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Taking database online

Posted on 2014-04-10
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Last Modified: 2014-04-10
Dear Experts,

I have developed a database application using FileMaker, and now starting to sell it.
But rather than selling the stand alone version, I thought that it may be better to have it on the web, and sell subscriptions to it.
Unfortunately, I am inexperienced in web based database development, and not sure where to start.  Although I have developed stand alone product using Access, VBA, MySQL, and FileMaker and sold them, this is totally a new area for me.
Since I am under time pressure, I wanted to ask your opinion.  What would be the most direct way to create a web based database, that gets data update once or twice a year, and the user will be downloading information in report forms (PDF)?
Any suggestion is appreciated, thank you.
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Question by:yballan
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slinkygn earned 250 total points
ID: 39991589
Well, you have the standard WebDirect and Custom Web Publishing options for the creation of the web solution itself, of course, but if you've developed FM applications already I imagine you've already at least heard of those.  (In brief: WebDirect is the fastest way to the Web, but if you're going to be selling it as a professional product you'll probably want the presentation and performance that Custom Web Publishing provides -- though it may not be the most "direct" way to the web, as you were asking.)

But I imagine the bigger decision here, really, would be that of hosting, not of actually developing.  If you're looking for a "direct" route to a deployed application, you probably won't want to host the database yourself -- instead, you'll want to use a FileMaker Server hosting service (Point in Space is one, and generally well regarded: http://www.pointinspace.com/).  They'll most likely give you better performance, failure resistance, etc with concurrent users over the Web, you'll get to avoid having to deal with any NAT or firewall issues you'd typically need to, and it's instantly available -- it's basically making sure you never have to deal with the hairiest, most difficult parts of deploying something like what you're describing.
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by:Will Loving
Will Loving earned 250 total points
ID: 39991594
I would encourage you to look into FileMaker 13's WebDirect functionality. It will allow you to leverage your existing FileMaker skills without having to do extensive web-side development. You can setup a customer table and provide a username and password that allows each customer to login and access the data for the subscription period.
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Author Closing Comment

by:yballan
ID: 39991661
Dear Slinkygn and Will Loving,

Thank you for your expertise, that definitely gives me a good direction to start.
Really appreciate it!!.
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