11 Replies Latest reply on May 7, 2012 10:27 PM by Malcolm

    Filemaker Pro over VPN

    DavidLarkman

      Title

      Filemaker Pro over VPN

      Post

      Hi,

      I have two offices and I want them to be able to work on filemaker databases simultaniously. I do not want to go down the IWP route as we have found the web interfaces problematic (fiddly drop down menus, scripts failing, slow etc etc). Both offices have fixed a fixed public IP and both have draytek vigor routers which gives me the possability of setting up a LAN to LAN VPN (detailed here: http://www.draytek.co.uk/support/vpn_setup.html )

      If I do this will users in both locations be able to see shared filemaker databases from one office to the other (like a locan network shared database?)

      Many thanks in anticipation of some usefull input

        • 1. Re: Filemaker Pro over VPN
          rjlevesque

          Yes, if they tunnel you in then it will react as if you are on that local network. Only tricky thing to deal with here sometimes is setting up your possibly consumer grade firewall so that is accepts this and yet still does it's job. hehehe

          Regards,

          RJ

          -------------------------------------------------

          C:\DOS

          C:\DOS RUN

          RUN DOS RUN!

          • 2. Re: Filemaker Pro over VPN
            DavidLarkman

            Have you had direct experience of this with filemaker shared databases? Using LAN to LAN VPN (not the more usual "dial" in)?

            Sorry to question you but this will be a significant diversion of resource within my company to set this up and I need to know it will work.

            What protocol does filemaker use to advertise avaiable shared databases and how do I know the VPN tunnel will support these?

            Thanks

            • 3. Re: Filemaker Pro over VPN
              rjlevesque

              Experience:

              (BSSE) Software Engineer, Certified UNIX Network Administrator, etc. etc.

              http://www.dreamwc.com/about-2/my-credentials/

              -----------------------------------------

              TCP/IP, not going to be difficult, they will simply setup a true VPN, which virtual will make them all on the same network. At that time you will be able to access files on that network just like they were in your actual local network. The only tricky thing, as I mentioned before, is the permissions between the two in the VPN. This is true of any application you use through a VPN in this manner, but will be especially vital with a database system that is constantly accessing other data. Most people do not create a FMP database to only access it's own internal data. However, it shouldn't be difficult at all, and it all depends on how your security systems are setup as to how tricky it will be setting proper permissions.

              Doesn't advertise available shared database files...now you make me have to ask you a question based on that comment...are you connecting FMP Server included in this VPN in any way?

              • 4. Re: Filemaker Pro over VPN
                rjlevesque

                As for resources needed it depends... quite honestly if you are setting up a standard VPN...should not take a team of people and hours to do, we are talking a few minor clicks of a mouse and a quick test to setup in Windows.

                If, however, you are setting up a digital secure VPN, like with a keyfob, this will significantly take more resources and time. 

                • 5. Re: Filemaker Pro over VPN
                  DavidLarkman

                  Hi thanks for more detail. I just want to use filemaker pro. (no server edition). At the moment in my main office I leave my database running on a mac all the time with sharing turned on. When I fire up another copy of filemaker on PC (or MAC) on that LAN I can "see" the open database when I go to file->open remote. (this is what I mean by "advertise")  Then I can open the file and I am operating in multiple user mode with changes reflected on all systems accessing the db.

                  You seem confident I should be able to make this work accross LANs providing I can get the security on the firewalls right. I'm sure you are right but it would be a comfort to me to hear that you have actually done this (or hear from somone else who has done this)

                  • 6. Re: Filemaker Pro over VPN
                    rjlevesque

                    So look up the information to setup your VPN on whatever OS you are using...then test it out. Setup a simple VPN from your home to the office (small scale testing is awesome to test out result instantly with no hassle or risk).

                    Now you just need to be sure your FM databases are all compatible. (i.e. if you run Macs and PCs...development is slightly different and may or may not function completely under it's rival OS having been developed in the other...unless it was originally developed with that in mind, that you intended it to be cross platform.

                    • 7. Re: Filemaker Pro over VPN
                      rjlevesque

                      and just FYI where the cross platform issues come into play is mostly scripts that will run native to one OS will not on another.

                      • 8. Re: Filemaker Pro over VPN
                        johnhorner

                        i have a couple related questions rj if you are still out there...

                        i am rying to set up a similar arrangement whereby a user at a second location can access files hosted at another location.  i have been able to do this using fm server, opening up ports on the router, and using open remote from filemaker clients (although i assume it would work similarly if i had a file open on the host machine in fm pro).  my question is: what is the difference between this configuration and creating a vpn?  it sounds like it will be more secure, but from what i understand, it is already pretty secure to begin with?  i do notice that it is quite slow relative to how it runs on client machines within the lan.  will creating a vpn be significantly faster?  any other important differences i should be aware of?  thanks!

                        • 9. Re: Filemaker Pro over VPN

                          I get weak performance with VPN-Connections. What are yours experiences?

                          Today, I have the Host/Server with a fix IP-Adress in the Intranet. I have the (Draytek-) Router configured with a DynDNS and Portforwarding to IP-Adress of Host with Port-N° #5003 (FileMaker).

                          The clients (incl. iPhone/iPad) can access the host with the URL:
                          fmp7://[name-of-DynDNS]/[Filename]

                          (no suffix required)

                           

                          Security:

                          - no VPN

                          - Name of DynDNS got to be known

                          - due to portforwarding, intruder can only access FM-Applications

                          - FM-Solutions is username/password protected 

                          • 10. Re: Filemaker Pro over VPN
                            johnhorner

                            as i mentioned in a previous post... i am also looking into this for myself.  as one option, i spoke with the tech from a filemaker hosting provided and he told me that using a vpn would be slower than not using vpn for the reason that all transmissions back and forth are encrypted.  i don't know if this is correct or even, if it is correct, if it would have a significant impact on the speed, but i thought i would pass it on (especially as it seems consistent with what efficientbizz was experiencing).

                            • 11. Re: Filemaker Pro over VPN
                              Malcolm

                              The overhead/impact for VPN is said to be about 5%