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Newbie, help would be appreciated


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A possible client is currently using FileMaker for is business and on his website. He wants to update his website in PHP and still use FM.

I never used FM, i've used MS Access, MS Sql, Oracle, MySql, but FM is unknown to me, which is always cool to learn something new smile.gif

My question is, how different/easy is it to communicate to a FileMaker database with PHP ?

Any help would be appreciated and pointers to tutorials or what not smile.gif

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Yes, I agree with what Addam said, php with filemaker can be easy. But it can be easier with the FX.php class, so that all the code is already done for you and all you need to do is just plug in your values of ip address and such. You still have to make the code for your pages but all your doing is using functions that are already defined. I would not use CDML is you plan on using PHP though. If your looking for a fast solution, go with CDML. Maybe even XML and XSL if your looking for something in between.

Justin Grewe

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It is quite easy to use PHP with FileMaker, particularly if you are already familiar with PHP. However, interacting with a FileMaker database is extremely different than connecting to any other "regular" database such as MSSQL, MySQL, Postgres, etc. The most notable difference is the lack of SQL queries. None the less, it is quite simple.

Definitely use the FX.php class. It is freely available at www.iviking.org, and the download includes a few white papers and tutorials on how to use FX to access FileMaker data in PHP.

I don't believe CDML is much faster, but more importantly CDML is extraordinarily limited. For example, there is no facility for performing math in CDML. Retrieving raw XML from FileMaker is faster than retrieving data from CDML, as the XML is generated from a compiled source (a .dll) rather than an interpreted source (a CDML page). XSL can help format your page, but can be difficult to work with as the primary method for constructing dynamic pages. Also, using XSL to directly format the XML being returned from FileMaker is limiting, as it doesn't allow you to perform server side CGI scripting that interprets the URL requests prior to submitting calls to the database (using CDML or XML and XSL alone, all your HTTP requests are sent directly to the database FIRST... then the CDML or XSL merely format the response from the database).

A more powerful method is to use a server side web scripting language (middleware) like Lasso, PHP, ASP, Perl, etc. Using middleware, you direct your URLs to the script pages (myScript.lasso, myScript.php, myScript.asp, myScript.pl, etc), which interpret the request and THEN make conditional queries to the database depending on logic specified in the script. This obviously is much more powerful as you can filter and manipulate requests to the database, instead of allowing [potentially dangerous] web users to send commands via URLs directly to your database.

There is a good book with a few chapters that describe how to use PHP with FileMaker (Advanced FileMaker Pro 6 Web Development).

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