7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 19, 2012 4:41 AM by Sorbsbuster

    Typical FM pro setups for a small company

    KoenDeSmet

      Title

      Typical FM pro setups for a small company

      Post

           Dear,

           I'm an IT administrator for a small company (5persons)  that whishes to implement a proper database for it's stock management.

           Knowing FM from the past ,it seems like a good solution.

           But there are some questions that need to be clarified before.

           1. Is FM pro able to use an external database such Mysql to store everything ? - Meaning ,use only FM pro as an interface ,but store the content in a db-

           2. Is FM Pro intended to be used by 1 user only , or is to possible to write with several FP pro instances into the same db ?

           3. Is there somewhere some infrastructure examples for the setup of FM pro (especially with the use of multiple FM pro instances)

           4. When to use FM pro ,and when to use FM server ?

           Thanks in advance for the replies,

           Koen

            

        • 1. Re: Typical FM pro setups for a small company
          Sorbsbuster

               1. Is FM pro able to use an external database such Mysql to store everything ? - Meaning ,use only FM pro as an interface ,but store the content in a db-

               Yes.  But it could be that FM is perfectly capable of providing all your needs, with no need for another database

               2. Is FM Pro intended to be used by 1 user only , or is to possible to write with several FP pro instances into the same db ?

               FM is multi-user, and cross-platform.

               3. Is there somewhere some infrastructure example for the setup of FM pro

               If you download the 30-day trial of FM 12 you will get sample files you can check out.

               4. When to use FM pro ,and when to use FM server ?

               You will need to use the Server version if you intend to have more than 9 simultaneous clients.  With 5 users you don't need to have it, although you may find some other advantageous features.

          • 2. Re: Typical FM pro setups for a small company
            philmodjunk
                 

                      4. When to use FM pro ,and when to use FM server ?

                 

                      You will need to use the Server version if you intend to have more than 9 simultaneous clients.  With 5 users you don't need to have it, although you may find some other advantageous features.

                 There are also other reasons besides the number of users that may argue for using FM Server.

                 Better data integrity
                 Better network performance
                 Automatic, scheduled backups of your database
                 Scripts set to run on a specific Schedule from the server

                 You can go to FileMaker's product information pages to read up on the features and decide for yourself.

                 The good news is that you can easily "scale up" from hosting with FileMaker Pro to Hosting with FileMaker Server without having to redesign your database to do so.

                 I also strongly recommend that you purchase a single copy of FileMaker Advanced as it's value added design tools will make any development work you do with your databases much easier--saving you a great deal of time and possible frustration.

            • 3. Re: Typical FM pro setups for a small company
              davidanders

                   If all users are at one location, FMP for 9 or less users, FMPServer for up to 100 users are good options.

                   Filemaker Licensing Options  https://store.filemaker.com/US/ENG/LIC
                   Filemaker Prices  http://www.filemaker.com/purchase/resellers/pricing_licensing.html

                   If there are remote users (outside the local network) the speed of the internet connection comes into play.

                   Filemaker Hosting Services can be cost effective versus the cost of FMPServer and maintaining a computer server.
              https://www.google.com/search?q=filemaker+hosting+services

              • 4. Re: Typical FM pro setups for a small company
                KoenDeSmet

                     Wow - impressively active forum. That's a bonus for using FM.

                     Thanks all , for your answers.

                     To come back on question n° 2 ...

                     FM is multi-user, and cross-platform.

                     => Is FM running then as some kind of webserver -connected to a db- where clients connect to with their browser , or is a specific FM client needed to access FM appserver  /FM db then ?

                     =>Does this FM pro needs to run on windows ,or can it run on Linux too ? If Only Windoze ,would a normal windoze 7 be enough ,or is WinServer 2k8 or 2012 needed ?

                     Right now the server setup is an Ubuntu Server , on which virtualisation software runs, that runs ClearOS(linux) ,which creates a Windoze Domain and handles users and shares. It would be possible to create an extra virtualised instance running Windoze 7 (I guess there will be enough concurrent tcp connections in windows7 to serve the 5 FM Clients) on which FM pro runs.

                     The purpose eventually is that an external company does the FM pro design for the customer ,but I want to see in advance if the setup can be done wihtout the need to install a Windoze Server

                     Kind regards,

                     Koen

                • 5. Re: Typical FM pro setups for a small company
                  Sorbsbuster

                       > Is FM running then as some kind of webserver -connected to a db- where clients connect to with their browser , or is a specific FM client needed to access FM appserver  /FM db then ?

                       You can access the FM database using an FM Client.  That is the best user experience, and the easiest to design for.  You can access the FM file using a web-browser.  You can do this with a standard FM Client hosting the file, but for more than a few concurrent clients you will need to run Filemaker Server Advanced.  The Instant Web Browsing feature of Filemaker is as it says 'Instant' (pretty much) but has a restricted feature set compared to access via the FM Client.

                       You can design your own Custom Web Publishing front end if you want.

                       =>Does this FM pro needs to run on windows ,or can it run on Linux too ? If Only Windoze ,would a normal windoze 7 be enough ,or is WinServer 2k8 or 2012 needed ?

                       It runs on Mac and Windoze.  You could try running it under WINE in Linux, but the last time I tried it was not a happy experience.  FM will run on Win 7 - but read the specification and hardware requirements at some of the links that DavidAnders posted.

                       You may find that FM will do everything that you want, self-contained, without having to jump through all the hoops you are talking about.

                  • 6. Re: Typical FM pro setups for a small company
                    KoenDeSmet

                         Thanks all for your answers. I deffo needed to do some in depth manual diving ,so that's what I did : 

                         I went to buy this one :  FileMaker Pro 12: The Missing Manual ( http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920022817.do .)

                         I also went for this one : http://www.filemaker.com/support/product/docs/12/fmp/fmp12_tutorial.pdf

                         I found exactly what I needed to know how the setup of db's is organised within FM. FM Pro is using p2p filesharing to share db's.
                         That doesn't seem like a good way of working. Seems there's a principle of host and guest. The host keeps the main db. Communication goes over p2p .
                         User and security management is described in the doc too.
                         It would be nice if FM Prod were to be able to write immediately into a Mysql db -instead of using this propriatary fileformat- ,since for Mysql (or any other db for that matter) command lines tools and backup/restore tools are available. Please proove me wrong if I'm not correct here.
                          
                         What's missing is command line options. For this it seems FM Server Advanced is the way to go. A very costly way out for a small company then.
                         Maybe I missed something here ?
                          
                         There's also no way for backing up FM pro from the command line. This is a must for a company since this needs to be automated.
                         Maybe I missed something here ?
                          
                         Found nevertheless some nice docs for the fm pro installs : http://www.filemaker.com/support/product/docs/12/fmp/fmp12_network_install_setup.pdf
                          
                         But ,having read this ,I'll wait a bit longer to advice fm pro 12 to my customer : http://fmforums.com/forum/topic/83448-warning-fm12-issues-much-worse-than-you-think/
                          
                         Kind regards,
                          
                         Koen
                    • 7. Re: Typical FM pro setups for a small company
                      Sorbsbuster

                           I think you are being distracted by being familiar with MySQL, so you want to compare everything to the way that works, and if it isn't the same way exactly, it is somehow 'inferior'.

                      "FM Pro is using p2p filesharing to share db's"  The file is hosted on one computer, and everyone else is a guest of that file.  The workstation can be a high-end server or a very low-end workstation.  It can be a cloud-hosted service.  The principle of operation is exactly the same.

                      "That doesn't seem like a good way of working. Seems there's a principle of host and guest. The host keeps the main db. Communication goes over p2p"  What's wrong with it?  How else would you set up a multi-user database, without the concept of one server and many guests?

                      "It would be nice if FM Prod were to be able to write immediately into a Mysql db" - from memory you can read and write directly to several versions of MySQL - you can mount them in the relationships graph directly.

                      "for Mysql [...] command lines tools and backup/restore tools are available" - the server version comes with extensive back-up tools.  Even the non-server versions can have easy back-up routines written.  A basic tenet of Filemaker's philosphy is to enable rapid development of a very flexible and secure database without needing to write command-line code.

                      "There's also no way for backing up FM pro from the command line. This is a must for a company since this needs to be automated."  Command-line-driven back up is not the only way that back-ups can be implemented.  FM files can be backed up as often as the user wants, fully automatically.  The server software makes it even easier.