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What is fmPDA ?

fmPDA is a set of PHP classes for FileMaker's Data API (v1) and Admin API (v2). The special sauce, the fmPDA class: a replacement for FileMaker's API For PHP FileMaker class, using the Data API. fmPDA provides method & data structure compatibility with FileMaker's API For PHP classes.

But wait, there's more! A set of Modular FileMaker Scripts to let you access the Data API and Admin API right from your FileMaker solution. Perfect for your standalone solution or iOS SDK app.

fmPDA v2
A replacement class for the FileMaker API For PHP using the FileMaker Data API (REST)

You've Got A Problem

You likely have Custom Web Publishing (CWP) code written using FileMaker's API for PHP. FileMaker has made it clear the new Data API is the way to go, and the XML interface (which FileMaker's API for PHP uses) will likely be deprecated and removed in the future. Your code will break. Game over, Player One.

So, What Do You Do?

  • Rewrite your code to use the new Data API. Not 'hard', but it'll take time to rewrite/debug. In the end, your code may be a little faster. Yay, you.
  • Use a library that someone wrote to solve the same problem. Less time consuming, especially if the code could replicate FileMaker's API for PHP.

Wait, What?

fmPDA provides method & data structure compatibility with FileMaker's API For PHP. Only minor changes should be needed to your code and it should take you less than an hour.

fmPDA v2 Overview

  • fmCURL
      fmCURL is a wrapper for CURL calls. The curl() method sets the typical parameters and optionally encode/decodes JSON data. fmCURL is independent of the FM API; it can be used to communicate with virtually any host (Google, Swipe, etc.). The fmAPI class (see below) uses fmCURL to communicate with FileMaker's API.
                                 $curl = new fmCURL();
      $curlResult = $curl->curl('');
      Additionally, fmCURL instantiates a global fmLogger object to log various messages these classes generate. You can use this for your own purposes as well. See any of the example files on how it's used.

  • fmAPI
      fmAPI encapsulates the interactions with FileMaker's API. fmAdminAPI and fmDataAPI extend this class. You won't typically instantiate this class directly.

      fmAPI takes care of managing the authentication token the API requires in all calls. Without your code needing to know, fmAPI will request a new token whenever the current token is invalid. By default, the token is stored in a session variable so calls across multiple PHP pages will reuse the same token. You can disable session variable storage, but you'll be responsible for managing the storage of the token.

  • fmAdminAPI
      fmAdminAPI encapsulates the interactions with FileMaker's Admin Console API. Use this to communicate with FileMaker Server's Admin Console to get the server status, schedules, configuration, etc.
                                 $fm = new fmAdminAPI($host, $userName, $password);
      $apiResult = $fm->apiGetServerStatus();

  • fmDataAPI
      fmDataAPI encapsulates interactions with FileMaker's Data API. The class provides methods for directly interacting with the Data API (Get, Find, Create, Edit, Delete, Upload Container, Set Globals, Scripts, etc.)
                                 $fm = new fmDataAPI($database, $host, $userName, $password);
      $apiResult = $fm->apiGetRecord($layout, $recordID);


      • OAuth support is included but has not been tested.
      • The Data API replaces the name of the Table Occurrence in portals with the layout object name (if one exists). If you name your portals on the dedicated Web layouts (you do have those, right?) you've been using with the old API, you'll need to change your code (ugh) or remove the object names.
      • The Data API translates FM line separators from a line feed (\n) in the old API is now a carriage return (\r). If your code looks for line feeds, look for carriage returns now.

  • fmPDA
      fmPDA provides method & data structure compatibility with FileMaker's 'old' API For PHP.
                                 $fm = new fmPDA($database, $host, $userName, $password); /* fmPDA instead of FileMaker */
      $findAllCommand = $fm->newFindAllCommand($layout); $findAllCommand->addSortRule($fieldName, 1, FILEMAKER_SORT_DESCEND); $result = $findAllCommand->execute();
      Remember, wherever you did this:
      $fm = new FileMaker(...);
      replace it with:
      $fm = new fmPDA(...);

      Within the limits described below, your existing code should function as is, with the exception that it's using FileMaker's Data API instead of the XML interface. Not everything is supported, so you may have to make some changes to your code.

      fmPDA can also return the 'raw' data from the Data API; if you want to use fmPDA to create the structures for passing to the Data API but want to process the data on your own, set the 'translateResult' element to false in the $options array you pass to the fmPDA constructor. Alternatively, you can override fmPDA::newResult() to return the result in whatever form you wish.

      What is supported

      • Get Record By ID
      • Find All
      • Find Any
      • Find (Non compound & Compound)
      • Add Record
      • Create Record & Commit
      • Edit Record
      • Get Record, Edit & Commit
      • Delete Record
      • Get Container Data
      • Get Container Data URL
      • Duplicate record
      • Uploading a container (this is an extension thanks to the Data API); use fmPDA::newUploadContainerCommand(...)
      • (FMS 18+) List databases, can also use fmAdminAPI::apiListDatabases()
      • (FMS 18+) List scripts
      • (FMS 18+) List layouts
      • (FMS 18+) getTableRecordCount(), getFoundSetCount(), and getFetchCount()

      What isn't supported

      • Get layout metadata (you can use fmDataAPI::apiGetValueList() or fmDataAPI::apiLayoutMetadata() to retreive most of the data on your own now)
      • Validation
      • Value Lists (you can retrieve some of this now with fmDataAPI::apiLayoutMetadata())
      • Using Commit() to commit data on portals.


      • fmRecord::getFieldAsTimestamp() (FileMaker_Record::getFieldAsTimestamp() in the old API) can't automatically determine the field type as the Data API doesn't return field metadata. There is now a new third parameter ($fieldType) to tell the method how to convert the field data. See FMRecord.class.php for details.
      • fmPDA::getContainerData() and fmPDA::getContainerDataURL() now return the full URL - no need for the 'ContainerBridge' file! See container_data.php or container_data_url.php for an example.
      • The Data API returns a maximum of 100 records at a time. This is different from the 'old' API. If you're using the fmPDA class, use the setRange() method with a find command to adjust the limit. For fmDataAPI calls you pass 'limit' in the options array. The example files show how to do this.


      • Remove FileMaker's API For PHP class files (FileMaker.php and the adjacent FileMaker directory) from your project.
      • Copy the fmPDA directory into your project, typically in the same directory where FileMaker's old API resided.
      • Wherever you do this:
      • require_once 'PATH-TO-FILEMAKER-CLASS-FILES/FileMaker.php';
        replace with:
        require_once 'PATH-TO-FMPDA-CLASS-FILES/fmPDA/vLatest/fmPDA.php';

      A change you'll likely have to make to your code

      The biggest change is replacing any calls to FileMaker::isError($result) to use the function fmGetIsError($result) as the FileMaker class no longer exists.
                                 if (FileMaker::isError($result)) {
                                    /* Oops. Let's handle the error... */
      Change it to:
                                 if (fmGetIsError($result)) {
                                    /* Oops. Let's handle the error... */

      If you really don't want to do this (::sigh::), you can change fmPDA.conf.php and modify the following line:
      define('DEFINE_FILEMAKER_CLASS', false);
      define('DEFINE_FILEMAKER_CLASS', true);
      This will create a 'glue' FileMaker class that fmPDA inherits from, and you can continue to use FileMaker::isError(). Even so, it's recommended that you should switch to fmGetIsError() in the future to reduce/eradicate your dependence the FileMaker class. You'll likely run into conflicts if you do this and keep FileMaker's old classes in your include tree. You Have Been Warned.


fmPDA is released under the 'MIT' license. If you use this in your project I'd enjoy hearing about it. If you have questions, find bugs, or have suggestions for improvements, I'll do my best to respond to all queries.


Ready to try it out? You can download the .zip file or browse the full repository on GitHub.