10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 29, 2009 7:30 AM by HugoLidia

    Why does host have to have file open?

    HugoLidia

      Title

      Why does host have to have file open?

      Post

      New to Filemaker, so was surprised and intrigued as to why does the computer that one wants to set up as the host have to have the database open?  Does this only apply in a network setup where Filemaker Server is not employed?  We wish to run 3 Filemaker Pro users, with one designated as Primary machine, but this means that machine needs to have file open, even if user is not working or using it.  How would this be managed if the Users were in a different building?

        • 1. Re: Why does host have to have file open?
          philmodjunk
            

          Filemaker (Either Pro or Server) on the host machine has to function as the "traffic cop" controlling which users are editing which records. It never permits two users to edit the same record at the same time as this would create confusion. Thus the files must be opened and hosted by Filemaker Pro or Filemaker Server before multiple users can access the database at the same time.

           

          Users in different buildings may still be part of the same local area network, so this may not be a problem at all. In cases where computers are not on the same local area network you can publish the database to the web and use a web browser to access the database or there are other methods of remote access such as a virtual private network.

          • 2. Re: Why does host have to have file open?
            HugoLidia
               I understand what you have said but the main query is why does the file have to be open on the host.  All other databases with a machine acting as "server" simply require the file to be located on that machine, not to be physically open.  The issue, using XP workgroup setup, is if the users are in different buildings and they are not there one day, this would mean nobody else can access it!
            • 3. Re: Why does host have to have file open?
              davidanders
                

              <I understand what you have said but the main query is why does the file have to be open on the host.  All other databases with a machine acting as "server" simply require the file to be located on that machine, not to be physically open.  The issue, using XP workgroup setup, is if the users are in different buildings and they are not there one day, this would mean nobody else can access it!>

               

              I can not think of a multi-user, relational database that behaves this way.

              Can you give an example? Thank You. 

              • 4. Re: Why does host have to have file open?
                mark_d2x
                  

                just a suggestion...

                 

                Have you thought about running FMP server on a virtual windows server? That way you don't physically need to have it running on a normal office based computer?   It can sit there quite happily running away on your real server using the administrator account so that everyone else doesn't have to worry about closing FMP down by accident thus stopping anyone else accessing the file.

                 

                Have i just got the wrong end of the stick here?

                 

                Best wishes

                 

                Mark 

                • 5. Re: Why does host have to have file open?
                  HugoLidia
                    

                  No Mark, you haven't got the wrong end of the stick.  The problem is the User doesn't want the expense of another machine permanently switched on.  They are a small sales team, in three different locations linked via VPN and only using Windows XP in a workgroup, hence the question why the databas ehas to be open.  The solution I am considering is getting the remote users to be able to do a "wake up" command to the HOST and the host machine then automatically opens the Filemaker database.  Is this possible?

                  • 6. Re: Why does host have to have file open?
                    mark_d2x
                      

                    Before i go any further, I am no network expert and this is based on what I am getting my IT dept to do for me...

                     

                    I assume (hopefully correctly) that there must be a central server (physical computer) that the other computers use to connect to (hence the VPN) - this is presumably where all the data is stored to and backed up from ??  If not, then i would suggest (again I welcome the opposite viewpoint) some sort of rigorous backup system for the company's data needs to be put in urgently!

                     

                    What the techy guys have done is created a virtual server (almost like a phantom computer - not sure how else to describe it, other than the server can run multiple virtual server instances - which, in my understanding, is really good if there is a problem with an installation- its much easier to recreate the virtual server from a ghost image  (again willing to be stand corrected)).  On that, you can set up an administrator account for FMP - using remote access, manage the database from any of the local network PCs or over the VPN that would then give you the fmnet address for everyone to log into.

                     

                    This wouldn't need any additional physical PCs

                     

                    As for setting that up - no idea - not PC/win, having said that I wouldn't know how to set it up on an OSX system either! 

                    • 7. Re: Why does host have to have file open?
                      MikeyG79
                         <I can not think of a multi-user, relational database that behaves this way.

                      Can you give an example? Thank You. >

                       

                      MySQL does. 

                      • 8. Re: Why does host have to have file open?
                          

                        <MySQL does. >

                         

                        huh??? I think it does not: MySQL may not have tables visible on your desktop, but is has actually databases opened and you connect to them through that instance of the MySQL-daemon and never physically.

                         

                        Filemaker Pro works in exactly the same way. The difference between the Pro and the Server versions is that Pro has to really open the database(s) on the desktop where the Server only opens them without the GUI. There are a few more differences like the max amount of databases, users, creating backups etc. etc. but that wasn't the questio.

                         

                        I think that HugoLydia compares Filemaker Pro to Excel where a Multiuser-spreadsheet can be opened by several clients at the same time, without one client being the "entry-cop". That setup is not possible with filemaker-pro-files

                        • 9. Re: Why does host have to have file open?
                          MikeyG79
                            

                          I have a MySQL server. The service is always running. I can copy tables to and from the server at will as long as they are not currently being access/used. As soon as I copy a table into the appropriate place, it's available from the server.

                           

                          FileMaker does not work this way. As soon as you start the FMserver service (and the files are opened as they have to be for access) you can't copy/delete them. 

                          • 10. Re: Why does host have to have file open?
                            HugoLidia
                               Thanks, DOH! Forgot there is Fm Server version, which acheives what I want.  WIll  have to look at getting that installed instead.  Long term is the easiest most reliable solution.