Last week we published a video on Syncing FileMaker with Transactions. We used our transactional Filemaker sync framework, GoZync for the demonstration. Although GoZync’s transaction safe sync may be my favorite feature, it is not the only cool thing about GoZync. In this video, We take a look at three of my favorite GoZync features; filtering, check in/check out, and file delivery. Here is some of what we cover in the video.
Filtering – Syncing Found Sets
Many times you don’t want to sync all the records in your main solution down to your iPads. There are too many reasons why this is a good idea to cover in this post, but they often come down to speed, focus, and security. You just don’t want all those records clogging up your users experience, and being left around on somebody’s iPad. So how do teach GoZync what records you want to sync? Simple, you just use FileMaker finds.
GoZync syncs found sets. It doesn’t care how the found set was created. You are free to use any script steps you want create what ever found set you want. The GoZync scripts that make up the sync engine, we called it “zengine”, have hooks in place where you can write the scripts to produce your found sets for each Table you want to sync.
GoZync also has another hook in place that lets you add on to the sync and extend it, all the while staying wrapped within the transaction. These “hooks” are really just scripts that are triggered to run at certain points in the sync life cycle. This hook is fired when you have access to both the server and mobile version of the record. We call this being in the “center of the butterfly”. From there you can set fields on either side of the synced record.
One of the things you can build being in the center of the butterfly, is a “Check in / Check out” sync. When the iPads pull the records down, they can simultaneously and within the same transaction, mark the server records as “Checked Out”. Now you can base validation and business logic on the Checked Out state of a record. Maybe it can’t be edited on the server as long as it is “Checked Out”. Its up to you. You can do the reverse on the Push. You can mark records as “Checked In” if they are marked “done” for example.
GoZync has an automated way to update iPads and iPhones with new copies of the files. New version are uploaded to the server. Users in the field can update their copies of the app in place, with a push of a button. The process completely avoids all the hassle and inconvenience of using email or iTunes to handle file delivery.
Native FileMaker Sync
GoZync doesn’t require any plugins or server applications. It’s just FileMaker. GoZync embraces FileMaker ‘s methods for doing things like filtering with finds, and custom data handling using set fields. We think this is important. After all, GoZync is a FileMaker Sync Framework for FileMaker developers!