“Tag & Transfer”

The example project detailed on these pages is an instance of “tagged-container” database publishing.

In this type of automated data transfer, a container in a document (such as an image or text box) is “tagged” with a unique identifier from a data source, such as the content of a specific field from a specific record in a FileMaker database. The container’s metadata tag is then used by automation scripts to match a specific database record with the document container, enabling the database record content to be transfered into the specified container.

Common unique identifiers found in use by automated publishing systems include: MLS numbers (Multiple Listing Service) for real estate, Social Security and Employee ID numbers, and SKU’s (stock keeping units) for retail and wholesale products.

In the provided example, multiple pieces of metadata from the database record are transfered to the OmniGraffle objects. This is possible because OmmiGraffle provides a robust metadata architecture where unlimited metadata keys and corresponding values can be declared for both objects and canvases.

The illustration below shows the metadata tags and values transfered from the example database for a placed image (left) and its corresponding text description (right):


 1  Shape Name • During the creation or tagging process, the shape is named a value visible to the user. For shapes containing the product image, the name is the value of the database “Product Name” field. For the text container shape, the name is the value of the product identifier field, a unique value which in this case is the product “SKU” (stock keeping unit) stored the in the database field “SKU.”

 2  Database File Name • The name of the source FileMaker database file is stored in a metadata field with the key: DB-FILE-NAME

 3  Database ID Field Name • The name of the database field that functions as the unique ID number of the product. In this example, the name of the identifier field is “SKU” with the assigned metadata key of: DB-ID-FIELD-NAME

 4  Database ID Field Value • The value of the database field that functions as the unique ID number of the product. In this example, the SKU is a 6-digit number used only for that product item. It is mandentory that no products share the same ID (SKU), each must be unique.

 5  Database Source Field Name • The name of the database field whose contents are used as the contents for the selected shape. For images, the source field is named “Product Image” and for the text shapes, the name of the source field is either “Description” or “Summary.” The metadata key is: DB-SOURCE-FIELD-NAME

The use of the tagged metadata to locate corresponding records in FileMaker will be detailed in the next section. Next, we’ll examine scripts used by FileMaker to create and tag objects in the OmniGraffle document, beginning with images.


This webpage is in the process of being developed. Any content may change and may not be accurate or complete at this time.