12 Replies Latest reply on Jan 31, 2011 1:16 PM by philmodjunk

    back end hosting

    njem

      Title

      back end hosting

      Post

      I thought I had this front end/back end all sorted out. works fine on my test system. Now I'm running a test on the systems it will really run on. One will have the back end. I intended to have the front end on each workstation. I've tried a host of ways to go at it. It just won't. It seems since the backend has to be opened as "open remote" but the front end when it tries to find the source for the tables that it's expecting to use, says it can't find it, let's me browse, but that is not an "open remote" type open. So it complains it's already in use.

      I came to this from access and one of the advantages of a front end was each station could run its own local copy. Is that not the case with FM? I would think that could make for a speed issue but I guess it depends on what's happening under the hood that I don't know about.

      In any case how do I set up an icon for the user? I don't want them to go into FM, then "open remote", then click on the host system it finds, then the correct file (both the front end and back end files are listed there). I can't figure out how to make a desktop icon that will "open remote". Is there a way?

        • 1. Re: back end hosting
          Sorbsbuster

          One way is to have a Filemaker File with one simple script in it, 'Open File...' and set it to open the remote file you want.  In the file's File Options set that script to run on opening.  Finish the script with a script line to close itself.

          Distribute that file to your users; they can have it on their desktop.  Double-clicking will open the remote file seamlessly.

          I don't know what you mean by 'front end' and 'back end', or 'each station could run its own local copy' - its own local copy of what?  The Filemaker Client?  Your Filemaker file?  Why would you not want everyone to share the same database in real time?  What speed issue are you trying to address?  What is in the 'back end' rather than the 'front end'?  Sorry for being confused.

          • 2. Re: back end hosting
            philmodjunk

            With FileMaker, I'd test putting both the front and back end on the server. You may find that this works quite well for you and eliminates the need to manage multiple destributed front end copies--which can be a pain whenever you have to issue updates to it.

            If you decide the advantages to having a separate front end on each client are worth it, put a copy of the front end on one of your work stations. Use Manage | External Data Sources to update the link to the back end so that it connects to the hosted back end file. (Open the external file reference by selecting it and clicking Edit. Click Add file, then click the Remote... button to find the hosted back end. ) Distribute copies of this updated front end to each of your work stations.

            • 3. Re: back end hosting
              njem

              Okay guys, I think I have it. I was used to putting the front end on the workstations. Makes it more of a thin-client setup. But maybe FM works it so it doesn't make much difference. I'll go with the front end on the server.

              And I tried the simple file that just launches the other file and that works.

              A related question though. Several of the users will run it from their stations. The one that's holding the back end (and now front end) actually is a server, though I'm not running FM Server on it. It will always have my DB open so it can share it. There is one manager who will need to logon from home. The DB is not set up for web (too limiting) and VPN is slow and Remote Desktop Connection is a better way to go anyway. So since the manager doesn't have a desktop to remote into (they take their laptop back and forth) they would remote into a session on the server under their own logon name. But when they try to run FM it complains that license is already in use (by the admin copy that is always open so it can share). I don't want the manager logging into the admin logon and I'm using the DB from the server console sometimes anyway. We have purchased the seats it just doesn't see it that way on the server. Is there a way around this?

              • 4. Re: back end hosting
                philmodjunk

                You can put the front end on the workstations, it's just simpler not to and current networks and CPUs are fast enough that you rarely see much improvement in performance from it unless you have a very slow network such as a WAN instead of a LAN. (I never saw much improvement for MS Access by making the front end "local" either.)

                Your license error message isn't due to attempting access from a location outside the LAN. You'll need to check your license numbers to see why this is happening. There's a limit of 9 simultaneous clients with FileMaker Pro, but if you hit that limit, you get a different message. You may have to contact FileMaker Tech support if you have purchased sufficient "seats" and are still getting this error message.

                • 5. Re: back end hosting
                  Sorbsbuster

                  Phil -

                  If the hosting PC is running Filemaker, and someone logs on to it using Remote Desktop and effectively re-launches Filemaker inside their Remote Session, will the LAN see that as two instances of the same license number?

                  I have run such a set up very successfully, but it was with a Site Licence, so I wouldn't necessarily have had that problem.

                  If it does see it as two instances of the same licence number, I can see FM's point - otherwise enterprises could buy one copy of FM Client and then run as many Remote Desktop sessions as the enterprise wanted.

                  • 6. Re: back end hosting
                    philmodjunk

                    If the hosting PC is running Filemaker, and someone logs on to it using Remote Desktop and effectively re-launches Filemaker inside their Remote Session, will the LAN see that as two instances of the same license number?

                    I see the issue and that's not how I would recomend they connect to the hosted file. Instead, they should launch FileMaker on their computer, choose Open Remote... and enter the IP Address and file name of the hosted file to connect to it.

                    That's what I thought you were describing in your last post.

                    • 7. Re: back end hosting
                      Sorbsbuster

                      "they should launch FileMaker on their computer, choose Open Remote...  and enter the IP Address and file name of the hosted file to connect to  it."

                      Absolutely agree.

                      • 8. Re: back end hosting
                        njem

                        Well I can see there isn't an easy answer here, but the problem with "run your own copy and open the file remotely" is it's too damn slow from outside the office. Especially compared to Remote Desktop to a system inside the office is just as fast as being there. This user doesn't have a desktop sitting in the office to connect to. They have a laptop they carry to office or home. When at home if there's anything they need to do, pull up a spreadsheet on the server, they have a Remote Desktop session on the server and that session of the server pulls up Excel and everything is as fast as being there. That's what I wanted to do with FM but it see it as a second instance of the license on the server.

                        So Sorbsbuster you've simply bought a site license, not running FM server, and with that you can run a mixture of local stations and server sessions, up to 10 total, and that works?

                        • 9. Re: back end hosting
                          Sorbsbuster

                          We used Remote Desktop extensively, and hosted FM files on a 'server' like you.  Latterly we also used FM Server, but I'm pretty certain we used many instances of Pro Client hosting as well.  Can't see that that would have made any difference, anyway, as we are talking about how the clients launch.  Yes, we had a Site License.  I didn't set up the Remote Desktop facility.  Every user could log on and launch their own independent FM Client session.

                          No idea which part of that is making the difference with your set-up, sorry.

                          (But I remotely-access FM files across the web using the client File-Open Remote... and it works more than acceptably.  I have a (true) connection speed of about 800 /500kbps download / upload.  It takes maybe 30 seconds max to initially load the files, but in operation it is excellent.)

                          • 10. Re: back end hosting
                            philmodjunk

                            Looping back to the original topic of this thread, your external users may well benefit from having the front end located on their machine rather than on the server. I've posted earlier how to update a copy of the front end so that it would work for this purpose.

                            • 11. Re: back end hosting
                              njem

                              Yes, I did see your way to connect to the back end, thanks. Since it doesn't seem to make much difference on speed, at least at my density of users, I guess I'll just leave the front end on the "server" too. It does make for easier updates.

                              Thanks

                              • 12. Re: back end hosting
                                philmodjunk

                                There are also a number of layout design options you can explore that improve response times for your remote users. You may find that simplified layouts with fewer fields, conditional formats etc will do the job and update more smoothly.