Pacific Solutions: Cloud

One of the projects that I was commissioned too do while at Pacific Solutions was to create a front-end web interface that linked to their FileMaker database (essentially an earlier and more complex implementation of the Standard Interiors Project).

php, html, css, jQuery, ajax, FileMaker Pro, graphic design

01. Inception

This project was actually rather slow in the beginnings because it required me to learn about two things: the FileMaker php API, and php in general (neither of which had I ever used before). We initially started building our pages with the DHTMLX jQuery framework, but ultimately decided that it did not give us enough control.

02. Process

PacSol Cloud took the whole summer. There was a minor amount of scope creep (going from pulling data to then sending back some pretty complex record modifications) which lengthened the project, but mostly it was just figuring out FileMaker's API and the dynamically-built pages.

03. Completion

The interface that I built ended up being one of the show-off features at the very next Pacific Solutions annual User's Conference, which was extremely satisfying to watch. The whole of the journey was a huge personal success since it involved so much technology that I was previously unfamiliar with.

04. Lessons

I learned a lot about php! It was amazing to go from having never previously worked with it, to building an entire application with it and FileMaker's API for it. This opened up the world of ajax and dynamically loading/changing pages for me, as well as some new ways to manipulate the data inside of FileMaker pro. If I could have done one thing differently, it would have been to have read a book on dynamic php pages before the project so that I would have known more about how to make them efficient.