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FileMaker Cloud on EC2 - Is the * domain required?

Question asked by johnfx on Jun 22, 2017
Latest reply on Jun 23, 2017 by Mike Duncan

Hi There,


I'll open with my question: All of the documentation that I've found for FileMaker Cloud indicates that at the end of the configuration you choose a 'hostname' that appears to become the server 'Name' in a lot of places as well as registering the FQDN '<yourhostname>'. What I can't find is any documentation that indicates the latter FQDN is optional. We already have a domain name and are going to DNS alias our own subdomain to the Cloud instance for us to use. Is there something about FileMaker app distribution that I'm not aware of that depends on the domain? Can we not use our own domain? Can we avoid the domain at all? I'd prefer to keep our server out of any 3rd party resources since the software is installed entirely on AWS instances in our own account. It makes me a bit nervous that the Cloud software is registering a domain entry in some other network... what else is it connecting to?


Some background/context to help answer so you know where I'm coming from: I'm helping my wife set up this FileMaker Cloud instance for her office. It's a small business, they bought a 10 user license for FileMaker Server. None of them are tech professionals, it isn't a tech company (it's real estate), but a few of them started building an app to share information relevant to their business. Due to a number of reasons the local Windows Server they had it running on wasn't going to work and are now migrating the Server license to AWS for FileMaker Cloud using the BYOL marketplace option. (It wasn't a problem with FileMaker, it was the server itself and their useless IT company... long story). I'm a software engineer with plenty of experience developing cloud services and all aspects of AWS, so I'm more than familiar with the AWS setup. However, I'm not familiar with FileMaker, specifically, so the nuances of the configuration and how it's used are still new to me. I've been approaching this like the FileMaker Cloud setup is a black-box: It's "just" a server application that needs to run on an EC2 instance and I can configure everything else to get it hosted and internet accessible behind a domain, and let them configure it like they did FileMaker Server once it's up and running. But since Cloud has some level of self-management built into it I'm discovering some of these quirks that I wasn't expecting. The subdomain registration struck me as odd and concerned me enough to want an answer, and the fact that I couldn't find one documented made me more concerned!


-- John FX


P.S. - As a side note, I'd never heard of FileMaker before, but I'm really impressed with it. The fact that some people with zero programming experience at my wife's office were able to put together a somewhat complex application is amazing. I love the abstractions that FM provides. The whole Table vs Table Occurrence seems to be a big source of confusion, it took me a bit to figure out that the TO graphs are basically just visual SQL queries that are made to look like an ER schema diagram for the DB itself. A lot of posts on this community and around google seem to echo that confusion as well. But apart from that everything else in FM seems to be straight forward and intuitive and does a great job of abstracting core concepts of software architecture so that you don't even need to think about it. :thumbsup: