2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2010 9:50 AM by c.wagner1

    Network Setup Suggestions



      Network Setup Suggestions


      I currently have a solution that runs our company.  It is kept on one laptop computer and only accessed by one person.  The person who uses it can carry the laptop round and work from where ever they happen to be.  Everything is very convenient and works well.

      We have been growing and the time has come for additional employees to be able to access and work from our database.  Currently it will only be one additional person connecting to the Database and working with it, with possibly a third person occasionally connecting to quickly view a record.  Because of the limited number of people connecting to the database, I can't see any need to upgrade to FileMaker Server yet.

      I was thinking of purchasing a new Mac Mini with Snow Leopard Server and setting it up in our office along with a dedicated ip address.  This way employees can connect to the office network from where ever they are using VPN.  I am assuming once they connect to the office network using VPN they should be able to connect to the FileMaker Database just like they where in person here.  My real question is should the FileMaker Database be running on the Mac Mini with Snow Leopard Server on it, or should I get an additional computer to be a dedicated FileMaker server?  Are there any security concerns with a set up like this?  (Other then the standard keep the passwords secure, and software up to date)  Is there maybe a better setup that I have not thought of that will allow users to connect to the database from anywhere.  IWP is not really an option since our solution uses many plug-ins and incompatible script steps to access third party web services.

      Thanks for your suggestions,


        • 1. Re: Network Setup Suggestions

          VPN probably is not needed--though that's not something I have any realy experience with.

          Standard networking set up for small numbers of users with filemaker Pro installed on their computers:

          1. Install FileMaker Pro on a host computer. This doesn't have to be a server machine, though a fast hard drive and processor will help improve performance.
          2. Enable Sharing on your FileMaker Pro files (Sharing option in the File Menu) and put the files on this computer. Open the file with FIlemaker Pro.
          3. Each of your users then use Open Remote... to find and connect to your database.


          That's all you need for inside your local network. If you need to access from outside the LAN, you can still do it but your internet router will need to be configured to forward requests via the correct port to your host computer. Your users would inter the IP address of the router and include the port number in order to connect.

          • 2. Re: Network Setup Suggestions

            I believe VPN would be required since accessing the database from outside the LAN using port forwarding is not a secure connection.  If it is, it does save me a few hundred bucks.  Ultimately the Database will reside on a Mac Mini.  I can pick a new one up for about $600.00.  If I have to VPN to the network for the connection to be secure, I need to get the Mac Mini server which is about $1000.  Then the question is is it best for the database to run on a separate computer on the network, or can it run on the mac mini server.