12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 14, 2017 5:32 AM by Draco

    Upgraded from FM12/IWP to FM15 WebDirect - Very Frustrated


      Hey Gang,


      I'm not a fan of change and avoid upgrades as long as possible but with all of us having more current versions of the Mac OS, we were forced to upgrade from our long-standing Filemaker 12 this past week.  


      To give you some background:


      Purpose:  we use our database for order entry for our ecommerce business.  Multiple staff work remotely so have used IWP via web browser.  Typical fields include date, marketplace (where item sold), PO#, amount of money receive, Vendor Name, Vendor COGS, etc.


      Previously using FM12 and hosted on Triple8 servers.   The upgrade to 15 forced us to move to a new Triple8.net server that supported FM15 and of course, with FM15 we lost IWP in exchange for FileMaker WebDirect.


      Now, I'm facing an all-out mutiny with my team because the IWP to WebDirect feels like a massive step BACKWARDS in efficiency and productivity.   Let me explain.  Keep in mind, these little things may seem petty, but multiple doing them 800-1000 times per day, and you'll understand the frustration.


      I marked this as a question because although it's a vent, I'm hoping someone can give us some insight on fixing these issues.


      First:  the "find" feature takes a little more work, extra clicks.  Instead of the old "Find" button in IWP that immediately launched find layout, now we have the "Enter Find Mode" or "Repeat Last Find" .. .this is just one extra click, but still a nuisance.   Filemaker support suggested I just add a button on my layout to go Find Mode, so hopefully, that's an easy fix.


      Second:  this is the biggest pain point --- tabbing, and using the keyboard to select fields.


      Let me explain:

      We have two fields that are popup fields with pre-defined values.  Marketplace (which when you click on it, a popup menu with marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, BigCommerce, Shopify, etc) appears.  Then we have Vendor (which is a popup list of dozens and dozens of suppliers we purchase from, in alphabetical order).   Keeping this in mind, two big pain points are:


      #1:  inability to tab to these fields.   The "marketplace" field is #2 in our tab order, but when you create a new record, the first field is "PO#" and then when you hit tab, it would go to "Marketplace" in IWP, but now, it doesn't.  


      #2:  Inability to type a letter on the keyboard to "jump" to the corresponding value in the popup list. 


      You know how when you fill out a web form and you get to "country" or "state" -- you start typing and hit enter?  That's how it worked with IWP as well.   But, these popup fields don't recognize any keyboard triggers.   So, it's extra mouse-clicking.   And on our vendor field, it's really time-consuming (keep in mind, yes, maybe 5-10 extra seconds, but multiplied by 1000 times per day).  For example, we have a few vendors that start with "X" and "Z".   My data entry clerk is used to tabbing to that field, typing the "x" on her keyboard, it selecting that vendor in the popup menu, and hitting "enter" to select it.  Now, she has to click the "down" arrow on the popup list 7 times before she can then see it and "click on it" with her mouse.


      Friends, I realize this sounds petty, but it's really annoying over time.  Has anyone else experienced this?  Are there any suggestions on how to clean it up so that the popup fields can get tabbed to, and can easily select a value?   Is any of this fixed in V16?


      Thanks for your help!

        • 2. Re: Upgraded from FM12/IWP to FM15 WebDirect - Very Frustrated

          fmckinnon wrote:



          Previously using FM12 and hosted on Triple8 servers. The upgrade to 15 forced us ...


          This is the piece where it breaks down for me... this can't be a 'forced' thing, right?  WebDirect has been out since FM13 so it has been well established that IWP and WebD are totally different things.  I would have imagined that before considering a move past 12 the solution would be carefully tested and adjustments made *before* unleashing this on your users.  While I totally get your pain, you'll forgive me for being blunt and saying that it is self-inflected and totally avoidable.  Especially if you hate change.


          There are no simple solutions to this.  I would seriously consider going back to 12 and creating a transition plan to 15 or 16 so that your users won't get this pain.

          • 3. Re: Upgraded from FM12/IWP to FM15 WebDirect - Very Frustrated

            Like I said, we have to get new licenses, and they won't even install on newer versions of Mac OS (Sierra, etc).  We've put it off a long time. 

            • 4. Re: Upgraded from FM12/IWP to FM15 WebDirect - Very Frustrated

              Sounds like Remote Desktop (RDP) would be a better solution for you.

              • 5. Re: Upgraded from FM12/IWP to FM15 WebDirect - Very Frustrated

                if it ain't broke, break it. Always my motto!


                You can return to 12 and the correct server?


                In something this drastic especially version upgrades, its always best to upgrade a copy and test that thoroughly first and once it is debugged, deploy.


                Here you would keep your 12 running, upgrade one developer and use a copy and deploy that on the new hosted spot. Have people login to the WebDirect and test it while still using 12.


                When and if everyone is happy, then you can save a copy, import active 12 data and upload this copy to 15 server and switch.


                Contrary to FileMaker INK advertising, FileMaker doesn't work as easily or accurately as advertised...

                • 6. Re: Upgraded from FM12/IWP to FM15 WebDirect - Very Frustrated

                  There are some differences between IWP and WD. I've 'migrated' a few client's solutions. The biggest issue was the theme. Even though we had made the layouts very "bare bones", all of them (250 plus) had to be changed to another theme (we used Minimalist). But how you constructed your solution may be different than how I did.

                  The other advice of reverting and then 'migrate slowly' is wise. If you have 'separation' (data and interface), this may be easier, as you are only changing the interface and data changes can just be ported over (converted) when you are ready.



                  • 7. Re: Upgraded from FM12/IWP to FM15 WebDirect - Very Frustrated

                    A 'separation' file can be made for scripts and layouts by making a clone of the original file and then opening the relationship graph in the clone and pointing each TO at the original file. A bit time consuming... 


                    This separation file can be duplicated and dedicated for a privilege set by making appropriate changes in it.


                    Using this idea one doesn't have to alter the original file.

                    • 8. Re: Upgraded from FM12/IWP to FM15 WebDirect - Very Frustrated

                      Thanks for the info gang.  Everything works perfectly as far as how the database functions.   I tested everything before upgrading, and all of the data entry, scriptings, validation scripts, etc,. work.  I tested our import scripts, etc.  Everything worked perfectly.

                      The only thing I could not (or did not test) was how FileMaker WebDirect would work, as compared to IWP.  I Mean, I uploaded our dtabase to the server, went to the URL, and opened the database, everything looked good, so I assumed it was fine.

                      What I didn't expect was the pain points I addressed, which are simple navigation painpoints.

                      I've already simplified the "Find" issue by adding a new button on my layout that immediately takes you into Find mode.


                      The only thing left is to figure out how to get the popup menus to work better.  i've changed them to dropdown lists, and you can tab to them perfectly in FileMaker 15 via remote connection or local, but in WebDirect you still can't tab to those fields, and you can't type a key on the keyboard to "jump" to the value in the dropdown list.

                      That's by far, the biggest issue ... inability to click on a dropdown list and type a key on the keyboard to jump down the list alphabetically to your value.

                      So, it's like when you fill out a webform and they ask for your country, and you can have to scroll all the way down to your country (ie. United States) instead of just tapping the "U" key on your keyboard.  

                      If anyone knows of a creative way to change that I'd be grateful.

                      • 9. Re: Upgraded from FM12/IWP to FM15 WebDirect - Very Frustrated



                        there is another way to bring you app to the Web, CWP. For sure, a lot of time could be needed to do it that way. But if you need a large rework to have you app running as you expect on WebDirect, you may do an analysis to compare the effort needed for WebDirect and CWP.


                        With CWP, you can connect to the server via PHP or XML. But one thing should be noted: since a new data API (JSON) has been added to FMS16, we don't know if FMI will license ($$$) the data API, and if CWP will be removed. As far as I know, CWP has not been deprecated in 16.

                        • 10. Re: Upgraded from FM12/IWP to FM15 WebDirect - Very Frustrated

                          Due to the vagaries of popup lists I've moved to using a report view for my selections. This method also allows me to use the full power of Filemaker to do the listing.


                          Use a report and list all of your choices by subsummaries, etc. Do a find and select from the results, etc.


                          Set the body to a button that performs a script to then do what you want.


                          This will work, supposedly, regardless of platform, device, etc. It avoids those ugly Go popups on iPhone.

                          • 11. Re: Upgraded from FM12/IWP to FM15 WebDirect - Very Frustrated

                            CWP is an option, but if you already have new licenses then there you are.


                            Why are you on FM15? Why did your host not get you to FM16? From what I understand a number of the Web direct  Tab order issues were resolved in FM16.

                            • 12. Re: Upgraded from FM12/IWP to FM15 WebDirect - Very Frustrated


                              > we don't know if FMI will license ($$$) the data API



                              ###### view bold ########


                              FileMaker Data API

                              Answer ID: 16464


                              FileMaker Server


                              The FileMaker® Data API is an application programming interface (API) that allows web services to access data in hosted solutions. Because this API conforms to Representational State Transfer (REST) architecture, the FileMaker Data API is a REST API. For further information refer to the FileMaker Data API Guide.


                              The current version for FileMaker Server 16 is offered as trial software that expires on September 27, 2018. Once the trial expires, the feature will cease to operate. This feature was designated as a trial to gather more customer feedback and help improve the Data API.


                              Moving forward, we expect to have a licensing model for the FileMaker Data API. Our plan is to have this licensing model in place before the trial expires*. In order to continue using the FileMaker Data API, customers will need to upgrade to the latest version of the FileMaker Platform before the trial expires.