2 Replies Latest reply on Dec 19, 2013 2:50 PM by LSNOVER

    FM13 Applications as SAAS - Missing Pieces


      Trying to drink the Kool-Aid here... I have a couple possibly naive questions about the paradigm of deploying FM13 applications using WebDirect.


      The use-case is a grant application program that we currently run using LimeSurvey. LimeSurvey provides results of the application in Excel spreadsheets, making the evaluation of the data very difficult....especially since a lot of the survey questions involve text narratives and photographs. Since FM "excels" in dealing with text and photos....it would theoretically be IDEAL in many respects for dealing with this kind of data, and of course FM would be especially good on the evalution end, with the ability to present the data for each application in an easily-viewed way, as well as aggregating question responses for statistical analysis.


      1. As web-based solution, will normally need a mechanism for establishing user accounts for the surveys, so that the user can partially fill out the survey, stop and continue again by logging in. Does this currently exist in WebDirect using the "normal" FileMaker user accounts. Are there examples for implementing secure user management for WebDirect users?


      2. My initial approach to the use-case in Filemaker 12 would be to creata an evaluation application in Filemaker....and leave the data-gathering part to LimeSurvey. The FM application would import the Excel data for evaluation. I'd deploy this to the evaluator (there is only one person at present) using FM runtime, (which is my favorite "stealth" way to insinuate Filemaker into a new environment).


      3. So, we'd have two parts of the WebDirect application; the "outer world' facing part for the grant applications by people outside our organization, and the "inside" part for the evaluation. Obviously we want the Filemaker server to be very secure, while allowing people from the outside to submit their data.


      I'd be interested in anyone's experience hosting surveys with FM.



      -- Larry

        • 1. Re: FM13 Applications as SAAS - Missing Pieces

          I would be hesitant about using Webdirect for something like this. Depending on the context of the surveys (face-to-face data collection _might_ be better done on an iPad) I think your second item is the best way to implement a solution - leverage the existing infrastructure and leave the analysis to a custom FileMaker database.


          Also note that WebDirect seems to be an extremely resource-hungry technology and if there's any chance of high volume web traffice you don't want to be stress-testing an unproven system.

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          • 2. Re: FM13 Applications as SAAS - Missing Pieces

            I would not rule out WebDirect.  You can certainly create FM user accounts on the fly via script.  This would obviosly have to be tightly controlled.  The real question is how many simultaneous users?  I think WebDirect is pretty solid with the caveat of accepting some of it's stated limitations.

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