Custom Web Publishing is one of two technologies you can use to dynamically publish your FileMaker data on the World Wide Web. (The other is Instant Web Publishing, which you can read about in Chapter 21.) Custom Web Publishing in FileMaker 7 replaced the technology that was known as CDML (Claris Dynamic Markup Language) in earlier versions of FileMaker Pro.
One of the most significant recent advances in FileMaker web publishing technologies is that, since FileMaker 7, its been possible to publish FileMaker data to the Web without using a copy of the FileMaker Pro client. In earlier versions of the product, it was necessary to use FileMaker Unlimited, which was a specially enabled version of the client software. In the FileMaker 7 and 8 product lines, the web publishing technologies are built directly into the Server products and run as true standalone server-side processes.
In FileMaker 8, its still possible to use Instant Web Publishing to publish data from a client copy of FileMaker Pro. IWP can also be used in the server-only mode as well, though, and can support many more users in a server configuration.
As you can read in more detail in Chapter 25, "FileMaker Server and Server Advanced", the FileMaker Server product line has two different flavors: FileMaker Server and FileMaker Server Advanced. Its necessary to purchase FileMaker Server Advanced to gain the capability to do server-side web publishing.
Server-side web publishing works through an intermediate server called the Web Publishing Engine (which well call the WPE for short). The WPE is installed in a way that binds it to a web server (Apache and Internet Information Server are the supported web servers), and is able to make calls directly against a copy of FileMaker Server. Figure 23.1 shows the flow of a server-side CWP request (this flow actually applies to both Instant and Custom Web Publishing).
The WPE is responsible for accepting a request for FileMaker data that comes in over the Web and for relaying that request to a copy of FileMaker Server. The WPE then receives the servers response and (this is important!) converts the data into an XML format before sending it back.
The last part bears repeating: Custom Web Publishing is completely XML-based. Requests to the CWP engine can return either raw XMLmeaning that its presented in one of FileMakers built-in XML grammarsor they can return the results of an XSLT transformation applied to the XML. This leads to the possibility of transforming the XML into HTML, PDF, or any other text-based format before the data is returned to the client.
You can read about FileMakers XML grammars in "FileMakers XML Grammars," p. 672, and youll learn more about them in the course of this chapter as well.
Part I: Getting Started with FileMaker 8
Using FileMaker Pro
Defining and Working with Fields
Working with Layouts
Part II: Developing Solutions with FileMaker
Relational Database Design
Working with Multiple Tables
Working with Relationships
Getting Started with Calculations
Getting Started with Scripting
Getting Started with Reporting
Part III: Developer Techniques
Developing for Multiuser Deployment
Advanced Interface Techniques
Advanced Calculation Techniques
Advanced Scripting Techniques
Advanced Portal Techniques
Debugging and Troubleshooting
Converting Systems from Previous Versions of FileMaker Pro
Part IV: Data Integration and Publishing
Importing Data into FileMaker Pro
Exporting Data from FileMaker
Instant Web Publishing
FileMaker and Web Services
Custom Web Publishing
Part V: Deploying a FileMaker Solution
Deploying and Extending FileMaker
FileMaker Server and Server Advanced
Documenting Your FileMaker Solutions