1 2 3 Previous Next 34 Replies Latest reply on Mar 1, 2012 9:39 AM by davehob

    Data Separation Model

    thommmes

      Hello,

       

      I am looking for some advice re the data separation model.

       

      The present structure of my database:

       

      File Menu for basic controls such as login, logout, central Tasks etc.

      File Adresses is the central database that the Agents are using (call center)

      additional Modules depending on the tasks, for example calenda, email (Plugin Mailit)

      a central file work schedule for logging the agents' work times, accesse from any existing solution.

       

      Presently there is a combination of these modules separately running for each client (as there are different tasks to be covered)

      This means that whenaver an agent is changein his job, he has to log out from one solution and log in to the other one.

       

      I want to reconfigure this, so that the agents will work with on central Menu file that has no data, and from there they should be able to call whatever files are necessary for a certain job.

       

      I hope I made myself clear enough and will appreciate any tipps and suggestions

       

      regards Thommes

       

       

      System presently WIN XP FMPA 11

      planning to switch to MAC Mini Server with WIN XP clients

       

      I also posted this in the german Forum but expect more input from you people all aver the world

        • 1. Re: Data Separation Model
          Stephen Huston

          It sounds like data separation would be simple for this.

           

          The easiest thing to do might be to simply build a new Main Menu file with data references to the existing files, and have eeryone login to that new file. It wouldn't need any data, just an interface to allow them to go wherever they need to be.

           

          We use such a file in our system which has nearly 30 files which contain both interface and data (non-separation, converted from FM5), but that data-less Main Menu allows people to get anywhere in the system from one spot.

           

          You need a button on the existing screens to take people back to the Main Menu screen/file so you don't have a bunch of deadends in the system.

           

          Stephen Huston

          • 2. Re: Data Separation Model
            worldcloud

            I am a huge fan of the separation model, and there has yet to be a solution which I have not been able to convert to this architecture.

             

             

            My bigger question is why in the world would you want to move to a Mac mini server. In the server industry we strive to have 'no single point of failure' but the Mac Mini fails on several key tests. Not to mention it is a machine designed for low-power and low-heat; not for blazing fast network perfromance. There are multilpe options in the same price point which will give you a faster, safer server.... or you could always host in the cloud....

            • 3. Re: Data Separation Model
              garrycl

              We have been gradually moving tables to MySQL. This, in a way, is beginning to offer some hope of data separation.

               

              All the best.

               

              Garry

              (using a Mac Mini as DB server

              • 4. Re: Data Separation Model
                thommmes

                Thank you, Stephen for this helpful tipp. This is exactly how I started to redesign my system. I hadn't thought of the back button yet.

                 

                @ worldcloud: can you be a little more specific about alternatives please. If I buy a MAC Mini Server, I get the OS included at the price of $ 1.200. Using a WIN Server System, I would have to pay about $ 1.500 for the OS only. And after more than 25 years with Macintosh, never having any performance troubles, I don't see those troubles ahead of me. I should mention that we are a small call center with presently less than 10 clients, expecting to grow for maybe 25.

                 

                Interesting enough that there is Garry's reply who uses the Mini

                 

                Have a good day

                 

                Thommes

                • 5. Re: Data Separation Model
                  Stephen Huston

                  Hi Thommes,

                   

                  I'll add my own observation that the determining factor on Server OS is which the IT department or person considers easiest to maintain. It sounds like you have a Windows shop. If  the person or group doing IT/Server work prefers one OS over the other, use that one. They both work fine.

                   

                  I have managed both; the least costly I have set up was a Mac Mini with an external Firewire for the data files. It runs without a hitch, has for several years.

                   

                  Nowadays, I would have Solid State Drives (SSDs) installed regardless of the OS. It reduced our backups from 10 minutes to 10 seconds on a large system when we switched to SSD drives!

                   

                  Stephen Huston

                  • 6. Re: Data Separation Model
                    garrycl

                    Note that the Mac Mini is not running OS X Server, just plain OS X - which is preferred over running FM Server on OS X Server.

                     

                    Also, in case I wasn't clear on the data separation, we are using ESS to connect FM to MySQL.

                     

                    All the best.

                     

                    Garry

                    • 7. Re: Data Separation Model
                      BruceHerbach

                      Garry,

                       

                      You are running FMS on the mini?  Why do you say OsX is preferred over OSX server?

                       

                      Bruce

                      • 8. Re: Data Separation Model
                        garrycl

                        Bruce,

                         

                        It is FMS on the Mini. With about 10-15 FM users, including occasional remote access. It has the database file on an external mirrored drive.

                         

                        OS X Server has many other tasks to perform, such as file-serving, user management, etc. Hence, plain OS X is the better option for hosting FMS.

                         

                        Good Luck.

                         

                        Garry

                        • 9. Re: Data Separation Model
                          DavidZakary

                          I don't agree with the "plain OS X is the better option" statement at all. I prefer running the Server version of the OS over the regular client. Just becuase the OS has the other services - file sharing, users, etc. you do not have to enable them. For years, the best practice has been to run FileMaker Server of a dedicated machine which is not running any additional services whenever possible.

                           

                          Having those services can be handy, but they are not necessary to have running.

                           

                          It has also been the case in the past where the Server OS is tuned differently from the standard OS.

                          • 10. Re: Data Separation Model
                            garrycl

                            Re: "...the best practice has been to run FileMaker Server of a dedicated machine which is not running any additional services..."

                             

                            That is correct. Hence, the question should be "Why pay more for OS X Server when it is not needed?".

                             

                            My ideal world would have separate boxes for OS X Server and FMS, if both servers are needed. However, it depends on potential load and hence potential processing bottlenecks.

                             

                            All the best.

                             

                            Garry

                            • 11. Re: Data Separation Model
                              BruceHerbach

                              Garry,

                               

                              These days,  a server license is a small expense.  I use a Mac Mini server as a development server in the office.. In this case 1 user.. me.  I have some file sharing setup to make it easy to move files on and off the server.  The big thing I like about server is that I can run it headless as in no monitor, keyboard or mouse.  When I have to access it I just use screen sharing.  As far as the rest of the server/based services,  they are turned off.

                               

                              The other advantage to the mini server is two internal disk drives,  that can be set up as RAID array/mirrored pair.   If you need a DVD/CD drive you do need to add an external device.   I know the mini is missing much of the redundancy of the a full blown server,  but this helps.  An external disk (Fire wire or Thunderbolt can handle the initial back ups.  Then you can add other services to back up the external disk.

                               

                              The mirror has saved me a data loss twice in the past 18 months.  The bad part is I have to actually check it every so often.  The Mini won't send you an e-mail when one of the drives fail and the mirror breaks.  They have a facility on server to let you know when this happens,  but it only works with an Xserve.

                               

                              Thanks very much for getting back to me. 

                              Bruce

                              • 12. Re: Data Separation Model
                                garrycl

                                Bruce,

                                 

                                Unfortunately in Australia there is big difference in price OS X Loin $39 versus OS X Server $699

                                http://store.apple.com/au/browse/home/shop_mac/software/apple

                                 

                                The particular setup I am referring to is also running "headless". We use VNC/Screen Sharing to access it (can even do it from my iPhone). It uses a Timecapsule backup device on their office network and external mirrored drives. It also runs PHP and MySQL, as the FMS interacts with MySQL, and other external services, such as importing online orders, sending invoices to Xero, uploading weekly payroll to iPayroll, and off-site cloud backups.

                                 

                                On a development system, having an OS X Server would be handy for testing with various services

                                 

                                All the best.

                                 

                                Garry

                                • 13. Re: Data Separation Model
                                  BruceHerbach

                                  Hi Garry,

                                   

                                  I looked at the site you included. It showed Snow Leapard Server for $699.  I was referring to Lion Server,  much less expensive.  $51.99 Austrailian.  http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/os-x-lion-server/id444376097?mt=12&ls=1

                                   

                                  I had to do a couple of searches for Lion Server before I tracked it down on the site.

                                   

                                  Hope this is helpful

                                  Bruce

                                  • 14. Re: Data Separation Model
                                    garrycl

                                    Thanks for that

                                     

                                    Will check it out.

                                     

                                    Garry

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