7 Replies Latest reply on Aug 10, 2014 9:45 AM by Mike_Mitchell

    Can the same file be shared in different folders by FM Server?

    CCAS

      My experience with FM Server earlier than 13 is that if one file - "accounts.fmpur", for example - is placed in different folders, FM Server only serves the first instance of this file. Does this remain true and, if so, is there any "workaround" such as establishing "groups" and related authentcation data for each folder that contains the one file?

        • 1. Re: Can the same file be shared in different folders by FM Server?
          Mike_Mitchell

          Short answer: No.

           

          If you need different groups to have access to different records, one potential workaround is to use authentication groups and record-level access to share out of the same file.

          • 2. Re: Can the same file be shared in different folders by FM Server?
            CCAS

            Thanks Mike.

             

            The question actually has to do with "hosting" a given application for  more than one client. A related question - and one that's been asked before - is if it's possible to present to clients their file(s) only?

             

            You could swap-out "client" with employee or whatever. The idea is clear enough: to avoid having to build apps for each user and to hide the identity of other users as well as their files. This is not an uncommon requirement. Does FileMaker address this?

             

            Nick Kasun

            Spotsylvania, VA

            • 3. Re: Can the same file be shared in different folders by FM Server?
              Mike_Mitchell

              You can set up security on the server to expose only those files to which a user has access (under Database Server / Security / File Display Filter):

               

              Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 9.21.06 AM.png

               

              So yes, it's possible to present to clients only their file(s).

              • 4. Re: Can the same file be shared in different folders by FM Server?
                CCAS

                Mike, I guess a quick read of the manual was in order ::) Thanks. A trailing question is if you can expose only those files in a folder to a given client, does this get around the problem of having a given file in many folders, enabling the client to work with only their data?

                 

                Nick Kasun

                Spotsylvania, VA

                • 5. Re: Can the same file be shared in different folders by FM Server?
                  Mike_Mitchell

                  Nick -

                   

                  This technique works at the file level, using security established there. It hasn’t anything to do with folders. You still cannot have more than one copy of the same file on the server. (With the same name.) The reason is that the pathname for sharing doesn’t include the directory structure. It’s just fmp://[server name or IP]/[filename]. (Or, alternatively, fmnet:[server name or IP]/[filename].) In order to allow the same filename in different directories, FileMaker would have to change all that.

                   

                  Hence, in a situation such as the one you’re postulating, it’s necessary to append something to the name of the file to distinguish it from other instances on the same server, usually something pointing back to the particular customer. For example, “Clients.fmp12” might become “Clients_myFavCust.fmp12”. Then you can just repoint the necessary data sources in the various files to correspond.

                   

                  HTH

                   

                  Mike

                  • 6. Re: Can the same file be shared in different folders by FM Server?
                    CCAS

                    Mike,

                     

                    I follow…somewhat. Based upon what you're saying, or FileMaker is saying, it is possible to identify individual files, wherever they may reside on the server, and make only those files visible to a specific client - even if there are multiple instances of the filenames on the server.

                     

                    If this is the case, it would seem to me that the code already exists to make this same behavior apply to file access itself. That is, if specific files can be made visible to a specific client, the same should be just as possible with respect to file access. And it also seems that implementing this would be quick and easy stuff,  requiring a minimal amount of new code.

                     

                    What am I missing? Or is it that there is a business reason why FileMaker wouldn't want a single server to provide access to many unrelated users?

                     

                    Nick Kasun

                    Spotsylvania, VA

                    • 7. Re: Can the same file be shared in different folders by FM Server?
                      Mike_Mitchell

                      No, no, and no.

                       

                      You cannot host multiple instances of the same file using the same name on the same server. PERIOD. You have to change the filename.

                       

                      The file filtering applies at the file level, using the file accesses built into that file (i.e., the stuff under File > Manage > Security). It is NOT a function of the OS. It is a function of the FileMaker accounts and privileges.

                       

                      A single server provides access to many unrelated users all the time. All the commercial hosting companies do it. You just can’t put multiple copies of the same file in different directories and use the same file name and then host them up on Server.