The final URL (http://abc.com/fmi/iwp/) cannot be shortened; the URL includes the information FileMaker Server requires in order to direct the visitor to the right page or application.
However, you can use a redirect to simplify things, so that a request for "http://xyz.com" redirects the user's browser to the full, final URL. The user would put in just "xyz.com," but after a few milliseconds, their browser's URL bar will show "http://abs.com/fmi/iwp/" and load the correct application.
There are a couple of ways to do this with Apache, the web server provided with Mac OS Server.
The easiest way, if you're using Mavericks server, is to use the GUI to configure the redirect.
- In Server Admin, click the "Websites" item in the list on the left.
- Click the Plus sign button to add a new site.
- In the "Domain name" field, enter the name you want your visitors to use, such as "xyz.com".
- To the right of the "Redirects" item, click the "Edit…" button.
- Click the Plus sign button to add a new redirect.
- Set the "When users visit" menu to "A URL matching the following regular expression".
- In the "Regular expression" field, enter: (.*)$
- In the "Redirect them to" field, enter your final URL, such as "http://abc.com/fmi/iwp/res/iwp_home.html".
- Set the "Because" menu to "The original has permanently moved".
- Click the "OK" button.
- Click the "Create" button.
Be sure the site is turned on, be sure the Websites service is turned on, and in your DNS server, be sure to point your short URL to this server's IP address.
The index.html method loads a blank web page which immediately sends the browser to a new URL. It's simple, it's effective, and it works with modern browsers, but it's not what I would call seamless, it adds a fraction of a second to the load time, and the user could wind up staring at a blank screen if something were to break. To use this approach, simply create a new index.html file in the new site's web root directory, with contents something like this:
That's the index.html method.
The .htaccess method is more seamless. It instructs the web server to redirect the user to the new URL using HTTP protocol headers, so the redirect happens before any data is even served, and no blank page is loaded. It's not quite as intuitive, but it's only two lines of code. Incidentally, the Mavericks server method is similar to this method behind the scenes. To use this approach, create a new file in the new site's web root, named ".htaccess", with contents like this:
Redirect 301 / http://abc.com/fmi/iwp/res/iwp_home.html
As a bonus, if you're using WebDirect solutions, you can bypass the list of databases by including the name of a particular solution after a "#" sign. This will take the user directly to the WebDirect solution, with a login window if applicable. For example, to send users to a solution named "App2", you could redirect them to "http://intranet.example.com/fmi/webd#App2".
Does this help?
I am using Mac OS X server and your recommendation is exciting. As long as the user enter abc.com and arrive at the desired application, it is (I think) acceptable that the url expands. Will follow your instruction once the domains are registered. Using this method, and in step 9 above, can I point the abc.com directly to one of the application while xyz.com point to another application as there are few applications stored in filemaker server.
With WebDirect, it's easy to direct different URLs to different applications. I think I buried this in my last paragraph. If one app is called App1, your redirect URL would be "http://abc.com/fmi/webd#App1" … and if another app is called App2, its redirect URL would be "http://abc.com/fmi/webd#App2". I hope this clarifies.
I am working on version 12 (sadly).
Ah, of course. You even said as much.
Your app-specific URLs will be only slightly trickier, but the general format will be this:
For more details, see FileMaker's documentation:
Apologise for the long delay.
I have tried your 11 steps on my FM Server 12 advance and it works . I enter abc.com and the FMServer_Sample.fmp12 will load automatically. This is what I am looking for.
I tried the same method on FM Server 13 (another Mac Mini server) but it does not work. Not sure what could be causing the problem. When I issue xyz.com, the browser will simply show "FileMaker DataBase Server Website" and a round logo.
This FM 12 is located in a hosting centre while FM 13 is hosted in my office (with port forwarding to the server's IP). All other things remain ok including accessing from FMGO using the domain name, i.e. xyz.com and if I access it the "long" way, which is xyz.com/fmi/webd#app1 on the browser.
i try to redirect my domainname to a certain filemaker database. But i am not succesfull. Do you know the folder
for the .htaccess file. I use Mac OSX 10.10.3 - Apache Webserver - Filemaker Server 14 with web direct.