1 2 3 4 Previous Next 57 Replies Latest reply on Jul 18, 2016 7:52 AM by lavendt

    Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac


      Wtih FileMaker Server 13 we got a lot of great new stuff.

      However, the installation of FMS13 will take over the Apache webserver on a Mac OSX server, which will prevent you from using the built-in web tools in Mac OSX ServerAdmin.

      Many people will have a need to be able to create virtual hosts for especially CWP solutions.

      Please be aware that FMI strongly advice you to only use a dedicated machine for FMS.


      As FMS13 takes over the Apache, there is no native way to configure Virtual Hosts, using GUI tools on Mac OS X.

      Due to this change, I have created a guide, with an accompanion FileMaker solution, that gives you the ability to configure Virtual Hosts.

      It can be used for a lot of things and also give you the ability to e.g. create an alias, that takes the user directly to a WD solution, without showing the WD homepage.

      e.g. www.mycompany.com/wd can take the user directly to the WebDirect solution.

      It is also possibly to specify the web folder path, so it can e.g. be stored on another hard drive. (pay attention to privileges)


      Using this guide, you can make the setup within 10 min.

      In this version, SSL sites is not supported. This is due to some heavy re-write rules in the configuration, which I have not been able to find an easy way around yet.


      Feedback is greatly appreachiated, both here and in email.


      This guide is not official supported by FMI, so any use is on your own risk.

        • 1. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac

          Thanks much for this Claus.


          While I haven't *yet* needed to do this I assume that I will. Your sharing to the community what you've found and even creating and sharing a tool to ease the burden of doing it is wonderful.


          Thanks many times over. Mark

          • 2. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac
            Peter Wagemans

            Absolutely great stuff - adding this to my documentation folder. Surely will be useful.

            • 3. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac

              Nice Job.   This has been a historic command line hack job.  Anything to make it more clear... is awesome!!!


              FYI WebDirect and Virtual hosts on the same box seem to not be supported... at the same time.


              - Richard

              • 4. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac

                Hi Richard


                Thanks !


                WD should work fine with VH.

                However, if you specify a VH on port 443, following the guide in current version, everything seems to be messed up. This seems to be due to some extensive rewrite rules in the condig, which I have not been able to work around at this time. (Still investigating)


                Another thing to be aware, is that you need to specify the Virtual Host name in the VH config file. Normally, you would be able to create a default configuration, that will work for any request to sites, not directly specified as a VH. However, leaving VH sites name empty, will prevent WD from working. It will also mess up access to admin console.


                So, if you experience that you can not access WD after following the guide, could you please email me your VH config file along with your httpd.conf file. I would be very interested in trying to find a reason for this.


                (Somehow I can't reply to your PM from iPad, but you are very welcome to cross post. I want to let our colleagues get help from this. Any updates to the guide, will only be published here at technet and my website)



                • 5. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac

                  Thanks for this Claus.

                  I haven't tried it but I will.


                  Quick question... I don't give a 'flying fig' about WebDirect... I just want to do plain old CWP... with MacOSX Server... On a single machine... using the same sort of VH configs and the web root in MacOSX server path as I have done since before FMSA9.... Can I? Does you demo address this? Can I disable WD and all the new configs and set it up the way I want?


                  This really is a selfish inconvenience on the part of FMI. I don't what 2 boxes... just one. I almost feel like FM is removing itself from my development scenarios completely... They have made it so difficult for me to continue doing what I have done for the past 21 years... ie web development with FM at the back end. I am feeling pretty rejected and peeved by the whoppers told to me in the personal verbal guarantee made by Dominique G at last years DevCon about the ongong viability CWP with v 13.


                  - Lyndsay

                  • 6. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac

                    Hi Lyndsay

                    Thanks for your interest. Hope this will help you.


                    I don't want to sound rude, but things evolve over time, that is absolutely true for technology.

                    You can absolutely do CWP with or without using my guide and tool. And I am pretty sure that it will "never" go away from our platform.

                    You don't need 2 boxes for CWP, though it is sometimes a good idea though.


                    The changes in FMS13 in this area is, that FMS13 "takes over" the apache server. This basically means that you can not use the built-in GUI tool from Apple to setup virtual hosts. That is why I created this guide and tool.

                    Now, why on earth is FMI doing this ?

                    Well, in order to make, especially WD work so smart, that it does, it has been needed to do a special configuration of apache features. It would have been very difficult for FMI to just add configurations to the configurations, that is created, and not least, modified by the Apple server gui. So in that perspective, it makes perfectly sense to "take over" the apache. Also, it is, and has always been stressed by FMI that you should only use dedicated machine for FMS. (for many reasons)

                    FM13 is a MAJOR upgrade to the platform and I am impressed by all the things they managed to put into this release. However, priorities resulted in the fact that manging virtual hosts in e.g. the admin console, had to be left out for possibly later incorporation.

                    Also have in mind, that e.g. Apple makes a lot of changes in each version of their OS. With apache configurations, there is a major difference between 10.8 and 10.9. This is also confusing and it would be great if they just left it as it was. However, it is the reality, so we need to adapt.


                    So, CWP works still great on FMS13. As a developer with a lot of focus on CWP, you should have noticed that the limit for connections, imposed by FMS13 has been raised from 200 (in FMS12) to 2000 !!

                    While I have not tested with such load in real world, this shows just a lot about which kind of robustness the WPE component has gotten from the rewrite in FMS12. (and the rewrite should also give you an idea that CWP is not on it's way out)


                    So, this all comes down to the issue, that if you only use the default install of FMS13, you can not use virtual hosts, but any addresses pointing to your box will load the files in the default folder. This is ok for many customers. However, if you need more than one root folder, you should use my guide and tool.


                    You can disable WD in the admin console, but you can not disable FMS13 behavior of "taken over" apache. Well, if you try to use Apple server gui instead, you will break both WD, but also the admin console as the apache will then have no knowledge of how to get to the admin console.


                    Hope this will help you.

                    • 7. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac

                      For the record... The FMS Installs have frequently messed with the configs.   We used to use iTools... but again... these were broke because of the "take over" of FMS and WPE, etc of the Web Server.


                      FMS has largely been a command line configuration for any serious web deployments...for a long time.  I am not personally thrilled with this... but it has been this way for a while.  If you have managed to skate by without doing any command line configuration... then you have been fortunate.


                      Also... in general, in the past 7 years...RCC does NOT use multi machine configurations... but well-configured single machine configs.  The WPE performance has improved so much that in general multi-machine configs have not been needed.


                      Of course... WebDirect is overly greedy with server resources... so FMI is back to pushing a 2 machine config.  I will do some testing with WebDirect this week to see how far a well designed database can really go on a single machine config.  Well designed solutions should go way over six simultanious users...on a single box config.


                      Anyway... WebDirect is going to be a serious focal point for FMI.   It's not going away.   I have personal theories as to where it is going to go... I suspect it will eventually take over the platform ... one way or another. (cue evil laugh) :-)


                      - RC

                      • 8. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac

                        RichardCarlton wrote:


                        (cue evil laugh) :-)


                        - RC


                        • 9. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac

                          Richard, I hope you will not be right in that WD will take over the entire platform as I belive there will still be a lot of uses for the products we have now. (don't like your evil laugh on this....;-))


                          WD is gready now, that's for sure. However, I belive that over time, enhancements will be applied so we will see a product with better performace and to be able to manage greater loads. I totally agree that design will be important for any WD solution. (and your fine videos has really stressed that out)


                          I have never had to use command line for configuring CWP configurations, though it was needed, whenever the admin console did not work in the past.

                          Single machine setups would be totally fine for most scenarios, but with 2 machine setups, you get both more capacity, but it will also allow you to use smaller hardware. As an example, I have a customer that runs a pretty big FM solution I have created. They are about 30 FM users, but we also have a pretty big CWP solution on top of that. (actually a couple) There is approx 2500 web users, who frequently access the CWP solution. (not all at the same time, but in periods there are heavy load). The servers are 2 MacMini servers and they are handling the load really fine.


                          I really agree with you that WPE performance has been really much improved since the rewrite in FMS12.

                          • 10. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac

                            Hi Claus,


                            Yes, we use to do the 2 machine config... but somewhere along the way... we switched to single box configs.   But your totally right. Two MacMini's would do a nice 2 box solution. 


                            Logitically... I am happy with going to a single box model...but yah in the old days... (pre FM7)...it was two box machines... or it just didn't work worth a darn.


                            On the WebDirect side of things... yah... I don't really have any special insight... expect...that FMI has toyed with deploying Pro through the Web before... and now they have WebDirect.


                            if they can get WebDirect to be a fully robust client... then the model will change.  Also... I do agree... that the resource greedy part of this... MUST be addressed... and it is. :-)


                            - RC

                            • 11. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac

                              Claus Lavendt wrote:


                              I don't want to sound rude, but things evolve over time, that is absolutely true for technology.


                              Mmmm... geeeeee... you would think I might have noticed that at some point since I bought my first Mac in 1984... and built my first web site with FM 2.0 at the back end in 1992/3 using FM.acgi and webstar v1.0. Then WebFM, FM Bultler, CDML, LDML, XSLT, FX.PHP, PHP API for FileMaker and lots that I have forgotten... yes I think I realise that things change!



                              Claus Lavendt wrote:


                              always been stressed by FMI that you should only use dedicated machine for FMS. (for many reasons)


                              Sure they have always said tha... but that has never meant that you had to....


                              FMS13 has taken us back to the days of CDML and version 2.1 behaviour.

                              I have a perfectly good copy of OSX server running on Mavericks and I want FMS13 to run on it too... not instead of! I don't think that is too much to ask!

                              It is overkill to have more than one server and I think this is just money hungry corporates trying to sell more of their wares. Apple has seen the opportunity to sell more boxes and instructed FMI (their wholly owned subsiduary) to do this. I don't think there is a a technical reason at all!


                              I don't want more boxes and all the bits and pieces that entails... I simply want one box! It has been a selling point for my clients... everything in one box! Plug & Play FileMaker!!!! Mail, FTP, AFP, VNC, iCal, Streaming, Wiki & blogs, Contacts, DNS, TimeMachine, VPN AND FMS... All preconfgured for them with nothing to do but plug it in when the courier delivered it... A no brainer!!!! I worked towards that outcome for years and years!

                              Now that is not possible and I am peeved with FMI! They have let me down.


                              - Lyndsay

                              • 12. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac

                                Hi Lyndsay,


                                Yes, my work with FMP goes back to 1.0 and apple script based middleware on the Mac.   So I understand the history here.


                                You bring up two issues.... well three.


                                (1) Honestly, your statement that FMI has received instructions from Apple... to help sell hardware... is short on substance...and heavy on "black helicopter" theory conspiracy.     Apple is pretty much...hands off of FMI.   


                                (2) WebDirect was a MAJOR undertaking...and it works.  It is going to get faster... but initially I think they had to pull out all the stops...  just to get it to work... as well as they did.  That means their install is somewhat heavy handed... but it had to be.   Getting web browsers to act like Pro... was not trivial... and I am sure more than a couple times... they wondered if they could actually pull it off.    But they did. 


                                (3) The multi-machine install is just FMI covering themselves ...given the resource heavy nature of WebDirect 1.0 in the near term.   There is alot of optimization that can be done..a TON more.   As more of this gets done between now and the next major release...a single Machine install will be able to do more. 


                                WebDirect represents a major initiative for FMI.  They can only push it "so hard" right now given its limitations.   But what happens when the optimzations are made...and WebDirect really runs fast?   Will it be worth it for a more complex install of FMS and loss of some native MacOS UI controls? I think so.  


                                This is huge.   I get the sense that FMI is really endorsing future technology...and change... much more so then I have ever seen in their history.  They need to.   As a result, the deployments and capabilities of the platform will change... for the better in my opinon.


                                The world we lived in in 1990 is gone.  The World from 2000 is gone.  The public has certain expectations as to how technology will behave.  FMI must adapt to survive...and it is.


                                - RC

                                • 13. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac

                                  Hi Lyndsay


                                  Claus Lavendt wrote:


                                  I don't want to sound rude, but things evolve over time, that is absolutely true for technology.

                                  Mmmm... geeeeee... you would think I might have noticed that at some point since I bought my first Mac in 1984... and built my first web site with FM 2.0 at the back end in 1992/3 using FM.acgi and webstar v1.0. Then WebFM, FM Bultler, CDML, LDML, XSLT, FX.PHP, PHP API for FileMaker and lots that I have forgotten... yes I think I realise that things change!

                                  Your comment that you wanted to do what you have done for 21 years, was what trigged my comment. I really tried to be polite, when doing so. My point is, that nothing will work the same as it was 20 years ago. That is the nature of particular technology. So why "bitch" about it ?


                                  As a note, I have been on the platform since 1994, so it has been 20 years for me. And I do remember those days as well.


                                  I am convinced that FMI has no interest, whatsover, in how many boxes Apple sells.

                                  But that is not the discussion here.

                                  I actually think that FMI has been building a much better platform, and that is really true when it comes to the WPE component. It is soo much better now, than it was before 12. So I would have imagined that developers like you, would be happy.


                                  There is technical reason to why FMS13 "takes over" the apache. That is for sure. The unfortune result for some people, is that they can not use Apple's GUI tools to configure the webserver. But, you can't really blame FMI as they have always stated that you should use dedicated server, which essientially means that you should only use the box for FMS.

                                  However, you are not prevented from using the box for a lot of other stuff, including DNS, mail, ftp etc. Many do that, and I also do that for some clients.

                                  I actually appreaciate that we have the option of doing multi machine deployments. The platform would be much weaker, if we didn't have that option. And it is not overkill in all deployments to do that.


                                  As you can not use Apple's gui tools for configuring Virtual Hosts, I created this guide and tool to help colleagues achiving this in another way.

                                  It is true, that my guide, at least in current version, does not provide you instructions on how to get profile manager and wiki running.

                                  I am investigating ways of make that happen, but has not been able to do so, yet. The reason is that Apple has created some heavy rewrite modifications to their setup in order to make it work in the first place. I encourage the community to help me enhancing this guide.


                                  I would credit FMI for develop our platform and think that WD is really an important addition. It is not perfect yet, but I strongly belive that it will be a significent part of the platform, that we will all be glad, they did.

                                  And, it will never, IMO, be a replacement for CWP. So I really don't see what you should be afraid of.

                                  • 14. Re: Virtual Host on FMS13 for Mac

                                    OK OK... I have been mean and rotten and must apologise to both Apple and FMI...

                                    ... but I had to vent. I didn't need this and I'd really hoped I could resolve it amicably between products as I have always done in the past.


                                    And Claus... no worries! I saw this thread and felt blessed that I came upon it! I thought... 'I kindred soul who knows the pain I am in'... There is nobody else here who understands what I do let alone the technical skill aquisition I have had to seek in order to do my job over the years. Who else was I going to vent at? Sorry if it comes across bitchy... that was not the tone in my head when I wrote it. Perhaps I should have used emoticons. Thanks for the contribution. I had a quick look and will test it on the server with a few of my domains.


                                    Richard and Claus... I think FM13 is another masterpiece. I know we get compromise and bedding down on such major rewrites. I just don't want to go back there at the moment... there is too much else going on which is going to need a rethink.


                                    - Lyndsay

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