# Viewing Documentation

Ok, here is what I have working on the server at the moment. Wherever I have a little “tools” icon displayed, the techs can bring up a drop-down list of documentation to view (pdfs, drawings, video, whatever). I have the path and doc classification in my database, so new things can be added at any time. Right now, the path is just pointing to a folder on my C drive. How should I do this on the client level? Should the documents still reside on the clients? Or can I upload them from the server each time? If so, would that pretty much restrict me to windows clients? I’ll note that this is something they would only do occasionally. I’m open to suggestions.

I would try to avoid copying the info to the clients - that will cause headaches given our nice web-launched architecture.

You’ll want the files to reside on a server over the network, probably on the same server that is running FactoryPMI.

I would recommend that you use windows file sharing, in which case the path to the files would look like:

\\MyServer\docs\machine_manual.pdf

If you ever want to use linux clients, it would work pretty easily using SAMBA, in which case the path would be something like:

smb://MyServer/docs/machine_manual.pdf

PS. You can dynamically detect what OS your client is running on with

fpmi.system.getProperty("os.name")

Hope this helps,

Perfect. I hated the thought of installing these on the clients too, but wasn’t sure about the bandwidth issue (if there was one). I’ll definitely be using non-Windows clients in the future, so thanks for the Linux tip.

You can also store files as BLOBs in your database. Using a network filesystem is usually a better idea, though. Here are a few posts on the topic.

I am using openURL to view documentation files in pdf format. This works great on my local network, using the server’s network alias ‘zeta’.

However, I need to access this from outside our network, using my domain name. I’ve unsuccessfully tried ‘www.mydomain.net:8080’, the same address I use to access FPMI projects.

Is this a port problem, or a path problem, or …? Help please.

Hard to say… are the PDF files being served up by a web server? (e.g. fpmi.net.openURL(“http://zeta/manual.pdf”) )

Or were you using windows filesharing on your internal network (e.g. fpmi.net.openURL("\\zeta\manual.pdf") )

The latter won’t from outside your network unless you open up the windows filesharing port, which would be unadvisable…

The latter - filesharing.

So if opening the filesharing port is a bad idea, what might you suggest as options? Can FPMI be used as the web server for this purpose? If so, where do the file need to live?

Thanks for any thoughts.

Yes - simply drop files under C:\Program Files\Inductive Automation\FactoryPMI\tomcat\webapps\ROOT and they will be served up.

For instance, you could create a folder under there called “documentation”, and put a pdf file in there, and then use:

fpmi.net.openURL(“http://www.mydomain.net:8080/documentation/manual.pdf”)

One thing though - files added to FactoryPMI in this manner will not be included in FactoryPMI Gateway backups - back these files up yourself.

Thanks.