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No Brainer Database Publishing, Part 3

To access your database, users need to configure their FileMaker Pro 3.0 as a Netscape helper app, using an AppleScript applet that is downloadable from Claris.

When users click on a link to your database, Netscape will connect their FileMaker Pro 3.0 application to your FileMaker Pro 3.0 database, via TCP/IP, with SEARCH, ADD, UPDATE, AND DELETE commands enabled (FileMaker has built-in field-level security). Unfortunately, users are limited to Netscape 1.1 or 2.x, since Netscape Navigator 3.0 no longer supports the FMP3:// protocol. More bad news: you can only publish to Macintosh FileMaker Pro 3.0 users. Windows FileMaker Pro 3.0 users can access FileMaker Pro 3.0 databases remotely via TCP/IP-based WANs, but not via HTTP protocol. The good news is that there are already a large number of Macintosh FileMaker users, and many of them have upgraded to FileMaker Pro 3.0. For MacOS-based computers, FileMaker Pro can be used as a dynamic database publishing solution. FileMaker Pro, in conjuction with a Web server (such as WebSTAR) and a CGI program, allows users to access a database using a browser on Windows, Mac or Unix. There are several FileMaker Pro 3.0 CGI options available for WebSTAR (which is bundled with the Apple Internet Server), but not yet for Windows-based servers.

CGI Solutions

Some of these scripts, such as the popular freeware Claris FileMaker CGI and Web FM CGIs, use slow-running AppleScript scripts that require you to create calculation fields that "pre-generate" HTML files. This means you have to edit the FileMaker database to add HTML code every time you change it. These CGI scripts are not recommended because they're extra work, increase the file size of the database, make your data vulnerable to accidental errors during editing, and performance is poor--and not multi-threaded. However, there are several commercial FileMaker CGIs available at www.claris.com/support/products/filemakerpro/docs/cgi.html. [Move on to the next part of the article.]



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