FileMaker Server is the true cornerstone of any app deployment. Big or small.
That has been the driving factor behind my desire to get very familiar with all of the FileMaker Server features, and it is a belief that I have been trying to convey while speaking at most of the DevCons over the past 17 years.
When I got started back with FileMaker Server 3, the Admin Console was almost non-existent, it was a plug-in that was used through a simple FileMaker file. Over the years, as the FileMaker Server feature set got deeper and wider it became a Microsoft Management Console snap-in on Windows and a standalone app on Mac. Later it became the Java-based unified Admin Console that functioned the same on both platforms (FileMaker Server 9) and then with FileMaker Server 13 we had the web-based Admin Console.
FileMaker Server 17 delivers the next iteration of the Admin Console, and no surprise, like with the other iterations in the past, it is different than its predecessors in many ways.
One of its stated design goals was to lower the barrier for installing FileMaker Server and be up and running quickly. That goal was achieved in spades. There are fewer decisions to make up-front and fewer steps to go through during the installation process.
Visually the Admin Console looks very different, closer to what the FileMaker Cloud Admin Console looks like. Under the hood it uses a completely different back end that promises to be more streamlined and lightweight. Under the hood it also uses the all-new FileMaker Admin API.
That Admin API is also exposed to us so that we now have three ways of interacting with our FileMaker Servers:
- the new Admin Console
- the new Admin API
- the updated Admin CLI
In fact, you will find yourself using the Admin API and/or the Admin CLI often; a number of configuration settings are only available through the API and CLI, such as:
- modifying the database cache
- modifying the progressive backup interval
- enabling the usage statistics log and the client stats log
- disabling the default midnight backup
No doubt some of these changes and the fact that adjusting those listed settings requires the use of the API and CLI will upset some people. The good news is that we are already seeing tools appear that fill those gaps. Tools built by community members that use those Admin APIs and CLIs exactly as they are meant to: to craft the tools that work best for you.
Together with another long-standing member of this community, Steven Blackwell, I have authored three extensive white papers to assist you through these changes:
They include a complete side-by-side of the old FileMaker 16 Admin Console and the new FileMaker 17 Admin Console, and also a full matrix of what settings are available across those three admin touch-points: the console, the API, and the CLI.
This year you will find me once again speaking at DevCon on the various features and changes in the FileMaker Server product, including a very cool demo of the FileMaker Data API, the newest member of the FileMaker Platform.
And as always, add your product feature requests and ideas: Product Ideas
so that they can be voted on by the community. Recent years have shown that ideas with lots of votes do get considered and implemented.