14 Replies Latest reply on Feb 18, 2014 9:15 AM by gdurniak

    Access via VPN to FM Data Files

    gvklimetz

      I'm really pushing my experience: Would someone assit me with the steps for accessing a FM Data file via a VPN into a VMWare Virtual Server where we have fmsa mounted and our data files hosted...... We can ping the server...... we can RDC into the Server Desktop and Open Server Admin Console........ but we do not know how to access the data files by using FM Pro on a workstation...... please any assitance woule be helpful...... Make contact through the forum or off line at gvklimetz@mac.com or call me........ 850-450-8629

        • 1. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
          beverly

          This is what I do for any of the several VPN connections that I have:

               1. verify that internet is running (yes, sometimes it's not)

               2. connect with VPN login

               3. do NOT use the RDC (unless you need to do so for some other reason)

               4. open FileMaker Pro (while you are still running VPN) on your workstation and

               5. choose OPEN REMOTE from the File menu to search for the running server (through VPN). You may ADD a shortcut/favorite to find this again, if you use it often.

           

          Once you have the server (by domain or IP) added, you should see a list of the databases to which you have access. You can add any database as a favorite, too. Remember that you cannot (or shouldn't be able to) connect even if these are listed as favorites without having VPN connected first.

           

          When you are done:

               1. quit FM on the workstation (I find this sometimes takes a bit longer when using VPN)

               2. then and only then disconnect from the VPN

           

          Beverly

          • 2. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
            BowdenData

            Hi,

             

            I'll echo what Beverly says, but ask a question. You don't say what version of FileMaker and FileMaker Server you are using, what kind of computers (Windows/Mac) are involved, and whether this access will be for users or just yourself.

             

            FMP12/FMP12 Server is typically faster than previous versions, even when you have a VPN like you do.

             

            If the access is just for you (or I should say just database admin/developer type staff), and you are pretty much using Windows PC's, you might want to add RDC to the mix if you have the right setup.

             

            Scenario

            -------------------

            You have a Windows PC inside the business that is yours and you have the ability to RDC to it. You want to access your FMP database and do development work on it.

             

            1. Connect to your VPN
            2. RDC to your PC inside the office
            3. It is now as if you are sitting down in front of the PC. You already have experience with this, because you said you have done this with the FM server machine itself. Open up FileMaker application on your PC and work away.

             

            You should find that the speed of working this way will be better than opening up the FileMaker application on the PC you are actually sitting in front of (at home, in a remote office, whatever). There are of course some gotcha's with this method as well.

             

            So, number one, the advice that Beverly gave and number two, consider what I have added DEPENDING on your actual setup and needs.

             

            Let us know if want more info on this or not.

             

            HTH.

             

            Doug

            • 3. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
              emooz

              Hi,

               

              Depending on your internet/network connection, Doug's #2 option will usually provide a faster response from FileMaker than the #1 option.

               

              Tim.

              • 4. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
                beverly

                I'm sure, but that implies that you are VPN-ing into an office with a workstation that has FileMaker Pro on it, correct, Tim?

                As a developer, I'm often the only one with Advanced, so VPN & RDC into my clients' is NOT to a workstation. Faster or not, I only have the option to Open Remote.

                But nice to know about the other.

                 

                Beverly

                • 5. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
                  gvklimetz

                  Everyone, thanks a bunch for all the support. In answer and clarification to somethings everyone mentioned: We have a VMWare Server created for us on a server backbone with a large university. We installed and are using FM Server 12 with FM Pro 12 on the workstations. As adminperson I have used RDC to login to the server and open FMS 12 Admin Console to double check all the settings..... So we can open VPN, get to server by RDC, ping the server but still cannot see server and mounted data files with FM Pro.

                   

                  I suspect it a settings issue with "ports" and since the IT guys are not FileMaker knowledgeable, we have been left to our own to solve the issue and then tell them what to do. Looking at the tech paper for ports that need to be opened, I see port 80 and 5003....... upon installation, FMS opened port 389 for something I still have to learn and the IT guys have reset this port to allow incoming and outgoing.

                   

                  Is there any other setting that you all can think of that I need to set before we can see files with workstation?

                  Thanks again for helping me into this new area. We hope to take our system to eventually a web based situation....... more to learn.

                  • 6. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
                    CarstenLevin

                    I am not sure about your setup.

                     

                    The most common setup is

                     

                    Outside Users<->vpn client<->internet<->FIREWALL with vpn<->servers

                     

                    If you are doing like this you should not open the ports (5300 etc.) in the FireWall.

                     

                    The VPN solution should virtually let you be on the internal network, as if you had plugged yourself into the local ethernet.

                     

                    If you are also activating VPN and Firewalls on the server itself you are maybe complicating things by handling security at more than one level.

                    This can be justified in some cases. But in most cases is definetely better to handle security correctly at one well controlled point, in this case the FireWall, than to do it at more levels without having the full knowledge.

                     

                    Advice: Set up VPN on your FireWall, log in and use the local network services as if you where there.

                     

                    Best regards

                     

                    Carsten

                    • 7. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
                      tony.dhoop@telenet.be

                      hello, beverly.

                      You seem to be well aware of FM possibilities to what concerns VPN.

                      Hope you don't mind me asking you a question :

                       

                      Can a Filemaker Advanced 12 host files over VPN connection, or do I need FM Server? Or even FM A Server?

                       

                      Home-pc to HP-Server (distant location) connect well via VPN : rdc works, ping responds.

                       

                      However, "Open Remote" on home-pc (FM Advanced 12) does not show the hosted files on the HP-Server (FM Advanced 12).

                      Entering the IP Address of the HPServer does not bring up the hosted files either.

                       

                      Thx for your expert opinion

                       

                      Tony

                      • 8. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
                        wimdecorte

                        FM advanced can host files, which is called peer-to-peer networking.

                         

                        How you access the files (directly from the remote location through port 5003 or through a VPN tunnel) is not relevant to the hosting scenario.  Both connection methods will work with the files hosted on FMP/FMPA and FMS.

                        "Open remote" uses Bonjour to scan the user's subnet so remote hosts that are not on the user's subnet will not show up. If you do have an active VPN connection then specifying the IP address of the host machine should work.

                        If it does not then you have a networking problem.  Could be a simple as the internet connection being too slow to establish a connection with FMS on the remote end.  With VPN active, see if you can ping the server's IP address

                        • 9. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
                          tony.dhoop@telenet.be

                          Hi, wim

                           

                          Looking at your name, you must be dutch speaking, but since I’m not sure / I’ll continue in English.

                           

                           

                           

                          Thx for your reply.

                           

                          Your reply is perfectly logical to me, and also what I expected.

                           

                          Maybe it’s something silly : please look attached at error message I get.

                           

                          The Bavikhove host is my home pc 

                           

                          The remote machine is at IP 178.118.234.115

                           

                           

                           

                          Thx for your help

                           

                           

                           

                           

                           

                           

                           

                          Van: wimdecorte noreply@filemaker.com

                          Verzonden: donderdag 20 juni 2013 0:56

                          Aan: tony.dhoop@telenet.be

                          Onderwerp: Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files

                           

                           

                           

                           

                           

                          <https://fmdev.filemaker.com/index.jspa>

                           

                           

                          created by wimdecorte <https://fmdev.filemaker.com/people/wimdecorte>  in Server and Server Advanced - View the full discussion <https://fmdev.filemaker.com/message/118423#118423

                          • 10. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
                            wimdecorte

                            Yep, I'm from Belgium (Menen, close to Kortrijk).  Haven't lived there in close to 15 years now...

                             

                            To connect to the remote machine, the best way is to set up as a favorite host as shown in the screenshot below.  Or use the fmnet:/ syntax

                             

                            2013-06-20_08-09-11.jpg

                            • 11. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
                              learmonth

                              Hello Beverly

                               

                              Apologies for returning to 'old cud' but yours was the clearest post on this subject so I am coming back to you in the first instance in case I am missing anything.

                               

                              Back in 2012 you said:

                               

                              "5. choose OPEN REMOTE from the File menu to search for the running server (through VPN). You may ADD a shortcut/favorite to find this again, if you use it often.

                               

                              Once you have the server (by domain or IP) added, you should see a list of the databases to which you have access."

                               

                              Is there anything different about using Open Remote over VPN than just normal internet access other than a) having the VPN connection live at the time and b) using the internal (LAN) address of the box hosting the solution?

                               

                              I ask this because with the VPN connection live I can ping the FM server and I can RDC into it but using the same IP address on Open Remote doesn't show me any files. Specifying a particular file - which sometimes kicks things into life - doesn't do it either.  [NB I also keep my browser closed in case it generates a tunneling conflict. ]

                               

                              Also using my browser and the same IP address I have tried to access the Remote Admin app via the VPN connection but again without success.

                               

                              The network administrators tell me that ports 5003, 16000 and 16001 are all open but somehow they don't seem to be being called? I have tried the connection from several locations - to eliminate the possibility of hardware or internet provider issues - but always with the same result.

                               

                              [This is on Windows XP Pro into a Window 2008 Server hosting FMP Server 12.  The VPN client is Nortel (V07_01.280) into the NHS N3 network [1.3m users] with security handled via a wireless generated token.]

                               

                              Any thoughts anyone?

                               

                              Rodney Stares

                              FileMaker Developer

                              Edinburgh

                              Scotland

                              • 12. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
                                CarstenLevin

                                Question:

                                Is there anything different about using Open Remote over VPN than just normal internet access other than a) having the VPN connection live at the time and b) using the internal (LAN) address of the box hosting the solution?

                                The answer is "yes" or "no" depending on the settings of the VPN on the server and in your settings.

                                Your FileMaker Pro may or may not be able to scan the foreign VPN network you are working with for FileMaker Servers.

                                If you can not see the FileMaker Server when trying to "Open Remote" looking for Locan Hosts, then you should be able to connect by adding a favourite with the internal IP number belonging to the FileMaker Server. This number may be known by the IT department, your FileMaker supporter or developer or maybe even by your fellow FileMaker users.

                                 

                                Best regards

                                 

                                Carsten

                                • 13. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
                                  beverly

                                  VPN works the same. if you can "specify a particular file" in Open Remote then do that and add it as a favorite. That way you know you can get into the server. If Open Remote works after that for other files, then see if you can add the server to the Favorites while you have this file open.

                                   

                                  If you can't see the files, might they be "disabled from display" in some way? Are all the permissions and sharing set correctly for the file(s)?

                                   

                                  Beverly

                                  • 14. Re: Access via VPN to FM Data Files
                                    gdurniak

                                    Try changing the network subnet on the remote machine.  If both sides have the same subnet,  VPN may not work

                                     

                                    greg

                                     

                                    > I suspect it a settings issue with "ports"