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Hosting FM Server

Posted on 2014-02-19
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Last Modified: 2014-02-25
I want to better understand how you go about hosting FM Server online.
I have a FM Database and FM Server, I want to be able to share my Database online through my website that is hosted by HostGator. How do I go about doing that?
I guess my question is, how can I place my FM Server online using a hosting service (Host Gator, Freeservers, etc)?
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Question by:PachecoPrimo
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Will Loving earned 500 total points
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FileMaker supports two direct kinds of online sharing, Instant Web Publishing or IWP (and now called WebDirect in FileMaker 13) and Custom Web Publishing (CWP).

With IWP and WebDirect, FileMaker Server itself acts as the web server engine for the database, rendering the layouts that you have created in FileMaker directly and quite accurately to HTML and allowing user interaction very similar to using FileMaker itself via buttons, portals, etc. though there are some limitations because of the differences between what you can do within a browser and what you can do in FileMaker directly. Script steps that do and do not work with IWP/WebDirect can be seen in ScriptMaker by selecting Web only in the lower left below the list of script steps.

This method requires a fair amount of processor power but means that you do not have to know or do any coding at all outside of creating your FileMaker layouts. FileMaker 13 users a newer version of this called WebDirect which leverages FileMaker's move toward using CSS and HTML5 as the basis for rendering and serving FileMaker layouts and functionality to the web.

Alternately, you can do Custom Web Publishing using the FileMaker API for PHP. That means that you create your web pages however you like in Dreamweaver or other tools and code using PHP to communicate with FileMaker Server. This means that FMS Server is only providing data and functionality (find, sort, etc) but not serving the actual pages that viewers see. It allows FMS to handle more viewers and have faster response time.

A third option is to use an SQL database such as MySQL, SQL Server or Oracle to provide data to your website and then using FileMaker's External Data Sources option, connect your FileMaker database(s) to that SQL source. You can then either operate directly on the SQL source in FileMaker essentially using FM as a dataless "front-end"  or you can sync your FM data with the SQL source.

What you do for hosting depends on what avenue you do down. If you want to connect a portion of your existing HostGator site to FM Server and your server can be reached directly via a known IP or IP alias (DynDNS.org) you can use PHP programming in your site and talk to FM Server wherever it's hosted. Or, if your server is not directly accessible, you'll need to have your database hosted somewhere where it can be found (a known IP or IP alias). You can do this on a shared hosting service like http://Triple8.net or by getting a dedicated server and running both your your website and FM Server off the same machine. As long as the load is not too heavy, this can work well and provide less latency because the database and web pages are on the same machine.
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