Field Level Merge - Merge vs Delete?

Help, Tips, and Tricks for deploying GoZync: our "sync" engine for FileMaker Go.
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:26 am
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:57 am
Hi - We're working on legacy data - that is bringing in data created before GoZync was implemented. This is an archaeological data collection system, and we just could not get GoZync implemented in time, cuz there was too much building to do on the system.

Now it's here, and the season is over... so cleanup. Here's the situation...

In Hosted, there will be a text field for an artifact called measurement that contains data like this: Length 5 1/2 in, width 4 1/4 in, max thk 9/16 in .

The issue is this: Even with FLM turned on, if a record is updated on mobile and measurement is missing, then it's nuked on hosted. Makes sense, but what we need to do is 'merge' the union of the two records. It is the case where pre-zync, using ol'skool Filemaker import/update, some field data were obliterated since there were multiple iPads in place.

So the goal is to merge the union of 'additions' to the data, preserving content without deleting any.

Is this possible?

There are many copies of the database in different states, and over 2000 records by the end, so it's kinda intense. To repeat, it's not the case 99% of the time we'd want to delete field data, rather make a joining of what's been added by each team member.

The scenario for background: Day 1 - survey the field, create records with minimal data. Day 2 - go back (sometimes on a different iPad) and record all the details.

As careful as we were, there are cases where we imported more than just the found set of records belonging to the iPad where modifications were made, because we didn't have GoZync...yet.

Any help appreciated. It's going to be a large clean up job otherwise...

Thanks,

Michael
SeedCode Staff
SeedCode Staff
Posts: 2756
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 11:01 am
PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:13 am
Hi Michael,

Thanks for the info. Ideally, you'd be able to implement checkout so that iPad 1 "owned" the record and iPad 2 couldn't work on it until they'd pulled the changes from iPad 1.

But I understand that isn't always possible.

You can get inside the sync script and change the way fields are set, appending data to an existing field instead of replacing it. This is done using "Custom Field Mapping" and the instructions there include an example of appending data.

It's something you script field-by-field, which is either cool, or tedious, depending on your point of view. =)
John Sindelar
SeedCode
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:26 am
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:01 am
Thanks, John -

yeah, we work typically in the most 'challenged' situation for any kind of sync - multiple people working on the same 'stuff' in an archaeological context almost always without internet, producing tons of media and minutiae at record speeds. We solve this, and other things will seem really easy.. 8)

Append - yeah, that IS cool. And it'll work for us in a lot of contexts for sure. I get it now, all the lights are on in the brain. I love the idea of these 'complications' to steal an Apple Watch word, or configurations of events to get a new result.

I'll report back. The season is over, and the post-mortem is today with the field crew to see what worked and didn't. I can say that religious backups daily per device plus UUIDs for everything and external media storage plus data separation... Still not enough to resolve all the human goodness that is archaeological fieldwork. 20+ people working in realtime 100°+ weather with volunteers ranging in age from 14-84. Yeah, all the UI challenges. But somehow it all worked!

See some action here,

http://www.9news.com/news/education/uni ... /268430892

more to come, thx!
SeedCode Staff
SeedCode Staff
Posts: 2756
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 11:01 am
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:09 am
Wow! Thanks for the link, Michael. I can see one volunteer with an iPad around their neck =) It will be great to have GoZync involved here so let us know if you run into anything or have questions as you get underway.
John Sindelar
SeedCode

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