Synching FileMaker Mobile Apps, Umbrella Monitor, WebViewer WebKit

Synching FileMaker Mobile Apps

Synching FileMaker mobile apps with the hosted file is not one of the more glamorous topics to cover, but is a necessary one to address as a developer. Katherine Russell, Senior Consultant at NightWing Enterprises, presented on this topic at FileMaker  DevCon 2016:

The environment of each file involved in a syncing scenario determines how you address the interrelated questions of record exchange and record processing. It also may dictate the sync methodology, such as importing records or incremental record-by-record updates.

Using indirection and other dynamic scripting techniques, this session demonstrates flexible approaches to implementing a successful sync for your mobile custom apps — whether hosted or stand-alone.

If you are planning to synch mobile apps, take the time to watch this presentation and work through the example files and the pdf guide.

Subjects covered in this video include:

  • Business Rules and Process Mapping
  • Synching Scenarios for Mobile Custom Apps
  • Importing directly from a FileMaker app to another FileMaker app
  • Passing data arrays as parameters
  • Passing arrays via inline script parameters using fmp URL
  • Scraping data from a web viewer
  • Transactional Integrity

There's plenty more, as well, so download the files and set time aside to listen.


Mobile Tech: An Umbrella like Monitor

It's just a Kickstarter project for now, but the concept is killer:  The SPUD is an absurd 24-inch portable display that opens like an umbrella:

It’s called the SPUD or Spontaneous Pop-Up Display, and at The Verge, well, we can’t decide whether it’s terrible or genius. When collapsed, it looks like a deflated airbed: about the size of a big hardback book and weighing under 2 pounds. When opened, it's more like a light diffuser used by photographers. The projector itself sits at the back of the unit and throws the image up onto the 24-inch screen.

It’s called the SPUD or Spontaneous Pop-Up Display, and at The Verge, well, we can’t decide whether it’s terrible or genius. When collapsed, it looks like a deflated airbed: about the size of a big hardback book and weighing under 2 pounds. When opened, it's more like a light diffuser used by photographers. The projector itself sits at the back of the unit and throws the image up onto the 24-inch screen.

Tech like this is coming, one way or another.  This one may seem to be a bit clunky at first, but compare it to carting around a 24" monitor and it gets practical pretty fast.


Troubleshooting the FileMaker WebViewer

A little known feature in FileMaker allows you to run a terminal command to enable the Safari WebKit debugger. Find details at this Beezwax blog post by Simon Brown

If you are having difficulty getting your HTML, CSS, or JavaScript to render in a FileMaker Web Viewer, you may have a struggle ahead of you trying to find the problem, and no good way to debug it. In comparison, most web browsers have debug facilities that can help developers find problems in their code.


Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

Albert Einstein, (attributed)
US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

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