FileMaker Hosting UK


Instant Web Publishing

Web Publish from FileMaker 12 with no coding

IWP (Instant web publishing) is the tool FileMaker provided up until version 13 for connecting FileMaker with a user using a web browser. We still support it on our FileMaker 12 servers. It is a great technology to use where you are providing occasional use of your database to a large number of users or where budgets are very tight as FileMaker don't charge a per connection fee that we need to pass on for it's use. FileMaker have worked hard to produce a technology that will open in a web browser (only major ones are supported) and deliver a similar experience to using their full client software for data entry, data viewing and searching. However it is nothing like a full feature match with FileMaker itself so don't expect such things as conditional formatting and script triggers. One useful feature is that IWP solutions work well on Safari on the iPhone.

However FileMaker's emulation of the FMP client software is far from complete and there is no attempt to allow database design via the browser interface. This means that for the best results you will probably have to make some compromises in your database design. It is also unsuitable for uses where there will be long periods of inactivity because the server will disconnect after a period (currently 20 minutes). IWP is also unsuitable for applications where a large number of people will connect in a short period such as competition entries because there are practical limits to how many IWP sessions a server can handle at once. As a result hosting companies such as www.filemaker-hosting.co.uk try to ensure numbers of connections are kept low.

It is possible to produce some very practical and attractive databases with IWP. However you will need to bear in mind the limitations of the web: for instance you will need to use only fonts that users will have on their machines. You should also bear in mind that unlike FileMaker client you need to ensure changed data is submitted back to the server. For those familiar with FileMaker it is particularly easy to lose the last item entered by closing the IWP window before submitting an entry.

Unlike it's replacement WebDirect it does not support SSL encryption so should not be used for sensitive data.

We have customised our servers to help you produce a better experience for your users. See 'Tools for IWP' below for details of how to link to a IWP database we are hosting for you and how to write solutions that avoid having to produce a separate solution for IWP users. As well as using the techniques outlined you will need to set the extended privileges for at least one account to fmiwp in your file's security settings

It is a good idea to use IWP on our servers when:

  • The look and feel do not need to totally match an existing website
  • Speed and low cost of development are essential
  • Those connecting cannot be expected to have FileMaker installed
  • There may be short breaks in connection
  • The user will connect, complete a task and then no longer need the system
  • At any one time only a limited number of users will be connected

Limitations of IWP

  • Only certain script steps work. (More recent versions of FMP can be set to grey out steps that fail)
  • The FileMaker dialogue script step cannot be used
  • It is difficult to control the way things print
  • Only a limited number of records can be shown at one time in list view, and if the navigation bar is turned off this becomes even more problematic
  • If you want public access but also extra functionality which requires password access you cannot use a guest account so will need to use a complex URL link that includes auto logon to a pseudo guest account.
  • - You will then need to script the solution to handle these accounts accordingly. Otherwise you can use two files which may double the hosting costs
  • You need to handle time outs and the close/quit/exit script steps and try to mitigate data loss if the window is closed
  • It is best to open IWP in a browser window without a back button because IWP does not handle the reloading of pages this way
  • If you make design changes while users are using IWP the system can become unusable until they log back in
  • Unlike FileMaker client software if you close the window the data on the page is lost unless the user has submitted it with say a submit button that triggers a commit or by changing screen/layout.

Link to FileMaker's IWP documentation. (see chapters 3 and 4)

Web Publish from FileMaker 11 and 12 with no coding

IWP (Instant web publishing) is the tool FileMaker provided up until version 13 for connecting FileMaker with a user using a web browser. We still support it on our FileMaker 11 and 12 servers. It is a great technology to use where you are providing occasional use of your database to a large number of users or where budgets are very tight as FileMaker don’t charge a per connection fee that we need to pass on for it’s use. FileMaker have worked hard to produce a technology that will open in a web browser (only major ones are supported) and deliver a similar experience to using their full client software for data entry, data viewing and searching. However it is nothing like a full feature match with FileMaker itself so don’t expect such things as conditional formatting and script triggers. One useful feature is that IWP solutions work well on Safari on the iPhone.

However FileMaker’s emulation of the FMP client software is far from complete and there is no attempt to allow database design via the browser interface. This means that for the best results you will probably have to make some compromises in your database design. It is also unsuitable for uses where there will be long periods of inactivity because the server will disconnect after a period (currently 20 minutes). IWP is also unsuitable for applications where a large number of people will connect in a short period such as competition entries because there are practical limits to how many IWP sessions a server can handle at once. As a result hosting companies such as www.filemaker-hosting.co.uk try to ensure numbers of connections are kept low.

It is possible to produce some very practical and attractive databases with IWP. However you will need to bear in mind the limitations of the web: for instance you will need to use only fonts that users will have on their machines. You should also bear in mind that unlike FileMaker client you need to ensure changed data is submitted back to the server. For those familiar with FileMaker it is particularly easy to lose the last item entered by closing the IWP window before submitting an entry.

Unlike it’s replacement WebDirect it does not support SSL encryption so should not be used for sensitive data.

We have customised our servers to help you produce a better experience for your users. See ‘Tools for IWP’ below for details of how to link to a IWP database we are hosting for you and how to write solutions that avoid having to produce a separate solution for IWP users. As well as using the techniques outlined you will need to set the extended privileges for at least one account to fmiwp in your file’s security settings

It is a good idea to use IWP on our servers when:

  • The look and feel do not need to totally match an existing website
  • Speed and low cost of development are essential
  • Those connecting cannot be expected to have FileMaker installed
  • There may be short breaks in connection
  • The user will connect, complete a task and then no longer need the system
  • At any one time only a limited number of users will be connected

Limitations of IWP

  • Only certain script steps work. (More recent versions of FMP can be set to grey out steps that fail)
  • The FileMaker dialogue script step cannot be used
  • It is difficult to control the way things print
  • Only a limited number of records can be shown at one time in list view, and if the navigation bar is turned off this becomes even more problematic
  • If you want public access but also extra functionality which requires password access you cannot use a guest account so will need to use a complex URL link that includes auto logon to a pseudo guest account. - - You will then need to script the solution to handle these accounts accordingly. Otherwise you can use two files which may double the hosting costs
  • You need to handle time outs and the close/quit/exit script steps and try to mitigate data loss if the window is closed
  • It is best to open IWP in a browser window without a back button because IWP does not handle the reloading of pages this way
  • If you make design changes while users are using IWP the system can become unusable until they log back in
  • Unlike FileMaker client software if you close the window the data on the page is lost unless the user has submitted it with say a submit button that triggers a commit or by changing screen/layout.

Link to FileMaker’s IWP documentation. (see chapters 3 and 4)