Creating XML Applications

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Creating XML Applications using the FiForms Application Creator is a very simple process. You can create a simple interface for your database tables simply using the FiForms Application Creator. For more sophisticated applications, the Application Creator is the fastest starting point to create "rough out" your application before digging into the XML code.

The Application Creator generates the file structure needed for the application, as well as several menus that can be edited as the application expands. You need to have an existing MySQL database before you can create your application.

Contents

Setup

In order to use the online XML Application creator, the webserver process must be able to write to the apps folder, as well as the scripts/app folder. In Windows, this should be the default case. In Linux, open a terminal in the root FiForms folder, and run the following commands. (Assuming your webserver user is a member of the www-data group.

sudo chgrp www-data apps
sudo chgrp www-data scripts/app
sudo chmod 775 apps
sudo chmod 775 scripts/app

Creating a New Application

Open the FiForms Applications main menu in your browser (e.g. http://localhost/fiforms/ ). You will need to login with a valid username/password for your MySQL Database. Click the link to "Create an Application." (If there is no such option, refer to the troubleshooting section below.) You will be prompted for your password. This is the FiForms Online Administration Password that you entered during setup.

Createapp1.png

You will then be able to select the database for which you intend to create your application. You can of course create applications that reference more than one database, but this database will be the default database used by all forms and reports in the application.

The application must have a Unix name. This is the name by which the application is referenced internally in FiForms, as well as the name of the directory in which the application is stored. This name should not contain spaces or punctuation.

The application title is what will appear to users in the menus. The description and licensing information are purely for documentation purposes.

Createapp2.png

Once you click "Create Application," the files and folders will be created, and you will be able to begin creating forms, or view the application main menu.

Createapp3.png

The default application menu should look like this:

Createapp4.png

The following screenshot shows (highlighted) the files created by the Application Creator.

Createapp7.png

A skeleton application is created with three simple Menus and empty folders for Forms, Reports, and SQL. In addition, an XML Applications applicaiton info file named appinfo.xml is created, which contains metadata about the applications, and a shell script to validate the entire application (See Validating XML).

For a complete reference on the XML Application Structure, as well as instructions on manually creating an application, see the XML Applications article.

Once you have created your skeleton application, you may proceed directly to the main menu of your application, or start creating data entry forms.

The next chapter of this tutorial explains how to use the FiForms Form Creator to create data entry forms based on your existing MySQL table structure.

Continue to Creating Forms

Troubleshooting

No Option to Create an Application

Note: For security reasons, FiForms is configured by default to only allow creating applications and forms when you connect from the localhost. If you are connecting to FiForms on another host and there is no option to "Create an Application," you will need to modify the localconfig.php file. Open the file called localconfig.php located in the scripts folder. Find a line similar to the following:

  $FIFORMS_CONFIG['UPDATE_HOST'] = "localhost";

and change it to:

  $FIFORMS_CONFIG['UPDATE_HOST'] = "any";

or optionally, you can specify an IP address in this field (if you are connecting over a LAN):

  $FIFORMS_CONFIG['UPDATE_HOST'] = "192.168.0.56";
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