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Updating runtime files


Bill Jaynes
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Hello,

I am starting from scratch with import/export. I have a runtime solution that has ten related files that handle customer/contact, parts and invoices (mainly). The invoices are pretty complicated and since it seems you can't imp/exp related files, I can't imagine how I could import(or export) all the different files and have them come together in a new file system. I'm trying to see what would be feasible since Developer 5 sez we need to be able to have users update files when we distribute updated version.

So, my first question is when is import and when export the best way to go.

Second, in a complex solution is it better to simply update customers and vendors and create a new generation of invoices from there forward? I did try an import into empty duplicate runtime files; customers came over fine as did vendors; the invoices had gone somewhere else for lunch!

Thanks,

Bill

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I am assuming that you need to get existing data from your existing databases to clones of the same files that you have changed; a situation developers have to cope with when they are continuing to improve and modify existing solutions. The simple answer is to find all of the files in the existing files, then import into the clone for EACH changed database. Complicating the problem, particularly if you are trying to script the activity, is dealing with unique record IDs. If you use FileMaker's auto entry feature to increment the ID field for each record, you have to include a method of determining each files next ID and setting the clone. A real pain in the butt that I had been dealing with for years until I read Capt Kurt's solution for generating unique IDs by concatenating FM's internal record number, date and time using an auto enter calculation for a textfield instead. I am in the process of converting my solutions to his method (a project not to be taken lightly, by the way), which will make this a non-issue,

It is very important when importing the data that you cover all of the related files. In your invoice system you must not have imported the line data from the relevant file to make your invoices work. I have a script in a delveloper database I created for each solution that opens each existing file, finds all records, then goes to the clone, performs the import and goes to the next file and repeats the process. Actually there is quite a bit built into the script including a kludge to determmine the correct record ID, but it saves a lot of work. Frankly, though, I trust doing the imports manually on important client databases. Once I get the concatenated IDs working right, though, I will be able to more reliably depend on scripts. One more caveat that I can think of is to not let any client or user change field names or delete fields in a scripted import, as it can really screw up your field mapping.

To answer your first question, after my windy soapbox: I use import for any updates, period. Exporting gets the data out of the database, but I still have to import it into the clone, so export would just be a redundant step. There are many uses for export, but not for putting data into a new file system.

To answer your second question, I see no reason to create a new generation of invoices given what you have described. As I emphasize for the third time, make sure you import EVERY database to your new solutions and be scrupulous in the record ID key fields to retain the relationships.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks Moon,

I really appreciate your response. Can we discuss more? I'll try to keep it simple.

Two related files that didn't link up so far (importing, FMPro/Dev 5) are Invoices and Customers. The match field is a generated serial number for a customer; when Invoices are created a script sets the invoice Cust Id to that serial. That field doesn't appear on any layouts in the runtime. Could that be an issue.

Thanks,

Bill

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Hi Moon,

And thanks. I import into an empty runtime file of customers all the records from a runtime file with customer contact data. The newly filled file seems in order.

Then I import into an empty runtime invoice file all the records from a file with about 65 invoices. They don't look as good; their dates are there in the sorted chronological list but their sequence numbers are missing and they won't populate with customers. The two files are related; invoice is master showing records from customer. The match field is a serial number, each customer gets one when added to the file. Invoices are created by a script in customer that creates a new invoice and pastes (sets) the ID field in invoice.

So, I'm wondering why the new files filled by importation don't link in the sense of customers appearing in the invoices. Is there a jump start method?

I would like to read an extended discussion about this stuff. I don't know why field import order is important, for one. The dialog seems to show all the fields paired correctly when it opens. I go through it making sure everything is set to import. It appears that neither related fields get imported (until their file is imported) nor calculation fields either.

As I say, there are ten related files, I'm just trying to get two of the most important to accept imported data and then display their relationship correctly. The original files work well in relationship and are in daily use.

Thanks,

Bill

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quote:

Originally posted by Bill Jaynes:

Thanks Moon,

I really appreciate your response. Can we discuss more? I'll try to keep it simple.

Two related files that didn't link up so far (importing, FMPro/Dev 5) are Invoices and Customers. The match field is a generated serial number for a customer; when Invoices are created a script sets the invoice Cust Id to that serial. That field doesn't appear on any layouts in the runtime. Could that be an issue.

Thanks,

Bill

Bill,

Glad to continue the dialog. I am not sure what you mean by the sentence, "Two related files that didn't link up so far (importing, FMPro/Dev 5) are Invoices and Customers." Specifically the parenthetical "importing, FMPro/Dev 5). Could you describe the process by which you are doing the imports, with the file names? It is pretty easy to do as far as the process is concerned, but perhaps you are adding or subtracting a step.

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