FileMaker 7 Runtime App Linked to Served File?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jsalzer, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. jsalzer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004
    Hey, All,

    Can I gather a few FileMaker pros to help me out here.

    My work is transitioning from an old bandaided-to-death FM5 database system to one that I'll be creating in FM7. I'll be attempting to create it in a generic form (soft-coding what is specific to my company) that we can lease out to other similar companies.

    The Setup:
    Well, I'd like to set the solution up in two files. One a hosted file on a FileMaker server (.fp7) that contains all of the data tables. I would like all users to access that file using a Runtime user interface file on the user's desktop.

    Why Runtime? I want to use the MenuControl plugin to customize the menu bar on the interface. Simple (and relatively cheap) to do in a runtime solution (no per-seat cost and the plugin is bound to the distributed file) - far too expensive and difficult to implement in a standard file (superhigh per-seat cost, having to put the plugin in the user's FM file, and the possibility of screwing up anything else they're doing in FM).

    The Problem:
    Try as I may, I when I have the two files at hand and attempt to bind the UI file into a Runtime app, the app claims it can't connect to the data file because it isn't bound with it.

    I've spent two days searching for an answer and have found no mention of anyone even trying this. Is it just not possible to have a Runtime app draw data from a hosted .fp7 file, or am I missing something?

    If it isn't possible, does anyone know of an alternative plugin for Menu Bar control that doesn't have the high per-seat price that MenuControl and its peers have? Why this capability isn't built into Developer is beyond me. It just confuses users to see standard FM menu items when they don't match the solution and leads to a cluttered interface. :(

    Thanks for all of your help! :)
  2. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    i personally haven't seen this done, but my FileMaker usage don't go far beyond FM Client to date so i may just have lack of experience here. i'm a bit confused about your situation though. i understand the desire to have a runtime app rather than troubling the end users with actually using FM itself but since you are already planning to host the solution, why not just have a web-based front end to the hosted data via a browser? you wouldn't have to distribute anything to the user. perhaps i am just misunderstanding your situation. please keep this thread alive as i am in the process of expanding my FM skills and interested in providing similar solutions to my clients.
  3. jsalzer thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004
    Keeping It Alive

    Hey, tjwett,

    I definitely hope to keep things here alive, as I'm sure I'll run into several issues along the way. I'll try to answer any questions you have as you learn, as well.

    We're a Regional Office of Education. Our database is quite extensive. We live off of it. From tracking the staff at all our schools, to tracking workshop registrations, to tracking room usage and catering calendars, to our inventory and financial procedures.

    We use a web interface for our customers (if they register for workshops online - currently using Lasso), but I don't control that part and have little to no knowledge of web design. If we were looking at simple data entry, I might make that jump, but we're talking much more than that.

    On the other hand, even the FM firm we used to use (when we had more money) was impressed with the GUI and additional features I added to the FM5 database. Attempting to build a system that would require in-house people to use the web just isn't where I want to head.

    If I can't get the runtime file to link to the hosted file, we'll just end up with everyone using FM (which my users will have on their desktops, anyway), and I'll have to clutter the GUI with more buttons or steps than I'd like to. The problem is, I really need to know if I'm headed that direction up front before I begin designing the interface. :(

    Thanks for your thoughts. I hope a few others will join us, and we'll get a FM party started! ;)

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