We just started having a similar problem. We have been using Microsoft Access to pull data from Filemaker Server Advanced. This has been working well for over a year now, but we recently started having problems communicating with the Filemaker server. The problem started with intermittent connection problems but now we can no longer connect at all. When trying to establish/create a ODBC connection we get the same error message "[FileMaker][FileMaker] Communication link failure".
Any help appreciated.
I'm running Filemaker Server Advanced 11.3 on OS X 10.6.7
Connecting to the server with Microsoft Access using ODBC driver version 11.3.76
When you get a "Communication link failure" message, it probably means the "fmxdbc_listener" process has crashed. On Win you can check for the process using the Task Manager, on Mac you can check using the Activity Monitor.
You should be able to restart the listener without needing to reboot by disabling xDBC sharing and then re-enabling after a short (say, 15 second) delay.
You should make sure you have the latest FM Server update and the latest ODBC driver (11.3.81 as of this writing):
If you continue to see this problem and your server is a Mac, it might be helpful to send a crash log if there is one: /Library/Logs/CrashReporter/fmxdbc_listener_xxx.crash
You were correct about the fmxdbc_listener process. It was not running, and the ODBC connection worked after a computer restart. I will have to start monitor this process to see if I can identify what is causing it to stop.
Thanks for your very helpful suggestions
Jonathan, you refer to both the 11.0v3 FMS update and the 11.3.81 ODBC driver and say both should be installed; however, the article on the 11.3.81 drivers says that they're included in the 11.0v3 update, and Event Viewer on W2003 Server reports the fmxdbc_listener version as 184.108.40.206. Is there a reason to install the 11.3.81 drivers if 11.3.82 is included in the 11.0v3 update?
The 11.0v3 update (described in article 9283) will update the server-side xDBC component (also known as the "xDBC listener"). If Event Viewer is showing version 220.127.116.11 for the fmxdbc_listener, then you have that piece successfully installed.
The ODBC and JDBC drivers themselves are not installed or updated as part of the 11.0v3 update. In order to update the ODBC and JDBC drivers on your client machines, you will need to follow the instruction in article 9363.
For best performance, you should have both pieces (the server-side listener and the client-side driver) updated to the latest version.
Hm. I'm looking at article 9363, and it explicitly states:
"This archive provides updates to the ODBC and JDBC components of FileMaker Server 11 Advanced and is included in the FileMaker Server 11.0v3 and FileMaker Server 11.0v3 Advanced update."
So what you're saying is that this statement is incorrect, and that we still need to download and install 11.3.81 separately?
"So what you're saying is that this statement is incorrect..."
I don't know whether the statement is correct - it's possible that the 11.0v3 installer places the updated 11.3.81 installers in the FMS directory. Perhaps that is what is meant by this statement. We probably need a clarification by someone at FileMaker.
But you would still need to run the ODBC installer in order to update the ODBC driver, or copy the JDBC driver to its designated location. ODBC and JDBC drivers are usually installed on machines that are different than the one running FMS - that's why they are in a separate download.
"...and that we still need to download and install 11.3.81 separately?"
That's what I would do if I were you.