13 Replies Latest reply on May 11, 2012 8:59 AM by datastride

    Citrix and FileMaker

    kaostika

      Hi, Are there any Filemaker Hosting sites that allow for a citrix server or some sort of server that allows a user to remote in and use a virtual Desktop or Filemaker Client.

       

      Oreste

        • 1. Re: Citrix and FileMaker
          CICT

          Hi, we're using XenApp to deliver FileMaker over the cloud from Rackspace server instances. Details and demonstration videos are available at http://www.filemakerdatabases.co.uk

           

          I hope this is of some help.

           

          All the best

           

          Andy

          • 2. Re: Citrix and FileMaker
            PointInSpace

            Hi, Are there any Filemaker Hosting sites that allow for a citrix server

            or some sort of server that allows a user to remote in and use a virtual

            Desktop or Filemaker Client.

             

            Oreste

             

             

             

            We offer AquaConnect on our virtual dedicated servers to provide

            Terminal Services access to FileMaker.  Please e-mail

            info@pointinspace.com for complete details.  Thanks!

             

                 - John

             

            --

            • 3. Re: Citrix and FileMaker
              datastride

              Oreste,

               

              I use VERDE from Virtual Bridges to provide fast remote access to FileMaker databases I host for my clients.

               

              There is a brief overview on my web site:

               

                   http://www.onepartharmony.com/services.php#virtual

               

              Talk about a stable product: I can't even remember the last time I had to reboot the VERDE server. It just runs and runs and runs ...

              • 4. Re: Citrix and FileMaker
                taylorsharpe

                What reasons bring you to believe you need to use Citrix?  Citrix is a great solution used in the right place, but it is not always the best solution.  Just as a reminder, FileMaker 12 has an improved WAN connection for clients to a FileMaker server over the internet and the connection has an SSL encryption available in the same way a terminal service does.  I personally recommend avoiding Citrix, terminal services, screen sharing, etc., for FileMaker use except in a few situations.  Those situations usually have to do with an enterprise solution that must have absolutely lock down control of users desktops and software, full encryption usually where they control the certificates, and the FileMaker files are very large.  But I find most FileMaker solutions are in small to midsize businesses that do not have those needs and are better served using the encrypted client-server solution FileMaker already provides in their software. It is always good to discuss your situation and the various solutions to find the best one and not start out with the solution choosen before defining the situation.  That can be said of FileMaker itself because it is not the best database product for all database situations even though I am quite biased towards it for most of my clients. 

                • 5. Re: Citrix and FileMaker
                  CICT

                  We respect everyone's choice of technology and don't want to turn this into a technical debate, but would encourage people to view the results of our FileMaker 11 and 12 speed test comparisons over a WAN, which were also compared with the same tests on a local copy and via one of our Citrix XenApp servers. Videos of the actual tests accompany the published results.

                   

                  In particular the replace field contents at http://www.filemakerdatabases.co.uk/pages/cloudspeedreplace.html and sorting at http://www.filemakerdatabases.co.uk/pages/cloudspeedsort.html tests will raise a few eyebrows!

                   

                  We believe these tests more than justify the additional cost of a Citrix solution.

                   

                  By the way, most of our cloud customers are small to mid-sized organisations.

                  • 6. Re: Citrix and FileMaker
                    datastride

                    Taylor,

                     

                     

                     

                    Citrix, Terminal Services, XenApp, VERDE (and others)… these all provide much, MUCH faster response for remote user accessing a database over the WAN. Some very simple database designs may not really need this performance boost, but more sophisticated apps with lots of data displayed on a given screen layout can see extreme performance improvements.

                     

                     

                     

                    Of course I shy away from Citrix due to cost and complexity. That’s why I chose an alternate solution (VERDE from Virtual Bridges), but the concept is still the same. By using some sort of virtualization approach, all that enormous amount of data shipped from FileMaker Server to FileMaker Pro clients can happen at gigabit speeds within the datacenter, rather than being shipped over WAN connections (the Internet) at speeds that are 50 to 100 times slower.

                     

                     

                     

                    And so far, I find FileMaker 12 to be slower than molasses for certain crucial areas of my converted apps when running over a WAN connection. Just scrolling a portal with some minor conditional formatting feels like watching paint dry! Nowhere close to the performance provided by FM 11. And  thus nowhere near ready for prime time deployment … I’m confident v2 (and probably v3 and v4) will deliver improvements here soon, but we’ll have to wait and see …

                     

                     

                     

                    Peace, love & brown rice,

                     

                    Morgan Jones

                     

                     

                     

                    FileMaker + Web:  Design, Develop & Deploy

                     

                    Certifications: FileMaker 9, 10 & 11

                     

                    <http://www.onepartharmony.com/> One Part Harmony 

                     

                    Austin, Texas • USA

                     

                    512-422-0611

                    • 7. Re: Citrix and FileMaker
                      PointInSpace

                      What reasons bring you to believe you need to use Citrix? Citrix is a

                      great solution used in the right place, but it is not always the best

                      solution. Just as a reminder, FileMaker 12 has an improved WAN

                      connection for clients to a FileMaker server over the internet and the

                      connection has an SSL encryption available in the same way a terminal

                      service does. I personally recommend avoiding Citrix, terminal services,

                      screen sharing, etc., for FileMaker use except in a few situations.

                      Those situations usually have to do with an enterprise solution that

                      must have absolutely lock down control of users desktops and software,

                      full encryption usually where they control the certificates, and the

                      FileMaker files are very large. But I find most FileMaker solutions are

                      in small to midsize businesses that do not have those needs and are

                      better served using the encrypted client-server solution FileMaker

                      already provides in their software. It is always good to discuss your

                      situation and the various solutions to find the best one and not start

                      out with the solution choosen before defining the situation. That can be

                      said of FileMaker itself because it is not the best database product for

                      all database situations even though I am quite biased towards it for

                      most of my clients.

                       

                       

                       

                      +1

                       

                      We have lots of clients using FileMaker Network Sharing over the

                      Internet with great results, from as far away as Japan and Australia.

                       

                           - John

                       

                       

                      --

                      • 8. Re: Citrix and FileMaker
                        taylorsharpe

                        I agree there are certain situations where Citrix or similar terminal services are better.  The examples you used are two great examples where such service work best because only the screen is redrawn and large amounts of data do not have to go to the client machine.  So those are very good examples the show where Citrix is best, but the functions and actions used on most machines are a balance of other operations that are just as fast or faster.  In some situations where the amount of data that has to come from the server is less than a screen redraw, the FileMaker VPN solution can be faster than Citrix.  So we could banter back and forth showing Citrix at its best and at its worst.  It clearly has a place when large amounts of data are needing to be sent to the client regularly. 

                         

                        The draw back to Citrix and other Terminal Services is that it is eactly that, "terminal services".  Your computer is not what is running things, a server is at the other end of the pipe.  Applications on your computer do not play equally as well with applications on the terminal services and when people figure that out, they usually are rather disappointed or frustrated.  Now if you do this in an enterprise situation where they never knew about local apps, then it tends to work well.  But if you are one of those people who likes to control their computer and don't want to give up "admin" rights to some IT person, then this causes heart burn. And while Citrix does better than in the past and our internet connections are faster, it is never as responsive with screen redraws as a local machine.  Maybe for databases that is OK, but if you ever put a graphic artist or gamer on a Citrix system, they will clearly know why those are not situations where Citrix shines. 

                         

                        I fully agree Citrix has its place.  But I encourage people to try the free FileMaker VPN first and when it is not meeting their needs, look at other solutions like Citrix or maybe other solutions like a PHP web solution. 

                         

                        In Summary, Citrix has its place.  But make sure you are using it when it is the best solution for your needs. 

                        • 9. Re: Citrix and FileMaker
                          LSNOVER

                          The other benefit of using Terminal Server is the probability of corrupting the database is far less.  Internet connections are notoriously flaky at times, and this can really play havoc with a File based server system like Filemaker.  They've made great strides in making Filemaker more robust in these areas over the past few versions, but it's still a very real problem. 

                           

                          In the scope of Terminal Server type products, I'd suggest checking out Propalms TSE.  It is an excellent product.  Very easy to setup, and has a nice Admin console. Much less expensive then Citrix with comparable features.  http://www.propalms.com/

                           

                          With all the nice new features in FM12, IWP has been left languishing.  I really hope FMI will put some time into improving IWP in the future.  It needs some basic features like field triggers and dialogs.  It's needed them since it was released.  A few key enhancements would really go a long way to making IWP much more usable.

                           

                          Regards,

                          Lee Snover

                          • 10. Re: Citrix and FileMaker
                            CICT

                            Good reply Taylor, I agree with your sentiments and given unlimited bandwidth I'd opt for FileMaker running on Mac/Windows locally. We also carried out tests on screen redraws (again videos online) and, although first access to a layout was quite slow running FMP locally, once the layout had been cached repeat tests showed virtually no performance difference between cloud and local/WAN.

                             

                            As you mention it is 'horses for courses', for those using databases less creatively and just want to process data to run a business, we'd opt for the speed of Citrix every time. We also have the advantage that we can run FileMaker on Android devices. However, heavy usage of container fields, integration with local apps, etc. are more difficult. Personally having not enjoyed my upgrade to Lion, I've been very grateful for the stability of working in the cloud

                             

                            We frequently have to break one of the 'golden rules' and work on systems whilst they are in use (we know it shouldn't be done and we use separation model where possible, but it still happens). It is great knowing when the connection goes down that your session is still waiting for you when you log back in and the risk of corruption is minimised.

                             

                            Isn't it great to have choices?

                            • 11. Re: Citrix and FileMaker
                              taylorsharpe

                              Great points... it is good to have choices so we can find the best tool for each situation.  And it is good to get to talk about them in an open forum like this because I learn a lot here!  Thanks for your contributions. 

                              • 12. Re: Citrix and FileMaker
                                kaostika

                                Hi, the client needs to access the database base from work and Home.  So I pitch the citrix as an option and they liked it. 

                                 

                                Oreste

                                • 13. Re: Citrix and FileMaker
                                  datastride

                                  Oreste,

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  I find my clients always like go to faster …

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  Peace, love & brown rice,

                                   

                                  Morgan Jones

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  FileMaker + Web:  Design, Develop & Deploy

                                   

                                  Certifications: FileMaker 9, 10 & 11

                                   

                                  <http://www.onepartharmony.com/> One Part Harmony 

                                   

                                  Austin, Texas • USA

                                   

                                  512-422-0611