1 2 Previous Next 29 Replies Latest reply on Oct 26, 2016 4:51 AM by fmpdude

    multi-user access

    gilo

      Hello folks

       

      I have a question, concearning distrubution of a filemaker db.

       

      I want to create a db, where a sportsclub can manage its youth players, coaches and all other necessary data.

       

       

      Building the database will not be a problem, my problem is to give access to a lot of people, in ordre to read or read/write.

       

      My best solution seemed to be webdirect, for this I would need Filemaker Server, where the problems start. In Filemaker Server, the number of users is restricted, depending on the Server licence. So the more users, the more expensive it will get.

       

      Has anyone a solution for this problem?

       

      Does Webdirect really limit usernumber depending on the Filemaker Server Licence? On filemaker.com you find that a user is a person that connects via Filemaker Pro, somewhere else I read that every user connecting to the db (no matter if FilemakerGo, FilemakerPro or Webdirect is a user)

       

       

      Listening to your solutions.....

        • 1. Re: multi-user access
          mw777rcc

          Yes, basically the rule is, If the product is free (FMGo, Web Browser-for web direct) then it costs for the connection to the server.  If you pay for the clients then the connection is free.  This is also applicable currently for custom web publishing.  You will probably need to pay someone to develop a custom web publishing site for you for FileMaker but the connection to the server is free.  Depending on how detailed your requirements this could get pretty expensive as well.  It doesn't have to be super expensive if you keep your requirements small.  I would get some quotes going both directions Custom Web Publishing vs Web Direct vs FileMaker clients.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: multi-user access
            Mike_Mitchell

            Under both the legacy licensing and the new FLT, yes, each user must be accounted for in your license scheme. If they are distinct, known people (like employees of a company), then FLT works better. For occasional users who are not always the same people, you can use the legacy concurrent connection licensing, which sets a cap on the number of users who can attach at the same time, but doesn't restrict who they are.

             

            And yes, all FileMaker clients (Pro, Advanced, WebDirect, and Go) count as "users" in this setup. The only way you can avoid that is to use Custom Web Publishing via the PHP API (some other options are also available).

             

            HTH

             

            Mike

             

            Edit: Slight correction. Using concurrent connections, paid clients (Pro / Advanced) for which you bought a separate license do not count against the connection limit. Concurrent connections only apply to WebDirect and Go clients.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: multi-user access
              fmpdude

              Another limitation you need to be aware of is the record locking method FMP uses.

               

              Unlike other database products like the desktop database Visual FoxPro, MySQL, and other enterprise products, with pessimistic and optimistic TABLE buffering modes, with FMP, you get one locking method and only at the record (or row) level. Basically "pessimistic row" buffering. This locking method means if a user has a record open, it's locked for other users. With the other buffering modes (hopefully available in FMP soon), you would need additional functions to look at before and after field values so YOU could decide how/whether to commit. Right now, FMP makes the locking and buffering decisions.

               

              I find this limitation, as I understand it, well, very limiting.

               

              HOPE THIS HELPS.

              2 of 2 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: multi-user access
                lkeyes

                If your club is a non-profit,  you can get non-profit pricing for FileMaker Server, and the permanent  licenses via Techsoup.  Server is roughly $650.     Permanent licenses for FileMaker Pro are $170. As others have said these don't count against your license count when connecting to server.  

                 

                TechSoup does not offer the Web/Go licenses.... So far the quotes I've gotten for these appear to be:

                 

                A 5-pack (the minimum) subscription is $550 or so per year,  or $900 as a permanent (still trying to confirm this with FM) 

                 

                I currently have a scenario with a CRM for a small non-profit office, where we expect to have roughly 5 permanent licenses of Filemaker Pro and 5 subscription licenses for occasional use outside the office.   

                 

                Permanent licenses are roughly 3x the yearly subscription licenses (or 2x for non-profit/education pricing)  Note that the 5pack licenes are concurrent...so it means that up to five people can connect, at a time and it doesn't matter who they are..so depending on your user base,  5 may be sufficient.  Pricing goes down per connection as you add more. 

                Quoted prices above are in US dollars.  

                • 5. Re: multi-user access
                  BeatriceBeaubien

                  Following up on fmpdude's observation, I'd like to clarify that an "open record" is a record where the user has entered their cursor into a field and begun editing. It doesn't apply to viewing a record or even entering in a field in a record with no keyboard action.

                   

                  Just thought that might be useful to be articulated...

                   

                  Beatrice

                  • 6. Re: multi-user access
                    gilo

                    Thank you guys for all you comments.

                     

                     

                    I think FM is not the right product to create a db for multiple users without restriction and by keeping the costs low.

                     

                    You talked about FoxPro, can anyone tell me, if there is a mysql creation app, which allows me to create a db by using a graphic interface instead of only coding?!!?!?

                    • 7. Re: multi-user access
                      fmpdude

                      It's true the FM is not an inexpensive solution, but you have to factor in software development costs and time to market as well. Where FM excels is in rapid form and database development. The programming level of the FMP developer can be quite low to nearly non-existent. You still need to be able to create an ERD and have a basic understanding of database concepts, of course.

                       

                      ----

                       

                      MySQL itself is free and I use it all the time. You can replicate it with multiple servers, it supports RegEx, much faster SQL performance (control over indexes), etc. But, it's just a "server": you have to put a front end on it (HTML, front-end framework, ...) and write code to interact with the front end and the database (Java. .NET, PHP, ...?).

                       

                      For me FMS is always NO GO since FMI changed the model back in 13 to the concurrent connection BS and I've never had a client, once he knew, would accept a FM solution, anyway. But, that's just my experience. Others on this forum have been more fortunate.

                       

                      In the "old days" (2007 was the last version, version 9) of Visual FoxPro (the desktop object-oriented database product), you could pay $500 for VFP product and then create EXEs of your database for a work group of as many users as necessary. NO EXTRA $$$ required at every turn. Ever. Code/Data were kept separate. There were low-level file functions and a robust programming environment. So nice! But, MS killed Visual FoxPro since it, by all accounts, VFP interfered with its sales of SQL Server. A pity. I still have clients who use it. Having used Visual Foxpro, I am forever against the pay pay pay pay,...., model other companies try to use.

                       

                      However, I still believe that FMP/FMS can be the right solution if:

                       

                      1. You have a project with decent income to afford the concurrent connections.

                      2. You have developers who aren't "coders". (Coding a "Let" statement doesn't make you a coder)

                      3. Your customer doesn't care about "FileMaker" being in the solution.

                      4. You have a server that can support FMS and can set it up.

                      5. You don't have more users than FMS can reasonably support.

                       

                      FMP is a great product in its self-restricted space. If it doesn't work for you on this project, then consider it again the next time.

                       

                      HOPE THIS HELPS.

                      2 of 2 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: multi-user access
                        sawhat

                        If FMP is overkill?

                        You might want to consider a less robust solution like appsheet.

                        • 9. Re: multi-user access
                          fred@kca-inc.com

                          Outsource your hosting.  Use FM 13 WebDirect and you can get unlimited connections for $40/month.

                           

                          As far as multi-user access, pull all the fields you want users to edit into global fields, edit the globals then save them to the table fields.  This way the records are only locked for the instant the data is being retrieved and saved. Works great with thousands of users.

                          • 10. Re: multi-user access
                            alangodfrey

                            "For me FMS is always NO GO since FMI changed the model back in 13 to the concurrent connection BS and I've never had a client, once he knew, would accept a FM solution, anyway. But, that's just my experience. Others on this forum have been more fortunate."

                             

                            Unfortunately, totally our experience too.

                            • 11. Re: multi-user access
                              Mike_Mitchell

                              What is the objection? Cost?

                              • 12. Re: multi-user access
                                alangodfrey

                                There are no objections at all to the technical features or performance.  It is the cost of entry to the FM eco-system.  There is a big market for 'Server' customers - I truly get that.  We have some ourselves.  But there is another market, too: those people who don't didn't need Server, who want to start with 3 users, "...see how it goes, might double or more to 8 or 9 if all goes really well.  No promises."  No additional hardware required (runs on Win7 bog-standard workstations), just add another licence at £250 as each new user is welcomed on board.  All technical stuff understood in-house.  "...If our business, and the system, goes beyond our dreams, and we need more than 9 users - well, we'll be more than happy to need a bigger investment at that stage!"

                                Not long ago a £1500 spend on FM licenses could have reasonably run a 6-user office for 5 years or more (with occasional web-publishing user-access as well).  Follow the recent licensing model and that is a helluva sight more - more than enough to put off people like the OP from even touching FM.

                                I can summarise all of my self-centred (non-'Server') customers' requests easily:

                                - bring back the peer-to-peer sharing of 9 users.  You've already done it; you can do it again, and doubtless even better.

                                - accept that there is a market for 'Server' people, and a second, different, probably 'feeder' market, for people who don't want to be driven to have the complication and cost of 'Server'.  You don't have to kill that market to grow the other one.  Maybe even quite the opposite.  (And that same market would often like to pay a reasonable one-off cost at the outset and update at their own speed, please.)

                                - (and maybe try and ease back a little on the relentless price increases, eh...?)

                                 

                                We built a significant customer base up to FM Version 11.  It expanded completely through customer recommendation.  It is now atrophying, and once their V11 no longer works for them they will go elsewhere.  The customers we started on 3 users rapidly saw the usefulness and quickly bought more licenses to go to 7, 8 users.  Some more, and bought the Server.  The new contacts they bring to us are put off by the immediate or imminent need to buy the Server infrastructure.  And many specifically do not want a web-based solution; they want local hosting.  FM had a unique feature in that 9-user locally-hosted, relatively low-cost scenario, and they've knee-capped it.  Those customers (and potential customers) will move to a browser-based, off the shelf, solution (I think they'll regret it, but once they've gone they ain't coming back).  For our solution the amount we charge in total is now slightly less than FM want per annum.  Our competitors offer web-based solutions for around the same cost, with no additional licensing cost.  (I think it was Hal Gumbert who reflected that he felt he was 'now working purely as a member of FMI's Sales Team'.)

                                 

                                I expect you are screaming that we are therefore, by definition, under-charging, but we had a perfectly cost-effective business model until the peer-hosted limit was halved.  (Can I say, 'cynically', 'arbitrarily', halved...?)  It is a long time since I remember a Poster saying "I've got a great idea for an FM solution...' and then being totally put off when they hear the true cost of joining and running with the FM environment, and the Forum has  had a couple in the last few days.  Hardly a revolution, but I don't remember that feeling ever before.  And the increasing number of seemingly-ordinary-sounding Posts that end with the solution: "You have to buy Server" is an indication of how FM are abandoning that sector of their market. Our customers get the feeling that FMI's policy is to keep squeezing the price until the pips squeak.  I think the pips might be doing that.

                                 

                                I know you guys have 'better' customers than we have: they see sense in constant upgrades, they have a need for iBeacons and multi-user web-access, and have budgets of $K.  Unfortunately, we deal with a different beast.

                                 

                                (PS: can I have another Developer Request in my Wish List? - please, FMI: stop pushing the idea that developing a solution in Filemaker takes 'minutes' - even to have it work seamlessly on 'any device'.  No.  It.  Doesn't.  Even your templates don't work out of the box.  But it is doing nothing for our credibility as developers, never mind to support our pricing, if you keep telling our customers that 'there's nothing to it - even people with no experience can develop cross-platform, cross-device, professional-looking solutions in minutes'.  "Yeah? - well, what are you charging me for, fella?")

                                • 13. Re: multi-user access
                                  Markus Schneider

                                  we have 'small' customers as well. We lost some of them - one was a small second hand shop with 2 or 3 Mac's. We asked them to run FMS, mainly because of the schedules and the stand-alone Mac Mini where nobody was fiddeling around.. Then, FMS13 with the 'connection-model' came on the market. They wanted to include 2 or three iPods (not iPad..) to take photographs of the stuff they traded in - boom, budget was too low for a connection pack

                                   

                                  For 1-3 seats customers, FileMaker licencies are expensive - at least in Switzerland. We pay much more than people in the US...

                                  • 14. Re: multi-user access
                                    fmpdude

                                    Yep.

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