8 Replies Latest reply on Jun 23, 2017 4:24 PM by bigtom

    Is there a "Reader" app for FM.


      Is there a reader available where a customer could read data in a database file. No changes or inputs just see what is available from inventor?

        • 1. Re: Is there a "Reader" app for FM.

          Not sure what you mean by "inventor." I'm interpreting your question to mean, is there a dumb client for FileMaker databases that will allow users to see their data and use the database but not make changes to the scripts or layouts or data structure.


          If that is indeed your question, there are two answers.


          First, there are two "dumb clients".


          1. FileMaker Pro. Yes, if users have developer login credentials, they can get under the hood and change the database's structure. But 99.9% of my users never do that. For my users, FileMaker Pro is just a database reader. It's sold like Microsoft Word, but everybody uses it like Acrobat Reader. (Developers don't use FileMaker Pro. They use FileMaker Pro Advanced.)
          2. WebDirect (view the database in your web browser).


          But you also mentioned the user making "changes or inputs". For that, you'd want to adjust the user's privileges. Just set the privileges for the group to disallow things like creation or editing of records.



          • 2. Re: Is there a "Reader" app for FM.

            William-Porter I think the OP is looking for a read only client.


            You can do this with fmilemaker pro, go, or web direct. FileMaker is licensed per assigned user.


            Another option you have is custom web publishing that allows for FM data to be displayed on the web. This is not licensed per user but requires FileMaker Server And a decent web developer that also understands a bit about FileMaker. In FM16 there is also a data API which is quite useful. You could use that to generate PDFs on the fly and email them to clients. Or allow clients to integrate your data directly with their systems.

            • 3. Re: Is there a "Reader" app for FM.

              Thanks for the information. As you can tell I am very new to FM. However, it appears that my need / application can be solved with FM and the web. I know that we will need a developer to assist in this endeavor but want to be aware of what might or might not be done.  Thanks for your help

              • 4. Re: Is there a "Reader" app for FM.

                Upon reflection I think bigtom is probably right: You're just looking for a way to deploy your database in read-only mode.


                So if that's the case then another question comes to mind: Do you want people to have dynamic access to your data or would static-access be okay? "Dynamic" here means allowing people to search the data set, sort results, that sort of thing. Still no editing of the data, but searching. I ask because certain kinds of data -- say, a moderately short list of locations in a city that sell a particular product -- can be published on the web very easily after you do an export from FileMaker. You can for example export FileMaker Pro data to .html or .xml and get it into a web page.


                But if you do need the dynamic read-only access, this is NOT a problem of what app somebody uses to get to your data (could be web browser, could be FileMaker Go, or FileMaker Pro). It's mainly a matter of the privileges you assign to user accounts. There's a built-in "Read Only" privilege set in FileMaker Pro or you can create your own privilege set and tweak the privileges in a very precise way.


                You are right: a developer can help you with this. But this issue in itself is neither complicated nor difficult.


                Good luck,



                • 5. Re: Is there a "Reader" app for FM.
                  Markus Schneider

                  You can create 'read-only' databases with every version of FileMaker - although there is no 'reader' app


                  Just create a user (role..) that can only view the data, no new entries, no changes. As long as humans don't have another access to the database (no account/passwd with more rights), You be fine

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                  • 6. Re: Is there a "Reader" app for FM.

                    The baked into FM [Read Only] permission set fits the bill.

                    • 7. Re: Is there a "Reader" app for FM.

                      coherentkris wrote:


                      The baked into FM [Read Only] permission set fits the bill.


                      Maybe, perhaps probably. But I never use "[Read Only]" and my recollection is that I don't because almost all of my solutions involve some script write actions (for example, recording access in a logins table, setting globals etc) and Read Only (if memory serves) means what it says pretty strictly. But hey, give it a try. And if someone wants to correct me I'd be happy to get better info than my memory!

                      • 8. Re: Is there a "Reader" app for FM.

                        With FMPA you can start with Read Only as a base and add any script access you need.


                        I sometime give users access to a script that will run as full access on FMS with PSOS and then return a result to the client. No direct full access on the client.


                        I would lean toward Custom Web Publishing. If you have a lot of client users the web direct licensing would be expensive.