Ask the Product Managers - SBS Server

Discussion created by sheldon on Oct 2, 2012

This is a question that might be best addressed in the upcoming "Ask The Product Managers" webinar.


With FileMaker 12, we are now getting the type of functionality that helps us to build document management systems with the minimum of additional software. I've yet to meet a small business that doesn't already have a process and document management system that doesn't need one.


The difficulty we're starting to see is that most small professional businesses (by which I mean people like accountants, property appraisers, architects and such like) are Windows based (practical reality, no getting around it), and these businesses have IT outsourcers who tend towards Windows Small Business Server (SBS) because ... well that's just what they do.


For anyone who's ever come unglued with FileMaker Server on SBS - which is not currently officially supported by FileMaker - the fallout is nothing short of epic. FileMaker Server and a number of SBS components mostly related to IIS and subsequently SharePoint, Outlook Web Client and a host of other browser related functions can conflict to the point where a full reinstall is necessary to reinstate line-of-business functionality. This is particularly evident when upgrading FileMaker Server from one version to another.


Running virtualisation might be one way to resolve the issue - but most IT Outsourcers won't run things like VMWare Workstation on an SBS installation for concerns about conflicts and networking issues.


The only resolutions we've been able to find are either employing a Type I Hypervisor such as VMWare's ESXi (which works very well), or installing additional hardware and Windows Server software.


Both approaches can add cost and support overhead to already stretched environments into which we're trying to deploy additional software.


Here, finally, is the question:


Given that FileMaker has always leaned towards the small-medium business space and that SBS is for designed businesses with less than 75 staff, might it be possible to dedicate technical and support staff at FileMaker to making FileMaker Server play nice with Small Business Server either in its current state or via a cut-down FileMaker Server Lite?