Tim Dietrich

Custom Software Developer

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FMEasyWeb: Q & A

Since posting an update regarding FMEasyWeb late last night, I've received quite a few emails asking about the project. It's nice to see so much interest in EasyWeb.

Some of the questions that I have received have not yet been addressed on the EasyWeb Web site. Here are some of them.

How does EasyWeb know what layouts to publish?
When a user logs into EasyWeb, they are presented with a list of "list view" layouts that you've setup in the database. Specifically, it looks for any layouts that the user has permission to access and whose names have a "FMEasyWeb - List - " prefix. Similarly, to support the FileMaker equivalent of "form view," EasyWeb looks for a layout whose name corresponds with that of the list view layout. For example, if the list view is based on a layout named "FMEasyWeb - List - Contacts" then EasyWeb will use a layout named "FMEasyWeb - Form - Contacts" to render the form view.

Will I be able to control the order in which fields appear?
Yes. EasyWeb determines the field order based on the z-index of the fields on the FileMaker layout. Fields towards the back load first.

How can I control the look and feel of EasyWeb?
We'll be providing a couple of EasyWeb themes that you can choose from, which are really just standard CSS stylesheets. And of course, you can also use your own stylesheets as well.

In addition, you can specify the CSS to use for specific layouts, and you do so without having to upload a stylesheet to the Web server. TSimply add a special "FMEasyWeb_CSS" field to the table that a layout is based on, and set the field to the CSS. An example is shown in the screenshots at the end of this post.

Does EasyWeb support logging?
You can implement logging using standard FileMaker scripts that get called via script triggers. EasyWeb supports three script triggers: OnLayoutEnter, OnRecordCommit, and a special "OnRecordDelete" trigger. Like the custom layout-level CSS described above, you can configure a layout's script triggers via special EasyWeb fields.

How are EasyWeb users authenticated?
EasyWeb uses FileMaker's native security model, so users login using their FileMaker account names and passwords. Those users must be assigned to a privilege set that has the fmphp ("Access via PHP Web Publishing") extended privilege set enabled. To revoke a user's EasyWeb privileges, simply disable the fmphp option.

Will EasyWeb support exporting? Importing?
Exporting will be supported, and you'll be able to export to Excel and tab-delimited file formats. However, EasyWeb will not support importing.

That's all for now. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me.

The Manage Layouts dialog for a sample EasyWeb-enabled database. Note the "FMEasyWeb" list and form layouts.

An example of the FMEasyWeb_CSS field, which is used to specify layout-specific CSS.

The Manage Database dialog, showing additional EasyWeb fields that can be used to specify script triggers.

An example of a fully customized EasyWeb login screen. The look and feel, as well as the values for the header, intro text, field labels, and submit button were customized via a standard CSS stylesheet.