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Server up and running on EC2, but am I pursuing a lost cause?

Question asked by jim_smith on May 13, 2016
Latest reply on May 13, 2016 by jim_smith

So I've got my developer's test copy of server up and running on Amazon ec2.  Amazing speeds on m4.xlarge- I'm talking local copy fast.  Even the free t2.micro was pretty nimble despite falling woefully short of the minimum reqs.  As I mentioned in another post, I'm looking to create a shared host for my customers based on Filemaker's definition of "Solution Bundle Hosting"

For clarification, “Solution Bundle Hosting” does not fall under the FileMaker Commercial Hosting restriction. Solution Bundle Hosting is where a hosting provider has developed and manages a single solution, and is offering that same solution to multiple customers. The hosting provider must be both the solution administrator and the server administrator.

So while I've got a test server up and running, I've got a couple of months (maybe more of homework to do. While I have no desire to have others do my homework for me, there are some issues that might make this whole enterprise moot.  I hope someone can clarify these issues for me:

  • Does "solution bundle hosting" require the developer/server admin to have a "Solution Bundle Agreement" (which in turn requires membership in the FBA?
    • I've read some documentation on the "Solution Bundle Agreement".  Suffice to say, it seems reasonable to question whether I could even qualify (having to, among other things. submit and receive approval for your database/solution).  If this is required, can anyone give me any sense of the time frame and difficulty I face?  I believe I have created a robust & secure solution, but I have no idea what FMI will think.
    • I've tried to adhere to every best practice in Filemaker's literature, on the forums, and (to a lesser extent) on sites like Mr. Petrowsky's or the white papers of Mr. Blackwell: my solution is totally locked down- no admin access, no file access, no "scripted" security (ie everything handled via privilege sets), user can nevertheless get data in and out via imported/exported spreadsheet (in case anything should happen to myself or our business), account creation via Mr. Burgess' excellent module, parameters via Mr. Bante's wonderful # custom functions, no unstored calcs on layouts (and cached when needed), mostly narrow tables, all scripts commented, psos for batch record creation, every TO named according to convention and explained in the graph, few sorted/filtered portals, records id'd by uuid and created via magic key, all styles handled via themes (no local styles), all finds & gttr steps checked for errors, and on and on....
    • After 1.5 years of beta testing with real world clients, it runs smooth and fast.
    • But I'm not a computer science major.  The only C I know is in cake.  My expertise is in the industry for which I created my solution, not computer programming.  I've never even spoken with a Filemaker representative.  Are persons such as myself able to get into the FBA, let alone able to procure a "Solution Bundle Agreement"?
  • Does "solution bundle hosting" disallow giving a user a copy of their database if they want back-ups or local read only copies for connection outages?  Does the solution have to remain on the provider's servers?  Can I still sell the solution to people that don't wish to use my hosting (perhaps they instead wish to host the solution on their own server)?
  • If I were to use some form of FLT, I'm concerned that a user will accidentally started opening a bunch of new tabs in Web Direct and saturate a server's user connections.  Is there a way to prevent a user from opening more than one tab/session?  As I mentioned before, I'm not looking for others to do my homework so no need to explain how this is done, only if such a thing is feasible.
  • If I have FLT with 50 connections, will users connecting with FMP15 NOT for users connections (ie. the $320 desktop software) be able to connect without consuming a connection?

I've been especially reliant on the Filemaker's amazing community, and I greatly value any advice its members may have for me.



Jim Smith