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FileMaker to Ruby adapter.

README.md

ginjo-rfm

Rfm is a Ruby-Filemaker adapter, a Ruby gem that allows scripts and applications to exchange commands and data with Filemaker Pro using Filemaker's XML interface. Ginjo-rfm picks up from the lardawge-rfm gem and continues to refine code and fix bugs. Version 2.0 adds some major enhancements, while remaining compatible with ginjo-rfm 1.4.x and lardawge-rfm 1.4.x.

Documentation & Links

New in version 2.1

Ginjo-rfm 2.1 has a combination of new features, bug fixes, and a lot of code refactoring. Most api calls remain the same, but a good deal of underlying code has been transformed to support and take advantage of the progress of technologies surrounding Ruby.

  • Portals are now included by default. Removed :include_portals query option in favor of :ignore_portals. Added :max_portal_rows query option.
  • Added field-mapping framework to allow model fields with different names than Filemaker fields.

    class User < Rfm::Base
      config :field_mapping => {
        #<filemaker-field-name>  =>  <rfm-field-name>
        'userName'               => 'login',
        'First Name'             => 'first_name',
        'Last Name'              => 'last_name',
        'IDperson'               => 'person_id'     
      }
    end
    
    User.find(:login=>'bill')    # => [{'login' => 'bill', 'first_name' => 'Bill', ...}, ...]
    
  • Fixed date/time/timestamp translations when writing data to Filemaker.

  • Detached new Server objects from Factory.servers hash, so wont reuse or stack-up servers.
  • Added grammar translation layer between xml parser and Rfm, allowing all supported xml grammars to be used with Rfm. This will also streamline changes/additions to Filemaker's xml grammar(s).
  • Added ability to manually import fmpresultset and fmpxmlresult data (from file, variable, etc.).

    Rfm::Resultset.load_data(file_or_string).
    
  • Compatibility fixes for ruby 1.9.

  • Configuration :use option now works for all Rfm objects that respond to config.

Some issues still to be addressed (some longstanding and some more recent) are repeating field writes, some of the object management & introspection calls, pull requests, more coverage of Filemaker's query syntax, more error classes, more specs, and more documentation.

New in version 2.0

Ginjo-rfm 2.0 brings new features to Rfm, making it easier than ever to work with Filemaker data from your Ruby scripts.

  • Rails-like modeling with ActiveModel
  • Support for multiple XML Parsers
  • Configuration API
  • Compound Filemaker queries with omitable requests
  • Full metadata support

Data Modeling with ActiveModel

If you can load ActiveModel in your project, you can have model callbacks, validations, and other ActiveModel features. If you can't load ActiveModel (because you're using something incompatible, like Rails 2), you can still use Rfm models... minus the ActiveModel-specific features like callbacks and validations. Rfm models give you basic data modeling with easy configuration and CRUD features.

  class User < Rfm::Base
    config      :layout=>'user_layout'
    before_save :encrypt_password
    validate    :valid_email_address
  end

  @user = User.new :username => 'bill', :password => 'pass'
  @user.email = 'my@email.com'
  @user.save!

Choice of XML Parsers

Ginjo-rfm 2.0 uses ActiveSupport's XmlMini parsing interface, which has built-in support for LibXML, Nokogiri, and REXML. Additionally, ginjo-rfm includes adapters for Ox and Hpricot parsing. You can specifiy which parser to use or let Rfm decide.

  Rfm.config :parser => :libxml

If you're not able to install one of the faster parsers, ginjo-rfm will fall back to ruby's built-in REXML. Want to roll your own XML adapter? Just pass it to Rfm as a module.

  Rfm.config :parser => MyHomeGrownAdapter

Choose your preferred parser globaly, as in the above example, or set a different parser for each model.

  class Order < Rfm::Base
    config :parser => :hpricot
  end

The current parsing options are

  :jdom         ->  JDOM (for JRuby)
  :oxsax        ->  Ox SAX
  :libxml       ->  LibXML Tree
  :libxmlsax    ->  LibXML SAX
  :nokogirisax  ->  Nokogiri SAX
  :nokogiri     ->  Nokogiri Tree
  :hpricot      ->  Hpricot Tree
  :rexml        ->  REXML Tree
  :rexmlsax     ->  REXML SAX

If you're wondering about performance, here are some preliminary benchmark results. Each backend parsed a fmresultset.xml and a FMPXMLLAYOUT.xml 30 times each. Results have differed across environments with different test data, so this data is by no means definitive. Also note that earlier versions of ActiveSupport did not contain all of the parsing backend options mentioned here.

          user     system      total        real
    ActiveSupport::XmlMini_OxSAX
      0.200000   0.010000   0.210000 (  0.211842)
    ActiveSupport::XmlMini_LibXML
      0.400000   0.010000   0.410000 (  0.411823)
    ActiveSupport::XmlMini_LibXMLSAX
      0.400000   0.010000   0.410000 (  0.411360)
    ActiveSupport::XmlMini_NokogiriSAX
      0.670000   0.010000   0.680000 (  0.682885)
    ActiveSupport::XmlMini_Nokogiri
      0.970000   0.030000   1.000000 (  0.998673)
    ActiveSupport::XmlMini_Hpricot
      1.950000   0.060000   2.010000 (  2.011355)
    ActiveSupport::XmlMini_REXML
      8.710000   0.180000   8.890000 (  9.015836)
    ActiveSupport::XmlMini_REXMLSAX
      6.320000   0.040000   6.360000 (  6.377179)

Configuration API

The ginjo-rfm configuration module lets you store your settings in several different ways. Store some, or all, of your project-specific settings in a rfm.yml file at the root of your project, or in your Rails config/ directory. Settings can also be put in a RFM_CONFIG constant at the top level of your project. Configuration settings can be simple key=>values, or they can be named groups of key=>values. Configuration can also be passed to various Rfm methods during load and runtime, as individual settings or as groups.

rfm.yml

   :ssl: true
   :root_cert: false
   :timeout: 10
   :port: 443
   :host: live.mydomain.com
   :account_name: admin
   :password: pass
   :database: MyFmDb

Set a model's configuration.

   class MyModel < Rfm::Base
     config :layout => 'mylayout'
   end

Compound Filemaker Queries, with Omitable FMP Find Requests

Create a Filemaker 'omit' request by including an :omit key with a value of true.

   my_layout.find :field1 => 'val1', :field2 => 'val2', :omit => true

Create multiple Filemaker find requests by passing an array of hashes to the #find method.

   my_layout.find [{:field1 => 'bill', :field2 => 'admin'}, {:field2 => 'staff', :field3 => 'inactive', :omit => true}, ...]

If the value of a field in a find request is an array of strings, the string values will be logically OR'd in the query.

   my_layout.find :fieldOne => ['bill','mike','bob'], :fieldTwo =>'staff'

Full Metadata Support

  • Server databases
  • Database layouts
  • Database scripts
  • Layout fields
  • Layout portals
  • Resultset meta
  • Field definition meta
  • Portal definition meta

There are also many enhancements to make it easier to get the objects or data you want. Some examples:

Get a database object using default config

  Rfm.db 'my_db'

Get a layout object using config grouping :my_group

  Rfm.layout :my_group

Get the total count of all records in the table

  MyModel.total_count

Get the portal names (table-occurrence names) on the current layout

  MyModel.portal_names

Get the names of fields on the current layout

  my_record.field_names

From ginjo-rfm 1.4.x

From ginjo-rfm 1.4.x, the following features are also included.

Connection timeout settings

  Rfm.config :timeout => 10

Value-list alternate display

   i = array_of_value_list_items[3]  # => '8765'
   i.value                           # => '8765'
   i.display                         # => '8765 Amy'

Compatibility

Ginjo-rfm 2.0 is compatible with previous versions of Rfm - Ginjo, Lardawge, and SFR. However, much has been changed in the low-level workings of the code. If you have scripts that reach deep into the guts of Rfm 1.0 thru 1.4.x, you may find that some things are slightly different in 2.0. Additionally, some long-standing bugs have been fixed that may have been so de rigeur, that the "correct behavior" in Rfm 2.0 may break scripts that relied on the previously buggy functions. These low level changes, and the addition of major new functionality, led the decision to release this version of Rfm as 2.0, instead of 1.5.

Download & Installation

There are at least 4 ways to download ginjo-rfm.

Ginjo-rfm requires the ActiveSupport gem for several features, including XML parsing. Rfm has been tested and works with ActiveSupport 2.3.5 thru 3.1.3, on both ruby 1.8.7 and ruby 1.9.2. ActiveModel requires ActiveSupport 3+ and is not compatible with ActiveSupport 2.3.x. So while you CAN use ginjo-rfm with Rails 2.3, you will not have ActiveModel features like callbacks and validations. Basic modeling functionality and Filemaker interaction will continue to work, unaffected by the presence or absence of ActiveModel.

For the best performance, it is recommended that you use the Ox, Libxml-ruby, Nokogiri, or Hpricot parser. Ginjo-rfm does not require these gems by dependency, so you will have to make sure they are installed on your machine and/or specified in your Gemfile, if you wish to use them. If you don't want to install any of these parsers, Rfm will use the REXML parser included with the Ruby standard library. Similarly, ginjo-rfm does not require ActiveModel by dependency, so also make sure that is installed and/or specified in your Gemfile if you wish to use ActiveModel features.

Note that the installation of Ox, Libxml-ruby, Nokogiri, or Hpricot gems will require further dependencies. Please see the install instructions for each parser to get them installed and running on your system.

Using Bundler and/or Rails >= 3.0

In your Gemfile:

   gem 'ginjo-rfm'
   gem 'ox'          # optional
   gem 'libxml-ruby' # optional
   gem 'nokogiri'    # optional
   gem 'hpricot'     # optional
   gem 'activemodel' # optional

In your shell:

   bundle install

In your project, you may or may not have to require 'rfm', depending on Bundler's configuration:

   require 'rfm'

Without Bundler

If you are not using Bundler, Rfm will pick up the XML parsers and ActiveModel as long as they are available in your current rubygems installation.

In your shell:

   gem install ginjo-rfm
   gem install ox           # optional
   gem install nokogiri     # optional
   gem install libxml-ruby  # optional
   gem install hpricot      # optional
   gem install activemodel  # optional

Once the gem is installed, you can use rfm in your ruby scripts by requiring it:

   require 'rubygems'
   require 'rfm'

Ginjo-rfm Basic Usage

The first step in getting connected to your Filemaker databases with Rfm is to store your configuration settings in a yaml file or in the RFM_CONFIG hash. The second step is creating a model that represents a layout from one of your Filemaker databases.

Configuration

In previous versions of Rfm, you may have stored your configuration settings in a variable or constant, then passed those settings to Rfm::Server.new(MY_SETTINGS). Now you can put your configuration settings in a rfm.yml file at the root of your project or in your project's config/ directory, and Rfm will use those settings automatically when building your Model's Server, Database, and Layout objects.

rfm.yml

   :ssl: true
   :root_cert: false
   :timeout: 10
   :port: 443
   :host: my.host.com
   :account_name: myname
   :password: somepass
   :database: MyFmDb

Or put your configuration settings in a hash called RFM_CONFIG. Rfm will pick those up just as with the yaml file.

   RFM_CONFIG = {
     :host          => 'my.host.com',
     :database      => 'MyFmDb',
     :account_name  => 'myname',
     :password      => 'somepass',
     :ssl           => true,
     :root_cert     => false,
     :port          => 443,
     :timeout       => 10
     }

You can use configuration subgroups to seperate global settings from environment-specific settings.

   :ssl: true
   :root_cert: false
   :timeout: 10
   :port: 443
   :development:
     :host: dev.mydomain.com
     :account_name: admin
     :password: pass
     :database: DevFmDb
   :production:
     :host: live.mydomain.com
     :account_name: admin
     :password: pass
     :database: LiveFmDb

Then in your environment files (or wherever you put environment-specific configuration in your ruby project), specifiy which subgroup to use.

 RFM_CONFIG = {:use => :development}

You can use configuration subgroups to contain any arbitrary groups of settings.

   :ssl: true
   :root_cert: false
   :timeout: 10
   :port: 443
   :customer1:
     :host: customer1.com
     :account_name: cust1
     :password: pass
     :database: custOneFmDb
   :customer2:
     :host: customer2.com
     :account_name: cust2
     :password: pass
     :database: custTwoFmDb

Use the configuration setting method config to set configuration for specific objects, like Rfm models. When you pass a :use => :subgroup to the config method, you're saying use that subgroup of settings.

   class MyModel < Rfm::Base
     config :use => :customer1, :layout => 'some_layout'
   end

The current heirarchy of configurable objects in Rfm, starting at the top, is:

  • rfm.yml # file of settings in yaml format
  • RFM_CONFIG # user-defined hash
  • Rfm::Config # top-level config module, inherits settings from RFM_CONFIG and rfm.yml
  • Rfm::Factory # where server, database, and layout objects are managed, inherits settings from Rfm::Config
  • Rfm::Base # master modeling class, inherits settings from Rfm::Config
  • MyModel # sublcassed custom modeling class, inherits settings from Rfm::Base

You can also include or extend the Rfm::Config module in any object in your project to gain Rfm configuration abilities for that object.

   module MyModule
     include Rfm::Config
     config :host => 'myhost.com', :database => 'mydb', :account_name => 'name', :password => 'pass'
     # inherits settings from Rfm::Config by default
   end

   class Person < Rfm::Base
     config :parent => MyModule, :layout => 'some_layout'
     # using :parent to set where this object inherits config settings from
   end

Use get_config to view the compiled configuration settings for any object. Configuration compilation will start at the top (rfm.yml), then work down the heirarchy of objects to wherever you call the get_config method, merging in all global settings along the way. Subgroupings of settings will also be merged, if they are specified in a subgroup filter. A subgroup filter occurs any time you put :use => :subgroup in your configuration setting. You can have multiple subgroup filters, and when configuration compilation occurs, all subgroup filters are stacked up into an array and processed in order (as if you typed :use=>[:subgroup1, :subgroup2, subgroup3, ...] which is also allowed). get_config returns a compiled configuration hash, leaving all configuration settings in all modules and classes un-touched.

   Person.get_config

   # =>  {:ssl => true, :timeout => 10, :root_cert => false, :port => 443,
          :host => 'myhost', :database => 'mydb', :layout => 'some_layout',
          :account_name => 'name', :password => 'pass'
         }

Possible Configuration Options

Following are all of the recognized configuration options, including defaults if applicable.

   :host             => 'localhost'
   :port             => 80
   :ssl              => true
   :root_cert        => true
   :root_cert_name   => ''
   :root_cert_path   => '/'
   :account_name     => ''
   :password         => ''
   :log_actions      => false
   :log_responses    => false
   :log_parser       => false
   :warn_on_redirect => true
   :raise_on_401     => false
   :timeout          => 60

   :use                                               # use configuration subgroups, or filter configuration subgoups
   :layout                                            # specify the name of the layout to use
   :parent           => 'Rfm::Config'                 # the parent configuration object of the current configuration object, as string
   :file_name        => 'rfm.yml                      # name of configuration file to load yaml from
   :file_path        => ['', 'config/']               # array of additional file paths to look for configuration file
   :parser           => ActiveSupport::XmlMini_REXML  # XmlParser to use if no other is specified or can be found
   :ignore_bad_data  => nil                           # Instruct Rfm to ignore data mismatch errors when loading a resultset

Using Models

Rfm models provide easy access, modeling, and persistence of your Filemaker data.h

   class User < Rfm::Base
     config :layout => 'my_user_layout'
     attr_accessor :password
   end

   @user = User.new(:login => 'bill', :password => 'xxxxxxxx', :email => 'my@email.com')
   @user.encrypt_password
   @user.save!

   @user.record_id
   # => '12345'

   @user.field_names
   # => ['login', 'encryptedPassword', 'email', 'groups', 'lastLogin' ]

   User.total_count
   # => 35467

   @user = User.find 12345
   @user.update_attributes(:login => 'william', :email => 'myother@email.com')
   @user.save!

Put your model code anywhere at the top level of your script/application. In Rails, this could be your initialization file(s), your environment file(s), or in a file in your Models directory called something like rfm_models.rb. Then require 'rfm_models' in your initialization or environment.

rfm_models.rb

   require 'rfm'

   class User < Rfm::Base
     config :layout => 'user_layout'
   end

   class Order < Rfm::Base
     config :layout => 'order_layout'
   end

main_initializer.rb

   require 'rfm_models'

If you prefer, you can create models on-the-fly from any layout.

   my_rfm_layout_object.modelize

   # => MyLayoutName   (subclassed from Rfm::Base, represented by your layout's name)

Or create models for an entire database, all at once.

   Rfm.modelize /_xml/i, 'my_database', :my_config_group

   # => [MyLayoutXml, AnotherLayoutXml, ThirdLayoutXml, AndSoOnXml, ...]
   # The regex in the first parameter is optional and filters the layout names in the specified database.
   # Omit the regex parameter to modelize all possible layouts in the specified database.

With ActiveModel loaded, you get callbacks, validations, errors, serialization, and a handful of other features extracted from Rails ActiveRecord.

In your Gemfile

   gem 'activemodel'

Or without Bundler

   require 'active_model'

Then use ActiveModel features in your Rfm models

   class MyModel < Rfm::Base
     before_create    :encrypt_password
     after_validate   "puts 'yay!'"
     validates        :email, :presence => true
   end

   @my_model = MyModel.new
   @my_model.valid?
   @my_model.save!
   @my_model.errors

To learn more about ActiveModel, see the ActiveModel or RubyOnRails documentation:

Once you have an Rfm model or layout, you can use any of the standard Rfm commands to create, search, edit, and delete records. To learn more about these commands, see below for Databases, Layouts, Resultsets, and Records. Or checkout the API documentation for Rfm::Server, Rfm::Database, Rfm::Layout, Rfm::Record, and Rfm::Base.

Two Small Changes in Rfm Return Values

When using Models to retrieve records using the any method or the find(record_id) method, the return values will be single Rfm::Record objects. This differs from the traditional Rfm behavior of these methods when accessed directly from the the Rfm::Layout instance, where the return value is always a Rfm::Resultset.

   MyModel.find(record_id)  ==  my_layout.find(record_id)[0]
   MyModel.any              ==  my_layout.any[0]

Getting Rfm Server, Database, and Layout Objects Manually

Well... not entirely manually. To get server, db, and layout objects as in previous versions of Rfm, see the section "Working with classic Rfm features". Ginjo-rfm 2.0 has some new methods to create/locate Filemaker objects and meta data. Many of these new methods are configuration-aware.

Create a layout object using default configuration settings.

   my_layout = Rfm.layout 'layout_name'

Create a layout object using a subgroup of configuration settings.

   my_layout = Rfm.layout :subgroup_name

Create a layout object passing in a layout name, multiple config subgroups to merge, and specific settings.

   my_layout = Rfm.layout 'layout_name', :other_server, :log_actions => true

The same can be done for servers and databases.

   my_server   = Rfm.server 'my.host.com'
   my_database = Rfm.database :development, :ssl => false, :root_cert => false 
   my_database = Rfm.db :production
     # db and database are interchangeable aliases in Ginjo-rfm 2.0

You can query your Filemaker objects for the familiar meta-data.

   my_server.databases.all.names
   my_server.databases['MyFmDb']
   my_database.layouts
   my_layout.value_lists
   my_layout.field_names
   my_layout.portal_meta

Here are two new fun Layout methods:

   my_layout.total_count # => total records in table
   my_layout.count(:some_field => 'search criteria', ...)   # Returns foundset_count only, no records.

See the API documentation for the lowdown on new methods in Rfm Server, Database, and Layout objects.

Shortcuts, Tips & Tricks

All Rfm methods that take a configuration hash have two possible shortcuts.

(1) If you pass a symbol before the hash, it is interpreted as subgroup specification or subgroup filter

   config :mygroup, :layout => 'mylayout'
   # This will add the following configuration options to the object you called 'config' on.
   # :use => :mygroup, :layout => 'mylayout'

   get_config :othergroup
   # This will return global configuration options merged with configuration options from :othergroup.
   # :use => [:mygroup, :othergroup], :layout => 'mylayout'

(2) If you pass a string before any symbols or hashes, it is interpreted as one of several possible configuration settings - usually a layout name, a database name, or a server hostname. The interpretation is dependent on the method being called. Not all methods will make use of a string parameter.

   class MyModel < Rfm::Base
     config 'MyLayoutName'
     # In this context, this is the same as
     # config :layout => 'MyLayoutName'
   end

   Rfm.database 'MyDatabaseName'
   # In this context, this is the same as
   # Rfm.database :database => 'MyDatabaseName'

   Rfm.modelize 'MyDatabaseName', :group1
   # In this context, this is the same as
   # Rfm.modelize :database => 'MyDatabaseName', :use => :group1

Just about anything you can do with a Rfm layout, you can also do with a Rfm model.

   MyModel.total_count
   MyModel.field_names
   MyModel.database.name

There are a number of methods within Rfm that have been made accessible from the top-level Rfm module. Note that the server/database/layout methods are new to Rfm and are not the same as Rfm::Server, Rfm::Database, and Rfm::Layout. See the above section on "Getting Rfm Server, Database, and Layout Objects Manually" for an overview of how to use the new server/database/layout methods.

   # Any of these methods can be accessed via Rfm.<method_name>

   Rfm::Factory    :servers, :server, :db, :database, :layout, :models, :modelize
   Rfm::XmlParser  :backend, :backend=
   Rfm::Config     :config, :get_config, :config_clear
   Rfm::Resultset  :ignore_bad_data

If you are working with a Filemaker database that returns codes like '?' for a missing value in a date field, Rfm will throw an error. Set your main configuration, your server, or your layout to ignore_bad_data true, if you want Rfm to silently ignore data mismatch errors when loading resultset data. If ActiveRecord is loaded, and your resultset is loaded into a Rfm model, your model records will log these errors in the @errors attribute.

   Rfm.config :ignore_bad_data => true

   class MyModel < Rfm::Base
     config 'my_layout'
   end

   result = MyModel.find(:name => 'mike')
   # Assuming the Filemaker field 'some_date_field' contains a bad date value '?'
   result[0].errors.full_messages
   # ['some_date_field invalid date']

   # To be more specific about what objects you want to ignore data errors
   MyModel.layout.ignore_bad_data true

Working with "Classic" Rfm Features

All of Rfm's original features and functions are available as they were before, though some low-level functionality has changed slightly. See the documentation for each module & class for the specifics on low-level methods and functionality.

Connecting

IMPORTANT:SSL and Certificate verification are on by default. Please see Server#new in rdocs for explanation and setup. You connect with the Rfm::Server object. This little buddy will be your window into FileMaker data.

   require 'rfm'

   my_server = Rfm::Server.new(
     :host           => 'myservername',
     :account_name   => 'user',
     :password       => 'pw',
     :ssl            => false
   )

if your web publishing engine runs on a port other than 80, you can provide the port number as well:

   my_server = Rfm::Server.new(
     :host           => 'myservername',
     :account_name   => 'user',
     :password       => 'pw',
     :port           => 8080, 
     :ssl            => false,
     :root_cert      => false
   )

Databases and Layouts

All access to data in FileMaker's XML interface is done through layouts, and layouts live in databases. The Rfm::Server object has a collection of databases called 'db'. So to get ahold of a database called "My Database", you can do this:

   my_db = my_server.db["My Database"]

As a convenience, you can do this too:

   my_db = my_server["My Database"]

Finally, if you want to introspect the server and find out what databases are available, you can do this:

   all_dbs = my_server.db.all

In any case, you get back Rfm::Database objects. A database object in turn has a property called "layout":

   my_layout = my_db.layout["My Layout"]

Again, for convenience:

   my_layout = my_db["My Layout"]

And to get them all:

   all_layouts = my_db.layout.all

Bringing it all together, you can do this to go straight from a server to a specific layout:

   my_layout = my_server["My Database"]["My Layout"]

Working with Layouts

Once you have a layout object, you can start doing some real work. To get every record from the layout:

   my_layout.all   # be careful with this

To get a random record:

   my_layout.any

To find every record with "Arizona" in the "State" field:

   my_layout.find({"State" => "Arizona"})

To add a new record with my personal info:

   my_layout.create({
     :first_name   => "Geoff",
     :last_name    => "Coffey",
     :email        => "gwcoffey@gmail.com"}
   )

Notice that in this case I used symbols instead of strings for the hash keys. The API will accept either form, so if your field names don't have whitespace or punctuation, you might prefer the symbol notation.

To edit the record whose recid (filemaker internal record id) is 200:

   my_layout.edit(200, {:first_name => 'Mamie'})

Note: See the "Record Objects" section below for more on editing records.

To delete the record whose recid is 200:

   my_layout.delete(200)

All of these methods return an Rfm::Resultset object (see below), and every one of them takes an optional parameter (the very last one) with additional options. For example, to find just a page full of records, you can do this:

   my_layout.find({:state => "AZ"}, {:max_records => 10, :skip_records => 100})

For a complete list of the available options, see the "expand_options" method in the Rfm::Server object in the file named server.rb.

Finally, if filemaker returns an error when executing any of these methods, an error will be raised in your ruby script. There is one exception to this, though. If a find results in no records being found (FileMaker error # 401) I just ignore it and return you a Resultset with zero records in it. If you prefer an error in this case, add :raise_on_401 => true to the options you pass the Rfm::Server when you create it.

Resultset and Record Objects

Any method on the Layout object that returns data will return a Resultset object. Rfm::Resultset is a subclass of Array, so first and foremost, you can use it like any other array:

   my_result = my_layout.any
   my_result.size  # returns '1'
   my_result[0]    # returns the first record (an Rfm::Record object)

The Resultset object also tells you information about the fields and portals in the result. Resultset#field_meta and Resultset#portal_meta are both standard ruby hashes, with strings for keys. The fields hash has Rfm::Metadata::Field objects for values. The portals hash has another hash for its values. This nested hash is the fields on the portal. This would print out all the field names:

   my_result.field_meta.each { |name, field| puts name }

Or, as a convenience, you can do this:

my_result.field_names

This would print out the tables each portal on the layout is associated with. Below each table name, and indented, it will print the names of all the fields on each portal.

   my_result.portals.each { |table, fields|
     puts "table: #{table}"
     fields.each { |name, field| puts "\t#{name}"}
   }

Also as a convenience, you can do this:

my_result.portal_names

But most importantly, the Resultset contains record objects. Rfm::Record is a subclass of Hash, so it can be used in many standard ways. This code would print the value in the 'first_name' field in the first record of the Resultset:

   my_record = my_result[0]
   puts my_record["first_name"]

As a convenience, if your field names are valid ruby method names (ie, they don't have spaces or odd punctuation in them), you can do this instead:

   puts my_record.first_name

Since Resultsets are arrays and Records are hashes, you can take advantage of Ruby's wonderful expressiveness. For example, to get a comma-separated list of the full names of all the people in California, you could do this:

   my_layout.find(:state => 'CA').collect {|rec| "#{rec.first_name} #{rec.last_name}"}.join(", ")

Record objects can also be edited:

   my_record.first_name = 'Isabel'

Once you have made a series of edits, you can save them back to the database like this:

   my_record.save

The save operation causes the record to be reloaded from the database, so any changes that have been made outside your script will also be picked up after the save.

If you want to detect concurrent modification, you can do this instead:

   my_record.save_if_not_modified

This version will refuse to update the database and raise an error if the record was modified after it was loaded but before it was saved.

Record objects also have portals. While the portals in a Resultset tell you about the tables and fields the portals show, the portals in a Record have the actual data. For example, if an Order record has Line Item records, you could do this:

   my_order = order_layout.any[0]  # the [0] is important!
   my_lines = my_order.portals["Line Items"]

At the end of the previous block of code, my_lines is an array of Record objects. In this case, they are the records in the "Line Items" portal for the particular order record. You can then operate on them as you would any other record.

NOTE: Fields on a portal have the table name and the "::" stripped off of their names if they belong to the table the portal is tied to. In other words, if our "Line Items" portal includes a quantity field and a price field, you would do this:

   my_lines[0]["Quantity"]
   my_lines[0]["Price"]

You would NOT do this:

   my_lines[0]["Line Items::Quantity"]
   my_lines[0]["Line Items::Quantity"]

My feeling is that the table name is redundant and cumbersome if it is the same as the portal's table. This is also up for debate.

Again, you can string things together with Ruby. This will calculate the total dollar amount of the order:

   total = 0.0
   my_order.portals["Line Items"].each {|line| total += line.quantity * line.price}

Data Types

FileMaker's field types are coerced to Ruby types thusly:

   Text Field       -> String object  
   Number Field     -> BigDecimal object  # see below  
   Date Field       -> Date object  
   Time Field       -> DateTime object # see below  
   TimeStamp Field  -> DateTime object  
   Container Field  -> URI object  

FileMaker's number field is insanely robust. The only data type in ruby that can handle the same magnitude and precision of a FileMaker number is Ruby's BigDecimal. (This is an extension class, so you have to require 'bigdecimal' to use it yourself). Unfortuantely, BigDecimal is not a "normal" ruby numeric class, so it might be really annoying that your tiny filemaker numbers have to go this route. This is a great topic for debate.

Also, Ruby doesn't have a Time type that stores just a normal time (with no date attached). The Time class in ruby is a lot like DateTime, or a Timestamp in FileMaker. When I get a Time field from FileMaker, I turn it into a DateTime object, and set its date to the oldest date Ruby supports. You can still compare these in all the normal ways, so this should be fine, but it will look weird if you, ie, to_s one and see an odd date attached to your time.

Finally, container fields will come back as URI objects. You can:

- use Net::HTTP to download the contents of the container field using this URI
- to_s the URI and use it as the src attribute of an HTML image tag
- etc...

Specifically, the URI refers to the contents of the container field. When accessed, the file, picture, or movie in the field will be downloaded.

Troubleshooting

There are two cheesy methods to help track down problems. When you create a server object, you can provide two additional optional parameters:

:log_actions When this is 'true' your script will write every URL it sends to the web publishing engine to standard out. For the rails users, this means the action url will wind up in your WEBrick or Mongrel log. If you can't make sense of what you're getting, you might try copying the URL into your browser to see what is actually coming back from FileMaker.

:log_responses When this is 'true' your script will dump the actual response it got from FileMaker to standard out (again, in rails, check your logs).

So, for an annoying, but detailed load of output, make a connection like this:

   my_server => Rfm::Server.new(
     :host             => 'myservername',
     :account_name     => 'user',
     :password         => 'pw',
     :log_actions      => true,
     :log_responses    => true
   )

Source Code

If you were tracking ginjo-rfm on github before the switch to version 2.0.0, please accept my humblest apologies for making a mess of the branching. The pre 2.0.0 edge branch has become master, and the pre 2.0.0 master branch has become ginjo-1-4-stable. I don't intend to make that kind of hard reset again, at least not on public branches. Master will be the branch to find the latest-greatest public source, and 'stable' branches will emerge as necessary to preserve historical releases.

Credits

Rfm was primarily designed by Six Fried Rice co-founder Geoff Coffey.

Other lead contributors:

  • Mufaddal Khumri helped architect Rfm in the most ruby-like way possible. He also contributed the outstanding error handling code and a comprehensive hierarchy of error classes.
  • Atsushi Matsuo was an early Rfm tester, and provided outstanding feedback, critical code fixes, and a lot of web exposure.
  • Jesse Antunes helped ensure that Rfm is stable and functional.
  • Larry Sprock added ssl support, switched the xml parser to a much faster Nokogiri, added the rspec testing framework, and refined code architecture.
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