You will need to turn to your computer to prepare a mobile database to be synchronized with a desktop or server-based database.
Configuring a File to Be Published
Assuming that you have available a file you want to publish to your handheld device (or devices), the process of publishing is simply a matter of configuration through the use of the FileMaker Mobile 8 application.
The first step in preparing a file for publishing is turning on the extended privilege for FileMaker Mobile within the security settings for the appropriate privilege sets. You can do this from within FileMaker Mobile or from within FileMaker Pro. This then will allow any account associated with that privilege set to synchronize with your database.
For more information on extended privileges, see "Extended Privileges," p. 342
Important note: When you want to prepare a file for synchronization, you must have it on your local computer the first time you configure it. You cannot initially set a file for mobile access if it is hosted on another computer. FileMaker Mobile requires that an internal setting be established in a file; this process can happen only on a local computer. After this initial configuration is complete, you can subsequently change configuration settings while it is hosted elsewhere. Configure a file once locally with FileMaker Mobile and it will remain configurable from a networked copy of FileMaker Mobile from that point forward in perpetuity.
The main screen in FileMaker Mobile, shown in Figure 26.6, provides a listing of all the FileMaker Pro files that have been configured for handheld sharing and shows whether their sharing is currently enabled.
Figure 26.6. The FileMaker Mobile 8 desktop application allows for the configuration of the handheld publishing settings for FileMaker 7 or 8 files.
Adding and Removing Files
Clicking the Add button prompts you to select the desired FileMaker Pro file and then places you in the Settings dialog. The selected file may be a local file or a database hosted by FileMaker Server, but again you will need to have a file on your local computer if this is the first time you are configuring it for FileMaker Mobile access. You can also, if you choose, remove files by clicking the Remove button. Note that this only removes files from the list; any settings contained within them remain.
Clicking the Settings button will display the file settings options for the selected database (see Figure 26.7). Note that you must have [Full Access] privileges in order to configure a FileMaker database for mobile synchronization.
Figure 26.7. The Mobile Settings dialog in FileMaker Mobile 8 allows you to configure (or reconfigure) a single file for handheld access.
Within the Mobile Settings dialog, you have three settings to work with:
Sharing allows for the designation of which users, if any, are allowed to synch their handhelds to the selected database file. You can either choose to allow all users to synchronize with a given file, or choose to enable specific privilege sets to have access. In all cases, FileMaker Mobile will be enabling the [fmmobile] extended privilege within your FileMaker file.
From this dialog you can also shut off all access for users, regardless of other settings. This is normally used to temporarily disallow synchronization during upgrades, maintenance, and the like.
Field Configuration Settings
The Specify Fields button of the Mobile Settings dialog allows you to specify which fields are to be published via FileMaker Mobile and to set their properties within the mobile database (see Figure 26.8).
Figure 26.8. The FileMaker Mobile 8 field options determine how field information will be displayed on your handheld device.
No more than 50 fields from a single table may be published as a FileMaker Mobile handheld published database. Only fields of data type Text, Number, Date, and Time are supported by FileMaker Mobile 8.
It is important to keep in mind the limitations of FileMaker Mobile 8, especially that only one table and a maximum of 50 fields (of type Text, Number, Date, or Time) from that table can be published to a handheld per database file. This means that FileMaker Mobile 8 databases running on handheld devices are not relational. Methods for working around this limitation are covered in the section "FileMaker Extra: Publishing Related Data," later in this chapter.
The Synchronization button on the Mobile Settings dialog allows you to specify the rules by which FileMaker Mobile synchronizes data between two databases (see Figure 26.9). It is important to keep in mind that synchronization is a snapshot in time and that two data sets exist thereafter and will need to be reconciled at some future date. Also note that at the moment of synchronization, certain circumstances such as record locking can cause disparity between the computer/hosted data set and the handheld data set, so special attention must be paid to synchronization options.
Figure 26.9. The FileMaker Mobile 8 synchronization options determine what direction record data will flow between handheld and host/desktop.
The Mode setting allows you to specify the direction in which records will be transferred at synchronization time. These options control what data you want copied where, and how to handle override logic:
The Records option allows you to specify the set of records that are to be transferred to the handheld at the time of synchronization:
For help with solving the problem of establishing a found set before synchronization, see "Found Sets and Sessions" in the "Troubleshooting" section at the end of this chapter.
The Conflict Resolution setting designates what rule will be used to resolve conflicts that may occur in certain synchronization scenarios. The term conflict here is used to denote a record that has been modified both on the computer (or hosted) version and on the handheld version of the database. Of course, mode settings may override these settings when one database automatically takes precedence over another. The following are the choices available when reconciling conflicts in synchronization:
The conditions for conflict resolution are based on the time and date of the last change made to a specific record. For example, let's say that you chose the Download to Handheld mode of synchronization, and then selected the Desktop Overwrites Handheld method of conflict resolution. In the case that a record is marked as having been changed on both sides, the desktop record would overwrite the record that was changed on the handheld.
The Actions setting allows you to specify a script to run before synchronization occurs and another after it is finished. It is through these means that you can perform tasks such as establishing a specific found set for synchronization or reconciling the lack of auto-entered serial IDs.
For help with scripting seeChapter 9, "Getting Started with Scripting," p. 247.
To learn how to deal with the case of missing serial ID values, see "Missing Index Values" in the "Troubleshooting" section at the end of this chapter.
Clicking Configure in FileMaker Mobile 8 prompts you for the selection of a FileMaker Pro file and allows you to access its FileMaker Mobile settings in one step. It will not automatically add the file to the list of handheld published files. The Add button must be used for that. Use the Configure setting if you want to configure a file but then don't intend to use your current computer for synchronization.
Clicking the User button in FileMaker Mobile 8 displays the list of registered users and their Handheld License Keys applied on the specific copy of FileMaker Mobile 8 installed on the computer with which you're working. Multiple handhelds may be used with a single install of FileMaker Mobile 8, but each must have its own user code and license key.
Each handheld device is tied to one of the licenses used with FileMaker Mobile 8. In this scenario it is possible for an organization to have people typically out of the office synchronize with a single workstation shared among others and set with their key.