Thanks for posting.
Hopefully we can get some users to share the ways they are currently using FileMaker Server and PHP and get some ideas flowing for you.
I just wanted to clear up a point about web publishing concurrent users in terms of significant limitations. Instant Web Publishing (where the website is generated for you) is listed as a hard code 100 concurrent user limitation meaning the 101th customer that tries to access the IWP hosted database will not be able to access the file.
Custom Web Publishing (where a user-created PHP, XML, or XSLT web page integrates with their FileMaker database) will be a bit more flexible since the concurrent usage is based off of sessions. For example, a user may click on a web page and once that page is finished loading that session is over. That means you could possibly have hundreds of customers looking at the same web page and scrolling through data, etc. While the odds are slim, the concurrent usage would be a factor only if everyone, for instance, decided to load a new page at the same time.
Maybe this still falls under the realm of significant limitations for you. I just wanted to post this in case anyone was getting a bit mixed up in the 100 concurrent user limitation for Instant Web Publishing and transferring this to Custom Web Publishing (and mostly for our lurkers who may be a bit hesitant to post and join :smileywink: )
Thanks tsturtle. This is good to know. The Filemaker sales rep explained it as max 100 connections to the database.
Have you ever seen a small compnay use Filemaker Server as a CRM system? I am looking for something that can do customer relationship mgmt, marketing campaign mgmt (including deployment and tracking), project mgmt, time sheets, workflows, email queue, etc.
Right now I am looking at SugarCRM as a web-based CRM app. It has a full featured web interface and portal to allow users web access from anywhere and customer access via web. www.sugarcrm.com. Also, I need to build an external app that pulls and pushes data from a main database (Sugar, Filemaker, etc.). I think Filemaker has an open API or something similar... does it?
I look forward to more user input.
Hey chrism -
For Custom Web Publishing (where the user builds the website) FileMaker has an API for PHP, but you can use your own version of PHP, XML, or XSLT to create a website. Or, you could go the Instant Web Publishing route where the website is created for you (note: this does not feature a lot of customization capability). Either method will create a 'live relationship' with the main database as you put it, or the FileMaker database that is sitting locally on the host machine. That is, any editing/modifications/deleting/etc. of data in the website is immediately reflected in the host database just as if someone had tried to modify the database going through an application of FileMaker Pro. Note again though, that Custom Web Publishing will require some coding on the user's end (just as a heads up... I am not sure of your experience using web languages :smileyhappy:).
The solution you want to create is certainly within FileMaker's realm (note: I would be honest if this was pushing FileMaker's limits).
I did a quick google search for 'FileMaker CRM' and came up with quite a few hits. This may be beneficial if you're looking for an immediate example of uses. Also, it might be helpful to contact one of our consultants in your area. A good place to start would be on the FileMaker website which you can access here:
You can search for a consultant in your area or near you by entering the search term criteria.
Hope this helps or gets you pointed in the right direction.