7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 11, 2011 9:10 AM by TSDuck

    setup access to database from remote location



      setup access to database from remote location


      Hello all.


      I am an end user, not well versed on administering the filemaker system we have in place so bear with me.

      We have a solution running on a dedicated iMac, running 10.6 operating system,  Filemaker Pro Server version 10.  We have 5 users on the local network and all is well.  I need to access the database from home as well as while away on vacation and need help setting that up.  At home I would use a MacBook with filemaker installed, and on vacation using an Ipad (filemaker go installed)  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can someone walk me through it? 

      Using an Apple extreme base station (newest model) and I assume we need to set up some sort of port mapping, but I cannot figure it out.  Also, do we need to set up the web server within filemaker pro server?  


      Thank you in advance,



        • 1. Re: setup access to database from remote location

          Hi Chris Wise:

          Thanks for posting.

          Since internal users can access your hosted databases, FileMaker Server 10 file sharing should be set up correctly.  The FileMaker web server does not need to be set up if users are connecting with FileMaker Pro.  Will external users be accessing with FileMaker Pro clients?  External users accessing from home or a vacation spot will need to connect using the external IP address of your server machine.  On your server, go to http://www.whatismyip.com and this site will display your external IP address.  The external user would need to open FileMaker Pro and go under File and Open Remote.  In Open Remote, go to favorite hosts and add the external IP address. 

          The server machine will also need port 5003 open through any firewalls or routers your connection is going through.  In OS X Snow Leopard, the firewall can be found under system preferences and security.  Under security click the firewall tab to check the firewall settings. 

          The port mapping for an Airport Extreme is done through the Airport Utility.  On the server, you would navigate to Macintosh HD/Applications/Utilities.  Open the Airport Utility and go to the advanced tab.  Click on the port mapping tab, followed by clicking the + button under the allow box.  In the next window, port 5003 needs to be added into Public UDP, Public TCP, Private UDP, and Private TCP.  The private IP address needs to be set to the current internal IP being used.  You would then click continue and check if external users could then connect to your server.



          FileMaker, Inc.

          • 2. Re: setup access to database from remote location

            Great information, thank you for posting. 


            Yes, we  all have copies of the filemaker product.  and the Airport extreme base station has a static IP address, but the iMac running Filemaker Pro server might not always receive the same address - it shuts down at night to save energy.  Should I just leave that on?


            Also, what are my security options?  Once that port is opened, anyone can get in.  So the database will need login passwords, right?




            • 3. Re: setup access to database from remote location

              I rarely ever see a situation where a "Server" should be shut down at all...thus why have a server?

              • 4. Re: setup access to database from remote location

                We work in the printing industry, run one shift, and until now the database was only being accessed by employees who were in the office.   

                To answer your question, we run the solution on a server for speed and stability.  Been using filemaker pro since version 3.0 and back then the server was quite necessary.

                Do you have a suggestion for locking in that IP address for the server, and perhaps a recommendation for securty?  And maybe anyting else I might need to do?


                • 5. Re: setup access to database from remote location

                  This worked perfectly.  

                  It does appear we will need to leave the server on 24/7.  In the Airport Extreme Base Station, you must point the traffic to a specific local IP address. It will not search the entire local network for available databases.

                  Thank you for the simple, easy to follow instructions.  Not everyone who views these forums is a programmer, so hopefully this type of thread will be useful to anyone with a similar question in the future.

                  • 6. Re: setup access to database from remote location

                    I have a similar question. We manufacture in Costa Rica and distribute our products via a fulfillment center in North Carolina. We receive all of our shipping information by Excel spreadsheets and we send orders to them by Filemaker. This makes for quite a bit of double entry and also problems with keeping backorders straight. So I thought it would be good to get them a copy of Filemaker and use one of the Filemaker hosting services so that we can all access the same database. I tried two of the hosting services and although they worked, it reminded me of that Heinz commercial where for a full minute you watched ketchup fall from the bottle. Both services were too slow to be usable.

                    So- can my fulfillment center access my database running FM Pro or do I need to get Server. There are only four of use using the database. And will it be fast enough over the internet?



                    Chris Brodin

                    • 7. Re: setup access to database from remote location

                      Hi x4der:

                      Thanks for posting.

                      FileMaker databases can be shared using FileMaker Pro.  Some of the limitations of this are FileMaker Pro does not run as a service in the background, cannot schedule scripts and backups, and is limited to 9 concurrent users through FileMaker network sharing.  If you have four users with FileMaker Pro, you can easily set up one machine with FileMaker Pro to act as the host. 

                      Here is how you would go about setting FileMaker Pro to host a database.  The database file needs to be stored locally on the machine that will host.  Open the database in FileMaker Pro, followed by going to the file menu and sharing.  Select FileMaker Network to enter the sharing setup window.  Turn FileMaker Sharing on and set network access to all users.  Next, under the file menu go to manage and security.  In the account window, go to the privilege set tab and select full access.  Hit edit to enter the privilege set window.  In here make sure Access via FileMaker Network (fmapp) is checked.  The host machine is now ready to host your database.  The client users would then access the IP address of the host machine to access the hosted database.  Whether this will be faster or not will depend on how powerful your host machine is, and how fast your connection speed is.



                      FileMaker, Inc.