Setting Up FileMaker Mobile - File Maker

Now let’s use your Computer Shop databases and sync some of them up with a Palm. To set up your handheld:

  1. First, you need to follow FileMaker’s instructions and make sure that you’ve got FileMaker Mobile and its conduit installed properly on your Mac/PC and on your Palm device. (Make sure the Mobile Companion Plugin is enabled in FileMaker Pro’s Edit > Preferences > Application on the Plug-Ins tab.)
  2. Open the Company.fp5 and Contact.fp5 databases in the Computer Shop folder. Starting with Company.fp5, go to File > Sharing. You’ll see the File Sharing dialog where you should check Mobile Companion in the Companion sharing list.
  3. Click the Settings button and you’ll see this Mobile Settings dialog:
  4. Setting Up File Maker Mobile

  5. Click Specify Fields to choose which fields you want to sync. If there are more than 50 in your database, you’ll have to pick which 50 to send to the handheld. You’ll see the Specify Fields dialog:
  6. Setting Up File Maker Mobile

  7. Move all the shipping and billing fields (all the ones that start with an S or a B), as well as all of the Notes and CompanyID fields from the Available Fields window to the Handheld Fields window. Either double-click the fields you want to add or single-click them and click the Add button.
  8. Click the Properties button and another set of functions appears at the bottom of the dialog. To use these properties, click one of the handheld fields and then specify its properties.

Here’s what the various properties do:

This is how the field will look on the handheld and how data is entered into the field there. There are several available formats.

Standard This is just a regular old field, which allows entry of characters up to 2K in length.

Single Checkbox Makes the field a checkbox using just the first value of the selected value list. Useful for checking “Yes” or “Active” or “Call back?”

Notes This is a big scrolling field, which allows the same 2K of characters as a Standard type field.

Pop-Up Menu Gives user a list of choices to select from, based on the specified value list.

Pop-Up List Also gives user a list of choices to select from, based on the specified value list, but also allows a user to enter their own value.

Allow Entry into Field
If this isn’t checked for a field, the field will be read-only on the handheld.

Use Auto Capitalization
If this is checked, entry into this field on the handheld will automatically be formatted in sentence case (i.e., first word capitalizes, as in “Yo, my dog just vomited in the closet!”).

Use Custom Label
Use this to name the field labels something other than what they’re defined with in Define Fields. For instance, you’ll probably use custom labels to make the leading B and S in your field names more intuitive (e.g., “Ship Address 1”).

  1. For this example database, attach the State value list as a pop-up list or menu to the two state fields. Make the notes field a Notes field type and make the CompanyID field read-only. If you want to use custom labels for all of your fields, do that as well using the Custom Field Label property. When you’re through, click the OK button twice.
  2. Back to the other settings in the Mobile Settings dialog. In the Records section, you can specify whether when syncing, you sync the found set (in the FileMaker Pro database, not on the handheld) or all records. Choose all records for now.
  3. The Synchronization area of the dialog is an important one to understand, as it sets how the records in the handheld and the desktop will be reconciled with one another. Here’s what the three different choices mean:

    Duplicate Records Means the records in the handheld will all be created as new records in the desktop database, perhaps causing there to be duplicate records (if the record still exists on the desktop when syncing). This is a dangerous option that can mess things up so use with care.

    Handheld overwrites desktop If any changes are made to a record in either the handheld or the desktop database, the changes made to the handheld’s version of the record “wins” and will overwrite the desktop database.

    Desktop overwrites handheld The exact opposite of the above; the desktop copy of the database’s changes will “win.”

  4. For this test, select “Handheld overwrites desktop.” You’ll pretend that the database is being used in a company where there’s only one employee so when she takes the database away on her handheld and makes changes, she wants all the changes to be synced back with her desktop database upon her return to the office. Click OK.

Plugin Settings
Now you can check to see that everything is ready to sync this database between handheld and desktop.

  1. In FileMaker Pro, go to Edit > Preferences > Application > Plug-Ins tab.
  2. Select the Mobile Companion plug-in and click Configure. If you’ve set it up right, Company.fp5 should appear in the box at the bottom, meaning all is ready for synchronization.

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