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FileMaker Server 15 - HSTS nightmare

Question asked by Anatole Beams on Nov 19, 2017
Latest reply on Nov 24, 2017 by Anatole Beams

I have just resolved a recent nightmare where our server suddenly stopped accepting access to any http addresses. It suddenly started rerouting any traffic hitting our domain to https addresses.

 

Because FileMaker Server takes over control of the Apache webserver, we can no longer host PHP webpages and long ago resorted to routing non-secure traffic to a subsidiary webserver. The change broke all communications to this and to non-secure pages we had on the FileMaker server.

 

Today I have finally discovered why. It seems that the Filemaker controlled Apache server decided that HSTS would be a good idea and switched it on. HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) is a process that forces users to communicate with servers through HTTPS only. At the time we were running FileMaker Server 14, so as part of the ensuing panic to fix the problem, I upgraded to FileMaker Server 15. Now that I know what my problem is, I have found that a new feature in the FileMaker Server 16 admin console is the ability to switch HSTS on and off.

 

Now, I hear you shout, why didn't you upgrade to FileMaker Server 16? Well, the answer is, I would have to upgrade the System Software and probably the server itself in order to do that.

 

I have now rewritten our links and renamed our subsidiary web server to fix the problem. But what I would really like to know is:

 

--> is it possible to switch of HSTS on Apache under FileMaker Server 14 or 15? Is there a terminal command for it?

 

I rue the day that FileMaker decided to prevent regular web serving from FileMaker Server. It has been such a fiddle ever since to maintain a comparatively simple website with additional FileMaker functionality, requiring a second server. Fortunately, this was managed with a simple RaspberryPi which has proven to be a really simple and reliable platform. Maybe FileMaker should release a Raspbian version of FileMaker Server?

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