Testing Your Database on the Web - File Maker

Testing your database is perhaps one of the most important aspects of Web publishing! Once you have made all of the choices for style, searching, and sorting, you should test your “instantly published” Web site’s functionality.

To do so, first make sure the database you wish to publish is open and that Web Companion sharing is turned on for each database that you wish to share to the Web. Once this is done, open your Web browser. In the address bar, type the IP address of your computer (or type localhostif you aren't connected to the Internet). (Remember to append the 591 to your IP address if you did not use the default port 80.)

The screen below shows the default FileMaker’s Instant Web Publishing portal that will appear, assuming you selected the built-in home page in Web Companion’s configuration. Click the database link you wish to open, in this case “art”.

Testing Your Database on the Web

Now is the perfect time to check out your different pages and see how they look on the Web. To make changes, you will have to go back into FileMaker and make your changes on the layout or in the Web Companion sharing configuration. Below is how the form view looks through a Web browser. Try out the various buttons like Search and Table View and Sort.

Testing Your Data base on the Web

When Carissa went through this same process she was happy with the default page that FileMaker automatically created for her, but she thought that it would be even neater if she had her own unique default Web page to enter into her Web site. So, in her favorite HTML editor, she created a custom Web page. Here’s the basic source code for that Web page:

You can have a custom default starting Web page, too, if you save the preceding HTML code (as art.htm) into the Web folder in the FileMaker Pro application folder (or copy it there from the CD-ROM). Be sure to select “art.htm” as the “Home Page” in the Web Companion plug-in’s configuration.

Below is how this new default home page would look after you refresh your “localhost” view in your Web browser:

Testing Your Data base on the Web

Inside the HTML code provided, you will see a link that looks like this:

You will need to replace that “localhost” with the IP address of your own computer, or of the Web server computer when you are ready to go live. Alternatively, you can change the link to a relative link rather than an absolute link. This type of link will work so long as the user has gotten to your Web server’s “art.htm” page successfully by entering your domain name or IP address.

Once everything is set up as described here, click the Enter link to start browsing the “instantly published” online art museum again.

Security Notes
You’ll see that when you bring up the art database in the Web browser you cannot delete, edit, or add records. This is on purpose, and such security is easy to set up. Basically, the Web pages are using the same security as set up in FileMaker’s access privileges for the art.fp5 database. In this case, there’s a master password (-Acibuk-) as well as a default entered no password password, which has limited rights. Play around with the privilege settings for the no password password, such as record editing, adding, and deleting. Next refresh the browser window and you’ll see new buttons appear that allow any -no password- user (essentially anyone with access to the Web page) these additional functions.

Also, never put your FileMaker databases in the Web folder in the FileMaker Pro application folder. Because this folder is shared to everyone else on the Web, you don’t want the actual database in there so that someone can download, modify, or even delete it. Put all FileMaker databases in another folder on you’re the hard drive like on the desktop or in the Documents/My Documents folder.

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