Jump to content

File References in FMP7--should I use them?

This topic is 5914 days old. Please don't post here. Open a new topic instead.

Recommended Posts

I am redesigning a database from FMP6 which will handle > 10,000 images. Currently, I am storing a reference to the images as a text string, which I then use AppleScript to manipulate (eg, 'Tell application "Finder" to select file <<FMP field>>'). I am thinking of using file references in FMP7, since they seem designed to solve my problem, but I am afraid of finding out some bad consequences of this decision later and having to undo a lot of work. Some questions:

1) What are the rules for displaying a file reference? I tried making a reference to a large TIFF file and it appeared that FMP7 had to parse the entire tiff every time it showed the record in browse mode. A layout in list view with references to lots of big tiffs could be impossible to display.

2) What are the rules for accessing a file reference? Let's say I move a bunch of images from one folder to another, will it be straightforward to change the references to point to the new place? Can I do a search by filename, or will I have to store the file as a string anyway?

3) What is the best way to store thumbnails? Even if I decide to use strings to refer to the original images, I have the choice of storing the thumbnails as either an image (in a container field) or a file reference. If I have (eventually) 10,000 or more thumbnails of, say, 10K each, will scrolling etc be faster with 10,000 file references (putting the onus on the operating system) or 100MB of images (putting the work into FileMaker)?

4) Any other "gotchas" that can be foreseen?


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 2
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

I've not done big files with big pictures, but I've done quite a bit of messing about with smaller ones.

1) I don't know that it would a big difference to display time whether you embedded the image or referenced it. I don't the exact process FileMaker and the operating system uses to display pictures, but it seems to me that basically a bigger picture (file size) takes a longer time to draw to the screen. For that reason you should never put big pictures in a list view by using "reduce" in FileMaker. Much better to use a separate thumbnail, which FileMaker can produce upon Folder import, or you can do your own.

2) The new capability in 7, which you don't specifically mention, is the ability to show an image just by using a "relative" file reference in a calculation. This is different from Importing or Inserting the image. It's just a calculation of its relative location to the current database file, with text result, using the special prefix "image:", result container.

If you're going to be moving the images around, that would seem to be the best method. You can go "up" a directory using the standard "./". I'm not sure how it works on a network, but I assume it functions somewhat like HTML references. Has anyone tried this?

This method allows you to store paths to images in fields and calculations. No Import or Insert needed (see 3 for thumbnail question). A "file:" reference allows you to open the original; shows as an icon (which doesn't seem to support transparency however?). Don't know how that would work on a network?

3) It seems to me that the most efficient method would be to embed thumnails into the file itself, and use the calculation method above to show the larger pictures, which would be on another shared machine (or drive). That would give you the best of both worlds. The thumbnails could be created during import along with the file names (just not the picture; I imagine you can do that).

Or just do both thumbnails and pictures as calculations. That would seem to be easiest, though, as you say, there are questions about whether it would be the fastest.

4) The main gotcha is of course that referenced images are not visible on a network, unless they are in a shared folder, which should be on another drive or machine than the database files.

Another gotcha is that changing the file names or paths is going to break connections (duh). Changes to the original image will be reflected, unless they are embedded. This shouldn't matter much to embedded thumbnails. I wouldn't embed TIFFs. I'm no graphics expert, but I know that: TIFFs are really big, and there are different types of TIFFs, esp. if they have some kind of built-in compression.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 5914 days old. Please don't post here. Open a new topic instead.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

    • By Tony Morosco
      I'm a botanist, and the tables I am working with are for tracking botanical garden collections. The data represents plants in the garden, and the plants are tagged and show up in the database.  The tables I am working with were created in FMP 7, and I'd like to open them up in FMP 11 (or later.)  The system hasn't been used in years, but still has valuable information.
      One of the tables is giving me problems using the FMP convert and recover commands.
      These tables are all inter-related.  The main table is the Accessions table, which contains records for all of one kind of plant, from the same source, received on the same date.  It is basically a museum standard.
      The other tables are related to each other through this one main table.  The Species table is related to the locations table through the Accessions table. 
      (i.e.  table A relates to table C through the table B, the intermediary)  
      From the Locations table, we can't see the the species information unless the accessions table is present.
      When issuing the open command on the main table to convert the database to FMP 11, I get the message:
      "Accessions.fmp7" is damaged and cannot be opened.  Use the Recover command to recover this file. When using the Recover command from v. 11, I get another message:
      WARNING: problems were detected while recovering the database.  Please review the Recover.log file to see where problems were found and their severity.  The recovered file should NOT be used going forward; copy only the most recent work from it into a backup copy of the original file. Recovery results:   File blocks: scanned and rebuilt 563 blocks, dropped 214 invalid data blocks.   Schema: scanned fields and tables, 1 items modified   Structure: scanned; 1 items modified   Field indexes: rebuilt  
      Opening the recovered database, there are only three records present.  There should be hundreds.  So obviously I am looking on how to wrangle this database open.
      I've attached the log file here, as well as the database structure map.  
      The other files have converted just fine.  But since the main table won't open, we are kind of stuck.
      I can share the files with you through Dropbox or whatever, if needed.
      Please let me know any thoughts you have, either basic or advanced.  And ask for any clarifications or additional questions.   :-)  

    • By Tumma K
      Hello, All!

      I am an aspiring developer for Filemaker. The company I work with is stuck in the past working off of Filemaker Pro 4.1

      I was given the task of bringing us up to Filemaker Pro/Server 13. So far my conversion prototypes are successful but we recently had a layout issue that can only be fixed in versions 3-6 (as the file is an .fp3) I work off of a macbook while our network is all Windows 7. In order for me to repair the layouts without tampering our active database, I decided the best option is to repair a copy of our solutions off the network. Unfortunately, when I go to download the trial version of Filemaker Pro 6 off of the respected website, the file is corrupt! I've tried multiple times, with different extraction apps and in different directories.

      My question is;

      Does anyone know a place where I could obtain version 6 (or better yet, 4.0) for an OSX computer? I've looked everywhere!
      Thank you for your time,
      Tumma K.
    • By MrEddByrnes
      I'm hoping my question can have a happy ending. In the mid-90's, I purchased Filemaker 3. When Filemaker 5.5 Pro was released, I bought the update CD, which requires the user to either have FM 3 installed or to have the installation CD for FM 3. I've used it all these years, most recently with Windows XP Pro, and it has worked just fine. The databases I began with were long ago converted to FM Pro 5.5 databases.
      I'm still using FM Pro 5.5 on a laptop with WinXP Pro, but in 2013, I purchased a PC with Windows 8. I haven't been able to install FM 3 on it, therefore can't install FM Pro 5.5. I am retired and rarely use Filemaker, but I have a few Filemaker databases I'd like to add to my Win 8 machine. I don't feel it's worth upgrading FM for the sake of using a couple of databases.
      Has anyone else run into this situation and/or have a (possible) solution? Is there perhaps any other software that can read FM 5.5 databases? Thanks in advance for your help.
    • By bmill
      I am using a custom filemaker solution for medical office billing written with fp5 running on a mac with snow leopard. In addition, I have a patient management db (which I wrote) that is linked through pt. ID number to the billing program allowing transfer of some demographic information (name, DOB, etc).
      Other than being limited by hardware restrictions, the billing program serves our needs for now and upgrading to fp12 will take some time (and money).  In the meantime, I am upgrading my pt. management program to fp13 and would like to move new patient demographic information from the billing program ( fp5 running on snow leopard through Parallels) and the new pt management program ( fp13 running on OS X 10.9) on the same mac.   
      Ideally, demographic information would be entered once into fp5 and then a scipt would make the data available for fp13.
      Any ideas on how to make this work?
    • By randyinla
      Hi, can anyone tell me why my on-line database might have stopped allowing me to delete records?  All of my access privileges and passwords are correct.
  • Who Viewed the Topic

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.