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

Adam Morris adam_morris at harvard.edu
Fri Dec 2 12:54:12 MST 2005

At Harvard University Press, we use XML from FileMaker (transformed via 
XSLT) for some applications, and we've used FX.php for one portion of our 
website.  I've been responsible for most of the programming in these 
instances, and here are some of the pros and cons, as I see them.  I am 
experienced with later versions of FileMaker (v. 7 and 8), but like to 
think of myself as a traditional programmer, with experience in C, C++, 
Java and SQL.

FX.php is very easy to use, in large part because it relies on PHP, a 
powerful, robust, flexible, and familiar scripting language for web pages 
that I really enjoy working with because it resembles the languages I know 
best such as Java, C, C++, etc. and has excellent features specifically for 
dealing with web-based issues and database issues.  So for me the best 
selling point about FX.php is the PHP part.

The down-side is that you have to set up FileMaker web publishing.  And 
there may be reasons not to publish your entire databases to the 
web.  Security is a big one, or at least it was for us, so when we used 
FX.php we created a copy of a small portion of our databases to web publish.

Now, it is possible to export XML data from FileMaker, and use XSLT to 
transform that data into HTML pages (or for that matter, other XML, or 
plain text).  That said, XSLT is a particularly tricky language to learn, 
and while very powerful, it does have a steep learning curve.  I think I've 
only met one other FileMaker developer who is really excited about using 
XSLTs!  While a 2.0 version of XSL (and XPath) was recently released, 
FileMaker 8 still uses the earlier, less flexible version of XSL.  What you 
would get from this, however, is static data that could be used 
offline.  The one nice part about this technique is that the FileMaker 
scripts are more or less easy to write - they are basically simple export 
scripts.  If you want more information on this, I can send you a copy of a 
short presentation I wrote for the Boston Area FileMaker Developers Group 
that introduces this process.

Bottom line, if you're willing to web-publish your databases, FX.php is, by 
far, the superior solution.  I can't think of any easy way to use PHP  and 
FileMaker XML without, as Matt put it, rewriting FX.php!

Adam Morris

At 08:29 PM 12/1/2005, you 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!
><http://www.elleni.com>         *Elleni B. Fellows*
>/IT Professional/, CLA-OIT <http://www2.cla.umn.edu/admin/claoit/>
>257 19th Ave S
>110 Anderson Hall
>Minneapolis, MN 55455
>"'You know,' said Arthur, 'it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a 
>Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die from 
>asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my 
>mother told me when I was young.' 'Why, what did she tell you?' 'I don't 
>know, I didn't listen.'"
>-- /Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy/, Douglas Adams 
><http://www.douglasadams.com/>, 1952-2001

Adam M. Morris
Publishing Technology Programmer/Analyst
Harvard University Press
79 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 384-7619 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://www.iviking.org/pipermail/fx.php_list/attachments/20051202/16026722/attachment.html

More information about the FX.php_List mailing list