13 Replies Latest reply on May 7, 2013 9:28 PM by mrjw34

    Filemaker Go encryption?



      Filemaker Go encryption?


      Does Filemaker Go take advantage of the iPhone 4's hardware encryption. The way Apple describes it anything outside the realm of their software has to be addressed by individual apps to work with the encryption.

        • 1. Re: Filemaker Go encryption?

          John Weber:

          Thank you for your post.

          FileMaker Go does not use the iPhone 4's hardware encryption.  The database file can be copied from the device using iTunes to a Mac/Windows computer, where it can easily be accessed by FileMaker Pro.

          I suggest you enter this into our Feature Requests web form at:


          The entries into this web form are monitored and read by Development and Product Management where they are then discussed and considered for future versions.  Although I could copy your post and paste it into the web form, there are a couple of questions asked that only you can answer.

          When entering the suggestion, please explain why you want this feature and also provide a real-world example.

          FileMaker, Inc.

          • 2. Re: Filemaker Go encryption?

            That's too bad. I think it's something that would be beneficial to users of Filemaker Go which would add one more helpful layer of security to their files. Other apps are now offering and advertising this feature (Goodreader for example).

            I just added a request.

            • 3. Re: Filemaker Go encryption?

              Filemaker can use SSL and it uses Unicode to visualy scramble its files so that I can no longer read the data with a word processor. Google Filemaker encryption for more info.

              Also, the iPhone hardware encryption may not be shared with other software and hardware and as such makes it good only when processed on the iPhone. SO that data encrypted by the iPhone could not be read by Filemaker Server or your desktop computer's Filemaker Pro.

              But, if you create your own scrambling script you can send that to the server and another user's file will unscramble the data. Anyone capturing the data during transmission would be unable to read it.

              I developed a scrambling script for credit card numbers that saved a text snippet that could not be unscrambled by someone else.

              • 4. Re: Filemaker Go encryption?

                Also, the iPhone hardware encryption may not be shared with other software and hardware and as such makes it good only when processed on the iPhone. SO that data encrypted by the iPhone could not be read by Filemaker Server or your desktop computer's Filemaker Pro.

                I understand what you'e saying about FM server reading the iPhone encryption. Files that I have in Goodreader which use the iPhone encryption are totally readable on my desktop apps when I export them out of the phone.

                I'm not using FM server so I'm really only thinking of the encryption for files being imported and exported through iTunes. 

                When I Google Filemaker encyrption the results seem to be about desktop an iOS use with server. 

                • 5. Re: Filemaker Go encryption?

                  I looked up the GoodReader app and it seems it offers a lot of drawing tools for PDFs. Do the annotations move over to your desktop or do those only work inside the GoodReader app?

                  You can open PDF files in native IOS and not need a reader. In fact, Safari does a nice job. I found it easier to create a PDF file for the iPhone to be read in Safari than it is for me to create web pages. I have a somewhat bumbling web site that uses an iPhone style interface, pdf files for web pages and clickable links to open my hosted file which you are welcome to browse. Keep in mind most of this is beta and somewhat awkward.


                  Note that the pdf files open nicely in Safari and that they can be saved to the desktop or to iBook.

                  I presume you mean Filemaker files being transfered back and forth using iTunes. Previously you had to be connected via a USB cable but IOS 5 can now use Wi-Fi. Since this is a local connection and not the Internet (think iCloud) is encryption really needed during transfer? I am unaware of any Filemaker files that are on iTunes (shouldn't there be a place for me...).

                  • 6. Re: Filemaker Go encryption?

                    I really haven't had the need to use the annotation feature, but yes they do transfer.

                    I use Goodreader for a repository of PDFs on my phone so they are all in one place. It can create folders and even password protect them. Plus the app has a great feature for synchronizing folders so I can have files (in my case TXT files) in a Dropbox folder and make changes on either the phone or desktop and have the document synced quickly to the other device. 

                    Actually for the encryption I meant on the phone itself, not the sychronization process. My point in asking the question at all was that the iPhone encryption will protect files even if the device is jailbroken and the file system is exposed. Here's the Goodreader take on it:


                    That's what I was wanting for my Filemaker files. I could have sensitive data and not worry about it if my phone went missing.

                    • 7. Re: Filemaker Go encryption?

                      That's an interesting article.

                      First, I did the right thing by 1) choosing the pin protection on wake up 2) setting the device to erase itself after 10 failed tries.

                      Next, the encryption you refer to as GoodYear is not, it is OS 5 and only if you use the pin protection and will protect ALL documents. That's my reading of their article. So Filemaker, any PDF, text, whatever is protected by hardware encryption. It seems that the flash drive is encrypted not just this file or that file. Now there may be a sign up for the encryption which I am not aware of and isn't explained and that Filemaker does not use.

                      Next, iCloud documents are NOT encrypted. Makes sense as they will be passed on to other devices.

                      So, if I am right then you need not worry any more as all of your files that are not iCloud stored, are encrypted when the device has not been opened using your PIN. And, if someone tries to crack it after 10 failuires (there's 999 posibilities), it erases itself.

                      Just don't leave it on your table and open at Starbucks and go to the bathroom. Now it is not encrypted.

                      Secondly, Filemaker files are password protected, hopefully, and use Unicode so the data can't be read. I used to pick data out of files with a word processor. So storing your sensitive docs in Filemaker isn't a bad idea.

                      This is a subject we should have better information on and one that Apple in its typical fashion ignores for the general public. They may tell developers but they don't tell anyone else.

                      Create a pin, check erase after 10 failed attempts. Set the shortest time to sleep if you can. Don't loose it like I did... Yuck.

                      • 8. Re: Filemaker Go encryption?

                        One other point after which I am going to shutdown and watch some dinosaur CDs.

                        It might be a good idea to begin building into our solutions a shutdown timer. For instance, if no activity has occured for 10 minutes, quit the file or ask for a pin before quitting, better. See where I am going. If one should leave their iPhone on a table with an open Filemaker file, the file will close itself when next touched after 10 minutes. How to do that? Set a timer, maybe...

                        I will play with that tomorrow...

                        Now there is a natural sugestion for Filemaker, a wakeup pin or close the file or even turn off the device. Everybody else has a pin.

                        I think that is what you are interested in.

                        • 9. Re: Filemaker Go encryption?

                          This is the part that I'd like to understand better from that Goodreader page:

                          It is important to understand that GoodReader itself doesn't encrypt or decrypt your files. It does two things - restricts the access to protected files via GoodReader's own user interface, and asks iOS to encrypt certain files (or all of them, if you've turned the "Data Protection for all files" switch on in app settings or if you're using the app startup password). 

                          It's the "asking iOS to encrypt files" part. Does that mean the OS only encrypts certian files without an app "asking" the OS to do more? In typical Apple fashion I wouldn't be surprised if the default encryption was only for Mail or iWork files!

                          I like your idea of a Filemaker passcode option. Even the app I use for images, Picture Safe, offers a passcode for opening and when the app hasn't been used for a time. The timeout option would be nice. Seems like a feature request to me.

                          Secondly, Filemaker files are password protected, hopefully, and use Unicode so the data can't be read. I used to pick data out of files with a word processor. So storing your sensitive docs in Filemaker isn't a bad idea.

                          Does this mean that unlike a PDF PIN which can be cracked by my mother that a Filemaker PIN actually does work? So if someone came accross a Filemaker file they couldn't a) easily crack it or b) looking at the raw data from it on a disc wouldn't reveal anything?

                          • 10. Re: Filemaker Go encryption?

                            Encryption takes time so each app can determine if it wants to encrypt its files. I noticed how slow one pdf reader was and determined that was due to the encryption of the files. So, its your option and not a forced requirement.

                            Files can be zipped and password protected using WinZip or Stuffit but I don't think IOS will unzip them.

                            I have not idea what Apple encrypts and you'd have to ask Apple. But it appears Apple let's each app decide about encryption. A good option.

                            I just posted on my blog http://www.gofm.biz an idea for using the timer to create a PIN. The PIN can be a number or text phrase, whatever you want to use.

                            Thanks for raising the question here as it caused me to think about protecting my file using a timer.

                            • 11. Re: Filemaker Go encryption?

                                   I see that the latest version of FM GO 12 says it "Enables iOS data enctryption". This is really great and will make databases a lot more secure!

                                   Is there any detailed information I can read about how this is working with FM GO? Is there anything users need to do? 

                              • 12. Re: Filemaker Go encryption?

                                     John Weber:

                                     FileMaker Go 12.0.7 supports data protection.  Data protection is a feature available for compatible iOS devices that offers an extra layer of protection on top of file encryption and prevents an application running on a compromised iOS device from accessing files without first unlocking (provide the passcode) the iOS device.

                                     As part of data protection, a file in FileMaker Go cannot be accessed while the iOS device locked with a passcode, or the iOS device is booting / starting up.

                                     To enable data protection on your iOS device, you need only enable the Passcode Lock feature (see Apple's knowledge base for additional information on how to enable the Passcode Lock feature on your iOS device).

                                     To verify data protection is working, perform the following steps:

                                     1. Make sure your iOS device is locked
                                     2. Connect your iOS device to a computer running iTunes
                                     3. Open iTunes and select your iOS device.
                                     4. Under the Apps tab, find FileMaker Go in the File Sharing section.
                                     5. Attempt to drag a file stored within FileMaker Go on your iOS device to your computer

                                     Attempting to drag a file off the iOS device that has data protection enabled will produce an error message similar to the following:

                                     "<FileName.fmp12>" could not be copied because you do not have permission to see its contents.

                                     Let me know if you need additional clarification.

                                     FileMaker, Inc.

                                • 13. Re: Filemaker Go encryption?

                                       Thank you for the info, I'm glad this was finally implemented! This should really be made a noted feature on the product page.