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Web Publishing with PHP and FileMaker 9 [Paperback]

Jonathan Stark

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Book Description

Sept. 5 2007 0672329506 978-0672329500 1

Whether you are a FileMaker developer who is new to web publishing, a web developer who is new to FileMaker, or a complete beginner looking to put your data online, this book is for you.

In Part I, you learn the basics of how web publishing works and how to write your own HTML and PHP. In Part II, you learn how to build a FileMaker database and install and configure the FileMaker Server to host the database. In Part III, you learn how to put it all together to create web pages that talk to your database and allow people to view the data and, if you like, modify it. Throughout the book, publishing a FileMaker Product Catalog to the web is used as an example. Each chapter builds on the previous chapter. When you are done, you will have a working website!


Detailed information on how to…

  • Master web publishing
  • Read and write basic HTML
  • Read and write basic PHP
  • Build a FileMaker database
  • Install and configure FileMaker Server
  • Publish your FileMaker data to the web
  • Work with portals and container fields
  • Repurpose your FileMaker layouts on the web



Introduction 1
Part I: Basics of Web Publishing
Chapter 1: How Web Publishing Works 7
Chapter 2: Introduction to HTML 17
Chapter 3: Introduction to PHP 31
Part II: Laying the Groundwork
Chapter 4: Building a Simple FileMaker File 49
Chapter 5: Configuring the Server(s) 67
Part III: Publishing FileMaker Data on the Web
Chapter 6: Viewing FileMaker Data 91
Chapter 7: Altering FileMaker Data 115
Chapter 8: Working with Related Data (Portals) 137
Chapter 9: Working with Images 167
Chapter 10: Repurposing a FileMaker Layout on the Web 189
Part IV: More Information
Appendix A: Performance Tuning 213
Appendix B: Security Concerns 217
Appendix C: Error Handling and Prevention 225
Appendix D: FileMaker PHP API Reference 231
Index 239

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Product Description

From the Back Cover


About the Author

Jonathan Stark is the president of Jonathan Stark Consulting, a software consulting firm specializing in data solutions for creative professionals. Past clients include Staples, Turner Broadcasting, and Ambrosi (now Schawk). He has spoken at the FileMaker Developers Conference and has had numerous articles published in FileMaker Advisor and phparchitect magazines. Jonathan is reluctant to admit that he began his programming career more than 20 years ago on a Tandy TRS-80.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PHP and FileMaker Integration - a fast and enjoyable journey! Feb. 3 2008
By Timothy Dietrich - Published on Amazon.com
Over the holiday break I had some time to read (a better word might be "consume") Jonathan Stark's book "Web Publishing with PHP and FileMaker 9." In a little more than 250 pages, Jonathan manages to do the impossible: He explains how to put the FileMaker API for PHP to use.

The book is divided into four logical sections. The first section provides background information for those new to the world of Web publishing, including an introduction to HTML and PHP. After reading this section, you won't be an HTML expert, and you certainly won't be a PHP pro. But you will have a good understanding of the technologies involved in Web publishing and development, and how those technologies fit together.

The second section of the book provides a foundation for the examples that are used later on. The section includes a chapter on how to setup a FileMaker database (creating fields, working with the database, performing finds, and so on). I'm sure that the majority of readers will find this section to be unnecessary and might be tempted to skip it. However, the chapter does cover one key topic that you should take a few minutes to check out, and that is an explanation on how to setup a FileMaker account (and grant it the correct privileges) that PHP can use to connect to the database.

The second section also covers installation, deployment, and configuration of FileMaker Server, as well as the new PHP Site Assistant. Jonathan makes a recommendation -- and one that I heartily agree with -- that if you do not absolutely need your own server, then using a server provided by a Web hosting provider is an ideal solution. However, if you do have your own server, you'll find this information to be of great use.

The third section of "Web Publishing with PHP and FileMaker 9" includes what I consider to be the most valuable information in the book. This section covers the FileMaker API for PHP (often referred to as "FileMaker.php") itself, and does so using an example Web application that is developed and expanded throughout the section. The application is one that most readers will be able to associate with -- an online product catalog.

The section includes chapters on how to select, sort, and do finds against a FileMaker database using PHP. Another chapter explains how to alter FileMaker data over the Web, including the creation of new records and updates and deletions of existing records. There are also chapters on how to view, add, edit, and delete related data via PHP (which is accomplished using portals), as well as some very useful information on how to work with images (including images stored in container fields and those stored by reference using URLs).

The last chapter in the third section describes a very interesting concept: Developing a PHP application that automatically updates as the FileMaker layouts that it is built on are updated. For example, if a field is added or removed, the PHP application automatically adds and/or drops the field as well. If you are looking for an easy way to let your FileMaker users "self-manage" a PHP application, then this chapter will prove to be invaluable to you.

"Web Publishing with PHP and FileMaker 9" covers a lot of ground, and does so in a way that makes it a fast and enjoyable journey. Jonathan's writing style and "voice" make it easy to follow along with the material. His expert knowledge of PHP and FileMaker is apparent, and he does a great job of sharing that knowledge in the book.

If you are looking for a good book on PHP and FileMaker integration -- whether you are new to the topic or consider yourself to be a pro -- then I highly recommend picking up a copy of "Web Publishing with PHP and FileMaker 9."
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent down-to-code approach Nov. 6 2007
By Kirk Bowman - Published on Amazon.com
This book is an excellent introduction to HTML, PHP and the FileMaker API. Jonathan has an easy-to-read style. I found it to be a quick and informative read. I enjoyed how he can cover a topic in sufficient depth without the material being too long. This book focuses on the code in a text editor (rather than a visual editor), which is the best way to truly master the subject. Each chapter covers a specific topic so you can read it cover to cover or just focus on the material that is of interest to you. Well done Jonathan!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, precise and even fun. Nov. 29 2007
By Alan G. Hagerty - Published on Amazon.com
FileMaker and PHP are absolutley the way to go, and this is
THE BEST BOOK to get for Filemaker web publishing.
As a "non-programmer" who has struggled in the past trying to bring a database to the web,
I found the examples in this book easy to follow and understand.
It definately took me to the next level.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conciso y bien explicado Aug. 9 2008
By L. Ordóñez - Published on Amazon.com
Un muy buen libro. Muy diferente al estilo de los libros de "* for dummies", utilizando ejemplos concisos y bien explicados para darse a entender.
El libro es un excelente prefacio a PHP, y Filemaker desde cero, y llega hasta la configuración de servidores, que pareciera ser un proceso exclusivamente administrativo.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction to PHP and FileMaker March 22 2009
By D. S. Burton - Published on Amazon.com
Jonathan Stark does an excellent job of explaining web publishing with php and FileMaker. This is the only book on web publishing with php that I've encountered that takes a complete novice from 0-60 in under 300 pages. It starts at the basics with html, php and FileMaker without making assumptions about the reader's skill level.

Additionally, Stark does an excellent job laying a foundation of basic php knowledge. He explains the code line by line in a manner that is not only easy to understand but makes it possible for the reader to grasp the concept. After reading the book I was able to create an application using methods not directly covered in his book.

Furthermore, the author is also incredibly accessible. On two occasions I contacted Mr. Stark with problems I was having with the code (my error on both occasions) and he replied to my inquiries within 24 hours. An accessible author instills a very high level of confidence in their knowledge level.

Overall, I consider this a must read for any FileMaker developer who needs to learn how to get their data on the web. I also highly recommend this book to any non-FileMaker developer that needs a solid introduction to php. Of the three books I own that tout being introductions to php development this is the only one that truly delivers on its promise and at a much better value than the other books. My only question is when will Mr. Stark deliver a"Beyond the Basics" version?

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