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Filemaker Options


Neil Scrivener
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Hi Guys,

So I currently used Filemaker Pro 13 Advanced.

I've had it a while, but never really got the hang of it - but intend to spend the next few weeks/months nailing it.

Currently, I use Word Documents for making invoices, and spreadsheets to log. I'm looking to write something custom to my needs. Tall order, but I'm well up for the challenge :)

The plan is to upgrade to the recent V14, but I don't know if I should get Advanced or Pro? 

Basically, it's just me using the program, but I would like to be able to use it on my Laptop, IPAD or IPhone. I'd write smaller layouts for easy stuff on the phone - and more complicated on the computer. 

I'm not sure if I'm asking a very vague question, but should I be looking for Pro or Advanced?

Also, does FM work with iCalender, so I could join my my diary with a Filemaker program and so forth?

Cheers

Neil

 

 

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Neil,

Advance is better since you can debug your solution and copy and paste elements between files where as the standard client does not give you this option.

Natively FileMaker does not work with iCalendar - if you wish to do so then you will need a plugin http://www.productivecomputing.com/ical-integration

or there are other techniques to push data from FileMaker into a calendar format for importing or subscribing to your calendar. 

 

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You can use local files on your iOS devices just as you can with the desktop version if that's what you mean. Server isn't required.

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Hmm, sorry guys confused!

So my Database file will probably be in a Dropbox file. 

What would be the best way to add/manipulate/update my Database in this way?

I will be a chunky database, but it's good to have accounting packages on your phone as well as laptop - but perhaps able to use both at once, like a Mac and Ipad for second monitor.

Also, could I add other users that could use the Desktop version - or would this require a Server version?

Cheers

N

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in order to have your database "offline" on the iPad you will need to pass the football as it were back and forth between the desktop and iPad and it's just not ideal for long term deployment. 

SYNC solutions are not trivial - and you could write your own, most of the solutions available are really designed to be hosted on server.

You should not keep your file on Dropbox it is just too dangerous as you can't have the file open in both locations. Dropbox is fine to shuttle files around but not designed actively working on binary type file format. 

The other option would be to host your file on a hosing company such as http://www.foxtailtech.com this way your database is backed up. 

 

http://www.filemaker.com/c/ios/us/

Not sure if there is an upcoming event at your local apple store but there is an attractive offer right now that can get you FileMaker licenses and 10 hours of Development from a professional certified developer. 

 

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Thanks guys. So would it (for now) be a good idea to get FM Pro, and make my Database?

The once I have it ready to go in a bit more of a permanent way, then look to buy and/or install Server based version?

Can I adapt Filemaker like this?

Also, if I did as a temporary thing use a Dropbox file (where it can be opened only once) for the Database file - will Filemaker Go be able to connect to it?

Cheers

N

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Neil,

you will need Filemaker to build your solution initially (client or advance) 

You can move the database back and forth between the iPad / computer by dropbox or by email or by iTunes, you can even send the file over iMessage or anything that accepts a file transfer, possibly even iCloud Drive. - its just a vehicle to move the database to the iPad - you will see that as once you click on any of the options it will "COPY" the file into FMGO leaving the original alone. This is where you can get confused as you have multiple copies of the same file in multiple locations. Which one is the most current? Remember to make sure you QUIT filemaker before you move the file to these services - if you attempt to move the file while its open its by sure the fastest way to corrupt the file. 

if you need to make layout changes or other changes you will have to move the file back to the desktop to make the changes. Ideally while you are developing your solution you would have the database on your desktop and you can "SHARE" it so you can see what it will look like on FMGO once you get it to your liking then you can move the database over so you can access it offline.

For $15 per month you can host your database on a FMP 14 server and access it from FMGO or FMPro http://fmforums.com/store/category/6-filemaker-hosting/

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Dropbox is convenient for sharing but as Stephen says, you have to be careful to close the file every time you're done with your session. It's especially convenient on desktop computers because you don't have to do anything more than that -- on closing the file, it will upload to Dropbox. But again, you have to be careful to leave your computer on long enough so the file upload completes. Remember, you're never working on the file that's stored on the Dropbox server -- you're working on a local copy of the file.

On iOS there's an extra step, because FileMaker will only recognize files in its own internal storage space. So you'll have to open the Dropbox app, select the file, and then tell it to open it in FileMaker Go. And when you're done, you'd need to close the file in FileMaker Go and tell it to copy the file back to Dropbox. It's not automatic like on the desktop.

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Thanks for the advice guys, it all makes a lot of sense.

I think the first plan is go get the DB up and running. I will then look to see how to share it from there - such as using Server.

Unless, it works out cheaper/better to buy Server in the first instance in addition to FM Pro?

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Cheaper/better is relative. Do you have a good internet connection? FileMaker hosting is one way to go. Another option is to buy a Developer Subscription at community.filemaker.com. For $99/yr you get your own FileMaker Server license. It's the full software, but is limited to 3 users.

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18 minutes ago, Fitch said:

Another option is to buy a Developer Subscription at community.filemaker.com. For $99/yr you get your own FileMaker Server license. It's the full software, but is limited to 3 users.

I don't think you're allowed to use that in production, are you?

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For hosting your file in a production environment, I've been using Datatrium. $49/month for the first solution, $10 for each solution after. I HIGHLY recommend Advanced. Yes, you will need to buy Advanced separate from whatever your server solution is. 

I don't really recommend setting up your own server and buying a server license. For what I pay FileMaker for my server licenses now, Datatrium has been a much cheaper solution (when you consider the annual cost of the server hardware and FMServer licensing). 

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If you're looking for hosting, be sure to have a gander at our services as well:

http://www.pointinspace.com/

We've been providing professional FileMaker Hosting for over 17 years.  Feel free to let me know if you have any questions either here or via email to jmay(at)pointinspace.com.

- John

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  • 1 month later...

Just a follow up question.  I am a one person business and I like to take my db with me on the road.  The current way is to save a copy to dropbox, open it on my IOS device.  I want to take it to the next step of putting data on the device and syncing it with my office computer.  I won't have a syncing issue with multiple users, as I'll either be entering data on the desktop, or entering data in the field, but never both.  I was wondering what people would recommend:

Idea #1  Purchase a syncing solution/plug-in.

Idea #2

If I wanted to connect to my DB, based on the above information would I (could I, should I?):

Buy a Developer subscription to build and test my database on a server.  Then I would (could,should) just upload the file to, and use a FileMaker hosting company.

Idea #3

Otherwise, if I read the fees correctly, I think it would be overkill for me to buy 'Teams', which would be Server with the up to 5 licenses for $888/yr., and of course a dedicated server.

Any thoughts/recommendations are always appreciated.

Thanks

Steve

 

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For single user the "Teams" would not be ideal.

You could use the Developer Edition for your own use and even run it on a VM on your home computer and based on your router tables get it to point to the VM so you can access it remotely - until your ready to move it to a hosting provider.

Please note that with FMP15 hosting providers will not be hosting files in a multi-tenancy as it is in 14 and prior, and you would use your FMS license and most likely FMPA license on your Laptop/Home Computer - and only one client computer could connect at one time.

The only commercial "sync" software that doesn't require a server I believe is SeedCodes GoZync http://www.seedcode.com/filemaker-sync-gozync/

 

as an alternative open source framework  version is http://timdietrich.me/fmeasysync/

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