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peterc

Updating data online

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peterc

I have developed a runtime solution for mac and window platforms for a friend. It is a list of available products and their prices. From time to time he needs to update this list, which includes adding products, deleting products and changing prices. The clients have no input into the data. For them it is read only. He wanted to be able to email the updates. To do this, I wrote an "update file", which is a FMP file that, when placed in the same directory as the main file, launches some scripts and off we go. This all works well.(mind you, there are 8 tables in the update)

Now (@#!) he wants to be able to have the solution update itself online. Is this even possible? All I can think of is a plugin to FTP the update file into the directory. Has anyone got a better, simpler, nicer, easier way of achieving this outcome?

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Weetbicks

what exactly do you mean update online? To me, that basically means putting up a download file (the next version/updater thing) and telling people to download it into the same folder & run it to update their version.

 

or do you mean they log into their copies and it automatically communicates with a server & updates it ? I wouldn't think it possible. You have to import the data into filemaker from somewhere, ie a file (excel or another filemaker file, or your updater etc) and that file can't be from an internet source.

 

I think he is overcomplicating, he should just provide a download link on a website.

 

You could build something into the database itself to alert users when there is an updated version perhaps. like a web viewer pointing to the site itself, or another page that contains the latest version number. This number is compared to the version in their current file, if it doesnt match, filemaker displays a message saying they should upgrade cos a newer version is available.

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peterc

Well I totally agree with you, he is making it to complicated. In the solution I have already provided a web viewer that to a web site to download the file from (and installers to put the file in the right place). The version number is next to the web viewer and client can simply check this and download from within the solution. Pretty simple I thought. He feels they will need it more simple(!) He was looking for a way to import data from the internet, but it is not possible.

I am intrigued with the idea of an alert when the solution compares its version to one on the web and can trigger an alert. This might make my friend feel better if a great big window comes up and says "download new update!!! He has his own site and can be guided into creating simple web pages. If this comparison could be done with a calculation, how do I get filemaker to "read" data on the web and compare it??

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kirkrr

Are you updating the program, or the data in the program?? As I read it, it is updating data, not necessarily the program.

 

You could create an import routine that clears out the existing source tables, then imports a new data set. This could from an fp7 file that is just data - no layouts, no reports, no code.

 

This would need to be a code change in the program to support this function, but it would make updates far smaller, and just a data load instead of replacing the program.

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peterc

The update is just data and is just a stripped down version of the file. The update process as I have it works well. The clients simply downloads the file and it updates on the next launch. What I was after was either a way to import the data off the web automatically, with no user interaction. Given that I can't do that, I like the idea of an alert that can notify them to download the update. This seems my best option. As it is, a layout on the solution displays the current version number installed (which is just a date) and a webview field displays the latest update available and the ability to download it. While simple, my friend wants it simpler. How can I get filemaker to display an alert box or something else when the two versions are different?

 

Although my original thought was to find a plugin or something to FTP the update file into place automatically. Any opinions on that idea?

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Weetbicks
The update is just data and is just a stripped down version of the file. The update process as I have it works well. The clients simply downloads the file and it updates on the next launch. What I was after was either a way to import the data off the web automatically, with no user interaction. Given that I can't do that, I like the idea of an alert that can notify them to download the update. This seems my best option. As it is, a layout on the solution displays the current version number installed (which is just a date) and a webview field displays the latest update available and the ability to download it. While simple, my friend wants it simpler. How can I get filemaker to display an alert box or something else when the two versions are different?

 

Although my original thought was to find a plugin or something to FTP the update file into place automatically. Any opinions on that idea?

 

TCP Direct from Fusionplugins is able to send & receive tcp packets using function calls. You could use it to gracefully send an http request to a server somewhere that contains the version #, and have the version # returned into a calc which you can then compare. this would spare you using the web viewer.

 

I also know that we recently did some work for a client whereby they wanted a similar thing happening as to what you want. They wanted our reactor installer file automatically downloaded into a container in their solution so users could quickly update. On Monday, I'll ask the developer who did that how they did and get back to you.

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