If you want to use your current machine on your current network for hosting a database there are many things to consider.
How do users on the web find you?
Do you have a static public IP address? If yes, they can browse to your static ip address or domain name. If not, your ISP will probably be changing your IP periodically which makes your network harder to find from the public internet. ISPs tend to do this so that 'normal' users cannot easily host web sites. ISPs also often block port 80 (the port used by http) so that it is impossible to host your own site on the standard port. This means that any user from the internet will have to make their request via a different, non blocked port.
We run a FileMaker Server so I do not know if FileMaker Pro can be told to host web accessible database on a different port than 80.
Once the web users find your public ip address, your router will need to direct all traffic for the appropriate port to your specific machine on the network. This is done by port forwarding. Some routers can do it and some cannot.
Of course you then need to have your computer on and running FileMaker Pro and properly hosting the database.
All of this can be resolved by having FileMaker Server on a machine accessible at a static public address. The Server software runs as a daemon, essentially a running program which does not require a user, providing information when requested by a FileMaker Pro client or via the web. This route requires significant expense in hardware, software and static IP fees. There are companies which will host filemaker databases for you.
Others will probably have other opinions and ideas. Hope this helps get you started.
On your broadband router (the gateway or device that's connected to and visible to the internet outside your LAN), you have to forward traffic destined for the appropriate port to the machine hosting the database or server program.
"Port forwarding, sometimes referred to as port mapping, is the act of forwarding a network port from one network node to another. This technique can allow an external user to reach a port on a private IP address(inside a LAN) from the outside via a NAT-enabled router."
— from the Wikipedia article
For example... if your machine inside the network is 10.0.1.2 and you want to expose IWP running on port 80 on that machine to the outside internet making it available on port 80, then you have to set the router/gateway machine forward traffic to it from public port 80 on the gateway to 10.0.1.2:80.
i.e. set up the gateway so that...
- a web request sent to port 80 on your public IP address from outside the LAN
- ---> gets forwarded by the gateway to port 80 on server running IWP inside the LAN
A static IP address is preferable, but a dynamic DNS address can also be used to point to a an dynamic IP address that changes occasionally. The user's client software (whether web browser or FileMaker Pro or what-have-you) will look up the IP address associated with the DNS address (dynamic or otherwise) in order to connect to the machine. There are no-cost dynamic DNS services out there as well as commercial services with more flexibility and more options.
IWP in FileMaker Pro can be set to listen on a different port than port 80, but you can avoid adjusting this in FMPro with a port-forwarding scenario. You can still run IWP on port 80 on the LAN machine and port forward a different external port to it.
For example, let's say that we have a dynamic DNS name ourexamplefmpro.dnsalias.net and our ISP blocks port 80 so we port-forward 8000 to the internal LAN server at port 80. We can simply tell the users outside the network to visit http://ourexamplefmpro.dnsalias.net:8000/ The users' web browsers lookup the real IP address associated with ourexamplefmpro.dnsalias.net (as it was last updated by you), connects to that address on port 8000, the router uses port-forwarding to relay the request to port 80 on the internal server running IWP and FileMaker Pro.
hi G, so if my ISP provides a static IP? assuming the ISP blocks port 80, then it means i'd port forward any usr coming to example URL "myfmprodomain.com:8000/" over to my LAN's router with IP 10.0.1.4, which is set up to direct (fwd) all traffic to port 80 (10.0.1.4:80) that brings usr to the computer running the DB?
what also isn't clear to me - it can't be that a URL, such as 10.0.1.4, can not be being used by others. so what distinguishes my local IP from all others on the www who may have this same IP?
sorry if the questions are infantile.. it's all a bit new to me... thx
Some IP addresses are reserved for private networks. There will be no IP address on the public internet with one of those addresses. Your ISP will give you (either static/"permanently" or dynamic/"temporarily" ) a public IP address and you can connect one device to that address and have it connect as a sort of gateway into/out of your home LAN with the public IP address being the internet face of it. Inside the LAN is a private network, with private IP addresses.
The rest of the internet can't connect directly to the private machines inside your LAN; they can only see whatever machine is at the public IP address assigned to you. You can have that machine/device relay traffic inside and outside your LAN as you see fit (e.g. the port forwarding stuff).
thx for your time. it's a lot to chew on and i obviously need to do some more reading to figure this out. you got me off to a great start thx!
You pay someone for internet access.
They give you a temporary IP address, that may change without notice.
Unless you are paying them for a static IP address.
(this is probably NOT your local network IP address on your desktop and laptop
local network IP addresses are normally 192.168.x.x)
You can find that IP address by going to
This IP address is the address of your Cable or DSL modem.
The ports on the Broadband modem/router probably are blocked, except for the common 80 for http, 21 for ftp, etc.
You would have to forward the 591 port to the local IP address of the computer hosting the database. This is normally done with the web interface on the broadband modem.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaWErgD0D20so the IP address found at
and the forwarded 591 port should give you access from remote locations
This is for clients that accessing with a Filemaker Client, not a web browser.
Can you give me another level down in detail, please David? - I thought that I had read an inference somewhere that FM files could be acessed across the web directly from an FM client and not just in a browser, and your comment has intrigued me again.
- I have forwarded port 591 to the 192.168.x.x address of my hosting computer. I am *not* using FM Server, just turning on Web Publishing in FM9. Does that make the difference?
- I set that FM Host to listen on port 591 as well - should I have left it at the default of 80?
- I have subscribed at DynDNS. (And it works perfectly when responding to pings and ftp exchanges.)
- How do I log on to the file remotely? I have fired up FM9 away from home, gone to 'Open -> Remote', and tried various combinations of addresses, including the actual public IP of my router, but each time it tells me that the host or the file is not available.
- The addresses I am typing into the 'Open -> Remote' box are of the format:
fmnet:/MyDynDNSName.selfip.net:591/RemoteAccess.fp7 Should I have a different prefix than 'fmnet'?
I just *know* I must only be a few steps away from getting it to work - would really appreciate your help.
Accessing the database from a web server.
Set IWP to Port 591 in Filemaker.
Set port forwarding on DSL / Cable router / modem to forward port 591 to the internal IP address of the computer hosting the database.
Access that database from a computer outside your network with a browser by typing the URL http://18.104.22.168:591
Accessing the database from a remote copy of Filemaker
The port is 5009 (suggested, reserved by Filemaker)
Set port forwarding on DSL / Cable router / modem to forward port 5009 to the internal IP address of the computer hosting the database.
On the remote computer, open Filemaker, under FILE Menu select Open Remote.
OR click ADD button and enter the IP address and an optional label for the connection.
SEE THESE LINKS
(the answer is at the very bottom of the page)
FMP Automatically Open a Specific Database
Below is the online instructions for a database that is open to the public
View using FileMaker Pro 7, 8, or 8.5
Instructions for opening in FileMaker Pro
(Read Only Access)
From the FileMaker File menu
select Open Remote
Add a new HOST with the following settings:
Host Address: dbfms3.pointinspace.com
Thanks very much for you help, David.
Still can't get it to work, in spite of your clear instructions (though I can log in to the test db you sent the link to).
I'll use logmein to access a remote computer and try again this evening.
I *know * I'm turning into A Bore, sorry.
- I have set my router to have a Service that listens for traffic on Port 5009 and forwards it to IP Address 192.168.0.5
- I have set a Firewall rule to 'Allow Always' traffic inbound and outbound for that service.
- I have opened the Filemaker file on 192.168.0.5, set File Sharing to be 'On', 'All User Access'.
- I have set on that file IWP to be 'On', and the Port to be 5009. (By the way, if I don't want to bother with access-by-*browser*, could I leave that turned off?)
- I have used Logmein to log on to a remote computer, fired up FM 9 Adv and used 'Open Remote...'
- There, I have created a Host of my router's address (80.41.x.x) and specified to only show the file 'RemoteAccess'. (In fact it greys out the 'Open' button until I specify a file name.)
- Try and log on, result: 'The host could not be found, or the file could not be found at that Host.'
- Tried to log on appending ':5009' to the IP. Same result.
- Tried to log on appending '.fp7' to the file name. Same result.
Now I'm totally frustrated:
- Filemaker manuals show no instructions at all. Really frustrated that they show no help whatsoever (that I can find in the on-line help.) You've been - easily - the best help I have found.
- The sample 'Knitting' database proves that it can work, and really well.
- No idea if my problem lies with the router, the host, my host set-up, my client set-up, or my client-computer-network's web access.
In a State Of Some Obvious Desperation And Total Frustration, please can I ask you to help me again.
Probably V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y....
Thanks in anticipation,
I am unable to connect to this server.
Let's start with the basics.
With Instant Web Publishing, try setting the port to 591. This is reserved for FileMaker.
Then, from another computer, using Instant Web Publishing, you should be able to enter:
If the file doesn't show, then the network is having trouble seeing your IP address.
Thanks for your help, TSGal.
Logging on to the 'Knitting File' remotely is exactly what people have been asking me for over and over. I can demo Filemaker's strengths and they are immediately and totally impresssed, but then a sizeable number of them want to run it in their *two* corner shops, but linked together, say to allow each to check a third warehouse site's stock. IWP by web browser is fine if you are stuck at an internet café with no FM application; any access is better than none, but whenever direct log-on is perfectly possible then they have no interest in putting up with the restrictions of IWP. I know everyone has hobby-horses of their own, and I may have more then most. This is one, and having an Excel file pop out of a record's field and offer all that power is another one. If it was me I'd have this direct remote access capability plastered all over the outside of the Filemaker packaging, in very big print. Anyway...
IWP works fine:
- From inside my own network I can log on to http://192.168.0.5:591
- From outside my network I can log on to http://80.41.x.x:591 (my router's public IP)
- From outside my network I can log on to http://[MyDynDNSName]:591
This last one proves, I think, the original 'missing piece of the jigsaw' I was proposing - that anyone with a dynamic IP address can still have all the benefits of easily sharing FM files across the web. Anyone who has got the rest of it to work will be able to use that technique to remove the vagaries of their public IP address changing randomly.)
I have also set my router up to forward all Port 5009 traffic to the same host computer, 192.168.0.5
From the same computer outside my network I 'Open -> Remote...' add a new Host, define it as
80.41.x.x or as 80.41.x.x:591 and it eventually replies that the Host is not available or that file is not available at that Host. (The set-up dialogue suggests that you can have an option of just specifying the Host and ask it to display all files available, but in fact the 'Open' button will stay greyed out until you specify a File Name.)
I have tried the file name with and without the extension. (FM adds it automatically if I omit it.)
A couple of fundamental questions:
- IS IWP independent of direct remote access? Therefore can I have IWP turned off, and still have remote access?
- How do I set up the Host file to listen for traffic on port 5009? Do I have to do anything about that?
- Does any of this testing isolate it to my Host computer, or my router? (I feel a horrible embarrassment looming that I have set it up wrongly, with a stupid mistake. But the '5009' forwarding has been set up exactly the same way as the '591' forwarding in the router.)
Thanks again for your help,
IWP is essentially a custom web server. As you know, you connect to it with a web browser just like any other web site; and, you've already got the port forwarding stuff working.
IWP is separate from remote database sharing using "FileMaker Network". In your situation, you do also need port forwarding set up (as you've already done), and it has to be separate from IWP if that's also running.
However, don't forget to also actually share the database file. Sharing it via IWP will not automatically expose it for fmnet sharing. You should make sure that "Network Sharing" is turned On in File>Sharing>FileMaker Network...>FileMaker Network Settings dialog, and that the open file allows access to either "All users", or users specified by privilege set (that it's not set to "No users").