8 Replies Latest reply on May 15, 2017 6:07 AM by taylorsharpe

    Filemaker Server Needs


      I know it is recommended to have an independent machine running FMS but am curious if there are any major drawbacks specifically for my uses if I was to load FMS on my Apple IMAC. My use right now is a single user, just I am using it, but would like to connect to one file from multiple devices (not at the same time). So for example if I have a contacts database, when I am out in the field I would like to access the same file I do when I am in the my office without transferring the files from device to device.


      It seems I would either have to have a file open at all times with FMP or utilize FMS where I believe it is just being run in the background.  My IMAC is on 99% of the time so it would be accessible when I need it to be and of course my devices have internet access. Because I will only be connecting to it I just need the one concurrent connection that should not be a limitation if I understand it correctly. I would also want to connect to multiple FM files but not all at the same time, individually. For example, one file might be contacts, another might be transactions etc. My understanding is you don't have to have the files open at all times on FMS, you can open and close the files as needed.  Any thoughts on this for my specific purposes. Down the road I might consider setting up an individual server if it becomes necessary but was curious if I could be that task and cost on the back burner and just start with putting it on my IMAC.  Any thoughts on this?

        • 1. Re: Filemaker Server Needs

          You will probably find that this will work just fine for you.


          I actually have the Developer licensed version of FM Server 16 running on a 2009 white MacBook (with an SSD and running Sierra) for my own testing and it works great. I also use that MacBook for other things - in fact typing on it right now....


          You will just need to make sure you have your home/office router configured to open and forward the relevant ports (5003 especially, but you might also want 16000 for Server Admin Consol access) to the server iMac so it can be accessed remotely.


          If you are not already a 'FileMaker Developer Subscription' member, then I recommend doing that so you can get the developer license of FMS which is included in the annual subscription so you can try it out.


          As you suggest, one of the advantages of using Server is that the computer just needs to be powered on without being logged in. Also all the other reliability, security and backup etc benefits, plus WebDirect and so on if you need that....


          Furthermore, you will not need to open and close the files on the Server when you are using the iMac - you can just open them using FileMaker Pro on the same machine - making sure to 'connect remotely' to 'localhost'... when you open FM Pro Launch Center, your server should just appear in available hosts....

          • 2. Re: Filemaker Server Needs

            For full feature testing with SSL I got a CA signed certificate for the development machine and added an entry in the "host" file in the macOS to redirect the FQDN to localhost or the local IP. Quick and easy without a lot of other network stuff.

            • 3. Re: Filemaker Server Needs

              FileMaker Server runs just fine on an iMac.  As a service, it actually plays well with other services and can to a lesser degree play well with applications running on the same machine.  FileMaker's recommendations are not to share the machine with other services and applications so that the cpu, memory, network and disk access are focused on FileMaker service. 


              Yes, you can share FileMaker service with other services and apps, it just might not give optimal performance.  Actually, it is not uncommon for even so called "Dedicated" machines to have other services like Active Directory on the same machine.  As you probably expect, if you have a computer that meets the minimum specs of FileMaker server, then it will not share well with anything.  If you have a beefy computer with 16 Gigs or more of RAM and SSD or RAID, then it will work better. 


              If you're with a small group of FileMaker users, then FMS on an iMac sharing services or apps will work fine for most circumstances.  Obviously as performance degrades, you will want to look at separating services and getting beefier hardware.


              Give it a try and if the performance is acceptable, then you should be good to go.  

              • 4. Re: Filemaker Server Needs

                bigtom I guess there is nothing to be done for iOS users on the same network short of running a DNS server with an entry for that FQDN?

                • 5. Re: Filemaker Server Needs

                  Right. Haven't figured that one out yet. So far iOS on LAN needs a DNS server to get a good connection. The Data API just doesn't like to work without Verified SSL in place. I tried the header to skip SSL but that did not work for me so far.

                  • 6. Re: Filemaker Server Needs

                    Skywillmott:  I was under the impression that port 16k was local only. I usually access my server using SSH local port forwarding.


                    ssh -L 16000:localhost:16000 login@host.address

                    • 7. Re: Filemaker Server Needs

                      graxxor wrote:


                      Skywillmott: I was under the impression that port 16k was local only. I usually access my server using SSH local port forwarding.


                      ssh -L 16000:localhost:16000 login@host.address

                      graxxor That is how you access the Server admin panel. If you want to use FMP on the same machine to open a file you should use open remote to localhost.

                      • 8. Re: Filemaker Server Needs

                        graxxor wrote:


                        Skywillmott: I was under the impression that port 16k was local only. I usually access my server using SSH local port forwarding.


                        ssh -L 16000:localhost:16000 login@host.address

                        Port 16000 is not local by default.  You can block it with a firewall.  But if you are not blocking it, you can get to it through a regular web browser at http://your_domain.com:16000