FMStudio Complete Guide

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The team at FMWebschool would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to the FileMaker community. We are extremely grateful for your support, your encouragement and your kindness. We would like to also thank all of you that are currently using FMStudio.

This has been an incredibly positive experience as we have had the opportunity to get to know many of you. We are extremely passionate about providing you with an excellent product, and your continual feedback, questions and suggestions are priceless!

We would also like to thank James Toland from Adobe Inc. and Silas Lepcha of the Adobe Dreamweaver team. James has been instrumental in getting us involved with the Dreamweaver development team and has been extremely helpful and a great friend. Silas Lepcha is in charge of the Dreamweaver Beta testing and has enabled us to work with pre release versions of Dreamweaver to help keep us ahead of the development curve.

We would be remiss if we did not thank FileMaker Inc., for developing a truly amazing product.

Lastly, we would like to thank our family and friends who have patiently stood by and supported us as we wrote this book. We treasure your patience, your love and your encouragement, and we promise we will wait at least another 6 months before we do this again.


The Triumphant Triad

Some would call it a perfect blend of technology. FileMaker is a powerful relational database that is rich with business logic and has the ability to power robust PHP websites. PHP is the number one web scripting language available and is supported by a vast and thriving online community of developers. Dreamweaver is a powerful cross platform web editor that can be used to create beginner to advanced websites.

We feel that this trio combined together gives you all of the tools you need to develop and deploy extremely powerful dynamic driven websites. Many companies, schools and other organizations already use FileMaker as their internal database system. We think that is simply makes sense to use a database system that you have already incorporated internally and that you understand.

Currently, there are several PHP classes written to work with PHP. The API for PHP was written by Zend for FileMaker Inc., as is supported and managed by FileMaker. The other two version of PHP are FX.php and FMPHP both written by independent developers. All of the PHP classes are very easy to learn, and they enable you to communicate with FileMaker from the web.

What do I need to get started?

To develop FileMaker websites, you will need a copy of FileMaker, FileMaker Server 9, 10, 11 or FileMaker Server Advanced version 7 or 8. If you do not own FileMaker Server, you can always host your database solution with a hosting company like FMGateway specializes in hosting FMStudio databases and websites. You will also need a copy of Dreamweaver. There are many versions of Dreamweaver, currently FMStudio works with Dreamweaver MX, MX2004, 8, CS3 and CS4. Lastly, you will need to have PHP set up on your server.

So a quick summary of what you need to get started. FileMaker, FileMaker Server (or a FileMaker hosting company) Dreamweaver, and PHP.

Note: This book comes with a companion database, fotorama.fp7.If you have problems opening the database use 'Admin' and keep the password field blank. To use this database with FMStudio and this book, the database will need to be hosted. If you do not have FileMaker Server, you can host your database at . To get a special discount rate use this code ACT301.

Software / Hardware Requirements


  • Apache or Personal Web Sharing (preinstalled Apache application)
  • PHP 4.3x or greater
  • Operating systems:
    • Mac OS 10.4.x Workstation
    • Mac OS 10.4.x Server
    • Mac OS 10.5.x Workstation
    • Mac OS 10.4.5 Server
  • Hardware
    • Power Mac G4 or G5 computer, 1GHz
    • 512 MB of installed RAM (1 GB or more recommended)
    • Hard disk will at least 1GB of available Disk space
    • CD or DVD drive
  • Dreamweaver
    • Dreamweaver MX
    • Dreamweaver MX 2004
    • Dreamweaver 8
    • Dreamweaver CS3
    • Dreamweaver CS4


  • IIS (Internet Information Services)
  • PHP version 4.3x or greater
  • Operating Systems:
    • Windows 2000 Server
    • Windows XP Professional
    • Windows 2003 Server
    • Windows Vista Server
  • Hardware:
    • Intel compatible PC with a Pentium 4 or Xeon, processor, 2 GHz
    • 512 MB of installed RAM (1 GB or more recommended)
    • Hard disk will at least 1GB of available Disk space
    • CD or DVD drive
  • Dreamweaver
    • Dreamweaver MX
    • Dreamweaver MX 2004
    • Dreamweaver 8
    • Dreamweaver CS3

What is FMStudio?

FMStudio is a Dreamweaver extension that allows you to communicate with FileMaker databases hosted on a FileMaker Server. FMStudio works a lot like FileMaker Pro. FMStudio enables you to see live FileMaker data inside of Dreamweaver. To learn more about the Philosophy of FMStudio, flip ahead a few pages to Chapter 1.

Do I need to know FileMaker?

You do not need to know FileMaker, but it will certainly help. Your learning curve will be a little steeper, but heck it’s good to challenge yourself. Wordware publishing has a couple of great FileMaker books on their site at .

Do I need to know PHP?

A basic knowledge of HTML and PHP is always helpful, but definitely not necessary. FMStudio will do all of the heavy lifting for you, and with the help of this book, you should easily be building custom websites in no time.

Now, it certainly would not hurt you to look at the code that FMStudio is generating. FMStudio can certainly be a great learning tool, and used in tandem with our PHP book you will certainly progress even faster.

If you decide to use FMStudio as a tool to help develop your FileMaker PHP skills, start off by building very simple databases, and creating simple solutions. This way you can see the code that is being written, and progress at your own pace.

What do I need to use this book?

This is an interactive book that is broken up into multiple sections. The only way to learn FMStudio and to become a successful developer is to “do”. This book is all about ‘doing’. Human beings learn through repetition and by changing their physiology. We, the wonderful authors of this book expect you to work through the exercises. You will be glad that you did, because in this book are techniques that will turn you into an expert FileMaker web developer.

Now that you know that you will be taking a hands-on approach, let’s move on to the rest of the book. Section 2 covers FMStudio modules and how to use them to add powerful features to your website. Section 3 is a complete FMStudio feature reference. This section explains all of the FMStudio features and how to incorporate them.

Sample files and videos

This book uses the ‘fotorama.fp7’ FileMaker Pro database. This database has been created especially as a companion database for this book. As you work through the book, the ‘fotorama.fp7’ database will be your friend!

Yes, this database will need to be hosted on FileMaker Server, so please make sure that you set the database up on the server. If you have questions or need hosting please feel free to contact us.

FMStudio is constantly updated and improved, over the past two years we have updated FMStudio 18 times. We are currently writing a whole new series of movies to be included as online helpers with this book. This will be a continual process as FMStudio will continue to evolve.

Last thoughts – well not exactly last…but some thoughts

We truly hope that you enjoy this book. We are very excited to work with a publisher that will allow us to provide this book as a ‘Print on Demand’ book. This is extremely important to us, as FMStudio changes and improves; these new changes can automatically be added to the book.

This book will be available in 3 different mediums, Online in Wiki format, as a PDF, and as a soft covered book. We feel that the online Wiki will be an incredible wealth of information as it will be interactive and we can use your suggestions and ideas to improve the book instantly and make it better for everyone.

Lastly, we have truly enjoyed writing this book. We believe that FMStudio is an amazing tool, and will only continue to improve. We hope that this book helps to guide you to a successful and profitable future!

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