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New! Api.All is a Drag & Drop API Generation Service for FileMaker
Connecting any Server framework to any REST client. No Coding Required!
Most app developers would agree that the logic behind the back-end of most mobile & web apps is relatively simple. There is nothing too complicated in the database or the algorithms of a typical social app, for example. Yet, the development of such back-ends in conventional tools, from PHP/SQL to .NET, is fairly complicated and expensive, and the work that could have been done in one week of a professional FileMaker developer takes sometimes months of work.
So, why not use FileMaker? Maybe not for big data, but at least at the early stage FileMaker development could be a great solution, saving plenty of dev effort. As for performance, assuming a REST call every 10 second in general use, a single FileMaker server can support 5,000 simultaneous users, especially since no UI or image handling is involved, as detailed below.
Most apps will never reach such numbers. Well, there are some problems. To be able to present a practical solution, we would want the back-ends to reside behind a standard REST API, to which any front-end developer can easily connect his or her code. Though tools such as RESTfm of FileMaker’s own API are very helpful for FMP developers, the resulted API will not be what app developers have learned to see when working with conventional servers. Furthermore, to efficiently develop an app backend, the server must support standard user token based authentication, that can be easily integrated with auth tools such as Facebook’s.
Images and videos better be kept on a designated hosting service – a 1,000 people trying to play a video together will crash any FileMaker solution. *** Developed by the team of TLV Generator, a startup program operating in Tel Aviv, Israel, api.all is a generic API builder, representing almost any back-end logic behind a standard REST API, hosted on api.all servers, thus replacing tedious coding in few minutes of web forms filling.
For FileMaker, api.all enables calling any script at a hosted solution via an easily configured REST service along with the request parameters, then return the Found Set resulted by the script as a JSON object to the REST client. Relaying on a non-FileMaker token based user authentication, access can be controlled for User and Admin suites. Images and videos can be configured to be uploaded via the API. The binary is sent to a storage site, while it’s URL is sent to FileMaker along with the rest of the request parameters.
This is how Api.All works:
- The app calls a service via api.all REST API –
- api.all calls a FileMaker script via the FileMaker CWP PHP –
- A JSON string containing the user ID and the service request parameters is sent as a the called script parameter –
- FileMaker executes the script, placing the request parameters sent as JSON in variables and fields –
- The Found Set resulted by the script is converted to JSON (as a string, flat or multi dimensional array, example in the site) –
- The FileMaker CWP returns FileMaker’s response to api.all –
- api.all sends FileMaker response to the app as a REST service response
The front-end developer does not need to know anything about FMP development, and sees a perfectly standard API. During the last year TLV Generator program has developed a few FileMaker based production mobile and web apps, proving the saving of over 80%, and sometimes much more, of the development effort comparing to standard server frameworks.
What is the Cost of Api.All?
api.all is currently in beta and free to use – reasonable price plans will be introduced once we’ll be sure that everything is working smoothly.
Features of Api.All
Additional features, such as non-hosted APIs written on the client’s server, caching, logs and direct 3rd party APIs connections will soon follow. P.S. As it’s really just out of the box, bugs are unfortunately expected… We can be connected through api.all site, and will do our best to fix ASAP. Happy holidays!