14 Replies Latest reply on Apr 7, 2014 8:22 PM by CarlSchwarz

    Peer to Peer Sharing.

    malachydevlin

      Hi, I wonder is there any specific answer to how many filemaker "go" concurrent connections are allowed to a file hosted only with Filemaker Pro (not server).

      I have a small client who has the need for 1 desktop version (can act as the host) and several Ipad FMgo access from around their site.

      Its hard to find a definative answer on this, the FMgo apps will be very small.

        • 2. Re: Peer to Peer Sharing.
          wsvp

          Up until FM13, the Peer-to-Peer limit was 9, as of FM13 this has been dropped to 5.  Personally this has been the greatest single negative issue I have with FM13.  It wipes out an intermediate range of deployment that I believe played a valuable roll for both Developers and FileMaker Inc..  People now have a choice stay under 5 users, or jump into the now "vastly" more expensive Server world.

          • 3. Re: Peer to Peer Sharing.
            wimdecorte

            wsvp wrote:

            People now have a choice stay under 5 users, or jump into the now "vastly" more expensive Server world.

             

            I could not agree less.  Even if you have 2 or 3 people sharing the same data you'd benefit from FMS.  The backups alone are going to save your bacon at a crucial point offsetting any perceived cost downside.

            • 4. Re: Peer to Peer Sharing.
              davidwheelock

              Wim, You beat me to the punch. I can't imagine standing behind a solution with 3 users in a P to P environment. Always use a server!

              • 5. Re: Peer to Peer Sharing.
                wsvp

                I would never say that there are no benefits to FMS.  But... There are many people that are not in a financial position to make that kind of jump.  Not all users have the volume, need or other demands that require FMS.  Regarding backups... FMS is NOT required to establish a good backup protocol.  In fact I would go as far as to say that someone deploying a product without a good Backup solution with or without FMS, should not even remotely be called a developer.

                • 6. Re: Peer to Peer Sharing.
                  wsvp

                  I think this depends a lot on the demands of the solution and the needs of the client.  I have many people deployed with Peer to Peer with 3-8 users for over a decade... Also have many deployed with FMS... Generally the ones with FMS, have far more problems than the ones in P-to-P.

                  • 7. Re: Peer to Peer Sharing.
                    wimdecorte

                    wsvp wrote:

                    Generally the ones with FMS, have far more problems than the ones in P-to-P.

                     

                    I have a hard time imagining why that would be?  A properly configured FMS just sits there and runs, does its backups in the background, runs schedules etc.

                     

                    A P-to-P "server" machine has be set up to log a user in, launch FMP and open the files.  Backups can only be done through FMP scripts doing a "save a copy as"...

                     

                    What kind of problems are you experiencing with FMS?

                    • 8. Re: Peer to Peer Sharing.
                      Datagrace

                      I don't believe Go 13 can be used P2P with Pro 13.

                       

                      John Weinshel

                      • 9. Re: Peer to Peer Sharing.
                        taylorsharpe

                        If you are just playing around with databases and it is not a production database that a business relies on, then peer-to-peer sharing is a fine way to get introduced into multi-user database solutions. 

                         

                        I agree that FMS has a cost, but it is relatively little compared to the cost of a developer.  I guess I just work in the business world and do not deal much with hobbyiest or casual database users where the cost of FMS matters much.  But I do run into businesses that started out this way and then they have a production database and are using peer-to-peer solution and I get brought in to fix up what usually is a corrupted database since that happens so much more easily under peer-to-peer sharing.  Peer-to-peer sharing has its place, just not in any business process that depends on the information. I promise you the people who pay for me to come fix their peer-to-peer corrupted database will have paid a lot more in my services than having paid for FMS up front.  But many small businesses are risk takers and this happens to them and it is only then that they find out how valuable their data really is.

                         

                        If the data has little importance if lost and this is a test or hobbyist type solution, then peer-to-peer can be used.  But please make sure the owner of the databse understands the risks and that not all corrupted databases can be recovered. 

                         

                        And as you mention... backups in FMS are easy and automatically scheduled whereas they are manual in FMP. 

                         

                        Prediction:  Someday the FMP clients will be converted to 64 bit coding and at that time, FileMaker will abandon the peer-to-peer sharing in that it is a feature that few use anymore and development time will not be warranted for this feature.  For now, it is still all 32 bit and they dont' have to do anything to the code to keep offering this feature that was developed way back in version 3. 

                        • 10. Re: Peer to Peer Sharing.
                          malachydevlin

                          thanks to you all very much, it clearly lays out my options for me.

                          • 11. Re: Peer to Peer Sharing.
                            wimdecorte

                            taylorsharpe wrote:

                             

                            Peer-to-peer sharing has its place, just not in any business process that depends on the information. I promise you the people who pay for me to come fix their peer-to-peer corrupted database will have paid a lot more in my services than having paid for FMS up front.  But many small businesses are risk takers and this happens to them and it is only then that they find out how valuable their data really is.

                             

                            If the data has little importance if lost and this is a test or hobbyist type solution, then peer-to-peer can be used.  But please make sure the owner of the databse understands the risks and that not all corrupted databases can be recovered.

                             

                            +1

                             

                            The up-front cost of FMS is always much less than the expense of having to rectify a bad deployment.

                            Obviously you can't force a client to spend the money but you can clearly document the risks and have the client sign off on that.

                            • 12. Re: Peer to Peer Sharing.
                              mark_scott

                              http://www.filemaker.com/products/filemaker-go/specifications.html

                               

                               

                              [Edit:  I agree, however, with Wim and Taylor re the clear advantages of hosting via FMS.]

                               

                              Message was edited by: Mark Scott

                              • 13. Re: Peer to Peer Sharing.
                                wsvp

                                Regarding the FMS issues... Perhaps the most common problems I have heard from the users and developers are related to JAVA issues, it seemed like almost every update to JAVA caused some kind of problem to the FMS Admin console, also Windows update seems to also cause problems from time-to-time.  While I do not deal with these issues directly myself, I hear about them a lot from other developers and resellers.  I seem to have virtually no issues with P-to-P deployment.  I have heard that FMS13 is no longer JAVA based for the console, so this may no longer be an issue.

                                 

                                Regarding backup... This is a bit subjective, and a bit of context is required...

                                 

                                My perspective may be a bit different than most (if not all) of the people here!... I classify myself as what I would call a "Boxed Product Developer" not a "FileMaker Consultant" what this means (at least to me) is that the products that I build are sold by companies (or possibly myself), much like a retail product you would buy from a software store. Designed to be sold to hundreds or thousands of end users.  When a change is made, it is done to a "Single" version of the product, then delivered to the user, where they will do the update process.  Much like a version of Microsoft Word or FileMaker itself, only at a much lower volume of course.  It is designed to be a pushbutton process for the end user.  All of the products I currently build are designed to run on iOS, FM-Runtime, FM-Client (Mac & Windows), FM Server Hosted, or on an FM Hosting company.  They also need to be able to be updated, by the end user, in all of those environments.

                                 

                                I do not work in a situation where I build or modify custom solutions for one user.  Generally I do not directly deal with the end users at all (other than at the beta stage.)  This is done by the companies that sell and support the products I build for them.  This means there will never be cases where I would go into a users solution and make changes for that individual user.  Additionally I do not directly support or get involved in the setup and/or the operation of FileMaker Server or the users network.

                                 

                                In a "Boxed" environment the idea is to treat the solution file/s like an application (as much as possible)... what's important in the end, is "not" the solution file/files themselves, but, the "User Data"... This can be backed up in one of 3 ways... The Save a copy as (as you stated), Exporting the user data to FMP files, or via FMS backup.  In a situation where the user is updating the solution the FMS backups are useless to me (don't get me wrong they still can be a valuable backup for the user.)  The update process is always an Import Process.  Thus I have a series of backup approaches:

                                 

                                1. Single Backup... which is done using Save a Copy as, to a specially named file (but not the name of the solution file/s) which can be used as a direct scripted import, even in an iOS stand-alone environment.  Each backup here will overwrite the previous. (the downside here is it cannot be done when hosted by FMS)

                                 

                                2. Archival Backup... which is done also using Save a copy as, but with a name and an appended timestamp formatted as YYYYMMDD HHMMSS.  These will not overwrite the previous backup, this also works in an iOS stand-alone environment. (the downside here is it cannot be done when hosted by FMS)

                                 

                                3. Export... user data tables are exported by table name to FMP files which can be imported by name and field name into an updated version of the solution.  This is the "only" of these 3 methods, that can be used if the solution is being hosted by FMS. (the downside here is it currently "cannot" be done in an iOS stand-alone environment.)

                                 

                                It is important to keep in mind the the "update" process is designed to be done "completely" by the end user.  This approach has an established structure that I have refined over the last 15 years, and continue to refine.

                                 

                                I want to emphasize that I am not  knocking FMS, the fact is simply that I have direct personal exposure to situations where the new pricing approach in FM13 is a significant obstacle (mainly because of the iOS count reduction in P-to-P, and because iOS got pulled into the Concurrent Connection process.)  Not all products built with FileMaker are designed to run in big or small offices (or offices at all), some have nothing to do with an office (some have nothing to do with Business) and would have no clue how to deal with a server.  There are some cases where I would absolutely recommend FMS, but there are many where it simply is not necessary and cost prohibitive.  It is also extremely important to educate the user that if they going to host via P-to-P they have to treat the host a bit like a server.  There are some guidelines I layout for them, if they follow them, they should not have problems, if not, then they get what they have coming.  Generally they seem to be ok, as I have said, I have rare issues with the P-to-P users.

                                 

                                Just my 2 cents worth.

                                • 14. Re: Peer to Peer Sharing.
                                  CarlSchwarz

                                  For what it's worth Filemaker works great over WAN now and may be perfect for your boxed products.  Hosting your boxed products "in the cloud" may have some advantages, and the end price of one license of server over even just a few clients might make it worth it.  It certainly could make you more agile with the updates and give customers peace of mind that their own hardware won't bring the solution down - and it means you won't need to educate the customer about how important their host is.  All they need is a copy of Filemaker on their end and deploying that is easy as pie!  With the "Assisted Install.txt" file filled in it can be a 1 click process, supplied by USB even with a launcher to your database.

                                  The only caveat is if your clients don't have a good internet connection.