1 2 Previous Next 19 Replies Latest reply on Jul 1, 2017 2:25 PM by bigtom

    FM Data API, How should it be licensed?

    bigtom

      Obviously FMI has some sort of vision in mind for licensing the Data API. I am also sure that FBA members are providing their feedback to FMI.

       

      Where do you think this is headed and how would like to see it done?

        • 1. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
          beverly

          AFAIK, anyone can test it and send feedback. Some in-house companies may not be FBA, but they might be heavily invested in using this if needed.

          I think we all should test it in one way or another and give them as much feedback as possible. Then decisions can be made for where it's headed. This is exactly how I'd like to see it done.

          Beverly

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          • 2. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
            gofmp15

            How about a 5 second human language description of what this is for those of use who have been living under a rock for some time?

            • 3. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
              beverly

              There have always been ways to exchange data from FMP/S. Import/Export is data as is - not terribly dynamic for web publishing...

               

              There was AppleScript.

              There is ODBC/JDBC.

              There was LASSO/CDML.

              There currently is XML, with or without PHP.

               

              All basically "API".

               

              Now there is REST/Data API that can communicate with FMS by other systems.

               

              Sent from miPhone

              • 4. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
                planteg

                bigtom,

                 

                I don't know if that's a clue, but in the server console, you will find at Web Publishing > FileMaker Data API Tab:

                 

                1st line = Number of calls during the current month

                2nd line Number of calls during preceding month

                 

                But it may be only to measure the use of the Data API.

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                • 5. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
                  jormond

                  The trial is intended to see how companies would use it. That would give FMI some insight on a proper license model.

                   

                  The idea, initially, feels tricky. Tricky, in that most companies are not going to invest heavily in a feature/product that is beta now...but may increase their license costs dramatically when the move to license it.

                   

                  To be successful, the data API probably needs to be all on or all off. A flat license fee, that gives you unlimited API calls. Anything outside that puts developers in a hard place. Worry about hitting limits, and how to handle it. Worry about paying a high premium for a low volume of API calls. Etc.

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                  • 6. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
                    amysink

                    Will there be additional charges for each backup?

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                    • 7. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
                      gofmp15

                      With the increasing competition of cloud databases and new ones on the iPhone that let you create your own db, FileMaker needs to begin adding value for the same price rather than raising prices beyond what the public can pay. Small businesses are already priced out of FileMaker server.

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                      • 8. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
                        bigtom

                        jormond I agree with you, but the monthly call stat is a little scary. The one useful way I am using it right now is for  an online retail client that uses FM for everything except the online shopping experience. The online web service has configurable webhooks that shoot off when an action happens on the web server. For example an order made or a shopping cart abandoned. I have been configuring the web hooks to FM Data URLs with parameter to process things in FM. For example reducing stock or adding new customers to the client list.

                         

                        It is a very useful scenario and seems to work better than the previously built process. Why does monthly call licensing not make sense in this case? They have a a few months every year that have a ton of activity and the rest of the year has normal sales volume. Would they need to pay to license a monthly connection count that they may not often use 9 months of the year?  What happens if they did not license enough when the busy time might suddenly skyrocket more than they ever expected? It is a bad situation all around.

                         

                        It should be a licensing option for unlimited or nothing. Similar to how FMS and FMS Advanced had different server feature sets, but all in one product with access determined by the Lic. Key. Some people may not need it, but those who do will likely not want to worry about any sort of limits for production use.

                         

                        The random monthly API Call stat is interesting and hopefully just added as a gauge of general usage. Not all API calls are equal past the call being made. I have not looked at how it works when the calls queue up and execute when there are a lot at the same time.

                        • 9. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
                          CarlSchwarz

                          I use the API's (ODBC / PHP) for reporting, and the 2 times of year that it most gets used is Tax and end of year but unsure how much it would get used at those times as it depends entirely on what is going on.

                           

                          My fear is one that you bring up, if FMI Data licensing was licensed to have a max # of calls per month.  If FMI had a licensing model that was restrictive by the amount of use then it would block the API at the wrong time.

                           

                          Or to put it another way, imagine if FileMaker Pro was licensed by how often you called a script, at exactly the wrong time you would hit your licensing limit, and by the time you got the licenses sorted out the need to use it would probably have already passed. And if you were in the middle of an operation editing records - imagine the loss of data integrity.

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                          • 10. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
                            bigtom

                            CarlSchwarz wrote:

                             

                            My fear is one that you bring up, if FMI Data licensing was licensed to have a max # of calls per month. If FMI had a licensing model that was restrictive by the amount of use then it would block the API at the wrong time.

                             

                            I am making sure that I can move back to the current process from the Data API fairly easily if the Data API licensing is not desirable.

                             

                            I hope FM does not get confused when they see things like Google APIs revenue model and API call limits. Google is a strange beast in that it is sometimes a platform and sometimes a service. Most all of the revenue based APIs with call limits are for the services. FileMaker is not a service or a service provider, it is just a platform.

                             

                            Then you might look at the AWS API Gateway and say that it might be similar, but AWS offers so much more in that product than the Data API. Not really Apples to Apples.

                            • 11. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
                              PointInSpace

                              I'm tired of per-connection server licensing.  I've stayed away from software that uses this model for 25 years, and FileMaker continuing to expand this practice is quickly turning me (and many others) off to their products.

                               

                              The software is the software.  Sell it flat rate with whatever features the consumer wants.  The fact it gets served out to 2 or 200 simultaneous clients should be a function of the hardware, not the "licensing".  FMI needs to go back to the FileMaker Server vs Server Advanced model, and license client software per-seat instead of per-connection like they used to.

                               

                              - John

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                              • 12. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
                                jfletch

                                This is why I am sticking with RESTfm at the moment and recommending my clients do the same.

                                • 13. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
                                  jormond

                                  I think they are following the big SAAS trend. I'm ok paying per license for something that is already built for me. Not ok with it when I am the one building it, unless the cost is less than $5/user/month.

                                  • 14. Re: FM Data API, How should it be licensed?
                                    jfletch

                                    Totally understand your point of view, John, but I think that FMI is trying to enable a "sliding scale" so that people who have smaller needs don't have to pay a huge amount for server, and those who require a larger number of users, can justify paying more. And you're right, all the big kids are doing it these days.

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