Fourth World has released WebMerge 1.5, a tool for Mac OS and Windows that generates static Web pages from database files. The new version offers workflow automation options, better HTML generation, support for tab-delimited export formats, Apple event support, and other enhancements.
WebMerge is an ideal solution for those wishing to publish database information on any Web server but have too many records to create each page by hand and too few to warrant the time and expense of setting up a dedicated database server, according to Richard Gaskin, president of Fourth World.
WebMerge 1.5 can work with any database that exports in Merge or tab-delimited format, including FileMaker Pro and Microsoft Access, Gaskin said. The user creates a template HTML page with simple place holder tags, and WebMerge creates a new HTML page from the data in each record of the exported Merge file, he explained.
WebMerge can also create an index page with links to each of the generated pages. Generated pages can be hosted on any Web server without the need for a specialized database hosting solution.
With version 1.5, you can now save WebMerge settings to a file, with Auto-Run and Auto-Quit options which can make running WebMerge as simple as double-clicking a file, Gaskin said. Apple event support has been added for Mac users. Support for tab-delimited files has been added, meaning that WebMerge can be used with nearly any database and spreadsheet program. Plus, there’s now support for Merge files generated on non-US English systems.
Fourth World has added ability to specify sub-folders for generated HTML pages. WebMerge lets you select a field for it to use for the name of the HTML files it will generate; if that field contains a folder name before the file name (such as “myfolder/filename”) it will create the folder as it creates the file. Support has been added for HTML character entities in field data, allowing you to use smart quotes and other special characters in your data.
You can now set a custom name for the optional index page that WebMerge can generate. URLs in field data can be rendered as HTML hyperlinks. With this option turned on, any field containing a URL beginning with “http://” will be written to its HTML file as an HTML link.
Mac requirements are Mac OS 8.0 or later, 32 MB total memory, 5 MB disk space. Both 68k and PowerPC Macs are supported. WebMerge is available now at the
Fourth World Web site, where a free trial version can be downloaded from the site. The trial version will generate only 20 pages from a given set of records. A license is available for U $69 that allows WebMerge to generate an unlimited number of HTML files. Registered users of WebMerge 1.0 can upgrade to the new version for free, using their existing registration code.