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Can FileMaker be deployed as a web application?

FileMaker + http = webapp?

Recently on Twitter, @JayPerryCogSc asked:

"Is it possible to make web deployable applications using #FileMaker??"

The short answer is: it depends.

FileMaker is an amazing application development tool. FileMaker solutions deployed on MACs, PCs and iOS devices really shine! When it comes to deploying FileMaker applications on the web, it's important to know FileMaker's strengths and weaknesses.

First, it's important to note that FileMaker isn't a web application development language like PHP, Python and Ruby on Rails. Another way to put it is that FileMaker isn't a native the web.

FileMaker is capable of supporting a robust webapp with the help of other languages like PHP and Ruby. In fact, FileMaker is a terrific choice as a backend database because it can run all sorts of backend processes and triggers as a result of activity in your webapp. FileMaker's PHP publishing option is a superb way to produce first class web applications!

However, FileMaker's turnkey web publishing, known as Instant Web Publishing lacks luster. So, while it's extremely easy to put together an interface in FileMaker and push a button to have it accessible in a browser, the results can be a little underwhelming. In order to make your application shine in the browser, you will need to fine tune the generated html and php files created by FileMaker via Instant Web Publishing process.

For that reason, it's important to ask yourself, "What am I trying to accomplish with my webapp?" and determine which tool will benefit you the most.

As you can see in the image below, FileMaker supports a vast array of options when it comes to publishing data from a FileMaker application.

You should note however that the Access via FileMaker network and the Access via Instant Web Publishing are the only two options that serve up the interfaces that you've designed and developed in your FileMaker application. The other options only support publishing data from within your application.

Also, in order to publish data via PHP, XML and XSLT, you'll need to host the application on FileMaker Server

In short, FileMaker can be a terrific backend for a number of solutions. It may just be what you're looking for!

I hope this answers your question. If not, feel free to send me another in the comments below.

Cheers!

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