Configuring the Web Companion Plug-in - File Maker

  1. Choose the Edit menu (or the FileMaker Pro menu on Mac OS X) and select Preferences, then Applications from the drop down menu.
  2. Choose the Plug-ins tab. Scroll through and enable the Web Companion plug-in by clicking in the checkbox next to the plug-in’s name.
  3. Once you have selected the Web Companion press the Configure button. The Web Companion Configuration dialog will open.Configuring the Web Companion Plug-in
  4. You will notice that the Web Companion Configuration dialog offers many choices. Make the settings in your dialog box appear like this illustration.The following several sections explain what the various options in this dialog are for.

Web Companion User Interface Options
As you’ve learned, Instant Web Publishing is a FileMaker plug-in that allows you to instantly publish your database on the Web using FileMaker as the Web server. This is as simple as selecting the “Enable Instant Web Publishing” option and using the “built-in” page selected as your home page. You can also add your own home page in the drop-down box where it says “Home Page,” but this requires a little more work.

To make your own custom page show in the drop-down menu, you need to place that HTML page in the Web folder located in the FileMaker Pro folder. Once your HTML file is placed there it will be visible in the drop-down list. You’ll make this art.htm page later, so you can’t select it in your dialog yet. Here’s what the other areas of this dialogs are for.

Remote Administration
You will notice three radio buttons named “Disabled”, “Requires no password”, and “Requires password”. “Disabled” turns off Remote Administration, the function that allows you to remotely log in and administer your Web server computer. “Requires no password” allows you to upload and download files without the security of a password (not recommended unless your site is only available internally at your location and not to the Web via an Internet connection).

It is highly advisable to choose the “Requires password” option. Type your password into the text box below the radio buttons.

TCP/IP Port Number
The default for this text box is port number 80, which should be fine, though you may have conflicts with this port if you’re running other Web services on the same server computer.

Unless you are using FileMaker Pro Unlimited you will see the IP guest limit “10” below the TCP/IP port number field. This means that you are limited to 10 visitors to the FileMaker-driven portion of your site in a 12-hour period. Any user trying to access your Web site after this limit has been reached will receive an error message.

Logging
Logging has three checkboxes: “Access Log File”, “Error Log File”, and “Information Log File”. “Access Log File” gives you a record of the IP addresses of the computers that have logged in to your site and which Web pages were accessed. “Error Log File” keeps a record of the errors generated by the Web Companion. “Information Log File” is only used if you are you creating custom pages using FileMaker Developer. All of these text-based log files are stored in the FileMaker Pro folder, and you should review them periodically.

Security
You will notice two radio buttons in this section of the dialog: “FileMaker Pro Access Privileges” and the “Web Security Database”. The “FileMaker Pro Access Privileges” defaults to the passwords set up in the user and groups options of the back-end database (specified in File > Access Privileges > Passwords).

The “Web Security Database” option is designed to work with Custom not Instant Web Publishing. To make the “Web Security Database” option available, you will need to go to the FileMaker Pro folder, open the “Web Security” folder, and double click Web Security.fp5. (You will learn more about this when you read about Custom Web Publishing.)

You can also set up “Restrict Access to IP address(es)”, and, if using an intranet, specify which IP addresses are allowed access to this part of your Web site. Use a comma to separate more than one IP address. Use an asterisk (*) as a wildcard character. For example, if all the addresses on your intranet begin with “128.10.12”, you can enter “128.10.12.*” and access will be restricted to those addresses. Once you have finished choosing the required settings indicated above, press the OK button twice.

Sharing
Your next step is to share your database. First, make sure that the database you wish to share is open. Once the database is open, choose File > Sharing from your menu bar. You will see the Sharing dialog with several options. Click the checkbox next to Web Companion so that it is enabled. Then click the “Set Up Views” button. The “Web Companion View Setup” dialog box will open:

Configuring the Web Companion Plug-in

This dialog allows you to specify the appearance of your Web page. You will see five tabs, Web Style, Table View, Form View, Search, and Sort.

Web Style
The Web Style tab lets you select the color or style for your page. Below the colors in the drop down list are two other options: Search Only and Entry Only.

Search Only limits viewers to searching and viewing records. Entry Only allows viewers only to submit information. You will need to test the different styles on different browsers. Most users will have browsers with versions at least 4.0 or greater. Select “Blue and Gold 1”.

Table View
The Table View tab lets you specify how a Web browser should display multiple records from the database in a list view type format. From the drop-down menu, you will need to select the layout that will be used to create the table view in a Web browser. Use the table layout for this example. (Remember that all of the fields in the layout you select will show in that table view.)

Configuring the Web Companion Plugin

Form View
The Form View tab is used to pick which layout to use to display single records in a Web browser. This is the view that has all of the information that you want displayed for a single record. Select the form layout from the drop-down menu.

Configuring the Web Companion Plugin

Search
The Search tab lets you specify which fields will be displayed on the “search” Web page where visitors can search the art.fp5 database. Select the find layout and add all fields to the Field Name list.

Configuring the Web Companion Plugin

Sort
The Sort tab gives you three options. The “Do not sort records” option is selfexplanatory. Choose the next option, “User defines sorting by specified fields in the browser” then press the Specify button. The Specify Sort dialog will open.

Select the field(s) that you would like the user to be able to sort by. To select a field (even from a related database via the drop down menu), select a field in the left scroll window, click the Move button, and it will be added to the sort list. Add as many fields as you desire. When you are finished, press the OK button.

The “Predefined sorting by specified fields before downloading to the browser” sorting option means that the fields you indicate will always be used for sorting on any view into the database and the user can’t do their own sorts

Sort

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