e-commerce website using Filemaker Pro

Posted on 2008-06-17
Last Modified: 2013-11-29
I am building an e-commerce website and my products are in Filemaker Pro.  Any suggestions on how to create an e-commerce website using the database I already have existing in Filemaker Pro?  I need hosting help, credit card processing information and how to upload Filemaker Pro information into the e-commerce.
Question by:jakkimillo
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LVL 28

Accepted Solution

lesouef earned 168 total points
ID: 21808498
I would buy an std e-commerce package, based on an php/sql database, and get fm to read/write the products info to this database. required fm9
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 21817225
Personally I would suggest outsourcing your e-commerce to a third party provider, especially if you're planning to handle credit card orders. If you collect and store credit card information in a database, you're opening yourself up for some serious bureaucracy and possible liability, at least in the United States.

If you're looking for a FileMaker-based shopping cart solution, you could take a look at this:

Assisted Solution

phaeberle earned 166 total points
ID: 21842933
I agree with both lesouef and billmercer. Don't go into the hassle of integrating payment into filemaker , storing credit cards, etc.

Use FM9 to make a "bridge" betweeen MySql or other SQL compliant DB.
I think you should look into other solutions like Magento that has a lot of nice features including SEO friendly URLs, etc.
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

webwyzsystems earned 166 total points
ID: 21852445

Here are the basics:

HOSTING: I suggest you use your current web host, provided they have SSL and PHP support. Otherwise, get a web host who does. Don't host your ecomm right out of filemaker. There are many reasons for this - too many to cover here. People can do it, but for the most part - it doesn't work out as smoothly as you would think.

FILEMAKER INFO -> ECOMM: Have a web developer develop a simple flat file mySQL database on the web server. Export your products, pricing, info, etc to an excel file in .csv format. This can be imported right into mySQL (using the tool: phpMyAdmin). Hopefully product pictures are references to files rather than embedded in your FMP. Upload all the photos to the web server.

Get your web developer to develop a search and view page so people can see and browse your products.

Web developer writes a simple "web cart"...a way to keep track of items that people want to purchase.

Finally, contact your merchant bank. I assume you already accept credit cards elsewhere in your business. Your merchant account representative will set you up with a "payment gateway account". They usually also supply you with sample code, on how to process credit cards in line.(so that users don't come off your site). Forward this to the web developer. Usually your bank wants you to "authorize" the web developer to work on your merchant account. Fill out the paperwork and fax back.

KEEPING WEB UP TO DATE WITH FMP: Get the web developer to write some PHP handling scripts. These will be called from the filemaker OPEN URL script step. With some decent crafting, you should be able to update, edit, and delete items on the online catalogue with single button clicks from within filemaker pro. So, manage your online inventory from within filemaker, but process everything else on the web.

Your starting budget is about $7,000 for most sites like this...then things go up from there. Usual cost is around $12K. (not including merchant fees & hosting fees).

Hope this helps you out.

Rob A.


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