5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 5, 2011 12:10 PM by philmodjunk

    IWP vs. PHP?

    CDCASA

      Title

      IWP vs. PHP?

      Your post

      Hi, I am trying to determine if I can get away with buying the FM Server rather than the FM Server Advanced and the main question is whether I will be able to get my databases up and running easily enough using PHP. I would like to avoid paying the extra cost for the Advanced version, however, I also need to have my databases available online by the end of next week and I am unsure of whether I can learn/understand/setup PHP well enough by that time. Currently I already have IWP set up for my databases but they are only accessible in network since I do not have FM Server yet. I guess what I am asking is what are the advantages/disadvantages of using PHP vs. IWP despite the difference in cost for the Server software? Also, if PHP seems to be the best choice, is it probable that I can get my database up and in good order  in one week using PHP if I am completely new to it? I have read about the PHP Site Assistance that the FM Server involves but I am still a little unsure of whether or not I can figure it out in time. Thanks.

        • 1. Re: IWP vs. PHP?
          philmodjunk

          A lot depends on what programming skills you have, but "end of next week" sounds like an impossible deadline when you are not yet familiar with PHP--even with a knowledgeable PHP guy on hand to do the developing this could be too little time.

          You might consider contracting with a web hosting service that can use Server Advanced to host your database for you for a monthly fee. This can give you the breathing room needed to attempt a PHP, custom web published version of your solution.

          • 2. Re: IWP vs. PHP?
            CDCASA

            So do you not recommend the choice of getting the Server Advanced software and publishing my database on the web via IWP? It seems to me like that might be the best option by avoiding PHP altogether. Or is PHP simply a better way to utilize the database? Thank you.

            • 3. Re: IWP vs. PHP?
              philmodjunk

              I'm suggesting that you don't have time to set this up with PHP. Since your reason for doing so is to save money. A money saving compromixe might be to contract out the hosting so that you can quickly get your IWP based system up and running. Once you have a custom published solution, you can then transition from the contracted out db to your self hosted custom published system if you choose to do so.

              I can't really tell you whether PHP will be a better option than IWP. There's a lot you'll have to evaluate to decide. IWP is fast and relatively simple to set up but imposes some significant limitations on the interface design you can use. PHP with custom web publishing gives you many more options, but you have to be proficient in PHP and also understand that the two approaches function quite differently. An IWP user stays connected to the database until they log off or are logged off. A PHP system, as I understand it, stays connected only as long as the PHP line accessing the DB executes. This allows for many more simultaneous users, but makes keeping track of past actions and results a challenge.

              • 4. Re: IWP vs. PHP?
                CDCASA

                From what you have explained I believe that using IWP would be the best choice right now and although contracting out the web hosting may be beneficial we are trying to keep everything as internal as possible so my next question is this: If I get the FileMaker Server Advanced software, can I then publish my database to the web as is (using IWP)? I have the database set up to be accessed via the web using IWP right now but it can only be accessed in network which is one of the reasons we are getting the FM Server software. Is there anything else I would have to learn or alter using this set up (besides the FM Server software) or would it pretty much be the same as it is now? Thanks.

                • 5. Re: IWP vs. PHP?
                  philmodjunk

                  THere are technical details you'll need to resolve as part of the installation and this is not something for which I can be much help.

                  For both FileMaker Server Advanced and FileMaker Pro, you can enable users from outside your network to access your database with their web browsers, but you must set up port forwarding on your internet router so that you can connect to the router (not your server) and the router forwards this connection to the server via the port number you specify. (I don't get any kick backs or such from the hosting companies, but these techincal details are one thing that the hosting companies take out of your hands and this can make getting your DB available to the outside world a faster, less frustrating experience.)