I have a potential customer who just merged offices with another company. One office is Mac and the other is PC. One loves FileMaker and the other uses something else. The Mac/FileMaker team wants to convince the PC/noname team to use their solution. Nobody wants to change. They've asked me to give advice. I've been developing with FM for years but most of my customers are PC and none are mixed platform. This is still a small team so they want to continue to use peer-to-peer (yes, I know the advantages of FM Server). My question is which machine to host the solution on, the Mac or the PC? They are on FM11 but will probably need to upgrade. They are not currently using images or other files stored in their database (just data).
Mac or PC to host
Posted 25 November 2013 - 05:50 AM
Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:47 AM
I've had an implementation like this running for over ten years - started with FM6 and now using FM11 - and it has been pretty well bullet-proof. It initially started off as all Mac, but later the user wanted to add a group of existing PCs in as well. Except for a few minor layout adjustments to account for differences in fonts, adding the PCs into the mix was pretty well stress-free.
The 'host' Filemaker sits on a Mac Mini server, which has a static IP address. This copy of Filemaker has all the databases permanently open on it and is not used by any users. Four Macs and Five PCs share the Host files. At the end of the working day, everyone logs out of Filemaker and the administrator shuts down the Host filemaker, backs up the files to a USB drive, and starts the 'host' Filemaker again. Otherwise it runs 24/7. Users access the host system via a desktop 'launcher' file, which gets them logged in and also steers them to the appropriate database.
I can't give you any direct experience with a PC in the 'Host Role' but I get about one support call a year from this client, (usually to do with updating the Accounting software that Filemaker interacts with) so I think that the Mac hosting platform has been pretty reliable.
Posted 25 November 2013 - 10:58 AM
I have a peer-to-peer network set up for a solution of mine. there are seats for 2-8 - typically, we use 5. Of those 5, many are PCs, a couple are Macs. of the PCs, 1 is Win8, a couple are Win7, a couple are XP. The Macs also have differing operating systems (I am a PC person, so don't know the names......) At least one of the seats is used solely to push data (using an on-timer script) to a web-hosted database every 240 seconds. The database itself lives on one of the Win7 machines, usually - but is sometimes set up on one of the others. Even with all this changing around, as long as the network holds, all has worked seamlessly. This solution began as FMP8 about 5 or 6 years ago and is now FMP11. I am hesitating about migrating to FMP12 because of all the seats to upgrade.
This solution is used to manage dressage (horse) shows - the online version takes online entries; the local version processes the entries, schedules the show and manages the show during the weekend - including scoring all the tests. There have been over 450 entries at some shows; with over 1500 rides scheduled and scored. Each show runs from 2 - 4 days. The show environment is not great - humidity and dust play a part. But, we have had NO issues with FMP at any show, the only issues we have had is when a network goes down (we rely on the networks that each show facility has put in place) - even this does not happen often. At one facility, there is no facility network, so we operate from a mi-fi - and have no problems. We utilize the network not only to network the computers together but to push scores to the 'net and to text scores to the riders.
Most of our seats are manned by non-techy people - many don't even know much about dressage shows - but, they are taught what to do in about 5 minutes and have very little problems - mostly because FMP is so user-friendly.
I never hesitate to recommend FMP.
Posted 25 November 2013 - 11:10 AM
Nobody wants to change.
use the OS of choice preferred by the people who will need to maintain / administer the server. Using anything else will just increase the push-back to the whole solution.
Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:59 AM
I greatly appreciate the range of responses. I intend to use the office server PC to host the solution and access it with the mac and pc clients. I'm sure it will work fine once we get the networking to function. Thank you.