Presumably, the key differences are cost and capability. IWP is no longer supported in FileMaker 13 so you are setting yourself up with a technological "dead end" if you use that option and IWP is quite limited in what it can do compared to a full up FileMaker Pro client.
WebDirect reproduces that "FileMaker Pro" interface in your browser much more faithfully, but it requires that you use FileMaker Server, a much more expensive application to purchase.
PHP thus might avoid those issues, but also requires that this be set up by someone that is very familiar with PHP.
Thanks for the reply. The customer we're setting it up for is actually already running FM Server 13 so that won't be a problem. So my question really is now narrowed down to whether there are limitations within WebDirect that there aren't with publishing via PHP? Bearing in mind all the web users will be required to do is view, edit and add records.
I would think that simple view/edit/add tasks will be far quicker and easier to set up in WebDirect than with PHP. Please note, however, that I am not speaking from personal experience, just from my general knowledge of how these two approaches work.
With WebDirect, you can simply set up your FIleMaker layout and scripts like it would work for FileMaker clients and then "publish" it to the web. (There are some limitations here compared to using a FileMaker client, but are much more modest than IWP or PHP)
In PHP, you have to write a lot of code in HTML and PHP to accomplish the same result.
But please note that WebDirect was not certified to work with FireFox so this can create issues for some users.
That's what I thought, for what the end users need to do it seems overkill (and an unnecessary hassle) to bring PHP into the equation, I just thought maybe I was missing the reasoning for why PHP was suggested as the way forward, but I'll put that down to the end user not being aware of FM Server 13's capabilities.
but I'll put that down to the end user not being aware of FM Server 13's
When the end user provides the consultant with technical advice, you've definitely got things "___backwards". After all, you are supposed to be the expert and they are hiring you for your expertise. It can sometimes take some real tactful communication on your part to steer them to the solution that is in their best interest. (Years ago a client directed me to make my (relational filemaker pro 4 database) project "more relational". After asking a few questions to get clarification, it became obvious that he'd tossed out a buzzword without any real understanding what that term meant...)
We suggested using IWP/WebDirect to the customer, but he had been told from another source that PHP was the way forward and insisted we went with that solution, he is after all the one that is paying for it. As none of us have any experience with PHP we wanted to know why this was the preferred method he wanted (he was going on advice from 'a computer-savvy friend', but now I have good reasoning to steer him away from the PHP solution, and let him know that WebDirect will do exactly what he needs it to and with a lot less cost involved.
Exactly. And the "less cost" factor might easily be a power of ten here.