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    Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?

    davehebb

      Title

      Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?

      Post

      I'm a seriously new newbie, and I'm in way over my head here, but I'll give it a shot....

       

      Here's what I need to do:  I have a FMP file/solution/database that I want 5 other FMP users to be able to access and edit with all the security and editing functions of FMP over the internet.  They will all have FMP 9 or 10 on their local machines.  I have a web host that allows several sub-domains and unlimited MySQL databases.  So, which is the preferred (and simplest) solution for me, who knows a fair amount of HTML and web publishing (except no PHP), but has only a basic working knowledge of FMP and knows absolutely nothing about MySQL.  Should I:

       

      1) Use the Instant Web Publishing tool/procedure to publish my file(s) to the web?  I know that this is easiest, but will users be able to add and delete records?

       

      2) Upload my file directly to my server using ODBC  and have users access the file using an ODBC client that will have to be installed on their local machines (whatever that means)?  If this is what I need to do, how do I upload my file?  I see lots of documentation about ACCESSING data using ODBC, but I can't figure out how I initially create the database - do I just upload raw data to MySQL tables via the ODBC client?  Does that mean that every time you access the database you are basically converting data back and forth between platforms?

       

      Keep in mind, I'm practically clueless, but my users will be even more clueless. They will have a copy of FMP, but I assume that I will be developing solutions that are more "self-contained" with all necessary functions set up a button activated scripts.  If the web publishing tool will allow them to search, create custom reports, and add/delete records, then I guess that's the way to go - if not, I'm hoping that there is another easier way.  I can't use a host maching as a local server, because the users are too far apart geographically, so my solution must be a web-based one.  

       

      Anyone have a clue?  I'm desperate...  Thanks in advance!

        • 1. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
          Jens Teich
             Get a dedicated Win server and install FileMaker Server software.

          Jens
          • 2. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
            davehebb
               I'm not sure what you mean, but I think you mean using a host machine as a server running Windows.  As I mentioned, i can't do that for several reasons, including reliability, speed and security with internet access, as well as the fact that most if not all users will be using Macs, although I'm not sure that matters.  Thanks for your fast response, but I'm not sure that your idea will work for me - can you or anyone else elaborate or offer other ideas or answers to my original post?
            • 3. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
              TSGal

              davehebb:

               

              Thank you for your post.

               

              First, using Instant Web Publishing does allow users to add, edit and delete records.  You can additionally set up access privileges so that some can add, edit and delete records, where others can only add records.

               

              Try this out....  Launch FileMaker Pro and open a database file.  Pull down the File menu and select "Sharing -> Instant Web Publishing..." and turn it on.  Once turned on, in the same dialog box, select the database file in the lower left and set it to "All users" access.  Notice the IP address and write it down.  Click OK.

               

              Go to another machine, open a browser and enter:

               

              http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

               

              (where xxx is the IP address), and you should now be able to see your file.  Let me know if this helps.

               

              TSGal

              FileMaker, Inc. 

              • 4. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
                Jens Teich
                   The ESS feature is mainly thought for data exchange between a FileMaker system and a remote SQL system. It is not intended to let FM work as interface only. It will not at all work the way you are used to go with FileMaker only.

                See for example record locking. If in FileMaker two persons try to write the same record the second can't write at all. With ESS the second one can write a while and FileMaker will tell him later (too late) that he can not store.

                There are many more differences like that.

                Jens


                • 5. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
                  davehebb
                    

                  Thanks TSGal,

                   

                  I haven't tried this yet, but doesn't this mean that the first machine will be acting as a host?  How else will it generate an IP address unless I upload via FTP or through FMP to my own site on my webhost's servers?  It also seems as though anyone could access it with a web browser, assuming that they know the user name and password.  If this is all true, I don't think this is the solution I'm looking for.  I really need the database to be hosted on my website or as a unique MySQL database hosted by my webhost and accessed through FMP.  I will only have a maximum of 7-10 users ever, so it's not likely that I will have the problems that jensteich mentioned with multiple users, but even so, it is a possible concern.  The main thing is that using a host machine as a server will mean leaving a computer on all the time, maintaining it, routinely backing it up, and making sure it is secure.  I can't be at the actual location where the machine would have to be located, so I just can't do it that way.  Is there no way to simply upload the data or database itself to my server and then access it through FMP?  I understand that FMP can share and use data from other apps via MySQL, so can't it "share" data with itself?  I'm really not understanding a lot, so please try to be more obvious and clear - I've only been working with FMP for a few months, and I'm not a developer, but I'm trying to learn.  90% of this stuff is over my head...

                  • 6. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
                    davehebb
                       Jens,  thanks for the heads up about the record locking - kind of over my head, but I think it won't matter too much as I mentioned in earlier reply - but what is ESS?  You're talking to me as if I know something, but I'm really not a developer, I'm really new to FMP, and barely can get a website/blog to work without lots of forums and help menus...
                    • 7. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
                      Jens Teich
                         Sorry for using ESS without explanation: it is External SQL Sources.

                      Jens
                      • 8. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
                        davehebb
                          

                        Thanks for clarification Jens - it's strange, when I initially talked to Filemaker on the phone about this issue, they told me it would work with multiple simultaneous users.... so if I understand you (both), the best way seems to be using a host machine (which I can't do for reasons listed previously), or creating a web-based solution, which unfortunately also requires using a host machine as a server.  It seems that an ESS solution is not really the best way that a group of FMP users can access the same database from various different geographic locations, and Jens says it won't work the way I'm used to - but is an ESS solution really that different, other than the record locking situation?  The data won't be updated very much, it will mostly be accessed in a variety of custom finds, saved found sets, different layouts, and possibly related tables (if I can only figure out how to get a related field to work the way I expect it to!).  So, again, here are my questions again with more detail and clarity:

                         

                        1)  If I decide to go with an ESS, how do I create/upload the FMP file/database up to a new MySQL database on my web host's server, or where do I find this SPECIFC procedure in the FMP documentation (it doesn't seem to be part of the ODBC document).

                         

                        2)  If I decide to go with the "Instant Web Publishing" feature, is there a way to specify an IP address other than the host machine, such as a specific IP address for a sub-domain or database on my website?  Will that then allow any user to access the data with a web browser, regardless of whether or not they have FMP?

                         

                        3) What about just uploading a FMP file to a folder in my website root directory on my webhost's server via FTP, and then have users access the file remotely?  I assume that they will have to download the file, work on it, and then upload the new version for any changes.  I realize that with a lot of users that would be a huge problem with multiple versions of each FMP file on local machines, and no way to verify which version is the "real" one, or most updated one, but with so few users, it might be okay.... any thoughts on this option?  Is there a way to do this where you don't actually download it, but simply access the tables remotely, and have the layouts and actual file on your hard drive?

                         

                        Thanks again everyone for having patience with me on this - as I said, I'm in way over head, and I'm trying make it work (with your help).  I'm learning a lot, but it's sloooooooow......

                        • 9. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
                          davidanders
                            

                          I am no expert, but I have setup databases to be accessed through Instant Web Publishing from a local machine (simple, cheap, not powerful).

                          I have not setup a database to be accessed using web access thru PHP (not simple, development costs, powerful)

                          Database hosted on Filemaker on a local machine (cheap [except, each user has FMP], limited concurrent users, backup and update hassles) 

                          Database hosted on FM Server on local machine (not cheap, easy, powerful)

                          Database hosted on a Filemaker Hosting Service (not cheap, easy, powerful)

                           

                          I would suggest you investigate  FM Web School  (videos and live website demos)

                          http://www.fmwebschool.com/ 

                           

                          Their forum

                          http://www.fmwebschool.com/frm/index.php 

                           

                          No ties with them, have used their information and software, very responsive and knowledgeable.

                          • 10. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
                            davehebb
                              

                            To TSGal:

                            Thanks for the info for how to use IWP - I guess that this will have to be the solution for me - I tried it, and it works fine the way you described, however, when I restrict the IP address to the one that I use, I can't connect on ANY computer (including the actual host) via the web, even if I define the port using :80 at the end.   As I said, itworks fine when I don't restrict the IP address, but I need to restrict to secure data...as per my client's request, and now THAT won't work.... any obvious mistakes?  I know I have the correct IP address (it's my static IP that shows up when I use "whatismyipaddress.com" and other sites that ping your ip.).  Anything else I need to do to make it work?

                            • 11. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
                              TSGal

                              davehebb:

                               

                              Thank you for your post.

                               

                              Sorry for the late reply.  Being home sick with the cold was not pleasant.  :-(

                               

                              I'm not sure where the problem lies at this time.  If it works on one machine but not on another, there is obviously some difference between the two machines.  Perhaps there is a conflict with port 80.

                               

                              Go back to the main machine where FileMaker is loaded, and change the port configuration to 591 (this is reserved for FileMaker).  To do this, pull down the File menu and select "Sharing -> Instant Web Publishing...".  You will see that Instant Web Publishing is turned on.  Below that, click on "Specify" associated with Advanced Options.  Change the TCP/IP Port number from 80 to 591 and click OK.

                               

                              Now, go back to your other machines, and enter:

                               

                              http://<IP Address>:591

                               

                              No other application should be using this port since it is reserved for FileMaker.  See if this now works.

                               

                              TSGal

                              FileMaker, Inc. 

                              • 12. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
                                davehebb
                                   okay, I tried it with port 591, and same results.  It works fine with all users or specified users, but I can't access it when I restrict the IP address to the one that I'm using.  Perhaps I'm using the wrong ip address?  I'm using the ip address that comes up when I do a ping back, which is 76.15.3.45, and is the same for both the host and the guest computer.  When I try IWP restricting to that, I get a totally blank screen on the guest comp., no errors, nothing....
                                • 13. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
                                  TSGal

                                  davehebb:

                                   

                                  Thank you for the additional information.

                                   

                                  It sounds like you have an IP conflict.  If I'm reading this correctly, you have the same IP address for both the host computer and the guest computer?  You need to make sure these are unique.  Otherwise, it may trying to connect on the wrong computer.  Talk to your IT staff and have them issue an IP address for the machine in question.  Once you have that corrected, you should be fine.

                                   

                                  TSGal

                                  FileMaker, Inc. 

                                  • 14. Re: Instant Web Publishing or ODBC client to MySQL server?
                                    davehebb
                                       Okay, that's what I thought - the problem is.... I AM the "IT guy" and I am currently working on this at home, not the office where it will ultimately be implemented.  I have one mac and one pc using one wireless router home set up with static IP.  I have a feeling that the office has a similar set up, as they are a small company.  I realize that this is outside of the FMP solutions itself, but do you know if it is possible to assign specific IP addresses to specific machines in such a situation?  If so, any guidance or references to other resources would be most appreciated...
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