Tim Dietrich

Custom Software Developer

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FMEasyWeb: Preview Webinar Questions and Answers

I want to thank everyone who joined yesterday's FMEasyWeb Preview webinar. It got off to a rocky start. I wasn't prepared to handle so many participants, and apparently, Join.me isn't intended for a Webinar of this size. But we pulled it off...

There's still no word on the recording, and it isn't looking good. If necessary, I'll either run another webinar in a few weeks, or record something offline. Stay tuned to my blog and Twitter for details - or better yet, signup for my newsletter.

In the meantime, here's a summary of the Q & A portion of yesterday's Webinar.

How much will FMEasyWeb cost?
FMEasyWeb is being provided via an open source license, so there is no charge for it. However, you might need Web and database hosting services, and should keep their costs in mind.

Will FMEasyWeb work with FileMaker Server 12?
We haven't tested it with databases hosted on FMS 12 yet. There are no features that EasyWeb uses that were introduced in the FileMaker 13 platform. So, in theory, it should work just fine.

When will FMEasyWeb be available?
We've got a target date of May 1st. We still have a lot of work to do, so that might be a little aggressive...

Does FMEasyWeb use the FileMaker API for PHP?
Yes, it does. And the API will be bundled with FMEasyWeb, so there's no need to manually install the library.

Is there support for CAPTCHA?
Not directly. However, using the code injection techniques that I demonstrated, you could easily integrate CAPTHA.

How does FMEasyWeb compare to FMWebFrame?
FMWebFrame is very different from FMEasyWeb.

FMWebFrame is an extension to the FileMaker API for PHP, and is designed to make easier to develop advanced Web solutions that integrate with FileMaker databases. You really need to know Web development techniques, and PHP in particular, to use it.

FMEasyWeb is designed for more basic solutions - and little to no knowledge or Web development is needed.

What were you using to host the demo solutions that were shown? Hosting, etc?
The databases are hosted using Open Remote, a semi-private FileMaker database hosting company. We use Amazon EC2 servers, with FileMaker Server 13.

The Web apps are hosted at Media Temple.

Is there support for portals? Repeating fields?
I didn't demo it, but yes - we do have support for portals in read-only forms. We do not have support for it in editable forms. As far as repeating fields go, those haven't been tested. We're not planning to support them.

Do I need to know PHP?
It helps, but no - you don't need to know PHP in order to use FMEasyWeb.

What is the performance like compared to FMWebFrame? What about caching?
Performance will depend on what you're publishing. For example, if you're publishing a large number of large photos, then performance might take a hit. So it's a tough question to answer. "Your mileage will vary."

Caching is on our wish list, as this would significantly boost performance - especially for public-facing solutions. But at this point, no - EasyWeb doesn't support caching.

If I have an HTML opening web page, could it be launched by or from the EasyWeb?
Yes. You can link into and out from FMEasyWeb apps.

Is it possible to inject class info instead of style info?
Yes, it's possible. For nearly all of the HTML tags that FMEasyWeb renders, there is a "miscellaneous content" option. So you could override EasyWeb's standard classes, IDs, and so on.

Do menu lists / drop downs work?
Yes. I didn't include those field controls in the demo, but they are supported. The only field control that we don't support is "Drop-down calendar" - yet!

Does FMEasyWeb support ad-hoc searches?
It doesn't support it out of the box, but it can be done using code injection. We're working on adding this feature, and possibly a Quick Find-like function that would be similar to what is available using FMWebFrame's Quick Find function.

What about integrating with existing sites? Any way to pull code and insert into other pages?
Yes, this is possible. The easiest way to do so is to setup a custom theme that only includes the HTML elements that you want to pull from EasyWeb.

Can I send an html link to pass a variable. Maybe in your example to send a link to open straight to their public profile page?
Yes. You can easily link to a specific record using a record ID.

Can you provide links to things that you referred to in the presentation? There were lots of links. Here they are:

• FMEasyWeb: fmeasyweb.com
• FMWebFrame: fmwebframe.com
• Simple Database Solutions: simpledbs.com
• Camp Software (Hal's business): campsoftware.com
• Ingenium I/O (Joe's business): ingeniumio.com
• Open Remote: openremote.net
• Media Temple: mediatemple.net
• Successful FileMaker Consulting (new course): timdietrich.me/fmsuccess/