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Web Form with Filemaker 7


JimC
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  • Newbies

Hi,

I am a new user with Filemaker. I have been asked to upgrade a Filemaker 5 database to the new Filemaker 7. They use the Filemaker database with web publishing to allow users to complete a survey which gets entered directly into the database.

The survey is access via the web as html. On the first page, it redirects to the actual survey after the introduction:

url= FMPro?-db=ballot_.fp7&-lay=Survey&-format=survey.htm&-view

The second Page which is the actual Survey has this code:

<FORM ACTION="FMPro" METHOD="POST">

<INPUT TYPE="hidden" NAME="-Token" VALUE="StartUp">

<INPUT TYPE="hidden" NAME="-DB" VALUE="ballot_.fp7">

<INPUT TYPE="hidden" NAME="-LAY" VALUE="Survey">

<INPUT TYPE="hidden" NAME="-error" VALUE="regerror.htm">

etc., etc.

</FORM>

The problem is that this worked fine under Filemaker 5. After upgrading to Filemaker 7, These files no longer work and it gives a FMPro not found error. Does anyone know what needs to be changed for it to work?

I have enabled web publishing on this ballot_.fp7 file giving access to all.

Much thanks!

Version: v7.x

Platform: Windows XP

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I don't believe that you can do this with FileMaker Pro 7 - you'll have to wait for the release of FileMaker Pro Server Advanced 7.

In version 7, the standard FM Pro application only supports Instant Web Publishing. Custom Web Publishing will be supported through FileMaker Server Advanced 7. The move to server based web hosting should be a great improvement, bringing improved performance and stability to FileMaker based web solutions.

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Hi, Mariano! So, his code will work in FileMaker Server Advanced 7? I thought CDML would no longer even be an option. This is great news to me if it's true. Or is it that Custom Web Publishing will be there but folks will have to convert CDML code into something else?

JimC... yeah, it looks like they're going to have to wait or go with v6. I feel for ya, man. I used to prefer 2-version jumps but it sucks when things change so much that your old stuff doesn't work anymore.

--ST

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Hi Steve! The code that Jim posted doesn't use any CDML - it uses standard HTML forms and URLs to submit HTTP requests that conform to the FileMaker CGI specification. There may be more code involved that he hasn't posted which does use CDML to process the results, but his post strictly uses standard web forms and URLs.

Custom Web Publishing is indeed supported by FileMaker Server Advanced 7. FMSA7 will listen and respond to HTTP requests, and will be able to insert, updated, delete, and find records via structured requests that conform to the CGI spec. Based on some white papers on FileMaker's web site, it appears that the CGI spec will change slightly - that means that your forms and URLs will have to use slightly different parameters than before. This won't represent a large change; you'll just have to tweak your web forms and links.

The difference is that FMSA7 will not support CDML. While submitting requests to FileMaker's web companion will remain very similar, the way in which you receive the result and process it will change. Previously you could have specified a CDML page which could parse the resulting data from the request to FileMaker (for example, if you submitted a find request, you could use CDML to process the resulting records and create an HTML table to list the records). With FMSA7, you'll have to either specify an XSL stylesheet which parses the XML result into an HTML page, or you'll have to parse the XML result with a scripting language like PHP or ASP. If you use PHP or ASP, your web forms won't submit to FileMaker directly - rather, they will submit to a PHP or ASP page, which will then interact with FileMaker, parse the response, and programmatically build the HTML page. Using PHP or ASP offers far more programmatic control than using just XSL to parse the resulting data.

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  • Newbies

Thanks for all your help. What is CDML? you are correct in that the code is pure HTML. The rest of the code is the usual input fields which correspond to fields in the database. So with FMSA7, the code should work with minimal tweaking?

Do you guys know when FMSA7 is due out? And what its price is?

Thanks again!

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Thanx, Mariano! I guess I didn't realize. Maybe the transition won't be so bad, then, since I am already familiar w/some of the concepts... I just didn't realize that they were universal. Thanx for spelling out the process, too.. it helps.

JimC, sorry to have brought it up. CDML was FileMaker's mark-up language that was very simple but extremely limited compared to fully functional scripting languages. It was supported in FMP4 thru 6 and was how many of us began publishing data on the web. It worked great for little projects but it was at times frustrating if you wanted to do something it couldn't do. We would have to use workarounds, cheats, and compromises. Many used JavaScript to fill in for its inadequacies. I think it was made by the folks who made Lasso (I know, I hear you already... what's Lasso?) which is like the fully functional version of CDML currently sold by Blueworld.

For the most part, I was happy with it but I made do with workarounds or alternates from time to time. A few more complex jobs I helped with required some JavaScript and PHP but I didn't really understand what I was doing... just using other folks' code and guiding a student developer on it from time to time.

It's gone, now, though... so you're probably better off not knowing anything about it. You can browse this forum for examples if you wanna see what it was like.

(sorry, read the release info in INTRODUCING FILEMAKER PRO 7 forum but forgot where and that forum has been smokin' lately... I don't know how they keep up)

--ST

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From the FileMaker Website:

FileMaker Server 7 Advanced uses XML and XSLT for web publishing. XML and XSLT are industry standards and provide a more efficient, robust, and flexible methodology for creating dynamic data-backed web solutions than CDML.

FileMaker Server 7 Advanced includes easy-to-use tools for converting existing CDML solutions to the new XSLT-based web publishing format.

Koen

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