7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 19, 2016 12:43 PM by mikebeargie

    WebDirect 13 & 14 Issues


      I would like to ask FileMaker support to provide developers with a list of WebDirect issues.  Over the last several months I've reported that WebDirect has been crashing, showing the spinner for an excessive amount of time, and then crashing many times where the user has to go back and reboot the application on the server. In addition to that, Web direct is not a WYSIWYG application when taken from the Mac to the server the developers required to do extensive changes to text fields, field headers, and buttons were text is not aligned, or is changed on the server. This seems like a simple thing to fix so that what you do on the Mac looks the same on the server.  It's not just a 15 minute fix to correct the text could take hours of tedious changes.

      I have clients currently using WebDirect that are contacting me every few days to see when these issues are going to be remedied.

      These users do not use iPads to editing input data, they want to use a desktop computer with a keyboard and a browser to access WebDirect.

        • 1. Re: WebDirect 13 & 14 Issues

          You have to design layouts for each device your database is going to be accessed.  Fonts are different on each platform, so you test is also required for each platform.  I'm not sure what it matters that your users are not using iPads, but if they decide to use ipads then you will have to design your layout for it also.


          Philmodjunk use to maintain a bug database, but I have not seen any post from him for a while.   You might can go to report an issue and review those post.  Usually a tech support person will state if it a bug or if they are looking into the issue.   Report a Product Issue


          I would run recover on the database to verify that there is not any corruption in the file.  There are also log files that might show what is causing the issue.  You might consider posting your log files for support to review. 

          • 2. Re: WebDirect 13 & 14 Issues

            Are you up to date on the server version? There were some bugs in previous releases that could cause the WPE or Webserver to crash. Some of them were solved in the latest releases but, as you witnessed, it is still possible that WebDirect fails.


            Other than that there are a myriad of kinks, weird behaviours and small bugs in WebDirect. I agree it's hard to keep track. You can find a lot on these forums and techbriefs but in practise it's necessary to test a lot in WebDirect.


            It also helps to create a new file from scratch specifically optimized for WebDirect. An old file updated through the years can have small unnoticed corruptions and can cause overhead.

            • 3. Re: WebDirect 13 & 14 Issues

              There is no reason to still use FMS13 for WebDirect. FMS14 is superior and has a documentable 25% performance boost. WebDirect users should definitely use AVLA licensing so they can keep up with the current version as FMI improves (and they have) with each subsequent release.


              Unfortunately, with as much as FileMaker does to cover for some poor performance and development practices, WebDirect is the opposite. WebDirect magnifies poor performance due to the overhead of shifting all processing to the server rather than splitting it with the user client for FileMaker pro. You have provided zero details of your solution, server setup, etc.. here, so we really can't say whether you're pushing WebDirect past it's recommended boundaries to a failure point. Based on my own experience though, it sounds like either your server is underpowered, or your solution is trying to do too much.


              Also, it's been recommended since day 1 by the community to keep a separate set of layouts for WebDirect due to the challenges of supporting design in hundreds of possible browser/OS combinations. It is WYSIWYG, but the interpretation of said code is left up to a browser outside of your control. Thus, keeping your own layouts and developing to the lowest common denominator (or KISS if you prefer) is the best approach.


              WebDirect is still a relatively new product, but with proper planning and development, it has proven to be successful for a number of applications (and not just from my experience).

              • 4. Re: WebDirect 13 & 14 Issues

                I have been using this database since ClarisWorks, and all the way from version 1 FileMaker till now. I'm not a newbie and I don't like to be treated like one. Your explanations are not required, and I am trying to get FileMaker support to answer my questions.! I simply wanted to ask a question if there are current bugs in WebDirect that affect its stability on a hosted database, then I'd like to know about them.  I have several databases hosted for my clients and currently only two of them are using the browser to access the application.

                I think were all trying to make FileMaker a better product? What I'm trying to do by asking this question is to overcome some of my clients issues with web direct. This is the sticking point, until version 14.04 was released there were very few problems with web direct hosted on a server on a commercial hosting company. I'm not using a local server, and the server support group for the hosting company assures me that they have the very latest versions on the server. The applications I'm using on Web direct are variable, so it's not just one application having this problem. IWP worked fine although it was slow, and web direct promise to be the answer to other functional issues that were found in IWP. I was asked by my clients to contact FileMaker to find out if there's a newer version coming out that will replace 14.04. They been having issues since version 14.04 was released, and they deserve an answer as to when and what is affecting the performance on a hosted Web server. The hosting company moved the application to three different servers at this point. Initially they ran fine for about two weeks, then we started seeing the cursor spinning and either a delay in seeing the next screen or the spinner just doesn't go away. This causes the user to log out or close the browser and reopen it to get access back to web direct. Even the performance speed starts to get reduced after a period of time in Web direct. Since I don't have access to the information on the performance of a hosted website, I'm asking FileMaker to tell us if they're experiencing the same kinds of issues my clients are seeing.

                • 5. Re: WebDirect 13 & 14 Issues

                  I'm sorry if I offended you.  I read the comments above and did not read anything that was out of line.   We are all newbie when it comes to web direct because it has only been out a few years.  Questions have to be asked to understand your problem.  There are hundreds of users at different levels that ask question everyday, and I have no way of knowing what you know or don't know or what your experience level is with FM and or networking.    We are a community of users that love FM and love helping others.  If you want help then you came to the right place.  


                  FMI does not comment about future release of software.  You may get a comment that a update will be out in the next month, but that is about it and FMI only started doing that in the last year.


                  I'm sure none of the other user meant to offend you either.


                  It's great to have a support team of knowledgeable users that face the same problems you do and actually uses the product.  

                  • 6. Re: WebDirect 13 & 14 Issues



                    Thank you for your post and patience.


                    The FileMaker Server 14.0.4 update did a few security updates as well as fix several WebDirect Issues. The FileMaker Server 14.0.4a update was primarily an OpenSSL, Java, and OS X 10.11 compatibility update. I'm seeing no issue reports specific to WebDirect after the 14.0.4/14.0.4a updates. I have also been unable to reproduce these issues when updating from FileMaker Server 14.0.3 to 14.0.4/14.0.4a on either Mac OS X or the Windows Operating Systems.


                    You say the issue occurred after updating to FileMaker Server 14.0.4. There were Operating System compatibility updates for OS X 10.11 that would have required a reinstall of the software rather than an update. You could potentially see issues like you describe (incompatibilities) if this were the case.


                    You might also check that your FileMaker Server is installed on an ideal environment per Software Requirements.


                    Have you attempted to reinstall an older version (perhaps the version you updated to 14.0.4 from) to see if the issue resolves? From there, perhaps update to 14.0.4 and see if the issues reoccur. If you could then reinstall 14.0.4 to see if it is specific to the 14.0.4 install or the updater itself. Please let me know your findings here.


                    If possible, you might also check for:

                    - Packet Loss

                    - Latency

                    - Web Sockets disabled in a firewall (server or client side)

                    - Anti-virus software ending the Web Socket connection (to test for this you will have to completely disable anti-virus or connect using SSL)


                    I look forward to your response and hope to assist further.


                    FileMaker, Inc.

                    • 7. Re: WebDirect 13 & 14 Issues
                      I have been using this database since ClarisWorks, and all the way from version 1 FileMaker till now. I'm not a newbie and I don't like to be treated like one. Your explanations are not required, and I am trying to get FileMaker support to answer my questions.!

                      This is not filemaker support. This is the community, where you have tens of thousands of developers that know absolutely nothing about you and have no official capacity answering for FileMaker's behalf.


                      Still, I find we're nicer than the people over on stackoverflow!