From Database Developer to Web Developer Thanks to WebDirect

By Thomas Meglasson III

I don’t know PHP, and my HTML and CSS skills are rudimentary at best. Nevertheless, I recently became a web developer!

Fortunately, with FileMaker’s WebDirect, I don’t need those skills to make a beautiful website. I build it all right in FileMaker, using skills I already have, and then publish straight to the web with a FileMaker Server.

I was recently tasked with creating a conference registration system for a large association’s annual convention. They expect around 900 to 1,000 registrants this year. The system had capture the demographic data of the registrants, look up their membership data if needed, let them choose their attendance options and pay for both the conference and a membership renewal.

FileMaker WebDirect in action.

FileMaker WebDirect in action.

Within a week I had the website up and running, ready to show to the client. There was a lot of fine-tuning of the business logic of the website: how the pages should look, the wording of the instructions, and so forth. FileMaker never got in the way of this. In fact, it made making these changes remarkably fast. I would actually make the changes to the website as the customer was looking at it so we could receive instantaneous feedback.

There are a lot of tools out there for building a beautiful website — if all you need is a blog or some static pages. But a site with a back-end database that can handle any number of users and keep track of hundreds of thousands of records? I’ve never heard of an integrated solution that will let you do it as quickly or as cheaply as FileMaker. I’d love to do this again for another client soon!