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Steven Cappiello

PHP Site Assistant!! wow

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I am pretty blown away by how cool the PHP site assistant in Filemaker 9 seems to be. I'd love to hear any feedback anyone has about it.

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Don't know, it sort of seems to defeat the purpose of CWP for me -- if you wanted a generic template based site you could just use IWP.... except in this case, you don't even really have a say on the position of the fields.

Its sort of like building a FileMaker layout using the FM templates and going "WOW!"

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I was lucky enough to attend a session at DevCon ("Using the FileMaker PHP Site Assistant to Develop Custom Web Site Workflows") given by FileMaker's own Eric Jacobson, and Eric showed us how you can build large Web apps using the PHP Site Assistance ("PHPSA").

The idea is this: You first map out the workflow of what you want your application to do. Next, identify blocks of functionality that can be built easily using PHPSA. Then you build each block as a separate application, each in its own subdirectory. Finally, you make minor changes to the PHP code to tie the blocks together into a single, robust application.

The example that Eric used involved a NetFlix-like business called FileMaker Flix. In less than an hour, Eric built the application. It was amazing to see.

I had been somewhat skeptical of the PHPSA when I first heard about it. After seeing Eric's demo, and how easy it is to modify the PHP that is generated, I've come to realize how powerful the thing really is.

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... Have you actually looked at the code?

Edit:

Okay, well after having written that I decided to take a decent look. I suppose some of the files are okay, but if you want to learn anything from them, I suggest you stick to: addrecord.php, editrecord.php, browserecord.php, findrecord.php.

It still way too generic though if you ask me.

Edited by Guest

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Yeah, I've looked at the code that the PHPSA generates. For the most part, it's basic. But for someone comfortable enough to poke around in there that knows a little HTML, it should be easy to find the code that they are looking for and make minor changes to "mash up" multiple sites created with the PHPSA. In that respect, it's a good way to create somewhat robust sites with very little code.

I'm a "by hand" coder myself, so I doubt that I'll ever really use this technique. But it is nice to know that it is there if I need it.

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Yeah but again, they're not really letting you do a lot more than you would be able to do with IWP. The difference I guess is that 1) there is no FM logo up the top left corner, 2) you can run it off FMS now and 3) its a little quicker 4) you might be able to learn by example.

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i think it's much better than IWP because with IWP you have this interface/refresh layer that just sucks.. even on a fast connection. With the PHP route, you can click right into those fields and another huge factor is that the pages all reference an elegant css file which can be edited. Additionally, I think the generic nature of these files is one of the best things about them. Happily, for me, they stuck to the basics and bare necessities and leave the rest to us. I also saw Eric's session at Devcon and know enough about what's going on to build some cool stuff that can be deployed on workgroups, companies, iphones,etc.

very good for me..

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