13 Replies Latest reply on Mar 15, 2014 9:42 AM by mbust

    Account creation will not complete


      Hello everyone,


      In a FM 11 database hosted in a server I have about 1200 accounts. There I have a script that creates accounts when someone's registration confirmation is received from PayPal. With a similar script that creates the accounts I migrated all the 1200 users from the old system into the FM database (a happy day!). But ealier today, using the same script command to add an account, the database hanged for a long time when I tried to add a user (that is, the step never completed and I got the beach ball cursor). Since I could not create the account with the script (I waited for about 3 hours for the script step to complete), I then tried it by just going to the Manage Security menu and adding the account directly. I entered the account details and clicked OK to save the account back to the server, and after about 30 minutes, the Adminstrative validation window came up. I entered my administrative username and password and waited about 2 more hours for it to save but it never completed (the beach ball kept displaying). Eventually I just got on the console and disconnected myself from the server, to try again. But it did not work; the account had not been created. Every attempt would end up hanging as in the past.


      The only difference that I can think of between now and when it used to work was that before I had less then 10 registered accounts, and now I have about 1200. Thinking that perhaps it was the connection between the server and my copy of FM 11 Pro that was the problem, I created a web page that triggered the script that creates the account. The page is a simple link that loads another page that triggers the script, sets a session variable, and returns me to the original page with a message from the session variable. But here, too, the db hangs. The link goes to the second page where the script is triggered, and it never returns back to the original page (presumably because the script never completes). The step that never completes is the Add Account script step, but like I said, the same thing happens from the Manage Security menu.


      Can anyone help me troubleshoot this? Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Account creation will not complete

          I've seen this problem three times and every time it occurred when there were hundreds of accounts.  I worked with tech support on this issue and was told that you should never create accounts through a script on a hosted file.  That answer was not very helpful since taking down the file to enter an account when a new account was needed was not very realistic.  I believe if you stop the file on the server.  Open the file with FileMaker Pro. Close the file and restart the file again with Fm server.  You can then start to enter accounts again. In my cases once the account problem occurred, I would import the data into a new file and rebuild the accounts because I didn't want to trust the old file after the account problem occurred. 

          • 2. Re: Account creation will not complete

            Is External Authentication an option here/  (and to answer my own question: it pretty much always is).


            That takes account creation outside of FM and into the OS where there are more options and more tools.

            • 3. Re: Account creation will not complete

              I worked with tech support on this issue and was told that you should never create accounts through a script on a hosted file. 

              I can't imagine this is still true. In our solution all accounts are added by scripts. As long as you carefully trap for all errors (and keep a smooth user experience), this works fine.

              Check all error options in the 200-range

              • 4. Re: Account creation will not complete

                As long as you carefully trap for all errors (and keep a smooth user experience), this works fine.


                Two points:  The problem is not generating an error message; the database just never finishes carrying out the script step.  Second, rather a question, what do you mean by a smooth user experience? 



                • 5. Re: Account creation will not complete

                  You either want to migrate to an OpenDirectory/ActiveDirectory/OS authentication method, or table base auth. FileMaker, in my experience, really doesnt like to deal with hundred of user accounts. It balloons the file size, causes issues with authentication, creating accounts, removing accounts, even editing a permission set. The last "large" authentication group I worked with was about 900 users who were all user accounts in each of the 13 files on the server. It was nightmareish to deal with. By migrating to an open/active/os account validation system, you are also removing the burden from the filemaker file for account validation and moving it to the server, which, is a hell of a lot faster with large amounts of accounts. Prior to migrating all of those users, I would have to actually remote into the server and open the file from FileMaker on the server and add the new accounts, otherwise, if I tried to do it remotely, it would just lock up and sit there for hours. Also, it takes the headache away from having to migrate user accounts to new files/databases when you create them or upgrade. Table base authentication will work, but I do not really like it as I found issues with being able to get into the system with invalid account information.

                  • 6. Re: Account creation will not complete
                    Stephen Huston

                    I have managed hosted systems with over 150 files on multiple servers, using FM authentication and scripted account creation without ever encountering an issue with accounts on hosted files or in large numbers of files where the accounts had to be kept in sync via scripts.


                    The only thing I can think of is that FM authentication and account creation may be hitting some kind of ceiling with account creation, especially if this was a looping script that created hundreds of accounts before the script completed.


                    I would suggest contacting this forum's FM Administrator to see if FMI is aware of any issues in creating multiple accounts during a script run. There may be some sort of practical limit on the ability to create accounts in batches via scripting (a practical limit rather than a theoretical limit).


                    Another concern would be to test a copy of the file after the scripted account creation problem as happened, via the recover process to be sure that there is no reported issue with the Accounts or Security file. I seem to recall that issues with account errors in some previous versions resulted in corruption which later blocked the file from use via account logins, leaving files unusable when that corruption manifested later.

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Account creation will not complete

                      Is it possible the file itself has become corrupted? Have you tried stopping it on the server and running a Recover to see if it reports any errors? Or creating a clone?

                      • 8. Re: Account creation will not complete

                        A recovery process gives this: "The access privileges in this file have been damaged or possibly tampered with.  Please contact FileMaker Technical Support if the problem cannot be resolved."  And the recovery process fails. 


                        That is bad in that having sent 1200 emails telling people what their new password is, now, reloading a backup from before the upload, I have to send them emails again, telling them that the new system failed and we need to send them new passwords.  It will serve as confirmation to those who in the past have argued with me that FM is not, even now, a truly serious database, capable of handling heavy loads.  Hopefully the backups that I have (for the last few days) will not also be corrupted. If they are, I am not sure what can be done at all. This would be terrible. 


                        Can FM Tech Support do anything with a file like that?

                        • 9. Re: Account creation will not complete

                          By the way, the database is still running and serving pages.  It all seems to work, except for the account creation and updating part.  One can log in and out, interact with the databse via the website, but I cannot download a copy and do a recovery. And of course, I cannot change anyone's password or create new accounts. And the server only has five days worth of backups, with all equally corrupted.  I fear that I'm facing a huge problem with a massive loss.  I'll try to contact FM Tech Support, but I'm not hopeful.


                          Thanks for any and all help!

                          • 10. Re: Account creation will not complete

                            If you create a clone of the file and re-import all the data, it should correct the problem. The clone rebuilds the data structure from scratch, and does a very good job of removing most corruption problems.


                            That said, given the large number of accounts you're dealing with here, I would reinforce those who have suggested you move towards External Authentication. It's one less chance for the database to become corrupted.





                            1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Account creation will not complete

                              I missed this part:


                              "I cannot download a copy and do a recovery."


                              But ... didn't you say the recovery reported a problem with the access privileges?  Or do you mean it wouldn't complete? If you can get a copy off the server, can you not log into it (like you can when it's hosted)?


                              This sort of situation is also a good argument in favor of using the "save a clone" feature of Server's backup schedules.

                              • 12. Re: Account creation will not complete

                                I can download a backup copy, and attempt a recovery, but that last bit fails.  Since I'm on a shared server, the administrator has disabled the save as clone option in favor of the daily backups, but since I did not detect the problem until seven days past the corruption, and since only five days of backups are saved in the server, the oldest backup is still corrupted.  The database is running, so I'll write the administrator and ask for an emergency clone. And then, download backups every day! And move away from FM for authentication.


                                Thanks for the advice.  Hopefully I will be able to create a clone.

                                • 13. Re: Account creation will not complete

                                  After trying multiple avenues, it seems that FM cannot handle hundreds of accounts without becoming too slow.  From what I've found, adding and modifying accounts via scripting is fine, if it is only done that way.  I don't know about only doing it manually.  In any case, I have to replace the database and switch to a table based log. A great pain!


                                  Thanks everyone for all the help!