The New Normal For FileMaker Network Architecture

(Be sure to read the update at the end)

Let’s make this as simple as possible. Here’s the ideal low-bandwidth, remote syncing experimental setup:

  1. FileMaker Pro running on a machine that is connected to the internet.
  2. FileMaker Go running on iPhone or iPad
  3. Dropbox for FileMaker – aka SuperContainer!

That’s right. I’m taking the authority of my own accord to declare SuperContainer to be the Dropbox of FileMaker, especially as it relates to create/find/delete requests. All of my prior experiments with Dropbox relate directly to SuperContainer. It might very well become the next networking protocol.

I think.

I just now downloaded the demo, and I’m trying it out. But from what I’ve read, this is the real deal. Not only will this allow me to build extremely efficient psuedo-networked monstrosities, but it will allow me to connect to a server without any file references whatsoever. If there’s a signal, then there’s SuperContainer. No signal? Sync later, run local.

I’m also going to argue (and surely I’m not the first) that running local – even at the desktop level – is the next “normal” for the FileMaker community. Flat datasets will be requested, edited, and returned. The same engine we build for updating the desktop will be used to update FMGo. Syncing is something that will constantly be happening for everybody. Those of us who choose to become good at this new skill will have a great advantage over those who do not, as the marketplace demands its data everywhere no matter what.

We’ll see what happens. I have a client that needs this to work this week. So I should have some results for you soon.

No pressure, of course…

UPDATE 11/29/11 @ 3pm: I’m just now getting to the documentation where it says there is no file upload for GO.  Hmm. I’ll have to look into the Save/Send step in Go, probably. More to come!

UPDATE  11/29/11 @ 5:30pm: Here’s the solution to SuperContainer not being able to upload from Go: Pop3It from CNS Plugins. If I send the contents of the command structure via the send mail step, specifying the SMTP version so there’s no dialog, then I can use Pop3It to be checking mail in a FileMaker file every few seconds. The idea is that Pop3It is serving as my listener app. Once the main database goes through the syncing process, it sends and record changes as XML back to the mobile device via SuperContainer. The mobile device then parses it out.

That is definitely a version 1 way to do things.

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