Importing into BaseElements

Once you've generated your Database Design Report, you then need to import it into BaseElements. You can now close your solution files.

Open BaseElements and go to the Home screen. On the top left side of the Home layout is the import button.

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Click this button, and then select the "Summary.xml" file you generated when you created the DDR. This file will be called something else if you're using a different language version of FileMaker.

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You can then select some options for the import, such as Name, Version and Client.  These are optional, only the name is useful here.  Click Continue when you're done.

BaseElements will show you progress for the import. Large DDRs ( could be anything from 500MB and up ) will take time to import. Because the XSLT transform happens in the plugin, if you have a large DDR it can at times appear that FileMaker is locked up. Leave it running, and any issues that happen will be shown via a dialog. 

Once the import is complete, it will return to the UI file, showing the details of your just imported solution.

 

Server Side Imports

 
Since version 17.0.5 it's also been possible to do the imports into BaseElements on the FileMaker Server that is hosting BaseElements.  The requirements for this are :
 
  • Must be running BE 17.0.5 or later.
  • Must have either installed the BaseElements plugin on the FileMaker Server already, or enabled the option to allow scripts to install plugins.
  • Must be running FileMaker Server on Mac or Windows, FileMaker Cloud is not supported for server side imports.
  • FileMaker Server 17 or later is recommended.

There's no specific setting to enable server side imports.  If you're a FileMaker Pro client connected to a copy of BaseElements shared from FileMaker Server then there will an extra option when importing a DDR.

After selecting a summary file, there will be a radio button choice for "Local" or "Server" imports :

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Check the option for Server, and click Continue.  Your import will then process the XML files as normal on the local client, and once that is complete, it will hand over to the FileMaker Server via Perform Script on Server so that the import steps will be run on the server.

While you're waiting, control returns to BaseElements and you can continue to use it as normal.

Server Side Import Progress

While the DDR is importing, the Solution Name will be appended with "Importing on Server".  Once complete, this will be cleared out.  

If there are any issues while importing, the "Importing on Server" will be changed to "Error when Importing".  You can find the details of the error by going to the BaseElements Data file, and to the "ServerLog" layout.  Export the contents there to a csv file and attach it to a support request.

Speed of Server vs Local Imports

The speed of an import is really determined more by the specs of the machine that is doing the work, however FileMaker server does have an advantage in that it doesn't have to run any user interface, so some operations can be quicker.  We've found FileMaker Server imports to be faster than a local FileMaker Pro import, but your experience may vary and it will depend a lot on hardware.

The greatest advantage is more than you're not locking up your copy of FileMaker Pro while the import is happening and you can continue working as normal.

BaseElements is storing a copy of the XML for all the files within container fields in tables in BaseElements.  So your BaseElements files will take up a lot more space on disk when you utilise this option.  You can delete the container fields after the import if required, just access the data on the BaseElements data file layouts.

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