A READER ASKS: Excel / FileMaker / Web

From Dwayne Wright - Certified FileMaker 9 Developer
WEB: www.dwaynewright.com
EMAIL: info@dwaynewright.com
TWITTER: dwaynewright

A READER ASKS

Hey man,

nice blog...what do you know about converting Excel sheets into the FileMaker database and then sharing the database through internet sharing/web integration...apparently there are some things that do not translate to the web from filemaker? Or should this not be a problem with information that came from Excel?

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DWAYNE RESPONDS
I’ve always been happy with the data brought over from Excel to FileMaker. I’ve had a few hiccups going in the opposite direction (FileMaker To Excel) but those were centered around how Excel might interpret imported data.

Now about the web ... ah the web ... sometimes the web is the Joker to my Batman. I don’t do any FileMaker Web work other than Instant Web Publishing (and I’ve only done 8 or 10 of those). I do like IWP and it can be successfully used in many places. Here is the bitter truth (as I perceive it) about FileMaker Web Integration.

THE GLASS IS MORE THAN HALF FULL
The good news is that practically everything you do in a FileMaker database in one way or another. There is no single way however, so you do need to pick and choose what is important to you. Data representation from FileMaker to a web experience can generally considered “no problem”. How the data is presented, can be more of a problem. How the web user(s) interact with the data can be a little bit more of a problem.

Almost everything FileMaker to the Web related falls into the categories of ...

- No Problem
- Bit Of A Problem, We Will Have To Use XYZ
- Don’t Really Know, Will Have To Research That
- No, that simply is not going to happen
- Give Me Some Time And Money And I’ll See What I Can Come Up With

There are some extremely talented FileMaker to the Web programmers out there. Do you need one of those however? I would try to categorize your needs into a smaller set of requirements such as ...

The FMP / Web system must show this ...
The FMP / Web system must do this ...
The FMP / Web system must support this ...

The FMP / Web system should show this ...
The FMP / Web system should do this ...
The FMP / Web system should support this ...

It would be nice if the FMP / Web system could show this ...
It would be nice if the FMP / Web system could do this ...
It would be nice if the FMP / Web system could support this ...

then ask your FMP / Web developer to overlay the aforementioned ...

- No Problem
- Bit Of A Problem, We Will Have To Use XYZ
- Don’t Really Know, Will Have To Research That
- No, that simply is not going to happen
- Give Me Some Time And Money And I’ll See What I Can Come Up With

Hope that helps .....
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More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at info@dwaynewright.com.

© 2008 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.

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