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Sharing Pictures Problems

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As part of my master's thesis in archaeology I developed a database that holds the information of several excavations in a given site, linking the graphic information (pictures, floorplans, etc) with the written information (publications, notes, etc) and the results of the analysis. I got to a point where I need to share this database with other users, so forth I set up a small network and turn up sharing... then I realize that all the graphic information is not showing in any of the clients (just 1 for now). In another post someone pointed out that maybe I didn't store things using a "network path". True, my bad. How can I do this though? it seems I have to start from scratch and insert 500+ again but it doesn't matter how I insert them I always get my computers path on the container field, therefore none my client won't see them... please help! what is the correct way to work with pictures having in mind sharing without bloating the database by embedding them in?

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There are a few ways to "share" pictures. There are several factors about the environment and use to take into account.

It is not really recommended to share as referenced files from the same computer you're running FileMaker on. Because it is not recommended to have OS File Sharing* turned on for that machine. There is a possibility of file corruption of the database if it's on.

*(not sure exactly what they call that on a PC; basically others should not be able to access the actual files thru the operating system)

If you have another machine to share the files themselves, then that's fine. Put the pictures on that machine, which everyone can see, and which everyone has the same file path to. You'd need to create a calculation to match the pictures' new file path, to re-Import, but that can be done (read on).

If not, I think you should "embed" the pictures in a FileMaker file; but not the one with the other data. It should be a separate related file, only a few fields, dedicated to only holding the pictures and data to do with them, and an "foreign key" ID field to link them back to their parent record in the main data file.

This way your main data file stays small, but the pictures are readily available from anywhere. It is a little less convenient for "editing" the pictures, but possible, and it doesn't sound like you're doing that anyway.

It is not necessary to re-enter the pictures one by one. The Import Folder command can import an entire folder structure of pictures at once (with [ ] As reference only NOT checked). There is an option to (•) Match records in found set, using a field, matched to either the file name (if unique) or the file path.

You already have the file path. It's the last line (value) in GetAsText ( current picture field ). A calculation to get that, result text:

Let (

txt = GetAsText ( Container field );

GetValue ( txt; ValueCount (txt))


If you imported the above field, plus the primary key of the your main file (you have one?) into a new file, then create a container field, then you've got most of what you need to Import Folder to get all the pictures embedded. If you want a Thumbnail also, create another container field; FileMaker can create a 128 thumb while importing.

In the new Images file:

Show All records

Import Folder [ (Dialog) (•)Matching records, Add new records, click on the File Path match so it changes from -> to = ]

You'd also need to create a File Reference to the new file, a Table Occurrence on the Relationship Graph, and a relationship, from main ID to its counterpart in the new file. Or just switch the one you've got to the new file. I don't know how you're doing muliple pictures per main record.

Edited by Guest

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:B I wanted to thank you for your advice, It was really helpful and I'm on my way to fix my mistakes. It is a shame that none of the reference books that I got to do this ever mentioned the problems on sharing "referenced files", but well, nevermind. So thanks a lot and i have another question for you, or anyone, now I followed your advice and created a set of Filemaker DBs that contain the graphical information embedded on them and then related to my main data dbs... in order to make the main dbs run smoothly I just related the thumbnails but I want to be able, through some script to click on the thumbnail and open the original image on an editing program (i know you thought that that was going to be hard, I've been using "openURL" before but of course in this case won't work). What would be a solution for that? thanks a lot again.

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I read your answers & I believe youre the man I should ask.

I don't understand why the 10 jpeg pictures I inserted(100KB each) to 10 different containers per record won't display in preview mode. The hourglass just keeps on running waiting for insert to finish. Even if I insert as reference link. Even if I use FM 7 or 5.5. If I have 500 patients with 10 different pictures(shot from different angles) I want to store(dental). What is the best thing to do to handle the pictures using Filemaker on windows. I could do a copy paste on each picture but thats laborious. On a Mac, if I point to jpeg picture I want to insert an error message occurs saying the tiff translator can not read this file. Please help.

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I'm not a graphics expert, so this is my best-guess scenario. It sounds like the pictures are in a format that FileMaker can't read. The trouble may be because there are historically several versions of Tiff, some of which have built-in compression. This used to be pretty important back on 25 MHz machines, but is not so much anymore. I haven't seen any of those compressed Tiffs for quite a while; but I do little with anything except little Jpegs anyway. FileMaker can only handle uncompressed Tiff I believe (it's a licensing problem or something).

You should look for a graphics program that can read these files, then convert the original pictures to an uncompressed Tiff format, which is a loss-less conversion. Paint Shop Pro? The file will be quite large. So you'd probably want to convert copies of them again to either Jpeg or PNG, for Insert with embedding into FileMaker (PNG is sometimes better for images that have a lot of solid color or lines). Keep the originals however, for printing, etc.. If you are Inserting [x] As reference only, then the Tiffs are OK, but slow (to very slow) to load.

Most decent graphics applications have some way to do this as batch operations, whole folder at a time. On Mac OS X we have a built-in graphics app, System Events, which can be run with AppleScript to do this.

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