7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 1, 2014 2:00 PM by cortical

    Remote Web Access for FMP pre-v12

    Azteck

      After developing since 1991, I am slightly embarrassed to ask this ( ! )

       

      A client runs FMP on Macs (OS10.8)

      They host a dbase called ProcessCards on a Mac.

      They Remote access it on a couple of other computers on the same Ethernet network. Basic but Works great.

       

      We now wish to access it on a web browser on a remote computer ie: over the internet.

      I have now and I have in other clients enabled Instant Web Publishing and accessed a dbase over the local network with a URL such as 192.168.x.xx

      But this does not give web access.

       

       

      Critically: My client does not want to upgrade from FMP 9 / 10 / 11 etc.

      We do not want to built the dbase into a website (daily development is essential).

      Therefore what ever solution is deployed it must be possible to implant new versions of the dbase (having closed access).

      Only basic security is needed but it would be a plan to have decent passwords.

       

      Thanks for help, Happy New Year

      Nic

        • 1. Re: Remote Web Access for FMP pre-v12
          Mike_Mitchell

          Nic -

           

          In order to do this, the computer hosting the database will need a fixed IP address. You can then set up port forwarding on the router to push all traffic to that computer from the outside.

           

          That said, this is an EXTREMELY bad idea. Peer-to-peer sharing (such as what they're doing now) puts the database at risk from network or power drops. You don't get your backups on a reliable basis (you have to shut the database down to get a clean backup unless you run a periodic "Save a Copy" script), and desktop hardware is really not meant for use as a server (except maybe for development purposes).

           

          Now, we're adding a whole new set of dangers by exposing the computer on the open Internet. Every malicious individual with a computer and Internet access becomes a threat. IWP is simply not a secure technology for the open Internet (we've had security scans done on IWP solutions on our intranet, and they come back with a host of vulnerabilities). I don't want to post what they are in a public form (you can PM me if you want more information), but suffice to say I would never recommend IWP be used on the open Internet.

           

          My advice: Host the database with a hosting service and spare yourself some serious heartburn later. You'll get all your backups, the server security will be properly set up, and your users can access it pretty much anywhere they want.

           

          HTH

           

          MIke

          • 2. Re: Remote Web Access for FMP pre-v12
            Azteck

            Mike

            Thank you and good points, well made.

            Would your comments apply to FMServer as well?

             

            Due to the speed of development (literally daily) we do not want to use a hosting service.

             

            Thus, I conclude that it would probably be better to use LogMeIn.com

            or to put a (by definition out of date) copy on a USB stick

            or wait for the individual to be in the office.

             

            Any advances on LogMeIn (TeamViewer ?? )  -  I have not used for years.

             

            Thanks

            Nic

            • 3. Re: Remote Web Access for FMP pre-v12
              Mike_Mitchell

              The points do not apply to Server. Server manages your backups automatically, and, properly configured, runs on a server OS and hardware. You may have some difficulty locating a v11 Server license, however. Someone else on the forum here may be able to point you to a good source.

               

              LogMeIn solves some of the issue (i.e., security issues with IWP). However, you're still dealing with peer-to-peer sharing, which is problematic.

               

              I’m curious why you think a hosting service impedes development work. You have direct access to the database, just as you would with having it locally controlled. Most services have a web-based download / upload utility. And you can always make hot fixes, should you need to (although I don’t generally advocate for that). A hosting service is what I generally recommend for small clients, such as what you’re describing, since it minimizes cost and maintenance to the client (they don’t have to buy a server or Server license, and the patching / upgrading / monitoring chores that come with maintaining a server are offloaded to the hosting company). It works well in every case I’ve seen.

               

              Mike

              • 4. Re: Remote Web Access for FMP pre-v12
                wimdecorte

                Azteck wrote:

                 

                 

                I have now and I have in other clients enabled Instant Web Publishing and accessed a dbase over the local network with a URL such as 192.168.x.xx

                But this does not give web access.

                 

                 

                You are only missing a few steps; the router needs to have the proper port opened and forwarded to the FMS machine.

                As Mike said; this requires the FMS machine to be on a static IP address.

                The client's public (internet) IP address also need to be fixed or they'll need to use a dynamic DNS service if that's not feasible (Dyn.com for instance).

                 

                As to logmein: that would work but they should log into a machine that is NOT the server and then connect to the hosted file just like any other client.

                • 5. Re: Remote Web Access for FMP pre-v12
                  Azteck

                  Thanks Fellas,

                   

                  Some will faint when I say that I do a huge amount of 'hot development' (far beyond fixes).  I know for sure that this is not recommended at all, but have found over more than 22 years and with some massive systems (25,000 new records a day); that it is utterly reliable.  The advantage is that you do not then have to import table after table of data.

                  I am very careful about revision control and back ups.

                   

                  I stock piled licences for FM 11 incl Server, just before it was discontinued.

                  My speciality is highly bespoke single client systems; therefore clients love my ability to develop in and support long superseded versions (this stops them having to buy new computers / licences).  I still support FM4.

                   

                  Back to this access issue.

                  As this is only 15 minutes per week and pretty basic look up and enter a single date in a 'checked' field; I will probably go for LogMeIn.

                  Thank you for reminding me that the subject computer of LogMeIn should be one that in turn accesses the 'master' computer.  This also enables the person on the 'master' computer to use it.

                   

                  Hosting Services are not my strong point.  For such infrequent access (and with flakey internet connection) I want to stick to methods that are entirely within our control.  The main systems must must must work 24/7, (in a factory).  It took us 6 months to get e-mails to work 95% of the time.

                   

                  Nic

                  • 6. Re: Remote Web Access for FMP pre-v12
                    Mike_Mitchell

                    I’m glad you’ve had such good luck with hot development.

                     

                    About 5 years ago, I had a similar opinion. I made a change to a calculation field while users were in the system. The result was a badly corrupted database and the loss of a day and a half’s productivity.

                     

                    I don’t do hot development any more (except for very small changes).

                     

                    Best of luck. Happy New Year!

                    • 7. Re: Remote Web Access for FMP pre-v12
                      cortical

                      I had LogMeIn on a spare box for client screen sharing sessions for a while. It seems to be very 'chatty' , and has a mind of its own as to what 'quit' means.

                      Deleting was not entirely simple, until files in sys/library (mac) weree manually remove