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Opener File Standards - Long, Rambling Query


The Bridge
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Greetings all,

After a few years of creating single-user standalone solutions and a couple of FileMaker-driven web sites I'm being asked to create multi-user network solutions for a couple of clients.

I've adopted the standard of creating "opener" files to bypass FileMaker's Open... dialog, but I'm not really sure if I'm really taking the right approach. I'd love to hear from some more experienced developers out there.

What my question boils down to is this: should the opener file do nothing but open databases hosted elsewhere on the network and then disappear, or is it good practice to include other functionality as well?

So far, my opener files act as Main Menus for my solutions with a minimum of 2 layouts: the About This Solution layout and a layout containing buttons that open the databases proper. In one case, my Main Menu also has buttons that call specific scripts within other databases, such as for finding and creating new records. This was at the request of the client, who wanted a "one-click-away" type solution.

Of course, this approach demands that a copy of the Main Menu be installed onto every computer that will access the databases. I found a great Applescript here on FMForums that seems to offer a fool-proof way of opening the databases using the GetURL function and fields that store the server's IP address (so far I'm only developing multi-user solutions for Mac networks, thankfully)

Anyway, am I asking for trouble here, or is my Main Menu approach standard?

Many thanks!

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My opener files just open a hosted file -- nothing else. Well, they do check that the user has the right screen size and has networking set to TCP/IP and maybe an application version check, but there are *definately* no layouts.

Why? Becuase a change to a layout would require updating all the user's opener files: a hard task at best, necessitating somebody going around to all the user's computers and making the changes, or distributing another opener file somehow. But then there's the problem "Which opener file do I use..."

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quote:

Originally posted by Vaughan:

...a change to a layout would require updating all the user's opener files: a hard task at best, necessitating somebody going around to all the user's computers and making the changes, or distributing another opener file somehow. But then there's the problem "Which opener file do I use..."

Thanks Vaughan. I'm really glad that I posted that message; it will have saved me much hair-pulling in a week or two. smile.gif" border="0

[ November 20, 2001: Message edited by: The Bridge ]

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