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Filemaker Pro Connection to Web Service

Posted on 2013-05-10
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Last Modified: 2013-05-17
I have a local Filemaker Pro database that I want to be able to connect to a specific webservice so that I can sync my data to the data on the webservice. The webservice accepts http posts (in xml format) and provides a response (also in xml format). Any recommendations for the best way to make this work?
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Question by:garyknight
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Andrew Angell earned 2000 total points
ID: 39157509
There are a few ways you could make this work.

1)  Get a plugin for FM that provides HTTP POSTing capabilities.  The Troi URL plugin is one example.  Then you could generate your XML request within a FM script and POST it to your web service endpoint URL using the Troi plugin.  Then you'd also have to parse the XML response data which can be a little tricky within FM scripts.  

2)  Build your own web services to receive data from your FM apps and communicate with the 3rd party web services. Then you could send data to your web service within a web viewer in FM by simply setting the URL of the web viewer to your service endpoint with all of the data included as URL parameters.  I would recommend PHP because then you can use the FM PHP API (with FM Server) to push data back to FM from that web service. The web viewer in FM could be setup to simply display the progress and a complete or failed message accordingly.  

3)  The way I do it is by using the Scodigo PHP SmartPill plugin.  This plugin actually gives you the power of PHP from directly within FM so you can write PHP code to handle things like generating and parsing XML, POSTing data, and pretty much anything else you can do with PHP.  You can embed your PHP code in FM fields and run it when necessary to accomplish your goals.  This way is nice because you can build things directly into FM scripts and you don't need a web viewer.  Your PHP scripts can run just like regular FM scripts and it makes it work a lot more seamlessly.  You could even build your own custom functions that utilize the PHP to make calling it from FM very simple.

One example is this set of PayPal API functions I released for FM awhile back.
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Author Closing Comment

by:garyknight
ID: 39174652
I ended up using the Troi URL plugin. Works great for my purposes. Thanks!
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