5 Replies Latest reply on May 13, 2015 3:32 AM by MichaelNowinski

    Communication problem



      Communication problem & simultanious record form switching


      FileMaker Server



      Operating system version

      OSX 10.9.5

      Description of the issue

      I’m running into 2 separate issues with my Filemaker Server solution.

      Issue 1.  In Web Direct, the solution will randomly give a communication error in the middle of filling out a form and log the user out. The user is able to log back in immediately. The message is “Communication problem.  Take note of any unsaved data, and click here to continue. Invalid status code 0 (server down?)”

      Issue 2. (In Web Direct) I have a script that creates a new record on layout enter. I will have 2 users on at the same time entering 2 different records (same layout). Occasionally, in the middle of User1 filling out a record, the record that User2 is currently working on will instantly appear on User1’s screen.

      Our setup- A Mac Mini hosting the database to a Linksys wireless router on a closed network. Users access the solution with web direct over wireless.

      Extra notes.; 
      I haven’t run into either problem while remotely connected with FMP Advanced.
      These issues seem to happen regardless of browser, but safari seems the most used by my users.
      These issues seem to happen regardless of how many/few users are logged in. (Issue 2 will only happen if there is more than one user)
      These issues seem to happen regardless of whether I’m making adjustments to the solution or not.
      All recommended ports are open.
      95% of the users are Mac 10.9 or 10.10. I don’t have enough data for those that have logged in with a Windows machine.
      All users are within 10 meters of the wireless router
      The hosting machine is not used for anything else.

      Answers for questions asked in other forums;
      Nothing abnormal in the Log viewer across all modules, however it does show the “closing database as user x” & “closing connection” followed by the usual messages for the same user logging back in.
      Database server and web publishing is up and running
      No screen saver or sleep mode on the server.

      Any insights to why these issues might occur or what I can do to eliminate possibilities would be helpful.  If I can provide any more information that would be helpful to troubleshooting, please let me know.


      Exact text of any error message(s) that appear

      Communication problem.  Take note of any unsaved data, and click here to continue. Invalid status code 0 (server down?)

      Configuration information

      Filemaker Server 13.0v5 x64 (10 concurrent licences)
      Java Version 8 Update 40 (Build 1.8.0_40-b25)
      OSX 10.9.5
      Mac 2.3 GHz Intel I7; Memory 16GB 1600MHz DDR3;
      Linksys; EA2700


        • 1. Re: Communication problem & simultanious record form switching

          Michael Nowinski:

          Thank you for your post.

          When a client connects to a hosted database, FileMaker Server will continually ping the client to make sure there is still a connection.  This does not mean that the client is idle for a set amount of time, but if FileMaker Server can detect the client machine.  If FileMaker Server cannot detect the machine, FileMaker Server will continue trying to reach the client machine for approximately two minutes in case the signal from the client is restored.  If after that time a connection can no longer be established, then FileMaker Server will disconnect from the client, and the client will receive a communication error.  This is done in case the client machine has either crashed or abruptly disconnects from the network allowing FileMaker Server to disconnect the client, so when the client re-establishes connection, there is only one instance of the client connected to FileMaker Server.

          FileMaker Pro also keeps the connection open to the hosted database.  However, Web Direct does not keep a connection to the hosted database since it is actually FileMaker data presented in a browser..  The browser will make posts to FileMaker Server.  If the connection has been lost and then regained, then the Web Direct client will get the Communication problem error message as Web Direct attempts to send data to a connection that FileMaker Server no longer sees.

          Since other clients appear to be working, I would check the network activity (nettop, wireshark, etc.) on the Web Direct machines.

          As far as the second issue with the notifications of one machine appearing on a second machine, I have seen this happen once before when the IP Addresses of the two machines were somehow identical.  Does this occur with the same two machines?  If so, on each machine, go to whatismyip.com to verify the IP Addresses are unique.

          Keep me updated with any progress.

          FileMaker, Inc.

          • 2. Re: Communication problem & simultanious record form switching

            TSGal,  Thank you very much for the explanation of what is probably happening! 

            On Issue 1. Will the Mac Network Utility on the Web Direct machines suffice or should I use one of your recommendations? Also, what am I looking for?

            On Issue 2. It is not identical IP addresses. Under your advisement, I asked the users to notify me if it happened to them again. The issue occurred today and I checked both IP addresses and they were not identical.

            Thanks again. Mike

            • 3. Re: Communication problem & simultanious record form switching

              Michael Nowinski:

              If you are not familiar with monitoring network traffic, then you could use Network Utility to ping the server indefinitely.  This will let you know when the server cannot be reached, although it doesn't provide timestamp information.  You will end up with line entries that say something like "Host is down".

              On Issue 2, somehow FileMaker Server is seeing the users as the same or putting both users on the same record.  The next time this occurs, have the users take a screen shot so I know what is the found set, the data that is appearing on the screen that shouldn't be there, etc.  Also, let me know if there are any scripts involved.

              FileMaker, Inc.

              • 4. Re: Communication problem & simultanious record form switching

                Might there be a script that is being inadvertently triggered that changes records on one of the users?

                • 5. Re: Communication problem & simultanious record form switching

                  TSGal and PhilModJunk, thanks for pointing me in the direction of the scripts, I never would have found it if you didn't mention it.

                  The situation on issue 2;

                  Person A and B are working from their own logins on the same form using webdirect. Person A will press a scripted button that essentially creates a new record. Person A's new record will then show up on Person B's screen, interrupting his record entry. Occasionally Person B will get an error message stating the user is already logged in. I'm presuming that its referring to Person A's login now being used on Person B's terminal.

                  I've noticed this happening after 2 particular scripts.

                  1. On a button scripted for "New Record/Request

                  2. On a button script that   A.) Checks if all required fields are entered and B.) if true, it duplicates that record and then clears 2 specified fields. (Purpose; The user has to submit assessments on students. Most times he'll give the same markings to several students. It will duplicate and clear names and assessment numbers. This button reduces the redundancy of filling out the same scores over and over. Attached this script as a jpeg.

                  In both instances a new record is being created.

                  Sorry for the delay in the follow up. This was a tough one to catch. 


                  Mike Nowinski