Syncing Up - File Maker

Now try to run a sync. With the database open and your handheld in its cradle, press the HotSync button. If all goes well, you should now be able to go to the FileMaker Mobile application icon from the Applications area of your handheld. You’ll get a screen that looks like this:

File maker mobile

Note that the Company.fp5 database is now in the list. Also note that these are black and white Palm OS screenshots. (Your screen may look slightly different if your handheld device has a color screen or if you’re using the Pocket PC OS.)

Let’s look at a couple of quick features here: If you click the menu button (the lower left icon around the Graffiti area), you’ll get two menus at the top of the application. The Database menu allows you to delete databases off the handheld as well as get size and record number values of the currently loaded databases.

The Options menu lets you set which font to use in the FileMaker Mobile application.

Go ahead and click the Company.fp5 database on the handheld. You’ll then get this view:

Syncing Up

This is a sort of miniature list view. Each record is its own line, there are column headers, showing the field names, and there’s a bunch of buttons that help you navigate around. Here’s a key showing what all the buttons and things on this screen do:

Syncing Up

  • New button: Creates a new record in the database.
  • Find button: Brings up a Find dialog in which you can find records based on find criteria entered into a specific field in a record.
  • :All: In the upper right, you can see the word “all.” This value will indicate which found set of records you are looking at. If you’ve just isolated a found set, it will indicate “1 of 2” or the like.

You can also manipulate the display of records on the list view. For instance, to sort the records by a certain field, just click the field heading. Click it again to reverse sort. To move a field right or left, tap and hold the field heading and drag it where you want it. You can also resize a field column by tap-holding the line between two fields and dragging the column larger or smaller.

There are several menus and options in list view. Press your handheld’s menu button, and you’ll see the following:

Record Menu

  • New Record: Starts a new record and brings you to the detail view for data entry.
  • Duplicate Record: Duplicates the selected record and brings you to the detail view for editing/modification.
  • Delete Record: Deletes the current record after you confirm a dialog. Also asks if you want to delete the original PC record, too, when you next sync up.
  • Delete All Records: Deletes all records in the found set of records after you confirm a dialog. Also asks if you want to delete the original PC records, too.
  • Find Records: Brings up the Find Records dialog mentioned earlier.
  • Show All Records: If you have isolated a found set, this un-isolates it and reinstates the full record set.
  • Go to Record: Brings up a dialog where you can select, by record number, which record to see in detail view.
  • Sort Records: Brings up the Sort Records dialog where you pick which field and direction to sort by/in.

Options Menu

  • Font: Here you can pick which font to use in list view.
  • List View Options: Here you can set several list view options, which are:
  • Edit in list view If checked, editing a record in list view is allowed.
    Lock first column If checked, the first field column will stay as the first column, no matter how much you scroll left and right through the field columns.
    Resize columns If checked, resizing columns is allowed.
    Reorder columns If checked, changing the order, left to right, of field columns is allowed.
    Sort by tapping column labels If checked, sorting by tapping the column headers is allowed.
  • Field Options: Here you can set the width and alignment (left, center, or right) of all fields in the database.

Preferences
Here are a few preferences you can set for the FileMaker Mobile application:

  • Include in global find: If checked, the current database is searched when using the Palm OS Global Find command (the find button in the bottom right of the Graffiti area).
  • Backup at HotSync: If checked, a backup of the current database is made on your PC during HotSyncs. The backup is put in the Backup directory of the user’s Palm directory.
  • About FileMaker Mobile: Shows information about the FileMaker Mobile application.

Now click any record to see it in detail view. It looks like so:

Syncing Up

Play around with editing some fields and using the value lists and Notes field. Add a few records, too, so you see how that works when you re-sync with your desktop. The detail view has some of its own unique menu items in addition to the ones that appear from list view. Here’s what they do:

Edit Menu
The Edit menu contains all the standard Undo, Cut, Copy, Paste, and Select All commands you’ve come to expect from an Edit menu. It also contains a handy link to a list of Graffiti strokes for those of you who have yet to memorize them all.

Options Menu
Here are the items in this menu unique to detail view:

  • Form View Options
  • Edit is form view If checked, editing in detail view is allowed; otherwise, records are read-only.
    Field labels Where you can pick how the field labels will be aligned, left, right, or center. Center looks funky!
  • Phone Lookup: A handy feature that allows you to look up phone numbers from your Palm’s address book and paste them into a database’s field (make sure you’re in the phone field first).
  • Once you’re done fiddling around with creating and editing some records, hit the HotSync button again (don’t play with FileMaker Pro while a sync is in process), wait for it to complete, and then take a look at the records in Company.fp5 on your PC again. Note that all of the records on the PC side have been updated, deleted, or added. Cool, eh?


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