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Open Letter to Filemaker Inc regarding Session Limitations in IWP!

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Remove Session limits in IWP-Filemaker Inc. has developed one of the most promising capabilities for deploying FM solutions to the web, namely IWP. By allowing Filemaker developers to design all of our UI, scripts, logic and content within Filemaker for subsequent web deployment (or Filemaker deployment or a mixed use deployment) as opposed to partially deployed in Filemaker and partially within a middleware such as Lasso or PHP is a phenominal capability that seems to be missing in virtually every other application! Inhibiting this capability by limiting sessions is a disservice to Filemaker developers as well as Filemaker itself in the long-term. The future of database/web deployment seems to be heading in the direction of web applications and Filemaker seems perfectly poised to capitalize on this capability with IWP without sacraficing its database deployment past. I forsee IWP, without limitations as a near perfect web deployment medium for Filemaker developers that will also help increase market share for Filemaker as a well rounded application that is unequaled for both traditional peer to peer deployment AND web deployment via IWP! Please remove session limitations. After all, deploying with CWP removes this barrier and limitation, why not IWP!?

If urge all Filemaker developers and users to urge FMI to remove session limitations in IWP, go to: http://www.filemaker.com/company/feature_request.html

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click IN (Indiana State) and try "Carmel" for the city and hit search. It is all done in IWP. No middleware, etc.

However, I can't really utilize what I have developed and will most likely have to rebuild from scratch b/c Filemaker cripples the power of IWP by only allowing 100 sessions at once. One state alone in my scenario would exceed this limitation. The other problem is that FM doesn't allow ISPs to run multiple instances of FMSA or the WPE. So in order for me to utilize an instance of FMSA per state with my ISP would cost me $400/month per state (running a separate server each with its own copy of FMSA)! $20,000.00 per month....!!! And each state still could only handle 100 sessions at once!!!

FM created an amazing product with IWP. Perhaps revolutionary for web enabling FM databases and building web applications! Now if only they would look at the bigger picture and really allow the awesome Filemaker community to realize its potential to create some amazing FM driven web apps with IWP for public delivery, then Filemaker would be the best product on the market in my mind, bar none!!! Lose the session limits please!!!

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nice site! How did you get rid of the hidden status area bar...(maybe you just chose the appropriate bg color for your page to make it look like it's gone instead of just locked.)

How many actual hits per day do you think you could get with 100 concurrent sessions? What if you set a short timeout like 1-2 minutes, so if people walk away or close the window the sessions are freed up sooner.

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Thanks! Actually as apart of a startup script you simply hide the status bar (lock) if the user is via the web, otherwise show the status bar if via FMP app. This way you can completely control navigation on your web site.

As for the quick session timeouts...wont work. Since this is a real estate rental site with lots of content and media files, people will tend to stay a while browsing rentals, quicktime images, etc.

IWP is ok for the time being in Indiana as I'm not pushing the site. However, if I wanted to put weight behind marketing my site to landlords and tenants, IWP would quickly become a problem due to FMP's limitations on sessions.

The point I was trying to make is that the Indiana portion of my site is developed completely with FMP and rendered via IWP! No middleware! It's really a shame that Filemaker Inc doesn't see the bigger picture on what can be done with Filemaker and the web via IWPP!!!

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Very nice site. I used IWP and I hide the status bar (lock) if the user is via the web. However, there is still a vertical bar shown on far left of the browser. Your site does not have that vertical bar. I wonder what you did to hide that as well

Thank you

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However, I can't really utilize what I have developed and will most likely have to rebuild from scratch b/c Filemaker cripples the power of IWP by only allowing 100 sessions at once.

I believe FM's official line is that you should solve this via RAIC -- Redundant Array of Inexpensive Computers. In this scenario, you would have a single computer running filemaker server, and then a dozen or so other computers running copies of the WPE. Since each one can handle 100 simultaneous sessions, you simply keep adding new computers whenever you need another 100 sessions. You also need to hook up a load balancing router that sends the http: request to the various WPE servers to distribute the load.

This of course would not be cheap, but surely would be cheaper than your ISP would charge you.

You might also consider looking into other technologies (such as PHP) that interface with FM, I think they may not have the 100 session limits.

You should contact FM directly too -- it should be in their interest to have a high visibility site like yours hosted on filemaker, maybe they will cut you a deal of some sort?

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FMSA doesn't let you deploy WPE machines in a RAIC though. The web server connector only connects to one WPE machine, which can only connect to one FMS machine.

You could have multiple web servers connected to multiple WPEs, but those WPEs can not all connect to one FMS instance then.

As-is, there's just no way around the 100 session limitation other than moving to some custom-publishing route such as XML/XSLT, Lasso or FX.php.

- John

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