What is a good application to use to get started with CWP? I keep reading about Dreamweaver and that it needs an add-on appl.
Actually, depending on what you are trying to do, both FmWebSchools FMStudioPro for Dreamweaver and FormulationsPro's Book which I bought are good resources since FileMaker Pro 12 deprecated the PHP Assistant.
FMStudio pushed an update last fall to work with FileMaker 12 Server. Almost every feature work but not the Site Assistant which replicated the PHP Site Assistant feature. Nevertheless, you can build easily sites with Login pages, Queries, Browse, Edit, Delete, and New Records. I use it every month since most of my clients want things like:
- Online Registration
- ROI Calculators
- Club Membership Login for updates
I would never make a penny coding some of these sites by hand in PHP so I use a hybrid approach because I have been coding PHP for over 8 years. So I use FMStudio to do the heavy lifting and then add my own code and fixes to enhance. For example, I use RapidWeaver at the end of the process so that I can quickly and easily create a stunning website with nice navigation that is easily moved around. What client doesn't ask you move things around and change things ? All of them! So I would suggest you consider using FMStudio Pro, the FileMaker PHP API for 12 and RapidWeaver.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me for examples, ideas, and hints.
FMWebSchool used to offer a plugin for Dreamweaver that would essentially install code hinting for the FileMaker API. I don't know if they're still operational or not; opinions seem to vary on the matter.
That said, I personally use Dreamweaver simply because of two things: (1) I like the code hinting, and (2) it has a built-in FTP client. No other reason, really. You don't necessarily "need" the FMWebSchool plugin; I don't have it, and have lived without it (although having the functions installed is nice). Some people like Dreamweaver for the WYSIWYG editor, but personally, I don't like the code the wizard turns out. Too hard to modify if you need to.
Others on the forum use different tools. Before Dreamweaver, I used to use TextWrangler. Others use BBEdit. You don't have to spend any money, really; a simple text editor (one that saves in raw text format so there are no stray control characters) will do the trick.
Hi Mike and thanks for your helpful information.
The most success I have had so far is using the API generated php build and trying to edit it with MS Web Expressions with difficulty in rendering check box columns and portal field layouts.
Could I expect Dream weaver to do better and if so, are the Filemaker API templates a good start?
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Dreamweaver, by itself, probably won't help much with the issues you're having. (Although there may be templates available for columnar checkboxes; honestly, I've never looked because, as I said, I don't use the WYSIWYG editor.)
As far as whether the templates are a good place to start, I'd say yes and no. Yes, because you can learn the basics of how the API works - things like how to make a database connection, perform Finds, sorts, create records, delete records, etc. No, because I've found that some of the template code is hard to edit (as you've discovered).
I suggest you learn what you can from editing the templates, then back up and go for some more basic documentation. Formulations Pro sells an eBook (http://www.formulationspro.com/pages/products/products_detail.php?id=101) on the API. You can also check out the PHP home page (http://us.php.net/) for information on PHP itself.
My recommendation, based on my experience, is to just dig in and start learning. You need a basic understanding of PHP, HTML, and CSS at a minimum. Then learn the API. Once you get those under your belt, study up on security issues - learn about common hacker attacks like cross-site scripting and buffer overflow.
And then just dig in and do it!
Thank you Javier,
Your reply sounds helpful and interesting. I am using Filemaker 11 and found the API generated pages hard to modify. I am looking to make a user survey type page with check boxes in three columns and two portals with three drop downs in each. It needs to authenticate, find an existing account and look commercial. Your system for building sounds like what I would want to do: use software to generate a draft, make adjustments and then some type of final processing to complete.
Do I need Dreamweaver to use the FMS solutions? Also, does
I agree with Mike. I use Dreamweaver (a very old version) and only because it colourises my code. I do not use the WYSIWYG editor. I do not use any plugins or helpers. I write my code from scratch and test it only in a live transaction.
When I began all my web work in 1993 we had to create our web pages in FM calc fields... so all this template stuff is a breeze!
I would never use the Site Assistant as it wrote terrible PHP and has be deprecated for v12. You would get really confused and take a long time to learn trying to deconstruct it's code. You are better off doing the php tutorial and going to w3schools.com.
The best way to do this is to either get trained or get stuck in and feel lost for a long time if you have no previous PHP, CSS, JS & HTML experience.
Everything has been said about learning CWP before.
Eclipse allows to create projects in which you can group PHP files together. It reads the functions of the FileMaker PHP API, helps with code completion and code hints, and keeps track of your PHP variables.
My tendency is to separate PHP and HTML as far as possible. This can be achieved using either
Both approaches keep the PHP code very short, clean, and HTML free.
Eclipse is also my preference of choice for my PHP work (and my Java work, when I write groovy or native java to run inside of 360works scriptmaster).
I'd also like to mention that soliant is now offering training on the Zend PHP platform. Zend is a super-robust PHP framework that allows you to do a ton of stuff once you pick it up. IE you can write your own models to handle all of your CWP functionality in your own shortcode.
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