Is https://www.fm-api.com/ the only "tool" in its category? I would like to know if there are other products in that space. I'm mostly interested in the webhooks part. I'm looking for something with a UI, it can be provided as a service or on-prem, but I'm not looking for something like customizing RESTfm with listener files etc.
Good timing - I'm preparing a whole session on webhooks for an upcoming big event
You have a few options. Like paying this service (which I was not aware of - do we know who is behind it?)
You can use Claris Connect of course, it has excellent webhook support.
Or on the other end of the spectrum you can just spin up a very simple web service yourself to accept the incoming and transform it and push it into FM. I usually use ASP.NET or Node.js for those.
The middle-ground is node-red. It runs off Node.js but it totally abstracts the web-service part for you. And it allows you to build flows visually.
Below is the current flow for that upcoming session. It accepts XML as the incoming (could be anything really but JSON is too easy to demo so I picked something harder). Parses the XML and for each element in the XML it tells FMS to create a record.
Node-red is open source, sponsored by IBM (so it is 'serious' open source). I have mine running on an old Raspberry Pi 3. You can run it in Docker, on a tiny AWS/Azure Linux box, or even on a Windows or macOS box. It's extremely lightweight.
So ask away, it'll be good practice for my session.
The service above is made by a Claris Partner listed in the UK: Matatiro Solutions, so I guess Steve Winter is connected to that.
I will look forward to your session about Node-red. I liked what Lui did with that. I will need to get more familiar with setting it up somewhere, adding other people's libraries (if that is what they are called) and playing with the construction blocks.
My session won't be about node-red, but to show the wide variety of webhooks that we have in and around the Claris ecosphere. If you want something specific about node-red I'd be happy to present to your local developer's group on it.
Since it costs no money to get up to speed with node-red; I would encourage (strongly) to go that way and / or explore Node.js directly with a basic example like this one: Build Node.js Apps with Visual Studio Code
especially about halfway down where they show how to use the Express framework.
You'll be amazed how easy it is to set up your own webhook microservice.
@fmpdude Did you take possession of Wim mind ?
Wim has been using and teaching others about micro-services for a very long time...
How about Zapier? It's free, up to a point, and there's a great Filemaker connector for it...
@JamesG I don't know about a FileMaker connector for Zapier. Do you have a link or something specific you can point to?
Would you guys be interested in a web hook to a FMP?
For FMS you can just use a php script or use the data API to receive the hook calls.
I already made a solution for receiving webhooks in a FileMaker database that's simple to deploy: FileMaker Webhooks - AppWorks
It has two versions that can be implemented: The first one is a PHP solution and the second one would use AWS Lambda (FaaS) and Amazon API Gateway.
Do you have anything that show how you implemented it? That article is just high overview of the general concept.
It’s awesome! And free...
Many people 'mis-use' Zapier's pricing tiers so don't be too surprised if they start cracking down on that a bit in the future - for now the battle is on for marketshare but once leaders are established I see the cost going up.
The other thing to consider is how important real-time is for the project. Zapier and similar services have a delay built in, especially for the lower-tier pricing levels.
@WimDecorte, can you elaborate on what you mean by "mis-use". By saying Zapier is likely to crack down on that makes it sound like some users are getting "free lunch" with an unconventional approach, or using the service in a way that does not match their Terms Of Service.
The fact players are still competing for market shares and once things crystallize you expect prices to go up would be, from my own point of view, one more argument for Claris to be more aggressive with Claris Connect. I'm afraid their positioning & pricing will result in many customers choosing a different provider for their automation needs. Even if those prices eventually raise, I think customers will stay where they are, not wanting to go over the initial setup again with another vendor.
That said, it seems Integromat is seeing a good number of customer adopting the platform and moving away from Zapier for both the pricing and the flexibility of Integromat. So it does seem we are still in a phase where price matters and the market shares can change hands. But my guess would be that if the vendors all raise their prices, that would create some room for a new player betting they would be able to claw away some customers from the hands of the larger players (would they succeed or not, would their customers be boarding a sinking ship, I don't know).
I was under the impression Apple had more than enough resources to bring the fight to the other players and be eating up some of their market shares. But from what I see, they are taking a different approach.
I know the Claris Connect's market reception and pricing were discussed elsewhere, I'm sorry if this brings back some of that on the table.
Full disclosure: my company is both a Claris Partner-Connect and an Integromat Partner.
The "mis-use" I see is when I see developers use the lowest pricing tier ($20?) to host zaps for their clients, under their own account. When I originally looked at the licensing terms, that wasn't what you were supposed to to.
But more importantly it is also - most likely - not what your clients would agree to if they sat down to reflect on it. By hosting your client's zaps under your account you are now 'owning' a piece of their business logic and making yourself a single-point-of-failure in their workflows. From a legal point of view that may be very iffy, but I'm not a lawyer. I've been in and around enough similar situations where I pay a lot of attention to these things.
It's one of the reason why I would first look at setting this up completely under the client's control, on their own servers. Or pick a service where team collaboration is included by default (like Claris Connect or Zapier for Teams).
Does Integromat have a Filemaker connector of some sort? Had a look through, but couldn't find anything...
It does not have one. Like any player in that space they are expanding what gets supported and contributions are possible, so maybe someday. I don't know if there are limitations specific to FileMaker that would prevent that from happening or not.
I'm not sure how paradise partners did their thing for Zapier, but FM is different than most connectors because it won't have a single endpoint like other SaaS (Trello, Slack, Mailchimp, etc.). That said Integromat can interact with SQL dbs so It should be possible to achieve something similar with FM.
It's one of the biggest issues with using FMS directly as a webhook: it requires two steps (1) a call to the sessions endpoint to get a token and (2) to make the actual call you want.
Claris solved it a little bit by allowing basic auth for some of the endpoints so that you can get around the two-step process. Even with that, the other remaining issue is one of grammar. FMS only accepts JSON in its own format which is never going to be what the other system will be sending (unless you have full control over that other system - which you more often than not don't have).
So you need some code on the 'webhook platform' to do the auth and the translation for you. A connector in Claris Connect terms, a Node Palette in node-red terms, a 'custom connector' in MS PowerAutomate (Flow) terms, one of the many community wrappers around the Data API for most of the popular technologies: JS, Python, .NET, ...
Still, without a full fledged connector, you should be able to trigger Integromat scenarios (the equivalent of flows) simply by sending your json payload to a webhoook.
Also, the other way around, you could use Integromat to build a call to FileMaker's data api.
You just won't have the UI goodies you get with a standard connector.
I hadn't realised this was the case - which endpoints allow basic auth Wim?