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FMS 13 and 10.9 server custom web site hosting issues to be aware of.

Question asked by ErichWetzel on Mar 7, 2014


FMS 13 and 10.9 server custom web site hosting issues to be aware of.

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     We recently moved to FileMaker Server 13 on and discovered the following issues during production use on Mac 10.9.

     Two machine installation. First discovery was of the issue that putting a FileMaker server on a 10.9 Server does not work after the first restart. On install FileMaker Server takes full control of Apache and runs FMS as expected. On restart of the machine though, the Mac OS Server takes it back and, even though the websites section of the Mac 10.9 Server software is not on, presents the message that the websites are not on and to contact the admin for the server to enable them. There appears to be no way to reinstate the FileMaker precedence without reinstalling. I did that twice before I realized that the issue would not go away.

     So we contacted FileMaker and following their recommendation that the WPE NOT be run on a 10.9 server, we installed it on a standard install of the 10.9 OS which is bound to our 10.9 Open Directory. Everything works fine. I am not enamored of FileMaker's choice to usurp full control of Apache but I am trying to move forward rather than rant. Due to that issue, we have purchased a new Mac Mini Server but did not install that Server software to put the WPE and custom web publishing web site on. The problem with installing on a 10.9 non-server is that you do not have the ability, as far as I know, to use ACLs to control access to the folders containing the web site.

     Our web site is updated regularly with photos manually deposited into folders in the web site root. In order to do this we give access to our authorized groups. Since ACLs are not in use in the standard OS install there is no ability for the permissions to be carried into child folders and their contents. As a result the staff member who creates a folder to place photos MUST put all of them since they are the folder owner and our other authorized users are shut out.

     Another call to FileMaker later and they have advised that a FMS 13 on OS X 10.8.x Server will work fine and allow the ACLs. My problem now is that my site is public and running on a brand new machine which will not allow installation of 10.8.x at all. So my steps forward will be either dealing with a system that does not work as we need it to or fully rebuild two machines, taking an older one to install 10.8 Server and exchanging the new machine to reinstate the services of the old one. Full rebuild of two servers is now required including transferring Gigabytes of data.

     Roundcube web mail on Mac can be installed on a running 10.9 Server without requiring full control of Apache. It seems that it would not be impossible to implement the same since FileMaker is already redirecting webd traffic through www.FQDN/fmi/... the same way round cube does with www.FQDN/mail...

     Be aware of these issues so that they do not hit you when you are running a production FMS.