FileMaker 17 Data API

FileMaker 17 Data API

The FileMaker 17 Data API is one of the least understood new features of FileMaker 17.  Essentially, the Data API allows a FileMaker 17 server to interact with web services directly using the REST protocol. OK, let’s unpack that a bit.

REST stands for Representational State Transfer, which doesn’t shed much light on the subject. Let’s try again.  Essentially, REST lets the World Wide Web (WWW) communicate with a FileMaker database.  Easily, because the REST set of tools exist in just about any programming language and are easy to use.

Let’s try a real world example:  Assume you have a WordPress website with form generator – something simple, like a ‘Contact Us’ form.  Simply put, that form can add records directly to a FileMaker Database using the Data API.

How does that happen?

Since the WordPress API is a RESTful API, a programmer can easily communicate with your FileMaker database using a standard set of of commands to Create, Read, Update, and Delete records  (CRUD – geeks love acronyms).  The commands are pretty straightforward:

  • GET
  • POST
  • PUT

So, the WordPress form data is added to FileMaker directly, without FileMaker having to access the MySQL database directly.  WordPress could also retrieve data from a FileMaker database and display it on a web page. Pretty powerful stuff. And pretty easy to setup in FileMaker.

DB Services offers a good look at the Data API in this video:

They also show how to set up the FileMaker Data API, how to connect to it using Postman, a free, powerful tool to test API calls, and a they give you  a FileMaker Data API Postman Collection – a set of Postman calls that work with FileMaker.  Free.  Check it out at the link:

Source: Official FileMaker Data API – DB Services – Medium

There’s more, of course

Darren Burgess of BeezWax wrote a great post showing how to setup and use the Data API, too.  Burgess also updated his FileMaker 16 API sample file and made it available for free.  Upload his file to a FileMaker 17 server and you have the ability to open it remotely and send requests to itself.

How does this help?  The file shows you how to use FileMaker cURL commands with the Insert from URL command to make REST calls, and shows you all the details of those interactions:  End points, API tokens, the resulting JSON files, and more.  Test GET’s, POST’s, PUT’s and DELETe’s until you understand exactly what is happening.  And get comfortable using cURL.

What a deal!  Download the file at the link below and get started:

Source: Using REST and cURL with FileMaker 17’s Data API – beezwax > blog

And even more…

Mike Duncan of Soliant Computing gives you the code and the know how to connect your FileMaker database to a free WordPress form generator, Ninja Forms:

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