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Updating Graphs


Paul Derby
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My colleagues and I are fairly new to FileMaker and have converted an Access database to FileMaker so that we can publish it on the web for use by a small number of users. A key feature of our applicaton is the ability to update data in a portal and then have this updated information immediately available visually in a chart. We are using a great FileMaker extension from X2Max to accomplish the charting. It does everything that we want and more in a nice, clean straightforward way. In our FileMaker application we can enter data and then click on a button that executes a script to generate the chart located in the same layout as the data.

Unfortunatley, instant web publishing doesn't seem to support script execution with buttons. So when we move from the FileMaker application to execution via the web, everything we want to do works great with the instant webpublishing capability except getting the chart updated.

In looking through other posts in this forum, there seems to be a concensus from some of the frequent posters that script execution is never necessary in a web application. If this is the case, then how would we go about updating our charts following data changes so the users can visually see the results of data changes?

Any pointers or approaches to solve this situation would be appreciated. If the only way to do this is with CDML or XML/XSLT code, then a link to a simple example would be appreciated. We are newbies at this! We licensed copies of both FileMaker Developer and FileMaker for Windows.

Thanks for any help. So far we are impressed with FileMaker over Access and look forward to completing our move from the client based Access application to a web based FileMaker application. The data conversion and layouts were straightforward and easy to make. Our big challenge now is being able to update the charts in the web variant of the application.

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You can execute scripts via Web Companion. I have done this using 'Custom Web Publishing', I haven't tried scripts with 'Instant Web Publishing'.

The only problem with scripts, on the web, is that if more than one person attempts to run a script at the same time then one attempt will fail. As you will not have many users you should be fine!

You use the '-script' tag. Some examples should exist in the CDML reference database.

Hope this helps.

Garry

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hi, are you trying to deliver your charts back through a web browser interface?

I think that if you are you may have to build calculation fields into the database that deliver html into the page to draw the charts.

here's a really simple example:

http://www.william-reed.net/chart.gif

where the blue bars show booked meeting rooms

- but the limits would be what you could display within html or embedded graphics and this might be more limiting than using an extension through a Filemaker client. If you think this approach would be enough for your needs, I could send a couple of examples as a starting point.

Regards, Jeff

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Here is a javascript application that will dynamically build a graph in a web page. I use is with both FileMakerPro and Access/Cold Fusion.

http://developer.netscape.com:80/docs/technote/javascript/graph/index.html

Here is what my FMP CDML looks like:

<HEAD>

<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript1.2" SRC="JResources/graph.js">

</SCRIPT>

</HEAD>

<Body>

<Center><Table BGCOLOR=#FFFFCC>

<TR>

<TH>Call Board Processing Time:</TH>

</TR>

<TR>

<TR><TD>

<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript1.2">

var g = new Graph(600,400);

g.addRow(0[FMP-record],[FMP-field: GraphElapsed][/FMP-record]);

g.scale = 10;

g.title = "Processing Time";

g.xLabel = "Calls";

g.yLabel = "Time Min";

g.build();

</SCRIPT>

</TD>

</TR>

</Table>

</CENTER>

</body>

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  • Newbies

As I understand it the only thing you need to do is to add the script tag in the FM Form and then the script will execute when the user pushes the submit button. If you do not want to submit anything, just do a dummy search.

Scripttag syntax is:

<INPUT TYPE="hidden" NAME="-Script" VALUE="scriptname">

No extra syntax is needed for the submitbutton.

If you have worked with valuelists I would really need some help with the correct syntax for getting a value list for a related field.

Urraco

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