3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 21, 2009 12:53 AM by Absols

    Filemaker over 3G and a VPN

    Absols

      Title

      Filemaker over 3G and a VPN

      Post

      FileMaker Pro 10Client PCs: XP Service Pack 3, 2 GB Ram

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      FileMaker Server 10Server: SBS 2003, 4 GB Ram intel xeon

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      All have latest service packs\updates (os and filemaker)

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      I have no experience with Filemaker (I’m just the poor network tech told to get it to work)

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      The database only shared over the local network.

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       Hi

      We currently have two laptops (Client PC's Spec) used by Project Mangers.

      They use the laptops on site visits to do surveys.

      They return to the office at least one a day.

      They want to enter the data whist doing the survey.

      This would save many hours typing the data into Filemaker.

       

      They are trying to connect to a Filemaker database via 3G connection over a VPN. 

      The VPN works file, Filemaker is very slow and we have had reports of lost data.  

      (I.E inputted data into a form, lost connection, regained connection. The previously created data could not be found.)

       

      My questions are:

      1.       Is they a way to optimize the database to work better over the VPN?

       

      2.       If so how?

       

      3.       If not could the database be published to the web.

                 If it was, could the Project Managers access the databases user

                 interface as though they were accessing from their Filemaker pro apps?

       

      4.       Would Remote Desktop\Terminal Services be better?

       

      5.       Is there another way to connect, other than the three I’ve suggested,

                 can Filemaker work with a local database then sync when connected to the LAN in the office?

       

      Any help or advice would be great.

      Thanks..  

        • 1. Re: Filemaker over 3G and a VPN
          jonnyt
            

          Option 1) Use IWP on filemakler server and create web optimised layouts

           

          Option 2) Terminal services/remote desktop would be the ideal method.Remote desktop manages the streamlines the connection for you and basical;ly just sends mouse clicks and keyboard input over the network. if you loose your connection due to lack of connectivity, remopte desktop will allow you to re-connect to the same session. RD is also optimised for slwo connections.

           

          Lastly, processing is done server side on the remote desktop thread/sesssion so if you start a script or a large summary rep[ort you can rest assured that the processing will be completed in the se4ssin even if you lose connectivity.

           

          VPN opver 3G is a really dodgy way of doing it. If you are changing the structutre of the database or calculations it could lead to corruption of the entire database (this has happended to me before over a wireless connection)

           

          Recommendations

          Using remote desktop.

          To make the connection smoother reduce the number of images and colours on the screen. Have a black and white and really simple layout for use when connecting over 3G vpn.

           

          Using IWP or some sort of web publishing

          To make the connection smoother reduce the number of images and colours on the screen. Have a black and white and really simple layout for use when connecting over 3G vpn.Use a consistent font.

           

          Optimise even further by using the php xml publ;ishing featuire set of filemaker server.

           

          • 2. Re: Filemaker over 3G and a VPN
            jonnyt
              

            1.       Is they a way to optimize the database to work better over the VPN? remove icons and images, use same font, reduce colours to minimum

             

            3.       If not could the database be published to the web.

                       If it was, could the Project Managers access the databases user

                       interface as though they were accessing from their Filemaker pro apps?

            A lot of functionality is usable in  IWP but it lacks the features of using filemaker client to access the database. i.e. when running reports your not going to get the same feature set and many scripting functions are disabled for iwp.

             

            Its also going to take you some toime to setup to get the security features and everything working properly.

             

            4.       Would Remote Desktop\Terminal Services be better?- in this scenario terminal services/Remote desktop is ideal. RDP is optimised for slow connections and the processing is done on the remote desktop session onthe server. The user experience will be better and remote desktop also allows you to use local printers for printing perfectly fornatted reports which filemaker is a superb tool for (you wont get the same experience wit iwp etc)

             

            If your connection is lost then you can rejoin the same session and remote desktop will manage this for you.

             

            Lastly, much less data is sent over the connection and there is zero chance of loosing database data and causingcorrpution.

             

            5.       Is there another way to connect, other than the three I’ve suggested,

                       can Filemaker work with a local database then sync when connected to the LAN in the office?

            There used to be filemaker mobile but this is discontinued.

             

            Syncing would be possible but this is going to take a lot of setup and is subject to a zillion caveats that would take too long to list here.

             

             

            remote desktop  over vpnor direct remote desktop is the tool for the job in this scenario

             

            • 3. Re: Filemaker over 3G and a VPN
              Absols
                

              Thankyou Both for your reply.

              I think I'll follow your advice and go with remote desktop as the way forward.