1 2 3 Previous Next 82 Replies Latest reply on Jan 1, 2010 1:21 PM by MartinBrändle

    Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly

    FrancescoScarpa

      Summary

      Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly

      Description of the issue

      FileMaker Product(s) involvedFilemaker server 9 advanced (v3) or FMSA 8.Operating System(s) involvedWindows 2003 web edition SP2 AND Mac OS 10.5. Java version 6.7 (no update 10)Detailed description of the issueFilemaker publishing engine simply stop respondig after few days (sometimes hours!) since last WPE restart. The service start to allocate more than 50% of CPU running on Windows and more than 99% (sometimes more than 100%) of CPU running on Mac OS.At this point the only thing we can do is to restart WPE (using console or using windows services management).The log files reports only 'Unknown errors' or something like but didn't give help at all to solve this issue.This kind of bug is reported from other useres under different OS and server, as You can read here, for example .Exact steps to reproduce the issueBuilt a web site using filemaker (XSLT) and publish it on the web, let the users browse the web site 'till it crash.Expected ResultThe web site should be available, fast or little slow, but it surely shouldn' t crash.Actual ResultWeb site crashesExact text of any error message(s) that appearedmost of log lines report an 'Unknown error'.This is what Windows event viewer reports sometimes, aproximately around crash time:"Faulting application fmswpc.exe, version 9.0.3.316, faulting module ntdll.dll, version 5.2.3790.3959, fault address 0x0004afb2."Any additional configuration information/troubleshooting that is relevant to the issueI used the single machine configuration (1 server for all WPE modules).Any workarounds that you have Basically I tried to modify some registry key involved in TCP connections in order to limit the TIME_WAIT or persitent connections (as I read in a MS knowledge base suggested in filemaker KB), the key is 'TcpTimedWaitDelay' that I reduced from its default value.  Any help? Any idea? It seems that I'm not the only one experiencig this strange WPE behaviour..

        • 2. Re: Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly
          FrancescoScarpa
            

          An UP! again! This is the third week this post lies here w/out a reply.. maybe for xmas..

          • 3. Re: Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly
            osm
              

            Mr. Scarpa, you are not the only one waiting for a new FMSA release. We confirm this bug.

             

            Apple G5, Mac OS X, 8 GB RAM; Apple C2D Mac OS X 4 GB RAM;  Windows Machines also.

             

            On a busy webserver, Filemaker Server 9 Advanced, and its  "Web Publishing Engine" crash incessantly

             

            This is a real bug.  We have demonstrated it is not 'user error', because even a busy machine running only FileMaker's own test database will crash when it gets busy. The CWPE, when it crashes, does so for no apparent reason. Daily, sometimes twice daily.  Even without the CPU at 100%, it doesn't seem to matter. We have reinstalled Filemaker and removed databases dozens of times, CWPE continues to fail in exactly the same manner. 

             

            • 4. Re: Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly
              FrancescoScarpa
                

              Hello, I'm not sure if I'm happy or disappointed (maybe both of 'em) to meet some one else experiencing my issue..

               

              I'm quite surprised that none at filemaker support reply here after more than one month since I highlighted this situation, and I cannot imagine one good reason why these guys let our request alone here in silence. Maybe they are waiting for a solution coming itself from nowhere but, after all, we are customer (not so satisfied and worried about a software bug) and filemaker advanced is not exactly a cheap product or an open source project we decided to use "as it is" AND at our own risk you know... this thing are disappointing me more than anything else. 

               

              Anyway, let me tell you that I'm trying all the way to make my web site up and running for a decent number of days so I just changed properties of Application pool in IIS settings, I just changed the identity which manage applications pools to Local system (this is not recommended by Microsoft but I just read a topic and it seems to be a workaround).

               

              If You, like me, use IIS (Windows 2003 server) go to IIS management, right click on application pool, properties, identities and swicth it to Local system.

              Let's try this too.. I am not too optimistic but, as I said before, I will try everithing I can before I give up.

               

               

               

              • 5. Re: Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly
                osm
                  

                "An error was encountered communicating with the server."

                 

                I wish somebody at FileMaker could explain this message, and why it appears so suddenly and so often.  FileMaker's logs do not seem to explain this bug, and why it occurs. 

                 

                Our $2,500 FMSA 9 web publishing engine, running on a Mac OS 10.5 G5 machine with 8 GB of RAM, completely siezes or crashes with the error above several dozen times per week!  So far, our only workaround options are to a) reboot the entire Apple, b) stop/start CWPE (then test), or c) stop/start the FileMaker server, stop/start the CWPE (then test). 

                 

                Options b) and c) frequenly must be repeated a couple times until FMSA and its CWPE are running again.  As a result, since this CWPE crashes and seizes so incessantly, and because workarounds b) and c) take typically several minutes longer to complete than option a), for the sake of our many web visitors (6-7 requests per second on avg.) we typically just go with option a) (reboot).

                 

                That's right:  we have to reboot our server several times per day because FMSA 9's CWPE crashes so frequently!

                 

                And so yes, we are going nuts.  FMSA logs indicate NO unusual circumstances leading to these routine crashes and seizures.  We have installed/uninstalled FM over a dozen times, on over 7 different machines, but all FM configurations have continued to crash as described.  System event logs do show FM.app application failures, however it apears the real root of this bug lies in the inherent bugginess of FileMaker's CWPE component, specifically related to the server's ability to comunicate with the plethora of JAVA and Apache components, such as the XSLT translator.

                 

                So, as no bug fix appears forthcoming, my company is feverishly migrating away from FMSA  ---- to MySQL.  Truthfully, FMSA CWPE has been such misery for us we absolutely cannot switch our database to MySQL fast enough (yes, we've already implemented a caching system for our sites; gosh, without that FMSA CWPE wouldn't even last 2 minutes!). And while that FMSA exodus is already underway, unfortunately it's not easy to expedite; it takes time for a busy site with many XSLT and PHP FileMaker fragments to be migrated OFF the FMSA platform to MySQL.  And of course meanwhile the whole process is delayed as FMSA continues to crash and seize because a bug fix has yet to be released for this issue; an issue which is widely documented on this and other FileMaker fora.

                • 6. Re: Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly
                  TSGal

                  FrancescoScarpa:

                   

                  You mentioned 'Up!" twice, so I figured you were up and running.  Wasn't aware that you still needed help.

                   

                  Yes, this is a problem that we have been having difficulty trying to find the cause.  Some machines do fine while others do not.  There is a big thread on this issue on FMForums.com.  Unfortunately, we cannot find the cause or the common denominator.  To add to the mess, we have our servers with FileMaker Server 9 Advanced (and will update to FileMaker Server 10 Advanced shortly) running constantly and have never crashed.  I know it is frustrating for both you and "osm", but also for us as we cannot locate the cause.  Do you have open cases with us?  If not, send me a private message (top of this page - right side - X messages) with your contact information (name, address, email, phone, etc.) and I'll get you entered.

                   

                  TSGal

                  FileMaker, Inc. 

                   

                   

                  • 7. Re: Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly
                    FrancescoScarpa
                      

                    I've just sent you my contact data in private messages.

                    Thank You.

                    • 8. Re: Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly
                      FrancescoScarpa
                        

                      I add this screeshot to highlight how many XSLT (Guest account) connection I can see on FMSA console, it seems that filemaker cannot handle persistent connection or connection timeout:

                      screenshot console FMSA

                      • 9. Re: Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly
                        FrancescoScarpa
                           .. and I'm afraid Filemaker server advanced 10 didn't solve this problem.. I installed it this morning at 9.00 AM (GMT +1) and at 1.45 PM (GMT +1) it hang up.. this is a little more than frustrating now..
                        • 10. Re: Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly
                          osm
                            

                          Mr. Scarpa, thank you for posting your experience with FMSA 10.  Sad to hear that FileMaker, Inc.'s latest upgrade does not resolve FileMaker Server's CWPE bug.  

                           

                          There may be some similarities between us which TSGal, who reportedly runs CWPE 'with no problem', perhaps may not have in common.

                           

                          First, Mr. Scarpa, it appears you and I both use XSLT, quite heavily.  Do you, TSGal?  Have your colleagues in your QA department tested their battery of test equipment's CWPE engines against repeated bursts of XSLT traffic on a variety of databases over a period of hours, days, and weeks?  For servers which are very popular, which often may experience up to 20 requests or more in a span of 7 seconds, FileMaker XSLT is confirmed hands down, on a variety of equipment, to crash.  

                           

                          Has anybody confirmed that FileMaker's Web Publishing Engine can handle large, repeated bursts of XML and XSLT traffic?

                           

                           

                          FileMaker's history of fatal exceptions, over a period of just one month: 

                          FM Web Publishing Crashes

                           

                          "An error was encountered communicating with the web server." 

                           an error occurred

                          • 11. Re: Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly
                            osm
                              

                            TSGal also mentioned additional reports of this bug at FMForums.com, from which I am going to quote one user's experience here in this thread, because it is particularly similar to what I and others are experiencing.  Here we find another user experiencing this exact same bug, who interestingly also runs a FileMaker which 'faces a lot of queries of XML' (and XSLT?):

                             

                            Hello,
                            I'm experiencing the same stability problem reported by other users before. CWPE seems to stop working (out of memory or CPU usage).
                            I'm working on a 100% windows platform (web edition of a 2003 server) dedicated to a web site (database and web engine works only to publish dynamic web pages) and, when CWPE process reach 50-51% of CPU it simply stop responding givin' back a not-well explained 'Unknown error'. I'm encouraged by the application to take a look to the log files but, as said by some one some post before, the log files are so 'cryptic' that I cannot investigate anything (and this is really a nightmare). I supposed this happens because of module "give up" and cannot write the query/event made it stop in the log. 
                            A scheduled stop/restart sounds like a useless workaround as it didn't fix the cause of the problem, it just reset the memory/CPU allocation in my opinion. I would really like to know which email I could contact to have some good reply: I'm italian and the italian tech support cannot answer my question. 
                            I've experienced the same CWPE crashes with FMS 7 and - later - upgrading platform to FMSA 9. Java version is 6 release 7 (no update 10).
                            My filemaker powered web site usually face a lot of queries, as a page is often made by included xml documents but it seems there is not a specified query that makes it crash.
                            I've created a lot of excel-table-like layout wihich usually contains only the data needed to answer the queries.
                            I've reduced the number of backup during the day (now there are 3 full backup a day for all 3 databases and 2 additional single database backup). 
                             
                            • 12. Re: Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly
                              FrancescoScarpa
                                

                              Mr. "OSM", unfortunately I think the stability problem is due to FMSA persistent connection handling.. I think it is not able to close connections after a while so it just stop to respond to other queries (it has a nearly endless queue to face to before process the newest ones).

                              My web site, I admit, sometimes need a large number of query to load different information per page.. we are now thinking about porting to another platform (probably the so called 'LAMP'), just because we need stability first. I can't help to think that filemaker.com web site isn't built using their product so, why should I?

                               

                              PS: The post You quoted in Your last message, coming from fmforums.com, is mine but there's a lot of other posts in the same thread confirming what we are discussing here..

                               

                              Thank You.

                              • 13. Re: Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly
                                osm
                                  

                                Coincidentally I've also attempted to troubleshoot a possible TCP connection handling glitch by Filemaker.   First, I tried shortening some of FileMaker's default Apache parameters in httpd.conf.  That was unsuscessful so I moved the settings back to FileMaker's defaults and then just recently (yesterday) I tried this method:

                                 

                                http://www.brianp.net/2008/10/03/changing-the-length-of-the-time_wait-state-on-mac-os-x/

                                 

                                I'm now monitoring things to see if this will have an effect, but already I can report that Web Publishing was CRASHED when I awoke this morning (as usual), so I expect this too will fail to solve this bug.

                                 

                                1-20-09.  Solution does not work.  Still crashes.


                                Also I should add:

                                ...after having dealt with these fatal FileMaker Web Publishing issues for so long, we too have already begun to move to MySQL (the "M" in LAMP).  In fact, for our most heavily-used databases, we are now using a cloud-server-based 'bursted MySQL container from MediaTemple.  Works like a charm, never crashes.  Moving our PHP pages to fetch and submit data from/to MySQL was made somewhat simpler by FX.php.  For those databses we have already migrated to MySQL, we now use FileMaker merely as a front-end for the MySQL tables, via Acutal Technologies' Open Source ODBC driver.

                                • 14. Re: Filemaker publishing engine crashes randomly
                                  TSGal

                                  Sorry for the late reply.  I've been out sick.

                                   

                                  Our Testing department does have a direct link to this thread, but they haven't checked it in the last couple of days, so I've alerted them to the update.

                                   

                                  There were two messages to me.  The first message was that they were trying to reproduce it on Windows 2003 using FileMaker Server 10 but were unable to crash, and asked me if the users could send in their logs.

                                   

                                  The second message was that they were unable to reproduce it using an xslt solution.

                                   

                                  I have sent you both a private message (top of this page - right side - X messages) with instructions where to send the crash log file.

                                   

                                  TSGal

                                  FileMaker, Inc. 

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