Peer to Peer Sharing - ideas so its not just for "testing purposes only".

Idea created by fxdb on Oct 5, 2017
    Active
    Score17

    In FileMaker Pro 16 (and also in FM15) a new disclaimer was added to FileMaker Pro to deter the use of peer to peer networking, stating

     

    This connection is insecure and should be used for testing purposes only.

    To share solutions securely, use FileMaker Server.


    This can be seen via

    1) File - Sharing - Share with FileMaker Clients (FM15 & FM16)

    2) A dialog box when attempting a P2P connection between two copies of FileMaker Pro 16.

     

    Whilst it is understandable, with the push to secured connectivity, especially where cloud and server is concerned, this message impacts the peer 2 peer feature of FileMaker Pro making it one that is no longer viable for use other than as a developer tool.  More importantly, It prevents FileMaker Pro being re-sold / bundled (SBA) with the intended purpose of using peer 2 peer sharing.  We cannot sell based on a feature that is now branded as 'for testing purposes only'.

     

    There are  a few ways I could see this being changed, so that it is still a viable function of the platform.

    My suggestion would be to either,

     

    1) Re-word the message.  It says the same thing, without excluding it as a sell-able feature and would also be more consistent with other areas of FileMaker Pro (see example 2)

     

    This connection is insecure.

    To share solutions securely, use FileMaker Server.

    or as the clicking the red padlock shows:

    This connection is not encrypted, see help for more information.

     

    2)  Allow the dialog (2) to be controlled by the silent install files, similar to how you can currently disable update notifications, creation of new databases, disable getting started dialogs, etc. 
    i.e  Assisted install for FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Pro Advanced | FileMaker
    My preferred option, since its controlled at a developer level and won't impact regular FileMaker Installations.

     

    3) Allow some way of securing FileMaker Pro's p2p connections with SSL, so the insecure issue can be resolved.

     

    As it stands, it may as well be listed as a deprecated feature, because it essentially is now that it has become a developer testing tool only.  However, it is not listed as deprecated, nor is anything mentioned anywhere, other than within FileMaker Pro, which of course, is only displayed after purchasing.

     

    In the marketing material, it doesn't state that peer to peer is "for testing purpose only", anywhere that I can find....

    1) FileMaker Pro 16 Technical Specifications | FileMaker

    2) FileMaker Software Deployment, Business Software Solution - FileMaker

     

    For what it's worth, this change, as it stands, will have a huge impact on us, our solution (using the SBA program) and our continued use of the FileMaker Platform going forward.  In my eyes, it is an unfortunate choice of wording that need not be there.  Unless of course, the real intention is to silently drop peer-to-peer from the product completely, which could explain the drop from 10 to 5 p2p connections in FM11 (if I remember correctly).  It certainly feels like this.

     

    EDIT:

    For reference, here is where you can view said message

     

    File > Sharing > Share with FileMaker Clients.

    P2P_Share1.PNG

     

    When initiating a P2P connection:

    TestingPurposesOnly.png

     

    Seriously didn't need that 'for testing purposes' message, the rest of it is perfectly acceptable. 

    That piece of paper I just passed to my colleague wasn't encrypted either. 

     

    As a consequence of this undocumented change, we have now ceased bundling FileMaker Pro via our SBA agreement and won't be using FileMaker going forward.  After many many years, it's a shame they chose to use such a disclaimer, but worse, without any notice whatsoever.

     

    * Interestingly (when I last tested in 16), if you connect using fmp:/*/filename  then you do not get any notification about it being not encrypted.  It just connects without issue, so long as it can discover the host.  So it has a bug too.