In this article, we take a look and understand what is OAuth Authentication in FileMaker? With the release of FileMaker 16, users can log in to a FileMaker database using OAuth 2.0. A feature that will ease the lives of FileMaker developers and their client’s lives as well. What is Authentication, External Authentication, and OAuth Authentication?
Authentication is the process of recognizing a user’s identity. In authentication, an incoming request is matched with a set of identifying credentials. In FileMaker, Authentication is done by verifying a pair of Username and Password.
External Authentication means we are not using FileMaker’s authentication mechanism and using a third party to do the authentication. FileMaker accepts authentication with these external entities
- Windows Active Directory
- Apple Open Directory
- Local Groups/Accounts on FileMaker Server OS
- And now- New OAuth 2.0 Authentication
The advantages of using external authentication are-
- Account Management: You can continue to manage accounts with an external provider and can use existing credentials to authenticate FileMaker users. This makes account management simple.
- Authentication features: You can use other authentication features provided by the authentication provider e.g. Two-Factor Authentication
OAuth is an open protocol to allow secure authorization in a simple and standard method from web, mobile and desktop applications but without giving them the passwords. Companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter permit users to login using their accounts with third-party applications or websites.
It allows access tokens to be issued to third-party clients by an authorization server, with the approval of the resource owner. The third party then uses the access token to access the protected resources hosted by the resource server.
OAuth Authentication in FileMaker
With the release of FileMaker 16, OAuth Authentication is available on FileMaker Server as an external authentication provider.
OAuth supported providers are
- Microsoft Azure
- The database must be hosted on FileMaker Server 16 or higher
- Fully Qualified Domain with SSL Certificate Required
To use OAuth Authentication, we need to host the database on FileMaker Server 16 or higher which have a Fully Qualified Domain Name and SSL Certificate.
If you are interested in more details on implementation, please click here.
FileMaker 16 will change the way how custom apps are built. The new version provides ample scope for the professional developers to try out new features. It also offers a lot of educational content in order to help the developers.
So what’s new in FileMaker 16? Some of the most important features in this platform are:
Better support with iBeacons:
FileMaker 16 automatically looks for known beacons and it can also be used to set up geofences. In the earlier version, one had to actively scan them.
Login via multiple platforms:
Historically, FileMaker allowed single sign-on authentication through Windows or Mac OS X. Now it is possible to log in to FileMaker through Google, Amazon or Microsoft Azure. FileMaker 16 supports ‘OAuth’ which allows integration with external cloud authentication providers.
Support for JSON:
FileMaker 16 allows accessing JSON in FileMaker. This will help in sharing of data from non – FileMaker sites. It solves the major problem of passing data from different sources to FileMaker. The new version is trying to move closer towards the objective of reaching out to a phase wherein it will be easily possible for FileMaker to connect with other services and vice versa.
Look and feel:
The new version of FileMaker allows single-document interface model which liberates itself from the application frame. This makes the app look as a part of Windows 10 platform.
Another feature is ‘Card window’ which is basically without a window frame and a menu bar giving a more browser like experience.
- Usability –All document Windows are independent of one another hence they can be placed anywhere on the monitor. There is information about all the functions available in the Specify Calculation Dialog Box. This box provides information about the specific function. Copy pasting value lists with standard keyboard functions in FileMaker Pro is now possible.
- Lock icons – You can view the encryption information about your connection and host by clicking on the lock icon.
- Improved layout Objects Window – With FileMaker 16, you can easily select, hide or name objects that are present on the current layout.
- Scripting – You can run a specified script when an Ios device enters a specific region. One can also open the Launch Center for opening, creating and managing FileMaker applications. Some other scripting changes are:
- The zoom and volume settings for video can be changed.
- You can provide animations when users switch or move across layouts helping the user to visually orient himself which further enriches the mobile user experience.
- An enhanced signature capture using transitions provides a great user experience.
- With the Print Now function one can create PDFs in the web browser.
MetaSys Software develops custom applications using Dot Net, PHP-MySQL, and FileMaker Pro. We have a team of Certified FileMaker developers with over 12 years of experience building FileMaker applications.
As a FileMaker Business Alliance Member, we are also authorized resellers of FileMaker licenses. If you are looking to buy any of the FileMaker licenses then please click here.