WebDirect: Disappointing

Discussion created by mdiehr on Jul 11, 2014
Latest reply on Jul 13, 2014 by jasongodoy

I've been running IWP solutions on FileMaker 11 Server Advanced for years now. While limited, I found that IWP was generally clean enough and fast enough to do the job.


I've just started runnign tests converting a solution to FMS13 and WebDirect.


My overall impression is that this is beta software: it's buggy, slow, and aesthetically unpleasing to my eye.


Here are some issues and limitations that are already proving problematic in the first 24 hours of testing:
* the [Guest] login is not working properly (it seems you have to set File Option to Guest login for it to work, but this has side-effects)

* Exit Application doesn't work if there's an "On Last Window Close" script

* the menubar and statusbar/toolbar flash on for 1-2 seconds on page load (which looks extremely unprofessional)

* upon exiting the solution, there's a giant red banner which says "Connection Lost" (or something, it flashes on briefly - which also looks unprofessional)

* data entry problems: hitting the Tab key sometimes skips fields, there's also no way to trap Return or Enter keys

* text in Merge fields doesn't line-wrap properly

* there's no way to pass in a parameter in a URL

* there's no way to navigate to a new URL in the same window

* there's an ugly "Script is running" dialog box that pops up frequently.

* the price per seat is crazy (as has been discussed)


Now, to be fair, perhaps my use case is not what WebDirect is meant for? I want a simple, lightweight web connector that can let the public fill out a few forms, do a search, and see some results. I don't want or need the entire full spectrum of filemaker featurues (menu, status bar, portals, import, export, etc.)


Given this experience, I'm seriously considering whether WebDirect is something I want to roll out for myself and my consulting clients. It may be that using the PHP connector is really going to give me what I need? That way I have full control over HTML/CSS and won't suffer all these limitations.


I'm looking for both general advice ("Use PHP?") and specific solutions to any of the issues I listed above.


As always, thanks in advance for help.