10 Replies Latest reply on Apr 30, 2011 4:58 PM by JamesRoland

    Filemaker Go works on external wi fi but not on 3G

    StephenRandles

      Title

      Filemaker Go works on external wi fi but not on 3G

      Post

      Hi all

      This is my first time on any kind of forum so please forgive me if I have done it wrong!

      Here is my problem:

      I have an iMac running OS X 10.6.6 and Filemaker Pro 10 in my office.

      I also have a MacBook and a MacBook Pro that we use when away from the office. (Both are also running OS X 10.6.6 and Filemaker Pro 10)

      These connect perfectly to the database located on the iMac (either when at the office or from home or any other wi fi location) and do everything we need! Its brilliant, thank you to all at Filemaker!

      I have recently (September 2010) got an iPhone 4 and Filemaker Go.

      This also worked wonderfully initially.

      However, since about two weeks ago, I can no longer access my database when using a 3G connection. It used to, but not now.

      It still connects when using wi fi. Both in the office and at home or any other wi fi location.

      All the help I have read so far about this sort of problem points to router settings etc. I have checked and port 5003 is forwarding correctly and the firewall is disabled. I have a static external IP address. 

      I have not (knowingly!) changed any settings.

      Also, if the iPhone could connect before (and still does if I am using someones wi fi connection), and both the other computers still do, doesn't that show that the settings are all ok?

      Anyway, it has beaten me and I am hoping someone out there has the answer!

      Thanks in advance for your help

      Steve

        • 1. Re: Filemaker Go works on external wi fi but not on 3G
          StephenRandles

          Hi again,

          This is strange! I have continued to investigate and now, for the first time in two weeks, I can connect my iPhone using 3G! 

          I have no idea why it stopped working.

          I now have no idea why it has started to work again!

          I'm not sure if that means my problem is solved or if it is intermittent?

          Anyway, I will assume it is solved but will post again if the problem returns!

          Thanks

          Steve

          • 2. Re: Filemaker Go works on external wi fi but not on 3G
            StephenRandles

            Hi once again!

            As I have been away I have not been using Filemaker Go for a while.

            This morning I tried to connect when out and about using a 3G connection and got the dreaded 'The file "ABCD" could not be opened. Either the host is not available, or the file is not available on that host." message again!

            ...

            I am at home now (ie outside of the local area network of the iMac I am trying to connect to.)

            I have gone into settings on my iPhone4 and switched Wi-Fi to: Off

            Now have 3G connection.

            Tap Filemaker Go. Tap database I need to connect to. Same "no go" message as above.

            Back into settings and switch Wi-Fi to: On

            Tap Filemaker Go. Tap database I need to connect to. Success! Straight away asked for username and password as I have set on my database. Enter these correctly. Straight to database!

            Why can I do it when on Wi-Fi but not 3G?

            As said before I think all settings are correct. Our MacBooks can connect as well.

            Any help would be appreciated as a lot of my work is at places without Wi-Fi.

            Thanks in advance for any help,

            Steve

            • 3. Re: Filemaker Go works on external wi fi but not on 3G
              TSGal

              Stephen Randles:

              Thank you for your posts.

              When the 3G connection is active, tap "Open File Browser...", and at the bottom, tap "Add Host...".  Enter the Host Address IP Address and tap "Save" in the upper right corner.  The IP Address will now appear under "Favorite Hosts".  Tap this to view the hosted FileMaker Pro files at that IP Address.  Do other open files display?  I'm trying to narrow this down further to a file issue or a host issue.

              TSGal
              FileMaker, INc.

              • 4. Re: Filemaker Go works on external wi fi but not on 3G
                StephenRandles

                Hi TSGal,

                Thanks for the reply.

                I have just tried what you have suggested and got: (no files available)

                I then turned the Wi-Fi back to: On

                Tried the same process. 

                Got "Waiting for response" for about 2 seconds. Then the name of the database. Tapped it and got the username / password dialog as expected.

                ...

                I don't usually have any other files open but, to test this, I shared the iMac's screen and opened up an old test version of our database.

                Same result.

                When using 3G: (no files available)

                When Wi-Fi on: BOTH files were available to access

                I dont know what that means, but I hope it helps!

                Thanks

                Steve

                • 5. Re: Filemaker Go works on external wi fi but not on 3G
                  StephenRandles

                  Hello again!

                  More strange happenings today!

                  I was out on site and needed some information from the database. Because it has worked in the past I thought I would try it. It worked! Connected using 3G!

                  I tried a couple more times just to check and it worked again.

                  Then the signal dropped to GPRS. I tried to connect and got the "no go" message as above.

                  Then tried when back in 3G area. No good.

                  Now back at home (where it has not worked on 3G recently) and connected just fine using 3G.

                  I have no idea why sometimes it works and sometimes not.

                  Are there different signal strengths of 3G? Would it make a difference if the signal was weak? I doubt it as I have been successful on GPRS before (it was slow, but it got there).

                  Hope some of this helps track the problem down.

                  Thanks again

                  Steve

                  • 6. Re: Filemaker Go works on external wi fi but not on 3G
                    TSGal

                    Stephen Randles:

                    These intermittent problems drive us (and you) crazy.  This does appear to be a 3G related issue, but even when you drop to GPRS, the problem also exists, and then later you mention that GPRS did work at one time.  FileMaker Go is simply accessing the network.

                    A problem was reported last year with 3G failing on an iPad, but that only occurred the first time from an iPad.  It worked properly on the iPhone.  For the full post, you can see:

                    3G Connection issue not VPN or Port Related

                    No other 3G access issue has been reported.

                    If you are able to narrow down the cause, or can replicate the problem consistently, please let me know.

                    TSGal
                    FileMaker, Inc.

                    • 7. Re: Filemaker Go works on external wi fi but not on 3G
                      StephenRandles

                      Hi TSGal

                      Thank you for your reply and for the link you included.

                      I was interested to read in it about going to Safari before going to Filemaker Go in order to make it work.

                      Since then I have been experimenting!

                      I still cannot correctly guess when things will work as they should and when they wont.

                      However, I can say that now whenever I am unable to access the host computer, I do this:

                      I come out of Filemaker Go, tap on Safari, let it start opening a page (note: the whole page does not need to load).

                      Come out of Safari.

                      Tap Filemaker Go.

                      It works! Every time!

                      It seems that Filemaker Go does not find out what connections are available before trying to connect.

                      When it changes connection (ie. goes from wi fi at the office, to 3G on site) FIlemaker Go cannot access files.

                      But Safari checks what connections are available and uses the fastest one it can. 

                      Once Safari has done this, Filemaker realises that it has this type of connection and can use it.

                      This is even the same when going from a 3G area to a GPRS area. Filemaker cannot see what connection it now has so says host unavailable. Tap Safari, that checks and starts to use GPRS. Then Filemaker can use the GPRS connection. 

                      I have not been able to pin down what makes Filemaker Go "forget" the connections it has had. (tried power off, new day/date etc) It is still intermittent. 

                      The solution, however, has worked every time.

                      What would be great is if Filemaker Go could do the same quick check of available connections that Safari does when starting.

                      Please forgive my lack of a technical explanation, but I hope that the description of my "user experience" might be translated into something useful!

                      Many thanks again for your interest and all the work you do in this forum.

                      Steve

                      • 8. Re: Filemaker Go works on external wi fi but not on 3G
                        l.truschelli@rightshoes.it

                        I have the same problem on my iPad and I solved It turning on the mail push every 5 minutes. With this option the iPad wake up the 3G connection (when I'there isn' t WiFI connection )every 5 minutes and FMGO hasn' got any problems. (sorry for my English)

                        • 9. Re: Filemaker Go works on external wi fi but not on 3G
                          StephenRandles
                          Hello again Thank you Luca, I had not thought of that. Good idea! I have recently updated to Go 1.2.1 The problem seems to have been fixed! Thank you so much to all at Filemaker! PS. (If I have got it wrong and nothing has been changed I'm sure I will find out soon enough!)
                          • 10. Re: Filemaker Go works on external wi fi but not on 3G
                            JamesRoland

                            Howdy,

                            Stephen, another option you may want to investigate if this is a mobile solution that you absolutely need access to at all times, is to consider using a 3rd party FMP hosting service. This is what I have done and have not yet been let down. I can connect from anywhere and at any time that I can get a 3G signal :) I connect via Open Remote for my MacBook Pro when I am at that device on Wi-Fi or the company network, and then when I need it on the iPad, I just use the facilities built into FMP GO to connect, even when on the ferry between Vancouver and Victoria, BC :) It just works :)

                            Cheers!
                            Lyle