Integrating FileMaker with Google Maps with full two way communication and respect for page loads is difficult but rewarding.
Google Maps is an incredibly powerful tool, and there are many FileMaker developers that seek to integrate it into their solutions. For example imagine any FileMaker system that involves organizing deliveries – Google Maps makes it possible to optimize the route, generate turn-by-turn directions etc. And, using a FileMaker web viewer it seems pretty easy.
But doing it properly is much more difficult. Page loads are one problem. Every time you send information into a FileMaker web viewer (for example another waypoint that you want to add to a delivery route) it reloads the map. This is slower than simply modifying the existing map and, more importantly, Google counts it as a new page load. They charge based on those page loads, and they can add up very quickly, so it is best to pay close attention – especially if you have a FileMaker vertical market solution that could generate many page loads.
This is actually a horrendously difficult problem to solve, but Delfs Engineering, a premier FileMaker development and consulting firm, has done it. Their approach allows FileMaker to manipulate a Google Map without every change triggering a new page load.
The Delfs approach also offers two-way communication between FileMaker and Google Maps. Instead of just sending data from FileMaker to Google maps, data can flow back the other way.
This is incredibly useful – the FileMaker solution might send a number of addresses into Google Maps, which would then optimize a delivery route. This route information can then flow back into FileMaker, where it can be used to re-order the records.
FileMaker and Google maps are both incredible platforms. Seeing the two so tightly integrated is remarkable, and opens up all kinds of possibilities.