3 Replies Latest reply on May 17, 2013 1:18 PM by flybynight

    Using FMS and CWP for file submission?


      I'll start out by saying … I'm not a web guy.


      Our company is looking to replace/update our process for clients to submit files and info for jobs. Currently, it's pretty 90s tech - info is usually submitted via email and files are either sent as attachments for smaller files, or uploaded to our FTP server for larger files.


      They are talking about a couple of projects, that I think could end up being 1 thing.


      Part 1 is a replacement of the FTP with a web page form where people can submit the specs of their job, and upload a file(s).

      I'm wondering if this would be a good fit for FMS and CWP? File submission would go to a container field, I assume? And that could be accessed by us on the internal net, either via the external storage folder, or accessing the database internally with FMP. We would also want it to send a notification email when someone submitted the form (added a record?).

      One factor to consider is that some files can get very large (1Gb or more), but most are in the 10-100Mb range.


      Or would it be better to just do this with web tech and not bother with FileMaker?


      Part 2 may influence that decision.

      In addition to an "anonymous" form, we would also like certain high-profile clients to have their own log-in. Once in, they would still be able to use the same (or similar) job submission form… but they would also be able to see current inventory levels for items that we store and fulfill, see a list of common re-order items and possibly a list of all orders within the last X months. That page could tie into our job ticketing/tracking solution, which is in FMP.


      So the web structure would look something like this…


      Landing page off of the the main home page navigation with these options:

      Submit a job --or-- Client Login

      First option leads to the "Part 1" page, as described above. Which client logs in would determine who gets the notification (which salesman/CSR/etc).

      Second option leads to a page with these options:

      Submit a job -- View/Order from Inventory -- Reorders -- Order History



      So, my main questions are:

      A- Is this a good fit for FMS and CWP?

      2- Any idea what sort of costs/time we are looking at to partner with a PHP developer to help me with the web side of things?


      Just exploring if this is an option for now.

      There are plenty of commercial solutions out there, but they get very expensive on an ongoing monthly basis. I'm thinking that we would rather pay up front to develop a solution that we own and have more control over.


      Thanks for any guidance!


        • 1. Re: Using FMS and CWP for file submission?

          Shawn -


          Part 1 is doable. Andy Frazier has prepared a demo, utilizing the InsertFromURL script step, that allows you to insert an image into a container field from a CWP page. Check it out at http://reliablesoftworks.info/FMFilesDemo.html. The large size of the file may represent a challenge, but moreso from the server timing out than from FileMaker having a limitation.


          And yes, you can fire off an email when that happens. You can do this either with native PHP or from inside FileMaker via a script.


          Part 2 is certainly doable as well. You can set up the credentials either using table-based authentication (where everyone logs in with a default account, then passes credentials into the database for validation against a record in a table), or account-based authentication (where you set up real FileMaker accounts for each user). Creating records in the database is one of the included features in the API.


          As far as finding a developer to handle it, there are plenty available. I suggest using FileMaker's search feature on their web site, ELance or similar freelance search site, or just search locally for a developer to partner with.





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          • 2. Re: Using FMS and CWP for file submission?

            Hi Shawn,


            I'll start out by saying … I am a web guy.


            I spend most of my time doing CWP solutions. I have been creating web sites using FileMaker as a back-end since 1993 in FileMaker 2.0. I have several web and database servers and sometimes host sites and databases and other times assist in the setup of the servers and and their ongoing management remotely. (99% of my clients are remote).


            I have many with file uploads and management of files and include file and image management from within FIleMaker also using CWP.


            I also have many solutions with logon credentials determining what users can see and what they can do. Other solutions have completely different portals for public, members and admin.


            I have also built many, many systems with HTML emails constructed from the dynamic data merged with various conditional choices of recipitents.

            I've also done stuff like PDFs generated for attachment to the emails or for download with a link in the email using PHP... as well as PDFs (and Excel) generated on the server by FileMaker for download /attachment.


            As far as cost goes... how long is a piece of string? Rates I can give you but to get a cost estimate we would have to have a very precise spec.


            There are others too who could do this. I also like to involve a graphic designer. If you are planning to do the database yourself, early consultation with a web developer is highly recommended.


            In summary... A=yes 2=yes, and yes to everything else you mentioned. ;-)


            - Lyndsay

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Using FMS and CWP for file submission?



              Good to know that you are a "web guy" - HA!


              Thank you so much for the info. Of course I understand the difficulty with quoting rates/time/etc. We are a printing company, so we get questions like "how much for 5,000 brochures?" all the time. Way too many variables (size, ink(s), paper stock, folds, etc, etc, etc.) to even start without further info.


              But, just like our clients, my boss is trying to get a ballpark idea of the cost before we go forward.

              I'm at a bit of a disadvantage, because our web site is hosted and maintained by another company (long story), so I don't know how easy/difficult integration is going to be.


              Maybe PM me with rates? And if you do have any kind of ballpark time (I totally undestand that nothing is in stone yet), let me know. Do you have any demo web sites? That might help the process on this end, if they can look at something and say "yes, that is what we want ours to do!" or even "sort of like that, but also able to do X or Y?"