[FX.php List] FileMaker 7/8 and PHP WITHOUT FX.php?

Matt Simpson matt.simpson at queensu.ca
Fri Dec 2 08:31:34 MST 2005

Hey Elleni,

I see what you mean about off-line users and you have a valid point. 
Here you want some gun-powder for your discussion?

Ask your web-developers if they could write a multi-platform PHP-GTK 
application that would allow your users to utilize the essence of their 
web-application on a non-connected desktop computer. When the 
non-connected desktop computer does connect back to the network, data 
syncronization (probably using SOAP) should occur. You would also 
require an advanced report generation system similar to SAS, or 
Hummingbird's BI to be integrated with the application, so that 
on-the-fly (not necessarily canned) reports can be generated.

Just so you know, your requests are completely possible using PHP, it's 
just the amount of work to get you to that point will keep even the most 
ambitious web-developers from stopping you from using something that 
already is working for you ;) Trust me, it happened to me.

Best Regards,
Matt Simpson
Web Developer
Queen's University, MEdTech Unit
82 Barrie Street 2nd Floor
Kingston Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6

Phone: 613-533-6000 x78146
E-mail: matt.simpson at queensu.ca

Elleni B Fellows wrote:
> Thanks Matt. You all are giving me more information to use in my discussion. My 
> biggest reason to continue to use FileMaker is that users want to have desktop 
> interactions with their data that are not via the web! While they need to share 
> some amount of information on the web outside of their core groups, they really 
> like being able to do "stuff" to their systems on their own with or without IT 
> assistance. The web team's php/MySQL solutions do not allow the end users to be 
> flexible and create reports on the fly, etc., let alone change their minds over 
> time and re do things.
> Any other tidbits from this group's experience will be much appreciated!
> Thanks again,
> Elleni
> Matt Simpson wrote:
>> Hey Elleni,
>> I'm a pretty experienced PHP developer and I use many different databases 
>> (PostGreSQL, MySQL, Oracle and FileMaker). Each database has it's uses and 
>> target audience, and I understand why your lead developer may not like 
>> FileMaker... because it's different and definitely not targetted at database 
>> developers.
>> Your developers have two paths ahead of them, tell them to pick their poison 
>> wisely:
>> 1) If your lead developer doesn't want to use FX.php then not only does he/she 
>> have a sick amount of work ahead of him but he probably will not succeed in 
>> the project, plus he/she will end-up hating FileMaker even more.
>> 2) If your lead developer says "fine, we'll use FX.php"; he uses it, makes 
>> your web-application work in a day or two and will end-up being impartial 
>> towards FileMaker in your environment.
>> You will not likely get a developer to love FileMaker after they use 
>> PostGreSQL, MySQL, etc. They don't really compare in speed and function, but 
>> that doesn't mean that FileMaker is useless to them. It keeps you happy and 
>> saves them a silly amount of time for interface design. I can bang out a 
>> fairly complex database with interface in a few hours using FileMaker and 
>> everyone's happy. The equivilant in PHP / MySQL would take at least a few days 
>> by the time all is said and done, albeit the PHP / MySQL solution would be way 
>> faster and suitable for a busy site.
>> Tell them not to hate on FileMaker. Yes it's quirky, but once you understand 
>> it how it works (don't eve try to understand why it works) it's a fast 
>> solution to get something done you otherwise wouldn't have time to do.
>> Best Regards,
>> Matt Simpson
>> Web Developer
>> Queen's University / MEdTech Unit
>> 82 Barrie Street 2nd Floor
>> Kingston Ontario
>> Canada, K7L 3N6
>> Phone: 613-533-6000 x78146
>> E-mail: matt.simpson at queensu.ca
>> Elleni B Fellows wrote:
>>> So, I work in an environment that has both FileMaker lovers and haters. I had 
>>> hoped our web developers would work with us and our FM databases to get them 
>>> on the web with php. They currently use lots of php with MySQL. Today the 
>>> lead developer told me he doesn't really want to use FX.php and wants us to 
>>> find a way to use the XML out of FileMaker without the FX library. Don't ask 
>>> me what his deal is... I come from the old CDML school of FM on the web and 
>>> am just starting to get interested in using php instead. I had hoped we 
>>> FileMaker folks could use FXForge to create to basics of our sites and get 
>>> the "web team" folks to help dress them up later. Anyway, I need to meet with 
>>> him next week and explain why I want to use FM and FXphp for our solutions. 
>>> My answer right now would be because that's what most of the FM community is 
>>> using! But I don't think that will be enough for him.
>>> Thanks for any advice!
>>> Elleni
> -- 
> <http://www.elleni.com> 	*Elleni B. Fellows*
> /IT Professional/, CLA-OIT <http://www2.cla.umn.edu/admin/claoit/>
> 612-625-3881
> 257 19th Ave S
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> Minneapolis, MN 55455
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