10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 17, 2014 3:19 PM by ChrisBishop

    Clients getting disconnected at random.



      Clients getting disconnected at random.


      FileMaker Server


      Filemaker Server Advanced

      Operating system version

      Windows Server 2008 R2

      Description of the issue

      We have a Filemaker Server 12 Advanced setup that has been running fine for about a year. Within the last week clients have started getting disconnected from Filemaker server and have to restart Filemaker client and log back in.

      The error on the server is,

      Client "xxxx (XXXXXXXXXX) [172.16.x.x]" no longer responding; connection closed. (51)

      Client get the error dialog shown in the attached file.

      Steps to reproduce the problem

      None found

      Expected result

      Clients stay connected to the server indefinitely.

      Exact text of any error message(s) that appear

      Client "xxxx (XXXXXXXXXX) [172.16.x.x]" no longer responding; connection closed. (51)


        • 1. Re: Clients getting disconnected at random.

               David Robinson:

               Thank you for your post.

               The FileMaker Pro client sends a message to the server/host if there is not network activity for 60 seconds.  If the server/host doesn't hear from the FileMaker Pro client twice (after 120 seconds), then it will disconnect.  This is what causes the Error 51 message.

               Check your network configuration.  On the server, see if you have more than one Network Interface Controller.  If you do, make sure the one set for FileMaker Server/Pro is Primary.

               FileMaker, Inc.

          • 2. Re: Clients getting disconnected at random.

                 Sometimes a backup system like Tima Machine can take over the bandwidth and prevent your client machine from connecting to the server.

            • 3. Re: Clients getting disconnected at random.

                   Hi TSGal,

                   Thanks for the info. I was unaware of such 60 / 120 sec timeout.

                   However, i am not sure to understand it correctly in practice.

                   For example, is that meaning, if the client enter in sleep mode more than 120 seconds when connected to one or more files hosted by FM Server, it will be inevitably disconnected after wake up ?

                   Thank you so much to confirm this soon.

                   Bye, Fred

              • 4. Re: Clients getting disconnected at random.

                     Sorry but must add this :

                     Am i right if i suppose the idle time allowed specified on FMS is a manner to avoid the 120 sec timout (thus, that applied especially if the idle option is cleared) ???

                     If so, it is a great troubleshoot tip and i think it was not so obvious for the most of us...

                     Bye, Fred

                • 5. Re: Clients getting disconnected at random.

                       Fred, I believe that configured "maximum idle time" is a different situation.  Regardless of whether a user is idle, the client still has to respond during the 60-second "tickle" check, or it will get disconnected with an Error 51

                       The checkbox you show above comes into play when the client is responding successfully to the 60-second tickle, but the user isn't doing anything else.  If after 12 hours of that (if the server is configured per your screenshot), then you get the Error 10 disconnect.

                  • 6. Re: Clients getting disconnected at random.

                         Thanks John and you are right !

                         After more tests, it behaves exactly as you said.

                         I don't know when the 120 sec timeout was introduced. But i am almost sure it was between v11 and v12.

                         Before that, with early FMS v11, i saw in certain situations the opposite problem : clients are seen by the server as connected, even they aren't.

                         I guess FileMaker has solved this issue of "shadow-client" by introducing the "invisible" 120 sec timeout that we cannot fine tune differently.

                         Thus, it is no longer possible to let clients with sleep mode activated, which is very common, especially with notebooks.

                         And also, as Rick said, if one of them, client or server, is very busy, there is a chance for a bug like yours.



                    • 7. Re: Clients getting disconnected at random.

                           Hello there,

                           I recently had numerous occurrences of this issue at my office and by my customers.

                           But, in most situations, it was on Mac Platform.

                           After few tests, i am seriously wondering if Maverick's App Nap system could be a significant factor.

                           Today, i had many unexpected disconnections on my MacBook, although it is not programmed to sleep.

                           I tried to deactivate App Nap on FMP13 (thru Get Info… command) and therefore the disconnections stopped.

                           Has anyone experienced the same behavior or can a TS-Folk confirm that App Nap could be involved in disconnection issues ?

                           Thanks, Fred

                      Link to an existing FM kb article about App Nap (but related to poor performances).

                      • 8. Re: Clients getting disconnected at random.


                             Thank you for your post.

                             App Nap can definitely be a factor with disconnections.  App Nap puts hidden applications to sleep when not active.  I recommend deactivating App Nap if you plan to be either sharing files or accessing hosted FileMaker Pro files.

                             FileMaker, Inc.

                        • 9. Re: Clients getting disconnected at random.

                          Yes - App Nap is definitely an issue.  We disabled it for our Macs, and disconnections went wayyy down.  I was personally disconnecting every 15 minutes even when I was using it.  Now it happens maybe once or twice a day.

                          We're still having people using OS X 10.8 machines who are disconnecting often, but there's no app nap setting.  Energy settings are set to never sleep and to wake on network access, and no power nap.

                          • 10. Re: Clients getting disconnected at random.

                            Was still getting random disconnections, but only from some users.  The fix for some of these was this:

                            On these machines, we tried to do a port scan on 5003 to see if any network issues were happening with FileMaker Pro trying to connect with Server.  Every time we tried to run the scan, the machine that was disconnecting never did disconnect.

                            We put two and two together and realized that the scan itself was keeping the connection alive.  In FileMaker, we implemented a window timer script to run every 1 minute that runs this Terminal command:

                            nc -z fla-fm01 5003 > /dev/null 2>&1 &
                            More specifically, for AppleScript:  do shell script "nc -z fla-fm01 5003 > /dev/null 2>&1 &"

                            The nc command does a scan on port 5003, then the /dev/null part makes sure that the AppleScript doesn't wait for the command to succeed before continuing.  We found that this keeps the connection alive, and so we enabled this script only on the machines that were having issues.

                            We think it's only specific ethernet cards that have this issue - mostly built-in ones on laptops, but not always.