows and what it doesn't. The FM Guides for version 6 don't even include the term "relative addressing"!!

Now, to save everyone's time, let me note that a number of people including the original source of the idea to use relative addressing pointed out that FM Developer 6 includes a tool for renaming files. This sounds very useful, but of course it doesn't allow end users to be able to create the copies as they need them.

Well, I hope there are some forum members out there who have not been getting enough 'brain food' and who would like to chew on this problem. Thanks in advance.

P.S. I would like to ask FileMaker to publish a technical note on relative addressing. Can anyone suggest the right person to receive email, and an email address?

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It was suggested (prior to forum postings) that this would work if I use relative addressing for relatioships and references to external scripts. I've tested this possibility successfully.

In addition to your question, I'd like to put up: is the 'little voice about avoiding duplicate filenames' a leftover from earlier versions of FM, in which the law of Murphie, once described by a member:

"When FM searches for a file, it will find the wrong one"

did apply, or is this made impossible since version 5 ?

In addition, in earlier versions, was there also the option to define that relative address?

Your test experiences seem to point in the direction of a fix of that problem..

Harryk

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"...it doesn't allow end users to be able to create the copies as they need them"

Hmmm, we have a fundamental difference of opinion here! Generally creating copies is a *bad* thing... for the user anyway.

Hands up all those consultants make their bread and butter by joining up all these loose copies of databases and sorting out all the duplicate records?

<raises hand>

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>>"...is the 'little voice about avoiding duplicate filenames' a leftover from earlier versions of FM, in which the law of Murphie, once described by a member: "When FM searches for a file, it will find the wrong one" did apply, or is this made impossible since version 5 ?"

It was with version 4.1 that I had first hand experience with 'law of Murphie.' I'm sorry, I don't understand the last part of your question.

>>In addition, in earlier versions, was there also the option to define that relative address?

Version 4.1 doesn't offer the option for relative addressing. And, as an earlier respondent put it, FMP 4.1 'goes on its merry way' to find the dbs needed for relationships, and that's when the trouble happens.

I hope we are on the trail of way to allow duplicate names when that is appropriate. (I'm not advocating that this be done just for the adventure.)

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<raises hand too>

And I got called out to a site several times to make changes to a customer's database. Each time I had been out there he would phone back the next day and tell me that the changes I made weren't working. Finally, on the last trip, I looked on his computer and found that he had made himself a copy of the files that were supposed to be on the server. He had unknowingly been working with a 6 month old copy of the database when he thought he was working off the server.

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Duplicate names are "no go".

Until FileMaker will allow us to hardcode full path to all places where it is used, it will never work.

And it is also affecting performance. Even we blocked access to developer server with firewall, the main server files where always searching for next files exactly there.

So instead of opening file in less than second it took 10-20 seconds.

The company bought Developer just for the renaming function. Still all "open" script steps are pointing to developer server.

Developer improved things, but not 100%.

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