I have been going through and learning as much as I can via the Softpress tutorials, 3rd party sites, and the great support here on the forums. So far I have been able to create just about everything I want in Freeway (except lightbox videos!).
Now I am looking to figure out 2 related (I believe) items. First, I want to pull up videos based on a database. For example, the page will have a list of 20 items (the number is not relevant). Each one should be a link to show that specific video in the same spot on the page. Other pages would ask a series of questions and then pull up a specific video based on the answers to the questions.
The next issue is how to create an ordering system that works through the logic of a series of selections to get to a final price. My current system was done in php and was quite costly. The main problem is any time I want to change prices, products, etc. I cannot do it myself and the company I had do it is no longer in business.
I envision using Filemaker (which I have some basic knowledge of) and maybe bridging MySQL (which my ISP has) to tackle these problems.
My main question is, do I need a Fat Book or web developer? If so, is there a way to do these so I can change the videos or the ordering prices, etc. on my own?
Rather long winded, but very important for my company to figure out.
I’ve built several systems that use Filemaker on the desktop and MySQL on the Web server, and they are a lot of work to do well. I don’t recommend that you go down that road.
What would work a lot better is to have a single MySQL database, running on the Web server, and a private Web interface where you can enter and update your data securely while your customers visit a different public interface.
As a first step, you might want to invest in a few hours of someone’s time to do some forensics on your current system. It may be more configurable than the former developers let on, and you might get off lightly!
As to the Fat Book, if this is your business and livelihood, you might want to experiment elsewhere. I don’t want to discourage anyone from learning more, but I do want people to avoid hurting themselves in the process.
Thanks Walt. I am concerned about spending too much time going down a path that will only lead to heartache.
Our current ordering system is basically separate from from the rest of the site. Eventually we need to have the two integrated so selections made within the main site will populate once they go into the ordering system.
I have been envisioning doing as much in FW so we will have the flexibility to make updates, changes, etc. Do you think it matters if we have someone do the ordeing system in php even though they are not FW developers?
Do your comments about MySQL apply to the video selection / loading question also? I’ve never done anything in MySQL, but do not imagine it will be that hard to have FW link to it so it can pull up the correct videos.
A good developer will be Freeway-agnostic. They won’t care where the HTML comes from, as long as it’s good code that they can use. Just remember that if the developer has modified Freeway’s files, you won’t be able to upload from Freeway again, because the modified files will be overwritten and the programming erased.
But a developer with experience in Freeway will take your Freeway file, plop the code-bits into it and send it back to you. And then you can make changes to the layout without affecting the inner workings. There are a number of us on this list who have done this sort of thing for other members. (I’m one of them, there are several others I can think of.)