Creating a FileMaker Startup File for a Remote Database

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Will Loving
Professional FileMaker Developer since 1992.
Problem: You have a hosted FileMaker database and users are tired of having to use Open Remote or Open Recent to access the database. They say, "can't you just give us something to double-click on rather than have to go through those dialogs?"

Answer: Yes you can. The attached file shows a simple method of opening a remote database via a double-clickable file.

In it's simplest form, a startup file has a single script that runs immediately upon opening. The script does two things: 1) it opens the remote database and 2) it closes itself.

Open File [ "MyFileMakerDB.fp7" ]
Close File [ "Current File" ]

You will need to select Specify your remote (or local) database in the Open File script step and make sure that Close File is set to "Current File". In order to make this run on Startup, go to File -> File Options, and under "When opening this file...", select the "Start" script under "Perform Script:"

In addition, it's helpful to have a way to stop the script before the file closes so you can edit it later. To do this, add steps that check to see if the Shift key is being held down and have it Halt the script using the Get ( ActiveModifierKeys ) calculation function. (The shift key is a 1, the Alt/Option Key is 8, the two together would be 9).

If [ Get ( ActiveModifierKeys ) = 1 ]
   Halt Script
End If

Once setup, this file can be distributed to other users and should work as a double-clickable launch file for the hosted database no matter where the user is. They still need to enter their credentials - username and password - but it can make life much easier.

The attached "Start_FM.fp7" file has a slightly longer script and a couple of extra options including the display of a "Now Starting Your Database..." dialog while the Remote file is opening, and the ability to stop the file from automatically closing by holding down the shift key while you double-click the file. This allows you edit it as necessary.
Author:Will Loving
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