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Web Application Form and Filemaker Pro

Posted on 2006-11-15
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We are begining to develop a application page for our website and the creaters made it in PHP.

Does anyone know what route I can persue to get the information entered into the fields on the form and import them (dynamicly linked if possible) into a table in filemaker?
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Question by:Cruizectrl
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17 Comments
 
LVL 28

Accepted Solution

by:
lesouef earned 1000 total points
ID: 17950166
php is the query language, where are data kept? text file? database?
the most common stuff is mySql on web sites, and it has an odbc driver you can use for filemaker to read from mySQL.
there is also a library called fx.php allowing php people to write directly in the filemaker database; I won't speak about this since this is now mentionned on the filemaker site itself:
http://www.filemaker.com/developers/resources/php/index.html
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Author Comment

by:Cruizectrl
ID: 17951431
I do have a SQL server that I've not used personally (currently hosting a Blackberry server and Data-warehouseing).

Can I use IWP for external use?  That may not be the most secure way of going about things but It may be a quick solution.

I would like to be able to store the data entered in from the web form in SQL and have filemaker pull from that.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:lesouef
ID: 17954211
IWP can be used for external use, but it won't store data in a SQL database but directly in the filemaker one. If you intend to write to aSQL server, then do the stuff in php, then you'll be able to retrieve data from the SQL server using ODBC import; it won't be dynamic, all you can do is import. If you do not want to re-import the whole stuff everyday, you need to mark records already imported, assuming they have not been modified, so that means an extra field in the SQL server to store the status of the record regarding filemaker.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Cruizectrl
ID: 17956288
How would I use IWP externally with FM Server or pro 8?  Basicly I would connect to the server from a "apply now" link from our main website.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:lesouef
ID: 17956532
IWP is only available on fm pro. Yr fm pro machine must be on a public IP address, or yr router must map the IWP port to the LAN address of yr fm machine (this feature is present in most router).
You can access it from a link from any other site. But is won't write anything to filemaker data. IWP is a web interface to a filemaker database, so it's meant to type data in it, not to transfer from 1 base to another. So you can use it for direct input, but not to import data from a SQL server, that must be done with a regular client.
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Expert Comment

by:JoJohn2004
ID: 18071681
I am in the process of creating PHP pages for a database I wrote for the real estate industry. It uses Filemaker Server Advanced. The database is at the client's office where they have a static IP from Comcast and the php pages reside at their website which is not at their location. PHP can readily communicate with filemaker as long as you are using Advanced and the results are very acceptable. I am using it to query a filemaker database but you can use it to post or edit records as well.
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Expert Comment

by:lesouef
ID: 18074940
Jojohn's solution has the advantage of getting a direct input to filemaker data from the web, you can test it with the regular fm pro (limited to 5 users) before you decide to buy fmserver adv, because this is a bit expensive for what it does.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Cruizectrl
ID: 18078428
I have to revisit this soon.. I know the scope of information that we'll with to publish for possible employees and current vendors is going to grop substansially in the near future.  I'm sure I'll have a few more questions for you guys sometime within the next weeks.
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Author Comment

by:Cruizectrl
ID: 18722827
Party for me!.  Just purchased the options back for Server 8 and I've been playing around with it.

My first goal is to make a open Questionnaire DB that I can mass email a direct link to all of our customers.

Here are my problems that I can see and I'm starting to get annoyed.

I'm planning on bypassing the whole "LOGIN" think through IWP and was planning on created a User login layout where a person can type in thier first and last name and a quick password.  The reason I want to do it this way is so I dont have to hold a bunch of accounts rather just store them directly in the database.  And if someone wants to revisit thier questionnaire in the future they can do that.

What really bugs me is that I cant have a field that uses password characters "****" but the only thing that does is in the dialogue script step BUT it doesn't work through IWP.

The other thing is that if its left alone too long it will bring you back to the database list and I certainly dont want that.  You think its time to learn PHP?
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:JoJohn2004
ID: 19200610
I would be interested in its final disposition. Perhaps split the points between lesouef and myself if the asker does not close the question.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Cruizectrl
ID: 19235099
I'm still waiting for a possible answer for these dumb password characters.  I've already opened up a customer feedback DB using IWP and a guest login.  But I'm going to design some other functions to retrieve data from our internal databases but this needs to be protected by username password and I would rather not use the standard IWP login section.
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:JoJohn2004
JoJohn2004 earned 1000 total points
ID: 19239235
I think PHP is very easy to learn at a simplistic level (the level I am at). I have successfully created web pages that accept a login using an html form which will use the *** characters in the password field. You can then either authenticate against a database or you can hard code the password in the php code and just compare the form entry with the code. In fact if you don't want to have to enter a login at all you can enter the credentials to the database in the php code and anyone will be able to log in. IWP is very good but only if you are happy with filemaker controlling the experience.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:JoJohn2004
ID: 19239244
Also, if you need help with the code, post your requirements and we'll try to get you started accessing Filemaker with php.
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Author Comment

by:Cruizectrl
ID: 19242260
That would be great!  I'm trying to find some starting points such as books or tutorials that help show the relationship in working with PHP and filemaker.  Any suggestions.

This all answers my previous questions so I'm increasing and dividing the points up.  Thanks a bunch
0
 
LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:JoJohn2004
ID: 19245980
Almost all php pages that interact with Filemaker have these lines at the beginning (with your own variables of course):

            //You have to have the FXphp class installed in your website
            // this line describes where it is and includes it.
      include_once('FX/FX.php');
            // this data can be hard coded into each page
            // but putting it in an include makes it easier to move the site
      include_once('FX/server_data.php');

            // this line identifies the server, how to connect, and what version of Filemaker you will be using
      $courses=new FX($serverIP,$webCompanionPort,$dataSourceType);
           // This line identifies the database and the layout
      $courses->SetDBData('Courses.fp5','entry');
           //this line enters the password for access to the database
      $courses->SetDBPassword('','');
           // This line selects the field you will be performing the action on
           // you can enter more than one of these lines
      $courses->AddDBParam('TeacherID',$teacherID);
           // then you add the action you want.
           // this one does a find and puts the data in an array called $coursesResult
      $coursesResult=$courses->FMFind();


After these lines you start the actual php code using the variables for the array you have just populated. http://www.fmwebschool.com/filemaker_php.php has an easy tutorial to get you started connecting filemaker with php. good luck!

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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Cruizectrl
ID: 19267877
Thanks so much JoJohn.  I'm sure this will come to some good use.
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