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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3

    Unanswered: Will Filemaker do ....

    I have been using Filemaker for a number of years here at work, but want to take our department database to the next level.

    Until now, we have been working with one database that we either copy to our desktops, modify and return to the server, or sometimes opening multi-user mode, which has generally been extremely slow. I assume that if I were to use Filemaker Server, things would improve on the speed front, but don't know for sure.

    What I want to do, and want to be sure Filemaker can't do it before I abandon it, is create a custom application that uses a database as the backend. I don't want to work in Filemaker anymore, but instead want to write a program to enter and manipulate data in the database. I get the sense from the filemaker website that one can program Java front ends, but I think I'd to try and write my program using xCode, as I don't think Java will be robust enough to do what I need to do. Is this possible?

    Also, I want to use a client/server model, where individual users can work on the database locally, without network connections, and then come back later and sync the changes they've made in with the server version of the database. I can't quite figure out how to make filemaker do this.

    And, maybe it's just me, but I just can't wrap my head around Filemaker's relationship paradigm. I know a little Access and Openbase, and like their use of tables with primary keys. As far as I know, multiple database files have to exist to do the same thing in Filemaker? Why? How do people deal with tens of filemaker files? Do they create packages, or move the files together in folders, if they need the database to move from computer to computer?

    Maybe I need to learn more of the advanced function of Filemaker. I really like scriptmaker, and notice that Openbase doesn't have anything near as friendly. Are there any really good, deep books on the advance functions of filemaker? Websites?

    I'd like to stay with the database we have been using for years, but worry that it's not robust enough to do what we need to do.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    James

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh USA
    Posts
    203

    Re: Will Filemaker do ....

    Lot of questions, so let me try to answer a few and provide some insight
    into how my FM databases are handled.

    I administer (and develope the databases) for a FM server (W2K) that has 80 databases (most related) and serves approx 45 users plant wide, 20 external users and runs cross platform (Mac and Windows). The server runs very strongly and is quick, even when the backup routines are running. I would never go back to running 'multi-user" databases on a single or a few computers, mainly because of performance and reliability (probably OK for the 4 person office).

    I also got very frustrated with FileMaker's lack of coding capibilites and looked for alternative methods 'front end' app's. But, upon analysis of the situation, front end programs had cross platform incompatibilites and the use if java script presented problems on older machines.

    Rather than re-invent the wheel, the situation required that I get "creative" with FM in making layouts and in script routines that appeared to run as an application would.

    I think the plus side to FileMaker is it's ease of use for the non-programmmer types, security features, self recovery features and networking capibilities.
    I think the down side is (and I hope that newer versions include these types of things) is the lack of dynamic controls and coding (the types of controls and code one would see in VB or Access).

    The last word I've got is the single user databases that are re-synced at the end of the day. If I were you, I'd get the FM server and run just the the databases there. I sometimes have as many as 25 users working and updating a single database with no problems or performance issues. Don't create the extra work for yourself.

    Hope this helps

    AND TO that other poster out there (you know who I mean--Not you James) Help the people and don't dish other posters!!


    Originally posted by jimmytich
    I have been using Filemaker for a number of years here at work, but want to take our department database to the next level.

    Until now, we have been working with one database that we either copy to our desktops, modify and return to the server, or sometimes opening multi-user mode, which has generally been extremely slow. I assume that if I were to use Filemaker Server, things would improve on the speed front, but don't know for sure.

    What I want to do, and want to be sure Filemaker can't do it before I abandon it, is create a custom application that uses a database as the backend. I don't want to work in Filemaker anymore, but instead want to write a program to enter and manipulate data in the database. I get the sense from the filemaker website that one can program Java front ends, but I think I'd to try and write my program using xCode, as I don't think Java will be robust enough to do what I need to do. Is this possible?

    Also, I want to use a client/server model, where individual users can work on the database locally, without network connections, and then come back later and sync the changes they've made in with the server version of the database. I can't quite figure out how to make filemaker do this.

    And, maybe it's just me, but I just can't wrap my head around Filemaker's relationship paradigm. I know a little Access and Openbase, and like their use of tables with primary keys. As far as I know, multiple database files have to exist to do the same thing in Filemaker? Why? How do people deal with tens of filemaker files? Do they create packages, or move the files together in folders, if they need the database to move from computer to computer?

    Maybe I need to learn more of the advanced function of Filemaker. I really like scriptmaker, and notice that Openbase doesn't have anything near as friendly. Are there any really good, deep books on the advance functions of filemaker? Websites?

    I'd like to stay with the database we have been using for years, but worry that it's not robust enough to do what we need to do.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    James
    Rick Knight
    KnightShift Office Solutions and Horse Breaking
    VB, VBA, FileMaker, Access Solutions, Web Solutions

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    So. Cal. USA
    Posts
    142

    Re: Will Filemaker do ....

    Hi, James! We're small so Mulit-user works great for us. If you go w/a web solution, you can use PHP w/FileMaker (take a look at the FX plug-in). As to the relational database menagerie, yeah... it kinda bugs but I think release announcements for the next version of FileMaker (7.0 !) mention the incorporation of the database/table system while keeping the old multi-db system, too.
    --ST

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