Connections to External Sources

M-Files offers flexible approaches for information presentation and transfer also from external sources. Databases, for example, are required to support OLE DB or Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) connections. The type of a database connection can be either read-only or two-way. With a read-only connection, M-Files can read from an external database, but you cannot enter new data with M-Files. With a two-way connection, changes and additions made in M-Files are saved in the external database.

A good example of an external database connection is a connection between M-Files and an external customer database. Many organizations already have a vast database of customer information, consisting of tables populated with customer information. When the user creates a new offer document in M-Files, it makes sense to add the existing customer information to it. M-Files can be set to import customer information from an external database. The information can then be accessed directly from, for example, the metadata card when a new document is created.

You can also import and link existing files from external objects. This makes deploying M-Files easy and quick, because all existing files can be accessed with M-Files without a separate transfer process. When you access files with M-Files, it makes sense to enrich them with metadata at the same time. Furthermore, among other things, version history is created in M-Files; concurrent editing is avoided; and, thanks to M-Files scheduled jobs, backups are easy to manage. Adding metadata also enables you to better take advantage of the search capabilities of M-Files.

Warning: A large number of connections to external sources with short synchronization intervals can cause performance issues.