13 Replies Latest reply on Nov 10, 2016 3:00 AM by TomDupre

    Share my file in the office


      Hi all,


      I've a question about sharing my database file.  The current system has a front end on my (computer) and a back end file (also on my computer). The back end file holds all of the data.


      There are 5 other people in the office but only 4 are everyday users. The 5th only works in the office occasionally.  My question really is... can I use the file myself and the other 5 users access it? They will also have a front end but that would point to the back end file on my machine.


      That would realistically make 6 active users as there would be 5 and the 5 others.


      Best wishes



        • 1. Re: Share my file in the office

          You need Filemaker Server.

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          • 2. Re: Share my file in the office

            That last paragraph should read ... there would 1 and the 5 others

            • 3. Re: Share my file in the office

              If you use FileMaker Pro to open the file, Other FIleMaker Pro users can launch FileMaker Pro and use Open Remote to open the file. This is an unencrypted connection and thus not as secure as it should be and the number of users you specify are right at the limit--maybe one too many if I recall the details correctly--should all connect at the same time.


              Server is better, supports many more users, but is also much more expensive.


              You might also investigate FileMaker Cloud

              • 4. Re: Share my file in the office

                That's my confusion Phil.  I always assumed it was 5 users max but on a pdf for FileMaker it says you can share with 5 other users.  That would make 6.


                Server is cost prohibitive at the moment and the data is only in-house so no security issues with this particular file

                • 5. Re: Share my file in the office

                  Yes, I have seen that PDF.  I believe it is a max of 5 users.  In FMP the hosting machine would also be a user. 

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                  • 6. Re: Share my file in the office

                    You really need FMS with that many users. Performance would also be a factor with that many users connected at the same time.

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                    • 7. Re: Share my file in the office

                      Please do not try to share your file peer-to-peer. You will likely end up corrupting your database if you don't do it in the right way, and nobody does it in the right way because there are multiple requirements which must be manually followed by humans on a daily basis. You should ONLY use FileMaker Server to share your database. That is the ONLY safe way to share your database.

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                      • 8. Re: Share my file in the office

                        I have to disagree with that last post.


                        Sharing with FileMaker Pro as the Host application works quite well within it's limitations and there is no risk of database corruption nor many "special things" that have to be done to avoid damage. Just make sure you know how to do back ups and keep virus checking turned off and it will work.


                        Had a client that insisted on hosting this way for years before I got him to move the files on to server to be hosted by FMS and we never had a problem with them.


                        What risks damage to a file is when you place the database file in a shared directory and each user then attempts to open the file directly from that shared directory. That method has long been identified as a potential source of database corruption.

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                        • 9. Re: Share my file in the office

                          I agree with Phil.


                          The only peer to peer networking that causes issues is not using FMP open remote.   In other words do not use Windows sharing to try and share the file.


                          I would also recommend using the same computer as the hosting machine.  

                          • 10. Re: Share my file in the office

                            There are so many problems that can happen here with peer-to-peer sharing:


                            - Users trying to open up the remote file using Mac file sharing or Windows sharing, thus becoming the host of a file that lives on another machine. This can cause corruption.

                            - Host machine trying to make backups of the live database file, which will cause corruption to the file.

                            - Host machine going to sleep and disconnecting users from the file.

                            - Host machine working on other applications in the foreground, thus moving FileMaker Pro to the background and slowing down all the other users on the network tremendously.

                            - Host machine quitting out of FileMaker Pro, thus preventing users from getting into the file.

                            - Indexing turned on on the host machine, thus tremendously slowing down FileMaker Pro's performance.

                            - Host user trying to copy/rename/move the file while it is being actively accessed by other users, which can cause corruption.

                            - Filepaths can end up being incorrect and causing serous slowdowns in multiple parts throughout the system (Import Records script step, Manage External Data Source, etc.)


                            And, not really a problem per se, but you miss out on all the DOZENS of additional benefits of having FileMaker Server (vastly increased number of users, SSL encryption, reliable backups, scheduled scripts, perform script on server, faster speeds, etc. etc. etc.) -- I mean, the list goes on & on for pages.


                            Friends don't let friends do peer-to-peer sharing.

                            • 11. Re: Share my file in the office

                              Most all these issue can occur using FMS.   FMS server does not stop a user from using Mac / Windows sharing.   It does not prevent a user from using another backup program.   It does not prevent the machine from going to sleep.  FMS does not prevent other application running on the server.  It does not prevent user from trying to copy / moving files being accessed by other users.   FMS does not effect the file path more or less than FMP does. 


                              There are benefits in using FMS, hence my original statement.   FMP can be used reliably to host files.

                              • 12. Re: Share my file in the office

                                A lot of scare mongering here.  Many of the things you mentioned are bad practice, and yes there are many things that can be done wrong including the way one designs and maintains Filemaker databases, but such generalisations shouldn't be directed at just those who share using Peer to Peer.    For example, doing backups using another third party software (while Filemaker's files are open), is bad.  However a Peer to Peer Host using Filemaker's own "Save a Copy" is safe. 


                                I agree that there are do's and don'ts.  Even with Filemaker Server there are best practices.  For up to 5 users and accepting other feature-limits, sharing using peer-to-peer works fine.

                                • 13. Re: Share my file in the office

                                  It is often suggested that FileMaker's peer-to-peer sharing is a very unsatisfactory and inadequate approach. Presumably those putting forward this position most strongly don't use peer-to-peer networking, in which case their position is not based on evidence or their own experience.


                                  I have customers who have used peer-to-peer file sharing for almost 20 years. For very small businesses it can be a good solution. Not only is it robust, but there is something to be said for people managing the backing up of their data, on the computer which they use every day and with which they are familiar - rather than a server which they use rarely and of which they have little understanding; such situations - where users assume that some process is taking care of backups, but don't understand how it works - can be dangerous.


                                  I expect most of those who warn of the dangers of peer-to-peer file sharing are nevertheless believers in the excellence of FileMaker products generally. It is surprising that those people also think that FileMaker would offer a method of sharing data which is so inherently flawed.

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