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FileMaker Server 9 Scalability for CWP


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Hi friends,

I'm a long term FileMaker user, but now I need to use a new feature that I never did before: CWP (php).

I'd like to develop a big website to be used by thousands of people. I am aware that FileMaker Server 9 and its php support can handle something like 500 connections at the same time. It's a lot, but what if I need 3.000? Is it scalable?

I've notice that I can install the server in multiples machines. Does it do the trick? I mean, if I install it in more MACs will it serve more connections?

I've heard that MySql is a strong database server, but the easiness of doing the hard work in FileMaker is fantastic, so I'd like to take advantage of CWP.

Although I can develop complex data bases systems in FileMaker, I never did it for the web. Please help me!

Thanks a lot,

Daniel

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Hi Daniel, welcome to the forums. Long time reader, first time poster i take it?

1) FileMaker Server supports 250 (or maybe 100, i forget) concurrent CWP sessions at any one time. A session in CWP however, only exists during the time a data request is being made - i.e. 3,000 people could be on your site, but it is very unlikely that 3,000 people will have clicked a link to go to some page that loads data from FMS at any on time. To clarify, an FM request usually will take barely a second unless it involves a very large number of records.

2) FileMaker CWP with PHP is not a heck of a lot easier than MySQL to be honest - I've dealt with both over the past few months and both require roughly the same learning curve. To be honest though, if you are familiar with FM the FM Class may make more sense to you than interacting with a SQL database which requires knowledge of SQL, SQL data types, Views, Stored Procedures etc.... and then development tools like fmstudio make life even easier.

3) That being said, it depends on your purpose. Do you intend to use part of the FM database for web and a larger portion as an actual FM database?

4) I don't think scalability will be a huge issue in the example you've provided.

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Hi Genx!

Thanks a lot for taking your time to help me! Actually, I intend to use FM only for web purpose, I mean, the FM Pro will act only for maintenance, new system logic and things like that. I'm very excited in using FM for the web site instead of MySql, mainly because the logic is much more easy for me if I do so in FM. I've tested the PHP Assistant and it works very well to start things in PHP.

My greatest fear about scalability is when my future system reaches 100.000 users! I hope it does one day... :)-) So, what if I need more than 100 or so connections to the FM database at a given time? What will I do? That's very important to me to help me decide witch technology I'll use...

Another doubt, if I can ask you: authentication. Let's say I've got 1.000 users to the system (web site). Every each of them will have their own personal information, data and so on. One will be able to access only his or her records. Do I need to create an Account for each user? Or can I create a single one (let's say phpwebuser pass user), with a certain Privilege Set and use a FM database to authenticate login/pass for access FM data?

Once more thanks a lot,

Daniel

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Do I need to create an Account for each user? Or can I create a single one (let's say phpwebuser pass user), with a certain Privilege Set and use a FM database to authenticate login/pass for access FM data?

I wouldn't recommend creating an account for each user no... You can store passwords in a text field but encrypt them using one way encryption functions with php so that even if your db is ever hacked no one will be able to run away with your user's passwords.

My greatest fear about scalability is when my future system reaches 100.000 users!

If and when that happens my friend, you can hire me to port it over to SQL :) To be honest though, 100,000 users concurrently browsing your site is hard to achieve.

Lol you can read my opinion on the php site assistant here, to summarize the post though, as much as it may look pretty, there's not a lot you can do to customize it: http://www.fmforums.com/forum/showtopic.php?tid/188995/post/261867/hl//fromsearch/1/#261867

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Hi Genx!

Thanks again! I really agree with you about the PHP Assistant. I intend to use it exactly as you said: to learn the PHP API capabilities without need to read a manual all the time.

But my main question rests: Can I have scalability in FM Server 9? If I reach a number of sessions that FM can not handle, is it possible to do something about it without porting the system to SQL? :)-)

Oh, I'll be very honored to have you working with me if the time comes! :-)

Thanks,

Daniel

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If I reach a number of sessions that FM can not handle, is it possible to do something about it without porting the system to SQL? :)-)

I'll be honest with you here, frankly no. You could work something out with multiple servers hosting synced copies of the file that you would do via plugin etc. but its not really worth it.

If you expect a huge number of users concurrently browsing in the near future I would suggest that you skip FM and hop right through to sql.

Once again though, I'd like to stress that for FM to reach its limit, you would need 100 users to click a link at the same time...

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