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Off site database entry


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Hello,

Not sure if this is the correct place to post this:

I will be hiring people to help me with database entry, but I would like to do it remotely. Is it best to put my database on the web, or is it better to load up FM on the helper's computer?

Basic database entry and bulk letter printing.

Thanks!

Michael

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Frankly a web-interface is not suited for mass entries, so e-mail a bound solution (runtime) to each of the people working for you and let them return it when the "holes in the cheese" is stuffed.

From each runtime do you import to the final destination!

--sd

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Don't you need FMP Advanced/Developer to produce runtimes?

You also have the problem of re-integrating the data back to the main file later.

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Indeed you do - in order to bind a solution, but the other problem is a pretty common task to perform such as deduping etc. a lot of peoples bread and butter these days, let me suggest a method to deal with such matters:

http://www.filemakerpros.com/Splitting.zip

Not rocket science here! ...but it prevent several persons in a household to recieve the same piece of marketing...

--sd

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Thanks for your replies.

Before I venture into developer territory, is this something that an extreme FM part timer can take on? I have managed to build a pretty usable interface over the past several years chipping away every once in a while.

I also thought about having them work in excel, but I have too much data to mine through and it exceeds excels 64k row capacity.

It appears that reintegrating the data would be a problem.

Thanks, Michael

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Binding a solution isn't that big a deal, it's taking approximately 4-5 seconds, and the bells and whistles in the interface could be very rudimetary if you wish as long as it gets the job done in an efficient manner... my guess is that the hired people gets paid for the throug-put?

It appears that reintegrating the data would be a problem.

Why, it's simply importing from one given structure to another similar the normalization could be automated using the ideas in the template I showed.

--sd

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Yes, they would get paid, as a 'contractor' to my business. But I want them to work from home and not at my computer.

What do you mean by "binding a solution"? Is that simply updating my file with the new file?

I took a look at FM's site, do I order the 8 advanced or the server?

Thank you very much for your assistance!

Michael

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...Adv, and you need to bind twice, one for mac OS X users and one for Windows users.

Well the binder makes something ...well it not the same as a compiler, but it makes a standalone version of you database so you shouldn't require your subcontractors to buy anything - the point is that it only can run this particular database you have supplied and it doesn't enable them to develop anything with the runtime following your file as an ordinary version would do.

More limitations exist, but are of less importance here would I guess. When the work is done is the files returned with the added data as an attachment to an e-mail - although it may represent a problem for some ISP's that enforces an upper limit of 5 MB for attachment.

Again exists services to deal with such:

http://www.sendthisfile.com/?rc=sendlargefiles

--sd

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Soren is simplifying a more complex set of problems. 'Binding' attaches the datbase engine to your files so that other users are not required to have Filemaker on their machines. It's easy and quick to do.

What you haven't mentioned is what kind of data are they going to enter? Is it new, or is it modifications to existing data? If its the latter, you probably don't have the expertise to write data synching routines. However, there is a plugin that could handle this (www.worldsync.com) called 'Synchdek'. Is the data split among multiple files? How quickly must the data be integrated? As Soren mentioned, emailing might be out. How many records, how many fields? Could you export the data to a CSV format and zip it? How many off-site users do you anticipate short-term and long-term?

Lastly, you're correct in giving up Excel...its not a database.

You really need to think about the process before you decide on the tools.

Steve

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Another possible solution to this is simply hosting the database in the office, then install another copy of FileMaker Pro on the remote user's computer and have them connect to the hosted file remotely. This may require a little firewall tweeking to only allow that one remote client, and the remote connection wouldn't be nearly as fast as on the host computer. But at least with this way there's no syncing involved, and you can get by with the standard client version rather than needing the Advanced version).

Of course, if the remote client doesn't have (and can't obtain) a decent internet connection, then a hosted solution may not be fast enough and an offline version with syncing may be the best choice.

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Thank you for your feedback.

I will describe what sort of tasks that will be involved as that was questioned by Old Hand.

I have a dbase of home owners, about 165k. Each home identified by the parcel number has about 70 pieces of information tied to it. I have added notes, pictures, and a couple of other items to help me organize the data.

The assistant will simply take a property that I have identified to contact and mark it as 'type a' for searching purposes. she/he will also add the date, the picture, and a note. I have automatic entries set up for modification and date as detailed in the book "Learn FileMaker Pro 7".

I would expect on average about 100 modified records out of the 165k each week or so. I would want to consistently sinc with my records, probably at least once a week or so as to not lose touch.

Hope that helps, and thanks again.

Michael

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There is two things in you last post that changes the foundation for the decision, but it doesn't tilt though!

1) Images can't be handled via IWP - I ruled it out anyway!

2) The update of present data is new as well.

But I would still say, that although realestate trade is quite a cashflow stream to put a tiny cup in - could the bound runtime be up to it. Your are each week returned the .usr file of the bound solution, from where you import with the update option chosen.

I would say that it makes most sense to import in a flat file structure, and then normalize scripted as I suggested in my template, this means that the runtime needs a similar flat cut to import from to prevent messing up in the import mapping.

I have admittingly always felt that since the networking have been trimmed away have there not been much point in the binder except for Invoicing solutions to garage companies. But it was until I learned that Maersk Line uses filemaker runtimes exactly this way on thier container vessels, supplied by a local FSA.

Neither have Maersk any shortage of cashflow nor a lack of inhouse programmers, but when sailing are you used to not quite being in sync down to the minute - so the solution made perfect sence, so outsourcing the making of this solution fell in the hands this FSA on partnerlevel.

The point I try to make is that although usual developer vanity requires perfect sync, might it not be worth the efford in deployment cost as well as investment in licenses....

--sd

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