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FileMaker Bridge

FileMaker Bridge

This solution automatically keeps Digital Storage Manager information synchronized with FileMaker.
This solution is optimized for Virtual Ticket Developer.
If you are using Workgroups DaVinci and are planning to install a solution not marked as DaVinci-compatible, please check with Support for possible compatibility issues before installing.

Introduction

DSM FileMaker Bridge is an application designed to run continuously on a Mac OS X computer and periodically transfer information from a FileMaker Pro 7 database to Digital Storage Manager. The most obvious use case is using FileMaker Pro 7 to store and manage job and customer information, and Digital Storage Manager to tag, search and archive jobs and digital resources. In this scenario, DSM FileMaker Bridge will ensure that the jobs and digital resources in Digital Storage Manager are kept up to date with the changing information in the FileMaker Pro 7 database.

The information transfer is defined in the application by a textual mapping configuration that specifies which fields of a FileMaker "Job" correlate to fields of a Digital Storage Manager "Job". The information transfer is currently one-way: from FileMaker Pro 7 to Digital Storage Manager.

Details

The mapping configuration is defined by a series of "[mapping]" entries. The first mapping has one parameter and is used only to define the layout and field where job numbers are stored in FileMaker Pro, using "layout.field" format. For example, the first mapping might look like this:

[mapping]

fmp = "Jobs.JobNumber"

An unlimited number of subsequent mapping entries define which FileMaker fields to get data from, and the Digital Storage Manager database fields where this data is to be placed. Three parameters are required for this: fmp, dsm and key. The "key" parameter defines which cell on the FileMaker layout to use to retrieve the information. An equivalent SQL query would be "SELECT JobName (field) FROM Jobs (layout) WHERE JobNumber (key) = 1 (DSM job number)". These mapping entries might look like this:

[mapping]

dsm = "Job Name"

fmp = "Jobs.JobName"

key = "JobNumber"

The "links" parameter may be used to define a FileMaker Pro table relationship. The links parameter should be placed in the first mapping entry that participates in the relationship. Multiple links may be defined on one mapping entry if the table is linked to more than one table, as in:

[mapping]

dsm = "Customer Code"

fmp = "Jobs.CustomerCode"

key = "JobNumber"

links = "Customers.CustomerCode", "Contacts.CustomerCode"

In this way, the application can retrieve information on multiple tables with just one starting key value provided. In the supplied example database, the job number taken from Digital Storage Manager is then used to retrieve information from three tables in FileMaker Pro (Jobs, Customers, and Contacts).

Installation/Configuration

  1. Download and mount the FileMakerBridge.dmg file (see attached below).
  2. Drag the "DSM FileMaker Bridge" application from the mounted disk image to the desired location on your hard disk.
  3. Launch the application. By default, the service is set to not run when the application is launched.
  4. Open the Preferences window and supply setting information. Setting information for the sample database is provided and can be located in "sample preferences.txt".
  5. Click Save to store the Preferences. The changes are applied immediately, even if the service is running.

Example Settings Information in the Preferences Window

General Settings tab:

  • Database Location: The location of the FileMaker database file. This may be a network share in the case of a shared database.
  • Database Name: The name of the FileMaker database as shown in its window.
  • Retrieval Interval: How often the service should synchronize data, in seconds. Set to 300 seconds (five minutes) by default.
  • Start Service Automatically: Whether or not to start the retrieving service when the application is launched.

Database Mapping tab:

  • Supply the Digital Storage Manager to FileMaker database mapping configuration here.

To Set Up Using Sample Database

  1. Drag "Meta DSM Sample.fp7" from the mounted disk image to Macintosh HD. If you don't have permission for this or don't have a Macintosh HD volume, place it elsewhere and update the Database Location setting in the Preferences window.
  2. Open the Preferences window and supply the sample information from "sample preferences.txt".

Directions for Use

  1. Launch FileMaker Pro 7, ensuring that no dialog windows are open. It is not necessary to open the .fp7 database file - DSM FileMaker Bridge will do that automatically.
  2. Launch Digital Storage Manager 1.0 and log in as Administrator.
  3. Launch DSM FileMaker Bridge.
  4. If the service is not set to start automatically, select File > Start Service to begin synchronizing. This setting may be changed in the Preferences window.
  5. Activity may be viewed in the "Current Status" or "Activity Log" windows. These windows may be shown and hidden via Window > Show Status or Window > Show Log.

Requirements

  • Mac OS X (10.3+)
  • Digital Storage Manager 1.0 logged in as Administrator.
  • FileMaker Pro 7 for Mac OS X must be installed and running.
  • Digital Storage Manager Classificator job role must be named "Job".

Notes

  • Only production jobs in Digital Storage Manager are updated with information from FileMaker. Archived jobs are ignored.
  • The Activity Log window reports errors and successful retrieves, including which Digital Storage Manager jobs were updated. This is useful for troubleshooting.
  • The mapping configuration is not case sensitive.
  • There is no danger in setting the Retrieval Interval too low. If the application takes longer than the interval to synchronize the data, then it will just wait to do the next retrieve until it is finished with the current.
  • The Digital Storage Manager fields which are described by the "dsm" entries in the mapping configuration can be viewed and added using the Finds and Forms window of the Digital Storage Manager OS X client Administration menu.
  • Under normal use, it is not advisable to work with the FileMaker database while the application runs and synchronizes the two systems.
  • Instead of starting the service for synchronization, you may choose "Service > Retrieve Once" for a single retrieval. This may be useful for configuration or troubleshooting activities.

Known Issues

  • Right-clicking in text views will crash DSM FileMaker Bridge if the Digital Storage Manager Production Pack Finder plug-in is installed.


Last Modified:

2014-02-13

by

Chris True