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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.
Start-FM.fp7
Start-FM.fmp12
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Author:Will Loving
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by:rvfowler2
will, I can't get to the scripts; there is no "Manage Scripts" or anywhere where I can set the menu to an Admin menu, so how can I edit the script to put the path of my own db?
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by:rvfowler2
OK, held down the SH key and was able to get in and change the one script step; however, now it stops at "Now Starting Your Database" and gets an error, "Filemaker cannot share a file because FileMaker network sharing is turned off" and THEN my database opens as it should.
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by:rvfowler2
Once I changed it I couldn't get back into it.  So, I deleted it and tried starting with a fresh copy of your db, but NOW I get an error, "The access privalages in this file have been damaged or possibly tampered with.  Please contact Filemaker Technicl support of the problem cannot be resolved."  Why didn't I get this the first time I downloaded your file.  And, I get this error whether or not I hold down the SH key.
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Expert Comment

by:rvfowler2
Deleted and redownloaded the fille.  This fixed the  access issue, but now I get the sharing error message again.  See attached screenprint for script.
--Start.JPG
--Error.JPG
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by:Will Loving
It sounds like you are trying to open the file locally. I'm presuming that the Startup file is being opened on a remote computer. In order to save the file to open "LeadData" in the script, you have to double-click on the "Open Files" step, select "Remote" and then locate the file on the Server under either Local Hosts or Favorites. You can also check the workstation copy of FileMaker's "Sharing" preferences to see if network sharing is turned on, but if you are connecting as a guest to a Remote server, it shouldn't matter.
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by:rvfowler2
Actually, I just fixed it.  I had already opened your Start script and under the OpenFiles step, opened my first database by doing an Open Remote.  The part I was missing was in your file/db to turn on File sharing by going to File, then Sharing, then Filemaker Network.  It works fine now.

(Or did I get this wrong?)
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by:Will Loving
You got it.
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