1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on Feb 22, 2017 6:48 AM by TSGal

    Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect

    RyanM.

      Summary

      Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect

      Product

      FileMaker Server

      Version

      13.0.5

      Operating system version

      OSX 10.9.5

      Description of the issue

      User is editing a record or layout when FileMaker client crashes, or locks and process must be killed. Record or layout that was being edited maintains a write lock indefinitely. Anyone (including original user) who attempts to edit the record or layout gets the "_____ is modifying this record" error.

      Steps to reproduce the problem

      Reproducing the problem involves an unrelated crash or lockup of client during editing of a layout or record.

      Expected result

      After reconnecting to server, expect to be able to edit record or layout with no problem.

      Actual result

      Many days may go by, but write lock is still in place. Client has been killed and disconnected, but server still maintains lock.

      Exact text of any error message(s) that appear

      "_____ is modifying this record. You may not use this record until _____ is finished."

      Workaround

      Files can be closed and reopened, but we don't want to do this because it means the entire server must be stopped and force an outage on the entire shop.

        • 1. Re: Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect
          TSGal

          Ryan M.:

          Thank you for your post.

          When a client connects to FileMaker Server, FileMaker Server will ping the client every minute to make sure they are still connected.  If the client manually disconnects, FileMaker Server will receive the disconnect message and no longer ping.  If the client crashes and is unable to close the file, FileMaker Server does not know about the crash, but it will detect that the ping no longer responds, and after two minutes, FileMaker Server should disconnect the client.

          With that said, it appears in your case that FileMaker Server, even though the client has been disconnected, still maintains the lock to the layout.  In this instance, closing and reopening the file is necessary.  You do not need to stop the entire server.

          FileMaker Server does give you the ability to send a message to all connected users notifying that you are stopping access the file in "x" minutes.  Also, you can send an email to all users (who may not be connected at the time) that there will be server maintenance for ten minutes at a certain time.

          TSGal
          FileMaker, Inc.

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect
            RyanM.

            Thanks for the response.

            Does anyone know why this happens? It's incredibly obnoxious to put everyone on a work stoppage when this happens. A permanent solution would be much preferred.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect
              Benjamin Fehr

              TSGal

              With FMPro (not FMServer), we know that when FMGo Client get's closed via the Home-Button, the FMPro Host does not reset the connection. You won't be able then to close FMP Host at all since it claims that there's still a client connected. You need to reconnect FMGo Client to close it with FM native function 'quit application' in order to quit FMPro Host.

              FileMaker Server will ping the client every minute to make sure they are still connected. …but it will detect that the ping no longer responds, and after two minutes, FileMaker Server should disconnect the client.

              Is FMPro supposed to behave similar regarding ping every minute and detection when connection dropped?

              • 4. Re: Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect
                TSGal

                Benjamin Fehr:

                This also applies to FileMaker Pro hosting files.  If a connection isn't detected in two minutes, FileMaker Pro will disconnect from the FileMaker Go client.  However, depending on the fmreauthenticate<x> extended privilege, when FileMaker Go is made active again, it will try to reconnect to the database file.  If the hosted file is still open, a new connection will occur.  If the hosted file is not open, FileMaker Go will return to the home screen.

                TSGal
                FileMaker, Inc.

                • 6. Re: Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect
                  danshockley

                  Running FileMaker Server 15, we seem to be running into the same problem. A user may have crashed, but is maintaining a lock on a single record. They then reconnected. We saw 2 instances of that user on the Server Admin Console, and disconnected both. But, the record still says it "is being modified by another user" (the one that the Server says is no longer connected). That is still true now, 20 minutes after being disconnected.

                  How can it be that the Server is telling users they can't access a record because a user the Server knows is disconnected is somehow still modifying that record?

                  Should we write in a bug report on this? Those two things should not be simultaneously possible.

                  • 7. Re: Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect
                    TSGal

                    danshockley:

                     

                    If a customer locks a record, then it will remain locked until a change is made and the data committed.  If FileMaker Pro crashes during this time, FileMaker Server will ping the user to make sure she/he is still connected.  FileMaker Server will disconnect users after "x" Idle time (set in FileMaker Server).  If you connect again with the same IP Address within that "x" Idle time period, then the original user will remain connected.  This is what prompts the record being modified message.

                     

                    Check the Access.log and Event.log to verify both clients were disconnected.  If not, the Admin Console may be out of sync with FileMaker Server, so try restarting Admin Console.

                     

                    TSGal

                    FileMaker, Inc.

                    • 8. Re: Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect
                      danshockley

                      I thought (and the server guide seems to back this up) that the "Set maximum idle time allowed for FileMaker clients" option was about when the client was still _connected_, but idle. In other words, the Server can ping the client and it responds, but the client hasn't done any work. That is about disconnecting clients who just aren't actively using the database, and is a mostly security feature.

                       

                      Isn't there a different  Server behavior where it pings a client, and the client has completely stopped responding? That seems like a very different purpose than the "idle" behavior described above. Does this "maximum idle time" setting now control those very different behaviors?

                       

                      We don't have that "maximum idle time" turned on (and haven't in the past), but FileMaker Server used to notice, and remove from its list, clients that had disconnected-due-to-crashing after a couple minutes. That was the standard behavior of Server for the past decade or so. That's a very different time window than the "maximum idle time", which defaults to 720 minutes.

                       

                      I disconnected the "ghost" users using the Admin Console, and the Admin Console removed them from its list. However, other clients are still told the record "is being modified," and the Server's Event.log and Access.log don't have any record of that disconnect actually happening.

                       

                      So, I restarted Admin Console, and the ghost users are still _not_ in the list. And yet, other users are still told they cannot access a record because it "is being modified by another user" and show the name of the definitely-not-connected clients.

                       

                      I'm thinking at this point that I need to restart the entire FileMaker Server. I'd like to avoid doing that, but it seems like FileMaker Server doesn't actually know what clients are or aren't connected, nor what records are or aren't locked by those maybe-connected clients.

                       

                      Any other alternatives to restarting the Server?

                      • 9. Re: Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect
                        TSGal

                        danshockley:

                         

                        My apologies.  You are correct.  The maximum idle time is for idle clients.

                         

                        FileMaker Server does ping the client at regular intervals to make sure the client is still connected.  If the client crashes and FileMaker Server cannot ping the customer for "x" amount of time (a little over two minutes), then FileMaker Server should disconnect the user.  However, in your case, it appears the lock on the record is not being released, and the Admin Console is out of sync as other clients are getting the "being modified" message.

                         

                        Try closing and reopening the database file.  If that doesn't respond, then try stopping and restarting the Database Server.  If that fails, then restart FileMaker Server.

                         

                        TSGal

                        FileMaker, Inc.

                        • 10. Re: Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect
                          Malcolm

                          TSGal wrote:

                          Try closing and reopening the database file.

                          Has anyone been able to do this when there is a lock on a file? Anyone? It hasn't worked for me.

                           

                          malcolm

                          • 11. Re: Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect
                            danshockley

                            So, I disconnected all clients, then closed all files. Waited until they were all closed, as reported BY FileMaker Server itself, then restarted the Server machine. When it came back up, I started up FileMaker Server. It reported each file as having been closed improperly, and had to do consistency checks on all of them.

                             

                            It's disappointing that, 2 decades after I first remember dealing with this kind of problem, FileMaker Server continues to have glitches where Server's own admin interface doesn't know or control what is actually happening with the Server process itself. I remember having a policy around 2001 where I would never use the "Closed" files, but always run a backup before shutting down the Server, and before starting up would replace the supposedly-closed-properly files with the backup, since Server regularly reported files as closed when they were not, leading to consistency problems and occasional corruption. That should not be necessary.

                            • 12. Re: Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect
                              TSGal

                              danshockley:

                               

                              It still sounds like the Admin Console was out of sync with FileMaker Server, as the files showed closed in Admin Console but still needed consistency checks after a restart.

                               

                              If the Admin Console is ever out of sync, use the command line interface instead to close the database files.  For example:

                               

                              fmsadmin close -y -u <admin user name> -p <password>

                               

                              This will close all files using the admin/password credentials.  The "-y" is to automatically reply yes to all prompts.

                               

                              TSGal

                              FileMaker, Inc.

                               

                              • 13. Re: Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect
                                danshockley

                                That's good advice, but it depends on knowing that the Admin Console is "out of sync." The problem here is that the files showed as Normal, I disconnected all users, which eventually seemed to go through. Then, I told Server to close all databases. The interface showed them as Closing, and then showed them all as Closed. The Event.log seemed to document that happening, as well.

                                So, I'm not sure that the Admin Console was actually out-of-sync. If it was, how was I supposed to know that?

                                It really doesn't seem reasonable for us to say: "Don't expect anything we ask Admin Console to do will actually happen, and certainly don't believe it when it says something."

                                I don't think that's what you're saying, but how are we supposed to know when Admin Console is just making things up, especially when they seem to be reasonably responding to what we say to do, and indicate actual progress on those operations?

                                • 14. Re: Records and layouts locked after forced disconnect
                                  Malcolm

                                  In addition, How does the admin console get to be out-of-sync? In my simple mind, I presumed that the admin console provided a web front-end and that it talked directly to the different components and it would get actual, real-time information. If its out-of-sync, what is going on?

                                   

                                  Malcolm

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