8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 13, 2016 6:11 AM by jeffsb

    FileMaker Cloud


      I am a board member and volunteer for a small nonprofit organization. I am new to FileMaker and it has been years since I have worked with programming relational databases so I am trying to get up to speed here.Because our (all volunteer) operations are spread out, currently with the phone answered in California, the mail answered in Connecticut, public events coordinated in New jersey and the items shipped from Oklahoma, we are putting our database in the cloud so that it is accessible from these locations.


      The sales representative who I talked to at FileMaker recommended that we consider the new FileMaker Cloud. Of course the other choices are having our own server and paying an independent company to host our FileMaker program. He sent me a link to a calculator that would figure out about how much we could expect to pay Amazon for hosting under this FileMaker program. Here is a link to that calculator.



      My question involves how to use this calculator to figure out a ballpark figure for hosting charges. We have only one FileMaker program, 1 to 5 users, to run and it might be about 30 or 40 MB. Though it will be accessed from four or five places, the total time connected online time will probably be no more than 20 hours a month if that. How can we use this calculator and what would it compute for our monthly server expenses?


      Thank you for any help you can give me on this.

        • 1. Re: FileMaker Cloud

          If you go to the AWS marketplace and select the 'FM Cloud - 5 users' you'll get a good indication of the price and its components - easier to understand than the AWS calculator

          - FM license

          - EC2 instance cost (the 'computer' so to speak)

          - data transfer up and down to the computer

          - storage






          Note that I selected 'annual' here which - significantly - educes the cost for the FM license part of the cost compared to paying hourly but letting it run all the time.

          If you are going to spin up and spin down the machine only for those times that you will need it, then consider the 'Hourly'


          Not knowing much about your solution but assuming it is fairly simple and does not need a lot of computational power, and given your low number of users I think you can get away with a 't2.small' computer size.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: FileMaker Cloud

            You are going to be on the hook for the filemaker server license -- which looks like it will be $888/yr regardless.  You will then also be charged the hourly usage for the t2.small or t2.medium that you would likely need for a small solution.  Those prices are for 5 users.  There will be some other incremental charges for storage and bandwidth, but in your case they will likely amount to a few dollars per month or less.


            The only way you can save with the hourly plan vs the annual is if you turn it on and off each day. 


            Otherwise your best bet is to go with the annual plan as well as buying a reserved instance on a 1 year basis.


            Filemaker cloud offers a bring your own license plan as well -- reach out to filemaker and see how much it would be to buy a 5 user filemaker for teams license.  It might be a little less than the $888/ year from the amazon marketplace.  I'm not sure if they have reduced pricing for non profits.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: FileMaker Cloud

              I would consider using a FileMaker hosting provider with a shared FM server 14. (you can connect FM 15 to a FM server 14), that is way more price efficient than FM 15 hosting with the new FM 15 license restrictions.


              FileMaker Pro Database Cloud Hosting - FMPHost




              Triple8 - FileMaker Hosting Services

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: FileMaker Cloud

                Since this is for a non-profit, you might want to first get a "standard" license with the non-profit discount. You can then convert that using the BYOL option on FileMaker Cloud. This would be closer, but still cheaper to the Annual licensing option that Wim mentioned.


                Additionally, I hope to be posting soon on our blog (blog.beezwax.net) directions on how you can convert your cloud instance to use AWS' reserved pricing. This can lop another 30% or so off the CPU time pricing that AWS charges.


                Upshot is that it is hard to use the AWS calculator for this. However, I think the guys at rcconsulting.com did post a FMP file that essentially recreated the calculator and factored in many of these options.



                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: FileMaker Cloud

                  Thank you, wimdecorte Expert, for this helpful information -- gives me a start. Since our FM file is less than a tenth of a gigabyte and storage and transfers would be fairly minimal, as well as connect time, the charge might be whatever their minimum charge is, if they have one. I appreciate your response!

                  • 6. Re: FileMaker Cloud

                    Thank you, mattel, for your reply. I believe since we are a non-profit, we have to use BYOL. I appreciate and find interesting the various points you raised!

                    • 7. Re: FileMaker Cloud

                      Thank you for your suggestion, Ruben van den Boogaard and the two FM hosting sites that you linked to, which I will look at!

                      • 8. Re: FileMaker Cloud

                        Thank you, sibrcode, for your suggestion to get a standard license with the nonprofit discount and using the BYOL option on FileMaker cloud, which we will probably do.


                        Thank you for posting the URL to your blog, which I have bookmarked and intend to check out. Look forward to your article on AWS' reserved pricing - I'll keep an eye out for that.


                        Thank you for the link to Richard Carlton's website, which has some useful resources, though I couldn't find his AWS calculator. Thank you, Simon for your reply.