Choose FM Pro or ASP.NET

Posted on 2003-10-27
Last Modified: 2012-03-15

I need help about 2 differents ways : FM Pro or ASP.NET(Intranet)
to manage invoices, quotes, shipping, receiving, orders, clients, retailers,.... ?
I describe my needs :
1 - I want to expand this database on the web.
2 - Retailers have access to order some products by the net.
3 - Maybe UPS Rate Calculator automaticaly when a invoice does.
4 - Maybe Tax Rate Calculator based on each countries or states.
5 - Maybe Dynamic Currency Exchange Money means convert US Funds in Canada Funds
automaticaly when a invoice does.
6 - Have I live chat on web to help someone with ours products.
7 - Some graphical charts to see financial year or others things.

Usually, I speak french so I hope you understand my english.
And thanks a lot for answer(s) !!!!

Question by:beatboxradio

Accepted Solution

Mariano_Peterson earned 125 total points
ID: 9630398
FM Pro and ASP.NET are not competing products - they each do very different things.

FM Pro is a desktop database application.  It stores and retrieves data.  Interestingly, FM Pro is not fully SQL compliant, and while it does have an ODBC component, it is so slow that it is impractical to use as an ODBC data source.  This does not mean that FM Pro cannot be used as a database; it just means that you must use methods other than SQL to communicate with FileMaker.

ASP.Net is a CGI, or web scripting application.  It answers HTTP requests, performs some programmatic action, and returns a result (typically text based HTML) to the web client.  ASP.Net (or classic ASP, for that matter) is used to server dynamic web pages which often derive content from a database.  ASP.Net is typically connected to SQL Server or Access, but is just as easily connected to any other ODBC compliant application.

ASP.Net can also be used to connect to FileMaker, however, not using ODBC (and therfore not using SQL).  FileMaker's ODBC component is simply too slow for web use.  However, using ASP's MSXML component, ASP can interact with FileMaker by sending HTTP requests to FileMaker and receiving XML responses from FileMaker.  The ASP script can then build a dynamic web page based on the data it received from FileMaker.  From a top level perspective, the HTTP/XML communication with FileMaker is similar to the ODBC connection with other databases - ASP must send a request to the database, the database must process and respond to the request, and then ASP must decipher and use the response to build the page.  The difference is FileMaker's HTTP/XML doesn't use SQL, where as ODBC does, and ODBC is not a stateless protocol and can therefore hold multiple constant connections with the database, resulting in much faster performance.

So I guess the answer to your question is not FM Pro -or ASP.NET, but rather ASP.NET -AND WHICH- database (FM Pro or Access or MS SQL) to use for the back end?

-- ALSO --

In case I misinterpretted your question:
You can build a web based intranet using ASP, or you can build a client-server application that is available to people on the intranet using FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Server.  If you build a client-server solution, then each end user will have to have a copy of FileMaker Pro installed on their work station, and a maximum of 250 concurrent users can be supported assuming that you're using FM Server.

Building a client-server application in FileMaker is typically much, much easier than building a web based intranet using ASP.  FileMaker provides its own scripting language which, while much more limited than VBScript or JScript, is much easier to learn.  Also, designing basic layouts is much easier in FileMaker than on the web, since FileMaker offers a truly WYSIWYG editor.  The down side to using FileMaker is that the code is not re-usable, and is very procedural and can get unwieldly as the complexity of your solution grows.

Hope this helps,

Author Comment

ID: 9633579
Thanks a lot Maraino.

So I can use ASP to build an Intranet with more tools than Filemaker (I means
in under "control gallery", a lot of tools you can used)
and after publish a part of database on the web !!

thanks !!


Expert Comment

ID: 9828782
Building a complete business solution in n'est pas un jeu d'enfant.
Would suggest you go and see in if there's an already built framework to start from.
This framework. would be free.
Then it would not be in but rather in PHP.

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