FileMaker is a cross-platform relational database application from Claris International, a subsidiary of Apple Inc. It integrates a database engine with a graphical user interface (GUI) and security features, allowing users to modify a database by dragging new elements into layouts, screens, or forms. It is available in desktop, server, iOS and web-delivery configurations.
Version 4.0, introduced in 1997, added a plug-in architecture much like that of Adobe Photoshop, which enabled third-party developers to add features to FileMaker. A bundled plug-in, the Web Companion, allowed the database to act as a web server. Other plug-ins added features to the interface and enabled FileMaker to serve as an FTP client, perform external file operations, and send messages to remote FileMaker files over the Internet or an intranet.
On September 27, 2016, FileMaker Cloud was introduced, including a Linux server (CentOS), which was offered exclusively through the Amazon Marketplace. In November 2019, FileMaker Cloud was reintroduced as a software as a service product offered directly from Claris for FileMaker Pro 18.0.3 using FileMaker Server Cloud 2.18 service on Amazon servers, but managed by Claris instead of through the Amazon Marketplace, and making use of the new FileMaker ID authentication.
FileMaker Server is fast, reliable server software used to securely share data with groups of FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and FileMaker WebDirect users. Get 24/7 availability and reliability, remotely manage apps with ease, and save time by automating administrative tasks.
Create Administrator Groups and assign specific administrative tasks while retaining exclusive control of your server and maintaining a high level of security. NEW! The Group Start Page displays a list of all databases accessible to your team on one convenient web-based page. Email, bookmark, or add a link to the group start page on other web pages. Display messages for your team and launch FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and Instant Web Publishing directly from the page.
Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, which was released in April of 2018, is quickly approaching its end-of-life (EOL) date of April 2023. With this in mind, Claris has added support for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (which has an EOL of April 2025). It's safe to say that server admins should begin planning for migration to Ubuntu 20.04 to support future updates and versions.
Traditionally, backups with FileMaker Server (Scheduled or Progressive) were done sequentially. Files were backed up one after another. Because of this, servers with large data sets could take quite some time to complete backups. With parallel backups enabled, databases are processed simultaneously in parallel. For progressive backups, the pause and resume steps are processed in parallel.
Claris has increased the scripting engine cache size on FileMaker Server 19.5 from 64 MB to 256 MB. While this doesn't necessarily increase speed across the board, it does allow the server to better handle large, memory-intensive tasks.
Summary fields can now be processed on the server, potentially increasing FileMaker client performance, response time, and throughput. This feature is now on by default and these fields are processed on the server instead of the client when:
As with any task handed off from client to server, it's crucial to make sure that the server being called upon has adequate resources for the job and is in a healthy state. While the improvement potential is significant, this new feature is only as powerful as the server processing the summaries.
Claris supports using either the Ubuntu Desktop version or the Ubuntu Minimal (server) version. We very strongly favor using only the Minimal (server) version: Linux servers are best run without any desktop UI installed on them.
Having fewer packages to maintain translates into more robustness, and fewer required resources (memory, disk space, etc.), and most importantly: better overall security.Choosing the desktop version because it is more convenient in the short term is a deployment faux-pas. And insisting on a Desktop for your Linux server may just alienate the IT department you are trying to get cooperation from.
Two specific tools can help you along: a good terminal emulator that lets you save hosts and settings and a text snippet/text expander tool that you can use to quickly access those useful commands without having to learn them by heart. You will see such a tool in action in the next sections.Connections to your Linux server will be made through a Secure Shell connection (SSH) so that you can access the command line environment of your server from your machine. This is a similar concept to a remote desktop connection that you are no doubt familiar with.
I use a tool called Termius since I have many Linux servers and IoT devices to connect to. It also lets me store presets for all my servers (and synchronize them across my multiple laptops and mobile devices).
If all is well, there should be several apache2 web server processes and all the relevant FileMaker Server standard processes: fmserverd for the database engine, fmshelper and fmslogtrimmer for the admin part, fmsib for incremental backups, fmsased for the server-side scripting engine (schedules and PSoS), and facstart.sh for the admin console. If you do not see this initial list, then check again after the reboot discussed below.
The server we are using for this demo is an AWS EC2 instance, so we are going to use the IP address, but we still have to use https since port 16000 only listens to https requests to complete the full admin console login url:
The server needs to be rebooted at this point for the custom SSL certificate to be recognized. Use the admin console to close the Sample file and stop the database server from the General Settings. While there is nothing crucial on that server yet, and both of these actions would normally happen when you reboot the OS anyway; manually closing the files and stopping the database server is:
A command we have used before can come in handy here: the list of FileMaker Server processes, which will give us the process IDs to give to top to show us just what those processes are doing. For example, if we want to see just how the database server process (fmserverd) and the script engine process (fmsased) are doing, we give top just those two process ids like this:
Thanks Wim. I got it working in standalone but still not managed to get it working on the FMS itself. Its not to bigger deal as we have it all on digital ocean and have shared a volume between the servers but its not ideal obviously.ThanksRich
Many are probably aware, but just to say it: SSH has native space in Windows Server 2019 and Windows 10 (Current versions) and later (as best as I can tell). It may require a small amount of setup, but is not hard. Windows Server 2019 will allow both an SSH client and server. Windows 10, I have only seen native support for an SSH client.
Most FileMaker training doesn't cover important topics like email integration or barcode connectivity. This 50 hour course is divided up in 7-12 minute videos on separate topics, including: Working with 360Works Email Plug In, security concerns with FileMaker server, learning how to keep someone from hacking a FileMaker file, and setting up your FileMaker server the proper way.
With an increase in the amount of cache memory available to FileMaker Server (from 64MB to 256MB), the server can now handle larger and more memory-intensive scripts. This gives a performance boost to scripts that run via the Perform Script On Server (PSOS) script step and server-side schedules.
This option allows FileMaker Server to do backups of multiple files in parallel (in other words, at the same time). Parallel backups will reduce the time needed to perform backups overall and will help alleviate resource bottlenecks on the server.
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