I have 2 FileMaker databases. We're thinking about enabling more than one person to each of these. If we get a FileMaker server will it be able to host both of these files simultaneously?
Thanks for any info...
I generally recommend against using peer-to-peer sharing (which is what this setup is called). While FileMaker can do it, it carries a number of significant risks.
1) The first computer to open the database becomes the host, through which all traffic must flow. You cannot close the database on the host until all guests have closed.
2) Since that is the case, if an individual leaves for the day and forgets to close the database, you will be unable to close it without forcing the individual out (which can be bad and lead to data loss).
3) All users will have to record the IP address of the host computer. If you have a DHCP lease on that machine (very likely), if the IP address changes, then all users will have to update to the new address to connect. Annoying.
4) If the database is on a different hard drive than the one, then all traffic between the host and the database must use the network - leading to the danger of file corruption if something should happen.
5) Similarly, even if you always open the database on the computer where it lives, you can still suffer a power failure while guests are connected and that will result in Bad Things.
6) You cannot safely back up the database while it's open. At the very least, your backups will be suspect, and there is a nonzero probability of corrupting the actual database itself.
Managing a peer-to-peer setup can be done, but it requires a great deal of discipline on the part of all users (not just the developer, but everyone who logs in). You are far safer using Server, which is specifically designed to share databases, provides automated backups, and a host of other benefits (like logging user connections, web publishing, far less chance of data corruption, and more).
If you're concerned about the cost of Server, consider using one of the many excellent hosting services out there.
Yes. Filemaker Server can host multiple files. Can't remember the limit off the top of my head, but you'll be fine with 2 for sure.
Yes, to internal use no problem.
if i remember right 125 files used to be the limit
Okay that's good news! Thanks everyone!
I know this isn't your question, but you don't actually need FileMaker server to host 2 files, depending on how many simultaneous users you will have.
At least for testing purposes you can use peer-to-peer sharing, to work out your requirements, do the following :
Now, as long as you have both files open on the main machine, you can use "Open Remote" on other machines in the network to have multi-user access to the database (total number of users limited by version of FileMaker).
In my opinion, if the number of total users is over 3, you do need server in any sort of production environment.
And just because a file can be shared, doesn't mean it has been designed to be shared, be careful, backups are your friend.
Thanks for the thoughtful answer. At this point there will be up to 5 users sharing the 2 files. We had had two people sharing one file but they found that one had to close a file to get write access.
if we turned on Sharing as you suggest, could we get read/write access for each user? There are two main users and 3 occasional users.
Thanks again :-)
Mike is correct in warning you away from peer-to-peer sharing. For over a decade that has been a recurring cause of lost connections, data loss, and even file corruption. Server avoids that cause and will handle many many hosted files at once.
having this all in mind, the 'extra cost' of a server becomes quiet cheep(er) than dealing with all those possibilities...
it can be done, yes - and in a rigid structured office it will work - until the leader goes hollidays...
To reply to your question, yes enabling sharing should give you read/write access.
That is why I said "for testing purposes", so make copies of all your data and consider this testing only.
I agree completely with what the others have said regarding the dangers of using Peer-to-Peer and using Server instead in a production environment for the reasons outlined.
The other way to try server, is with a FileMaker Developer subscription, you get a FileMaker Server developer licence, again for testing your files using FileMaker Server. There are restrictions (3 concurrent users), but it would make the choice easier between hosted FileMaker server and buying and maintaining your own FileMaker Server.
Good evening Weej,
I hope your day is going well. I was just looking through the FileMaker Training Series: Advanced book for version 14, and coherentkris is correct, FileMaker Server 14 can host up to 125 files at once. Have a great evening!
Thanks Everyone for your responses. I think I've got a better idea of what to do now. Much appreciated. -- Lou
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