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Markus Dohner

Filemaker Pro data to VW 2009

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This is why sometimes I get the feeling the windows version is being held up by the Mac. I don't have any experience with VW on the Mac but I think the Mac users might think they're being held up by the PC.

You hit the point: "users might think". This is just a feeling, on my opinion.

There is no holding up because of Mac or Win.

VW is simply going the developing path that better fits its purposes:

CAD drawing. Nothing more, nothing less than that. And if it takes some compromises to grant support on both platforms, then be it.

A statement of a cross platform user, working intensively on both Mac and PC, a long-term user.

Speaking of complaints, I think one should be forwarded to Orso as well. After your warning he still attacked Brudgers.

Yes, I am fully guilty of the accusations. If that was attacking, that is.

It really serves little to continuously bring up this Mac/PC discussion. From every single topic.

This topic popping up at nearly every thread is just the result of ONE obsessive-compulsive behavior. I am of the opinion that the constant intrusions due to this peculiar psychopathology don't really belong to the VW forum.

It is simply too boring and repetitive.

Can we now speak about Filemaker and VW?

Unlikely, the thread is highjacked again.

orso

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It really serves little to continuously bring up this Mac/PC discussion. From every single topic.

This topic popping up at nearly every thread is just the result of ONE obsessive-compulsive behavior. I am of the opinion that the constant intrusions due to this peculiar psychopathology don't really belong to the VW forum.

It is simply too boring and repetitive.

I'm certainly bored by it!

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So it takes:

* an applescript

* a vectorscript

which is exactly what Kool Aid (grin) explained.

This will, I hope, be my last ?contribution?: the huge development effort that the Mac-envy ignorami believe was needed for this is the implementation of one single OS-level AppleScript call: DoScript.

One.

Single.

OS-level.

Call.

Now, it may well be that the C++ -platform used by NNA (Microsoft's, as I understand), makes the implementation seriously difficult and complex. I would not know.

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Interesting ...some of the most strident complaints regarding flawed or restricted cross-platform implementation come from Users who are still using WinXP.

Is it even possible to compare the next OSX version, Snow Leopard, with XP ?

Could it be that the majority of our PC Users are reliant upon a deprecated operating system ?

Whereas the majority of Mac Users are working with updated versions of OSX soon to include Snow Leopard. In fact, OSX has been required since v12.

Normally, Mac Users upgrade their OS with each new release just to keep up with the developers.

VW 2010 combined with Snow Leopard will be a significant advancement and may even set a new CAD standard for power , ease of use, and graphic fidelity.

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Is OBDC still very actual?

Yes, it is.

OK: I wrote one more time. For a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises: all lies and jest. Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

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Interesting ...some of the most strident complaints regarding flawed or restricted cross-platform implementation come from Users who are still using WinXP.

Is it even possible to compare the next OSX version, Snow Leopard, with XP ?

Could it be that the majority of our PC Users are reliant upon a deprecated operating system ?

Whereas the majority of Mac Users are working with updated versions of OSX soon to include Snow Leopard. In fact, OSX has been required since v12.

Normally, Mac Users upgrade their OS with each new release just to keep up with the developers.

VW 2010 combined with Snow Leopard will be a significant advancement and may even set a new CAD standard for power , ease of use, and graphic fidelity.

Just the facts:

OSX was released in 2001 as was XP.

The last major improvements to OSX were in 2007 (leopard), the last major improvements to XP were in 2008 (service pack 3).

When Microsoft creates new applications, they don't roll them onto a Windows disk and call it a new OS. Instead major improvements like Powershell, Visual Developer Express Edition, Virtual PC, Windows Search, etc, are freely available as separate downloads to users running the many various flavors of windows...from home editions to enterprise servers.

Microsoft will continue to support XP through 2014. They still provide security updates and patches to windows 2000 (released in 2000). I download them to my copy (even though they're not needed - it runs in a virutal machine).

On the other hand, OSX versions are only supported for a very short time - typically less than two years follwing a 10.x update and apple tends not to release new applications as downloads...e.g. there's no finder for jaguar.

Calling panther a new operating system and XP service pack two an update isn't really comparing oranges to oranges.

I think "10.4.1" and "XP SP3" is a bit more accurate.

edits in green

Edited by brudgers

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Thank you for that informative clarification.

I was under the impression that Microsoft initially refused to support XP after the release of Vista , but eventually relented after OEM complaints about difficulties migrating to the new improved OS.

Where does Windows 7 fit in to this XP schema ?

The comparison should by necessity be ... Windows 7, OSX Leopard.

This is the playing field NNA developers are competing on.

A cross-platform database solution should utilize the latest available OS & Open Source technologies. Everything that did or did not happen in the distance past is history. We are entering a new inter-connected world of 64bit grid computing. Platform specific solutions are an anachronism.

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Are you proposing that NNA offer a Linux version?

I know someone who would be very happy to see that.

Edited by brudgers

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Platform specific solutions are an anachronism[/Quote]

Exactly

And silly little fights over Macs versus Windows - who cares

Not only 64 bit but heaps more ram and 64 bit applications

Database connectivity whether on Macs or Windows is a must

VW 2010 and beyond will be interesting at least

Windows 7 is rolling out now - it is in my opinion superior to Vista as Vista was to XP - many apparently do not agree with the latter

I think there is a deep seated reason peoples perceptions were Vista was not as good as XP - will not though go into that now

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Hi Markus,

Can you say a little more about what you mean by 'bring fields...into a VW document'? Where would you be bringing them? What are you trying to accomplish?

I am a professional Filemaker developer who has barely used VW since its MiniCad days (I used to design and build custom hardwood furniture). I know little about VW's data capabilities-- you all on this list can help me there--, but I can tell you what Filemaker can and cannot do.

I see VW can import data arrays into worksheets, and any version of Filemaker (or most any database, for that matter) can save or export data as arrays, or grids-- text, .dif, tab delimited, etc. Does that do you any good? Although Filemaker can act as an ODBC data source (either from its server or from its client, on either platform, although it's a little easier to set up on Windows), I'm not seeing how VW can talk to an ODBC data source.

I'm leaving aside non-native (to VW) methods; in other words, all kinds of things might be possible in scripting languages (Applescript on the Mac or VBS on Windows), depending on what objects VW exposes, or even in a proper programming language.

What I am not seeing is any way to get imported data to modify VB objects. In other words, it appears to me that you can attach data to parts of a VW file, but is there any way to make that data change that part?

John Weinshel

Datagrace

Vashon Island, WA

Certified for Filemaker 10

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Recent on Wired:

Revamped Interface With Improved Presentation

Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 will be like ditching your old Toyota Camry for a sexy, new Nissan GT-R. Everything from the typography to the icons, and from the toolbar to the windows, has been refined with some extra detail, polish and shadows. Finally, Microsoft creates a clean, modern look that competes with Apple?s finely designed Mac OS X Leopard.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/08/first-look-windows7

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dear Datagrace--

Thank you for your responseI'd like to import update certain Filemaker fields into a given VW worksheet. In other words, I want the changes to flow one way--from FMP to VW. For example, at the museum I have a FMP db of all the special exhibitions display cases, containing the dims, colors, condition, etc. of each unique case. I'd like to get certain fields from a record set to update a VW worksheet. I know how to export using tab delimited format, however, I'd like to automate this step some way. I suppose that's what ODBC is about...

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Hi Markus,

ODBC isn't an automated process; it just provides an application agnostic method of sharing data between applications. I'm not sure that it would offer any advantage over text or Excel imports, but, in any event, I'm not seeing a way to use ODBC with VW. Am I missing something? No hits in Help, in either Search or the Index. It's surprising to me that such sophisticated software wouldn't offer an ODBC driver, or at least be able to use another driver for import, which is what you'd want to do.

It looks like the only way to automate anything inside the VW environment is to use its scripting language. I've just glanced at it, and, while it appears to be fairly robust, it also looks like there's a lot to learn.

But maybe that's more than you really need. What do you mean by 'automate this step in some way'? A VW script, or an external scripting or programming language, would need an event to trigger the import routine. What would that event be? A change on the Filemaker side? That would get really complicated, requiring a Filemaker script that would call a VW script, which is probably not possible. Maybe VW scripts can be called externally, by VBS/Applescript or some other scripting language. An alternative would be a chron--a VW script run at a regular interval (assuming VW scripts have such a function).

If, however, VW offered an ODBC driver, it might be possible to script the data entry in Filemaker and, as part of that script, push the data into VW via ODBC, assuming that driver made the worksheet accessible. Not hard from the Filemaker side, but I'm not seeing the driver.

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You can call vectorworks with Applescript, but it does not expose any equivalent functionality to Windows.

You can start external applications under windows using vectorscript OPENURL.

With the right external application you could pass data back into vectorworks using plaintext/xml files provided that you could delay vectorscript from reading the information until after it had been written by the external app and the data file closed.

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Thanks, Brudgers. Is AS the only way to call a VW method externally? I'm confused because you first say it doesn't work with anythimg on the Windows side, but you then refer to 'the right external application'. Does that mean that an actual compiled app, independent of OS, might be able to make calls to VW? Or are the only exposed objects those in the AS library (I've only got VW installed on XP, so I don't have a way to look)?

So are you picturing a process started on the VW side? User pushes a button that starts a VS that calls the external app that collects the data and either pushes or pulls it back into VW, but only after waiting for it to be exported to a text/XML/Excel file?

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Under windows you cannot script vectorworks externally.

With vectorscript you can start an external application using OpenURL.

However, there is no system level communcation between the two.

My thought is it would be possible to write an external Visual Studio application that would accept query parameters on the command line, query a database, write the results to a file and then shut down.

The other part of the system would be the Vectorscript which handled constructing the parameters for the external application, calling the external application and passing the parameters, waiting until the external application completed writing the transfer file, reading the transfer file, and finally process the data within vectorworks.

It is probably possible to simplify that process using the SDK and driving the windows system interface from within vectorworks.

An intermediary data file appears to be how the plant database works in Landmark.

Edited by brudgers

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I guess I'm not getting how the VS would know when the file was done being written. I'm new to modern day VW and don't know what its scripting language can do. But I'm assuming it can script an import, if it knows the file path and can test for its existence. Perhaps it can loop through a test for the file, and then run the import a few seconds after the test returns true.

Can VS make an ActiveX call? It's a little archaic, but Filemaker can receive them and run a script; my memory is that the script name is one of the few parameters it will accept that way.

Looks like exploring how the plant database works will teach me more.

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