8 Replies Latest reply on Jun 12, 2014 5:44 AM by MartinCrosman

    externally stored container fields missing data


      Hey y'all,


      Having a problem with one of my clients. They are using FileMaker Server 13v02 on a Mac Server with OS 10.93


      They are storing container field data from several tables externally on their server, and all was well. A couple days ago, their IT guy updated them from Mountain Lion to Mavericks (10.9.3). At that time, he also did the upgrade to FMS 13v2 from v1, to make sure it was Mavericks compatible. When they started up their server, all their container fields said "Missing: " in front of the file names.


      I was on-site this morning, and found out the Files folder had been put in the wrong location, so I stopped FMServer, put it in the right spot, and still no joy. Their IT guy put them back to 13v1, and now they can see the container fields from some of the tables, but not all. I've double and triple-checked the file path on all of them. I also had him save a compacted copy of the file, and put it live, but we still have a couple tables of data that they can't access those container fields.


      Possibly a related issue: On the tables that I CAN access the container data, it won't let me export the container fields. Export Field Contents is greyed out, and if I try to run the script I have attached to a button, FileMaker throws the "Container fields cannot be exported" error.


      We made sure the OS permissions were okay on all related files and folders.


      All of these things worked perfectly before the OS upgrade. They said they can downgrade the OS if they need to, but are hoping there will be some sort of assurance of a fix before they pay their IT guy to do this.


      Has anyone seen this? What was your magic phrase? All the ones I've tried today haven't worked.




        • 1. Re: externally stored container fields missing data

          Somehow the relationship between the contain folders and the database was broken in the upgrade.  Usually this happens when people us the OS to move the files around instead of FileMaker's Admin console.  Since this is a Mac, one of the common mistakes is just dragging the RC folders back into the folder where the live databases goes.  Looks great, but you invariable are copying files with your users POSIX permission and not the permissions that fmserver needs.  I would first look at your permissions first in the RC file and make sure the user "fmserver" has read/write access.  If not, you won't see any of your remote container fields.  There are other things that could be wrong, but that is a very common problem with people running upgrades and thinking they will outsmart the system by manually moving files around.  Actually, if you just do the upgrades in FMS, you don't have to remove or move files back into the live database folder.  However, if you uninstall and reinstall and if you use a remote location for files, then that user is deleted and the permissions on the remote storage is messed up.  Recreating a user named "fmserver" really creates a new user's permissions and is not the same user.  So even though the remote storage had permissions for "fmserver", it will be for the deleted one and not the new fmserver.  So you'll need to update permissions in remote storage if you have it and you did an uninstall.  There are even other things like changing the folder levels from the file that will mess things up, but this will give you a start at trouble shooting. 

          • 2. Re: externally stored container fields missing data

            Hi Paul


            I have had some strange occurrances as well with container fields in the same configurations. I was working with PDFs stored in the containers. The problem was with the same client on two different mac servers. In all other installs this has worked like a charm.


            There was an article in Knowledgebase relating to resetting privileges which was something FMI help also suggested. That helped me in one instance.


            Have to tried restarting server? This worked in one instance for me.


            Have you tried reimporting the images to see if that helps?


            If you take a copy of the database and related images folder and try to run it locally, does that work.


            Can you add a new image in the hosted version or the local version?


            FMI had suggested my solutions files were corrupted. However going back to golden copy didn't resolve the problem so that was ruled out.


            FMI had also cautioned about the complexity of the folder structure, but again this didn't seem to be the issue.


            If I remember right I think in desparation I closed everything and uninstalled FileMaker server and reinstalled.


            Suddenly everything worked as expected and as it had been for over a month. Magic phrases during the process are not printable.


            Take care,



            • 3. Re: externally stored container fields missing data

              Paul -


              I had this issue a few weeks back on a solution I was trying to migrate. Goofed up on the relocation of the folders. What I ended up doing was writing a script to reinsert the assets into the containers, based on parsing out the GetAsText ( ) results of the container field. You should be able to extract the path to the asset by doing that. I don't know how many containers you have, but it might be worth trying.



              • 4. Re: externally stored container fields missing data

                Hi Mike


                I did a reinsert using a similar method. This didn't help on this server.


                Moved everything to another box and everything worked. For a while. I don't have control of the machines in question.


                I know the IT guys there did a permission change, See KB Article 7439 - Setting OS Level permission via terminal on Mac OS X. And I did a reinstall of Server (It needed recent batches).


                All has been good since then but I am not sure exactly what righted the ship.


                Hope this helps

                • 5. Re: externally stored container fields missing data
                  Stephen Huston

                  Something was done to your server (changing permissions or getting into the container data storage area via the OS) which caused FM to view the container data as tampered with.


                  If one is planning to change a server setup, I believe these steps are in order first:

                  1. Have the server perform a full backup
                  2. Stop the FM Server
                  3. Copy the backup folder, without opening it or touching anything inside
                  4. Do whatever needs doing to the server machine
                  5. Restart the Server
                  6. If anything is wrong with the container data, restore from the backup. Manually copying or moving directories which include container data is often seen by the files as just another form of tampering.
                  • 6. Re: externally stored container fields missing data

                    Hey Martin,


                    Yep, I did check all that stuff, EXCEPT for re-importing the files into the container fields. It will let me add new files, so I think that may be the ticket. I'll go onsite and give it a try.


                    Now I just have to write a script that will re-import those 30,000 images, and let it run.


                    Thanks to you, Stephen, and Taylor for your responses.



                    • 7. Re: externally stored container fields missing data

                      Re-importing the images saved the day. Thanks!

                      • 8. Re: externally stored container fields missing data

                        Glad to hear it. in one of the deployments I had this did save the day ... for a while, the problem came back. Here's hoping your karma is better than mine.