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opener files


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Hello,

we've finally begun our transition from FileMaker 4 to FM8 with FM8 Server (yes, version 8 - owned for year and never deployed :) ). It has been decided by the higher ups that the first phase will be converting all existing files to fp7 and continue to use as flat files while the new relational databases are being built.

My question is about opener files. What is/are current practice(s) in this regard? Currently, with FM4, the files are hosted on a server, and the first to open the file becomes host. All the files have shortcuts on every client's machine (about 8 clients). I'm trying to make things cleaner and easier for the end-user (many are not too computer-savvy). There are approximately 40 files, while only 5 need to be used by most of the users - the remaining files are referenced by admin on occasion.

Should I just teach everyone Open Remote? Should I create a single opener file that points to the files based on user privileges? What is common today?

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Sometimes I will e-mail out opener files for each new database we make to people who will use them often, but with FileMaker now storing passwords in the keychain and clearly marking remote files in the Open Recent menu--"filename.fp7 (server)"-- I find it's less of a necessity than it was before.

But then, I can still remember the days when no one in our office knew there was any such thing as an opener file and clicking the Hosts button meant a 20-second wait for FileMaker to poll the entire network, then entering the password every time, then waiting a couple minutes for the "Today Calculation" to finish. Which is a geeky way of saying "I had to walk to school uphill both ways, sonny." :)

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I'd definitely recommend an opener file. It's easier for the user, and makes it less likely some knuckehead will turn on file sharing on the host, thinking that's what's needed to get files to show up in the "Open" dialog. (FileMaker files should never be opened from a shared network volume.)

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Thanks for your comments thus far.

@Ted S, I do hope you're mistaken about the 5 user limit. Do you mean 5 users per file or 5 users connected to the server?

@all, we've decided to go with opener files. But another question. Would it better to have an opener file for each file on the server, or to have an opener that lists all the files on the server (based on user privileges)? Or is it completely preference? And then one step further, would it make sense to have an opener on each client point to an opener on the server that then lists all files (for ease of modification (1 file))?

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Whether to have a distributed solution or a networked solution depends on the environment and the needs of the client. It is generally much better for each organization to have a single network hosted solution that to have a number of stand-alone files distributed among its users.

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