Custom Web Publishing Versus Instant Web Publishing

If youve read about Instant Web Publishing already (in Chapter 21), youll be aware that the IWP capabilities of FileMaker 8 are quite extensiveso extensive, in fact, that you might wonder whether IWP would suffice for all your web publishing needs. It certainly seems simpler than working with a lot of XML and XSL data files.

But CWP has a number of important advantages over IWP. Here are some of the most significant ones:

  • IWP works very hard to replicate the look and feel of your FileMaker layouts, so it is guaranteed to work with only a few browsers (recent versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox, as well as Safari on Mac OS X). By contrast, if you are publishing XML data as HTML, you can create HTML that is compatible with as wide (or narrow) a range of browsers as you choose.
  • If you are converting previous solutions that were written in CDML, FileMaker offers a conversion path from CDML to FileMaker 8s CWP, via the CDML Conversion Tool that is discussed later in this chapter.

    For more on converting from CDML to CWP, see "The CDML Converter," p. 749, later in this chapter.

  • With CWP, its straightforward to integrate FileMaker data with other websites, or provide FileMaker data to others in the form of a web service. CWP makes a strong distinction between the raw data (which is returned as XML) and the final presentational form (which can result from applying an optional XSLT stylesheet). By contrast, in IWP, data and presentation are combined in a way that makes it all but impossible to use the data itself in other contexts.
  • CWP is best for sites that need to conform to the conventions of the World Wide Web. IWP presents data in a FileMaker-driven way: Its fairly easy, using IWP, to reproduce a fairly complex FileMaker layout on the Web, but it would be quite difficult to, for example, display a set of search results in a two-column list, or break a large set of search results up into multiple results pagesboth of which are common presentation styles on the Web.
  • IWP has a number of built-in limitations. For instance, it cannot reproduce FileMakers Preview mode, so it can be used to display subsummary reports on the Web. Also, the IWP list and table views are limited to displaying 5 and 20 records at a time, respectively. These are limits that CWP can overcome.

In general, IWP is best for making some portion of the functionality of an existing FileMaker database accessible to remote users. IWPs chief strength is in bringing the FileMaker experience into a web browser. The most likely targets for this technology are remote users of a FileMaker system who may not be able to be in the same building or same site as the server, but require ready access. This is likely to cater to a relatively small group of users (hundreds, say, rather than the thousands and tens of thousands that a public website can reach).

CWP, on the other hand, is best when FileMaker data needs to be presented in a non-FileMaker style, either as familiar-looking web pages or in some other text-based form. It enables you to make FileMaker data available over the Web as raw XML, to integrate FileMaker data into an existing website, or to build a new website around FileMaker data while preserving all the conventions of web presentation.



Part I: Getting Started with FileMaker 8

FileMaker Overview

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

Implementing Security

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

FileMaker Mobile

Documenting Your FileMaker Solutions



Using FileMaker 8
Special Edition Using FileMaker 8
ISBN: 0789735121
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 296

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