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    Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN

    enyko

      Title

      Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN

      Post

      Ok, I recently posted a question about remotely opening the same file within our LAN (office) Can't Open Shared Database via "Open Remote File"

       

      We figured that out. But now we are wondering how to achieve this same functionality when we are not on our LAN. So, in the office, we will always have our database open on the main computer (host), and all other computers can open the file via open remote. We can make simultaneous edits to the file which is great.

       

      Now, when I am at a client meeting and want to make edits to the file that is also open at the office, how can we achieve this? We have incorporated "Dropbox" to keep our database up to date on all computers but that does not make simultaneous edits. When someone at the office is editing the file at the same time one of our sales people are editing the same file it will create a "conflict" and create 2 files in Dropbox.

       

      Is there a way to open remotely when not on the LAN? What are my options? We are using FMP 10 Advanced and would try to avoid going FMP Server route.

       

      Thanks! 

        • 1. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
          TSGal

          enyko:

           

          Thank you for your post.

           

          First, I would try getting an IP address that can be accessible outside your network.  You can talk to your IT department about that.  This would be the ideal solution.

           

          Another option is to write a text file to the dropbox with your name.  Once the name appears in the dropbox, you can then edit the file and drop it back in, and then remove the text file, or remove your name from the text file.  The next time you want to make a change, open the file.  If you see someone else's name, you know that someone is editing the database.  Only make changes once you see your name saved in the text file.  Does that make sense?

           

          TSGal

          FileMaker, Inc. 

          • 2. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
            enyko
               Well, in this small office (3 of us), I'm the IT guy :)

            what would getting an IP address consist of
            • 3. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
              etripoli
                

              Contact your ISP, and find out how much it will cost, and if they can even do it.  Additionally, not all ISP will allow customer computers to act as servers, so specifically ask them if you will be able to access your FMP computer, running on TCP port 5003.

               

              Another question - is it that people in the office and on the road will be modifying the same records?  Or that the people outside the office will be adding new records?

              • 4. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
                enyko

                Ok, so I spoke with my ISP and adding a static IP address is a bit of a headache. Upgrading to business account ($10 more a month + $99 installation) plus $14.95 per month.

                 

                So what are the options for sharing this file now that I'll have a dedicated IP?

                 

                etripoli - It's actually rare that we will be modifying the same record at a time but I guess it's possible. It has been 100% of the time that the office is modifying & adding records while the person outside the office is also modifying & adding (different) records. Why do you ask? Is there another way around this without getting a static IP?

                 

                 

                • 5. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
                  mrvodka

                  You could look for a comapny that does FileMaker hosting. There are many out there but the ones that come to the top of my head are:

                   

                  pointinspace, fmgateway, worldcloud, thedroolingdog, and dbdom

                  • 6. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
                    davidanders

                    You have a dynamic IP address now (http://whatismyipaddress.com)

                    You have a router that allows the 3 or 4 computers to share that IP address with the outside world.

                    If you have the database running on one of your computers with sharing turned on

                    you can tell your router to forward port requests for Filemaker to that computer.

                    If your IP address is 98.33.21.21  and the local computers' addresses are

                    Computer #1  192.168.0.2  (sharing the filemaker database)

                    Computer #2  192.168.0.3

                    Computer #3  192.168.0.4

                    You tell the router to forware Filemaker port requests to Computer #1  192.168.0.2

                    http://portforward.com

                    • 7. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
                      davidanders

                      Your router or your Cable / DSL modem has an internet IP Address.

                      You can find out what it is at http://whatismyipaddress.com

                      INFO -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_address

                       

                      This internet IP address can be STATIC or DYNAMIC  (you pay more for STATIC)

                      INFO  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_address#Static_vs_dynamic_IP_addresses

                       

                      Your router or your Cable / DSL modem assigns Local IP Addresses to your computers (by default)

                      NOTE  this number can be assigned manually, but most users do not do this.

                      You can find this in you networking setup control panel or preference.


                      In Windows XP/2k/2k3 go to: START>Programs>Accessories>Comand Prompt and type: ipconfig

                      In Mac OSX open System Preferences and open Network, select the Ethernet or Airport option on the left.

                       

                      If someone sends a request to your Internet IP Address, it will not work because your router is not running FMP

                       

                      Your router needs to forward that request to the one computer on your network that IS running FMP

                      This is done by forwarding the Filemaker port request to the proper computer. This is done in the built in webpage on your router.

                       

                      To find the instructions for this go to  http://portforward.com

                      Select your router in the long list at the bottom of this page.

                      Skip the ad by clicking Skip the Advertisement at the top right of the page.

                      Select your application in the long list on this page.

                      You wll now have a graphic howto on how to set up Port Forwarding in your router.

                       

                      You send your Internet IP Address to the other person, and the Filemaker request will go to your FMP computer.

                      • 8. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
                        enyko

                        Hey David,

                        First of all, thanks for all of these GREAT detailed steps. You made it so easy.

                        I did everything above but not sure how to "send a request" to the IP address that is sharing the FMP database. Am I supposed to simply type in the dynamic IP address in the browser like this;

                        http://98.33.21.21/  (to use your example)?

                        If so, that doesn't work.

                        One thought is this; I noticed in the "Advanced Options" of the "Instant Web Publishing" window, that the TCP/IP port number is set to 80. I'm assuming this is supposed to be 5003 since this is what we specified in the port forwarding section. Problem is, when i change it to 5003 I get an error;

                        "Filemaker cannot share files over the Web because of a port number conflict. Please configure web publishing to use a different port"

                        Could this be the problem? Should I leave it at 80 and change the port forwarding settings to 80?  Thanks!

                        • 9. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
                          davidanders

                          You access a Filemaker database from outside your local network with a copy of Filemaker or Web Browser.

                          Ports are assigned to different applications

                          Webservers (or http) have a default port of 80.  FMP IWP is a mini webserver.

                          FTP default port is 21.

                          Filemaker Instant Web Publish default is 80, the port assigned to IWP is 591.

                          Filemaker port for access from another copy of Filemaker is 5003.

                          If you have port 591 set in IWP setup, a request for your database would be

                          http://youripaddress:591   or  http://98.33.21.21:591

                          • 10. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
                            enyko

                            So I got it working by enabling port forwarding for port 80 in my router setup and typing http://myipaddress:80 in the browser. I'm glad it works but just not sure why since in your explanation above I believe you're saying it is supposed to be 591?

                            My other question is, if I want to access the database via my copy of FMP, how do I assign IWP to port 5003 without getting that error? I would like to run it using the app vs. web browser ideally.

                            • 11. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
                              enyko

                              Anyone? David? Help?

                              • 12. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
                                escargot

                                enyko - don't quote me on this but i'm fairly sure you don't need to change the IWP port. All you need to do is to set the port forwarding on the router to direct traffic on port 5003 to the internal FM hosts IP.

                                This is what I had to do to enable access for FM Go and I suspect will also work if connecting remotely from a proper copy of FM.

                                • 13. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
                                  enyko

                                  Ok, I got this working by opening ports 80, 591 and 5003 (just to be sure). We were able to access the DB via IWP and make changes...etc.

                                  Problem is, the next day we couldn't log on. Come to find out that the IP address changed (from 192.168.1.104 to 192.168.1.106). Which I guess is normal right? So I had to change that in my router settings.

                                  My question is, will I have to change that IP address in the router everyday?

                                  • 14. Re: Sharing Database OUTSIDE of LAN
                                    enyko

                                    Hey guys, wanted to revisit this with a question.

                                    So, we have been checking our IP addy each day (last 3 digits) and then changing it on our router setup each time. This is tedious and sometimes we forget. I was wondering if there was a way to assign something more static. But not a static IP.

                                    On the Mac, there is an option to "Configure IPv4" "Using DHCP" or "Using DHCP with manual address. Is this something I can utilize to give a static IP address to always use?

                                    There is also a "Configure IPv6" that is currently not used. Is this something I can utilize to give a static IP address?

                                    Finally, I thought I saw somewhere a post about utilizing your domain somehow to post your FMP DB. We have a domain hosted on GoDaddy. Is this an option?

                                    THanks!

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