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    Server Admin Console Issues



      Server Admin Console Issues


      FileMaker Server



      Operating system version

      Windows 2003

      Description of the issue

      1) View Clients list, sort by Connect Time; values are text-sorted instead of date/time sorted.

      2) View Client Statistics, sorted by Client name; rollover a name and tooltip pops up with username, machine name and IP address for the wrong client.

      3) Server-side script (with no time limit set) stuck in a loop because of a locked record.  The script is the only client logged into a particular file.  Try disconnecting client via console or command line and it never goes away.  Close file via console and it says "closed" but still shows it has one user.  Close file again via command line and it says it is already closed.  Try moving file off server and OS says an application is using the file.  Try re-opening the file via console or command line, and it says it can't be done because another application is using the file.

      4) Logged in to the Admin console remotely, the Database list does not refresh either automatically or when clicking the refresh button.  Must go to another tab and then back to Databases list for it to show refreshed status, for example.

      5) Logged in to the Admin console remotely, Clients tab doesn't always refresh automatically and this screen is completely missing a refresh button.

      6) (more of an extremely obvious feature request, I suppose): Server-side scripts produce "scripting errors" in the Server Events log when it hits common things like "Go to Record [Next; exit after last]" and it is already on the last record.  Sorry, but that is not an error.  I now always script around it by adding an Exit Loop If [] step before going to the next record, but that really shouldn't be needed.  Regardless of whether you think that's right or not, script errors and process logging should really appear either in a separate server log, or else with a filterable "type" other than warning, information or error.

      7) (another extremely obvious feature request): Server-side plugin installation is difficult to buggy.  There needs to be a configuration/registration dialog, and it should be capable of enabling without first restarting the server.  And if it is enabled, then the 'enabled' checkbox should be properly checked so we don't always have to be guessing until we have the chance to restart.

      8) (another extremely obvious feature request): A way to edit an existing script schedule without having to go step-by-step through the wizard.

      Expected result

      Any client -- including server-script clients -- should be instantly disconnected it that's what we tell it to do.

      Screens should refresh properly without constantly having to switch screens and/or restart the adminserver.

        • 1. Re: Server Admin Console Issues

          There is a document, "fms11_help.pdf" which is not included in the Documentation folder, but which is available from the web site, http://www.filemaker.com/support/product/documentation.html 

          This doc has a Troubleshooting section as well as a Command Line Reference. 

          There is a command, "fmsadmin restart adminserver", which got my Admin Console back in action and fully responsive once again. Restarting the Admin Server does not restart FileMaker Server itself, only the software that serves the Admin Console. 

        • fmsadmin is available from both the Mac Terminal and Windows Command Prompt
          • 2. Re: Server Admin Console Issues


            Thank you for your post, and I apologize for the late reply.

            I have reported #1, 2, 4 and 5 to our Development and Software Quality Assurance (Testing) departments for review and confirmation.  I did find that #2 had already been reported and sent to on to our Development team for further review.  I will keep you updated on these issues as information becomes available to me.

            I'm a little reluctant to report #3 because if you don't set a time limit and you enter an infinite loop, you are generally asking for trouble.  I agree there should be some way to gracefully exit so I would encourage you to enter this into our Feature Requests web form at:


            These suggestions are monitored and read by our Development and Product Management departments where they are then discussed and considered for a future release.  Please also do this for #6, 7 and 8 as separate entries.

            FileMaker, Inc.

            • 3. Re: Server Admin Console Issues

              I posted #3, 6, 7 and 8 to your linked page.  

              But I still think #3 is more of a bug than a feature request.  If an administrator issues a 'disconnect ' or 'close' command, then FMS should disconnect that client or close that file, regardless of whatever activity is being done on it by ANY type of client.  Why should an FMP client who is stuck in a loop be disconnectable but an FMS script client stuck in a loop should not be?

              This bug (lack of a feature?) is also evidenced by the hundreds (thousands?) of server administrators each day who try to shut FMS down correctly in order to reboot the machine or something -- only to wait the two minutes or whatever warning they've given to clients, and then to wait a half hour or more and still not have clients disconnected or files closed.  It's sad, but I'd say I end up one out of every five times having to reboot machines without properly shutting down FMS (despite my patience).  And I KNOW that EVERY other professional developer encounters the same problem on a regular basis.

              • 4. Re: Server Admin Console Issues


                Good point.

                I have forwarded this information to our Development and Software Quality Assurance (Testing) departments for review and comment.  I'll keep you posted.

                FileMaker, Inc.

                • 5. Re: Server Admin Console Issues


                  Point #4 was sent back to me as our Testing department was unable to replicate the problem.  They have asked for more information.  Specifically,

                  1. How often does this happen?

                  2. Does the Refresh button ever work?

                  3. How many databases does the customer have?

                  4. What OS is being used to access the remote Admin Console?

                  5. Have the customer reinstall Java on the remote machine and redownload the Admin Console application.  Does this work?


                  FileMaker, Inc.

                  • 6. Re: Server Admin Console Issues

                    Hmmm...I guess I should have documented it better at the time.  It doesn't happen frequently -- I *think* it was in relation to issue #3.  At that time, it did not refresh to properly show that the server side script was a client or that the file's status was now closed (?? sorry, I don't remember now what it was).

                    Judging by my original reporting date, I'm pretty sure it was a client that has about 50 database files, representing about 15 solutions.

                    Again judging by my original reporting date, I'm pretty sure the Admin Console was being opened on a Win XP client.  Or, less likely, it could have been on a Win 2003 Server machine.

                    I realize it is difficult to troubleshoot a particular issue without some firm answers -- sorry.

                    • 7. Re: Server Admin Console Issues


                      Thanks for the information.  I know a lot of time has passed since your initial post, so I didn't expect you to recall everything.  I have sent the information back to the Tester, and I will keep you posted.

                      FileMaker, Inc.

                      • 8. Re: Server Admin Console Issues


                        Our Testing department would like more information about #3.  Specifically:

                        1. Can the customer easily reproduce this behavior?

                        2. How is he getting the file stuck in the endless loop?

                        3. Can he get us a sample file with instructions on how to reproduce?  If so, please check your Inbox at the top of this page for instructions where to send the sample file.

                        FileMaker, Inc.

                        • 9. Re: Server Admin Console Issues

                          A picky but important detail:

                          ...did not refresh to properly show that the server side script was a client.

                          A server scheduled script doesn't run as a client of the database file. It runs as a host. They are performed as though you were hosting the file with FileMaker Pro and running the script on the host machine instead of a client machine.

                          This is an important detail as any script steps that modify global fields modifies them with changes that will "stick" ( the next client to connect will see the value set by the scheduler script ), where they do not "stick" (value reverts when the file is closed), when such a script is run from a client machine.

                          • 10. Re: Server Admin Console Issues

                            Sorry Phil, but a server-side FileMaker script runs as a guest.  Globals do NOT stick -- they revert back to the global fields' defaults at the end of the script/session.  The scripts are listed in the list of clients as those scripts are running.

                            The thing that IS different between regular clients and server-script clients is that the server-side script is not accessing the databases in the same way that a regular FMP client would access (through 'hosts').  The consequence of this is that any external FM file references between files that the script will use must point to the full relative path, and for security reasons any non-FM file references must reside in certain pre-defined folders.

                            • 11. Re: Server Admin Console Issues


                              For issue #3 --

                              Yes, the record lock is easily reproducible, as is a general lack of ability to disconnect that server-side "client".  I'm not sure if the exact details of its stuckness are always the exact same.  I've accidentally gotten into this situation in a variety of ways, on a number of databases, on a handful of different clients' servers.  Keep in mind that this is always WITHOUT selecting the option in 11 for auto-timeout.

                              You're hurting my brain trying to remember now.  ARRRGGGG.  I just tried going back to the server log from 8/10 (my original posting date on this issue) using the Admin Console, but the furthest back it will let me go for a start date is 9/20/10.  Thinking this was maybe as far back as the logs go, I tried the same on another client's server and it too only will allow me to go back to 9/20/10.

                              Let me log onto the server directly to check the Windows event logs for the exact error and script, etc, and I'll get back to you on this.

                              • 12. Re: Server Admin Console Issues

                                Well, it wasn't on the server I thought it was on and I don't have access to the Windows logs for the other server I suspect it might have been.

                                I'm guessing the script might have just set a value to a field that fails field validation and causing it to get stuck when attempting to go to another record.

                                I know that in another case, there was a script that went something like this:

                                Set User Abort [Off]
                                   Show Custom Dialog ["Hi"]
                                   Exit Loop If [ get(lastmessagechoice) > 0 ]
                                End Loop

                                Since Show Custom Dialog was not server compatible, the step was skipped and the Exit Loop If was never true.

                                Both of the above examples are obviously correctable for future runs of those scripts.  But the point is that running such things should not require a hard reboot of the server in order to get things going again.

                                • 13. Re: Server Admin Console Issues


                                  Thank you for the sample script and comments.  I have forwarded everything back to the Testers.  I'll keep you posted.

                                  FileMaker, Inc.

                                  • 14. Re: Server Admin Console Issues


                                    I must respectfully disagree. I use exactly this method to reset global field values whenever I upload an updated file and forget that my testing and updating left a global field with the wrong default value for my users.

                                    Try some tests and see for yourself.

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