FileMaker WebDirect gives users the ability to access your custom apps through a web browser. This video tours the FileMaker WebDirect interface and demonstrates the user experience in a browser.
- [Narrator] FileMaker WebDirect is a key component of the FileMaker 16 platform. FileMaker WebDirect is a web-based technology that reproduces the majority of FileMaker Pro user experiences, but in a web browser. It's not necessarily a product so much as it is a deployment option. FileMaker WebDirect can deploy apps that are created specifically for use in a web browser for up to 100 users. FileMaker WebDirect can also be used to extend an existing FileMaker app to include occasional or remote users using some subset of the app's functions.
Access via WebDirect can be gained using desktop browsers, tablet browsers, or even mobile phone browsers. In order to be able to use FileMaker WebDirect, however, you must first configure a copy of FileMaker Server and upload one of your custom apps to that server. Let me show you the couple of steps that are required for configuring the server and configuring your app. First go into your FileMaker Sever admin console. And under the web publishing section, under the FileMaker WebDirect tab, make sure that you check enable FileMaker WebDirect.
This is going to be turned on by default. If it is not turned on, you're going to have to go in here and make sure that it is. Also, check the session time out. This value represents the number of minutes a FileMaker WebDirect user can be idle before FileMaker Sever will forcefully disconnect that user. The allowed values are from one to 60 minutes and you can see the default is 15. Now, the session timeout is an important value that will effect they way in which your available FileMaker Sever concurrent connections are used. If you have license that has concurrent connections a connection will be occupied by an open FileMaker WebDirect session, so if you have users out there who are using one of those threads, you want to make sure to disconnect them if they're idle so that you can have other users use those connections.
On the other hand, if the session time out is set to too short of a value, such as, like, let's say, five minutes or less, users may be frequently interrupted by messages warning them to take some action or be logged out of the system, leading to possible user frustration and lowered efficiency. So, once you've made a couple of these changes, go in and hit save. You should see save successful and as a confirmation go to the status screen and if you go all the way down to the section that says web publishing engine, you should see a green check mark you should also see FileMaker WebDirect is enabled.
Now it's time to configure your file for WebDirect. You'll take one of your completed FileMaker custom apps, ideally one where you've created various different web-optimized layouts. If you're interested in some examples of web-optimized layouts, check out any starter solution that's provided by FileMaker and you'll see that they have various different web layouts. You'll see they're very similar to the same type of design styles that you would employ if you were creating something for an iPad for example. Once you're happy with the design, you'll want to go into file, manage, security.
You'll make sure that you have at least one active account that's assigned to a privilege set that has the the extended privilege of FM WebDirect enabled. So, let's say for example, we're going to use the admin account, and we're going to use the full access. I wouldn't necessarily recommend that but this will be the quickest way for me to show you this. So, you have to go into the extended privilege. You can double click on it and say I need to make sure that any user that has an active account that assigned to the full access privileges set, that means that they can use that same account name and password to authenticate using WebDirect.
We can also see that checked inside the edit privilege set window. Making sure that we have at least one active account assigned I'll give this account a password because every custom app should have a password. Especially for a full access account. Save these. Confirm. The admin account. And now we're ready to upload this to FileMaker Server. So right inside the app, I can upload this to FileMaker Server.
I'll find the server that I want to upload to. And, use my admin console login. And I'll continue to upload. Those messages that we're seeing just indicate that the server that I have does not have a custom SSL certificate on it and that's not germane to this activity. Okay, so now, you can see we can log into the file. So, this is the database file. This is the file in FileMaker Pro. Now, let's take a look at the file in WebDirect.
So, if you're on the admin console, you can go to the start page if you'd like and you can look at the technology tests and say test FileMaker WebDirect. Or, you can just go to the web address of your server, forward-slash FMI, forward-slash web D. And you'll get what's called the FileMaker WebDirect home page. If you refresh this list, you'll see the file that you just uploaded.
You'll have an html-based authentication dialogue to allow you to log in. We'll enter in the password that we used for the account. We'll not save that password for security purposes. And now you see that we are inside the file in a web browser as we take a look at customers. So, here's FileMaker on the left-hand side and here's FileMaker WebDirect on the right-hand side. You can see that the fidelity across these platforms is pretty faithful.
It's really actually quite impressive. So, you can see things like popovers. We still have that support here. This one is just giving me a popover because I have a larger window. So, you can see some of the behaviors are very similar on the desktop. You'll notice that I have things like support for portals, popovers. You'll see that containers are supported.
I can still insert into container export field contents. I can view the full image size. Insert another image into the container if I'd like to which makes FileMaker on WebDirect great for asset management. And you'll notice that hidden conditions are supported as well. So, for example, if I toggle between service and product, you'll see that some of the layout objects are disappearing on screen. You'll also notice I have support for the portal here and the ability to write to related records, popover support.
You even see that charting is supported. And you'll notice that some of the core features like creating a new order... Here I am picking from a popover, adding items to the order. You can see how responsive the performance is here. And I even have the ability to print, or in this case, save as a PDF. FileMaker 16 now supports the ability to print using WebDirect.
I'm still always amazed whenever I look at a FileMaker custom app in WebDirect because of how much it looks like the desktop. You'll notice that even though I'm hiding the status area across the top, which is part of this file implementation, I still have access to the menu, which looks just like the menu on FileMaker Go. You've got all sorts of options. You can run scripts. Anything that the designer has allowed us to do and then when you're done with this session you can simply sign out and then your users get taken back to the FileMaker WebDirect screen. You can look at the files as tiles or in list view.
All you need is your existing FileMaker skills and you can go from creating an app to making to making it accessible in a web browser in just a few clicks.
- Using calculations in field options
- Using multiple criteria in relationships
- Advanced reporting
- Securing your custom apps
- Sharing your apps with FileMaker Server
- Configuring FileMaker Server
- Performing scripts on FileMaker Server
- Deploying FileMaker WebDirect
- Integrating with non-FileMaker databases
- Communicating with iBeacons
- Working with JSON