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Filemaker Remote Access over TCP/IP

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I'm having trouble figuring out if FM 5.5 has the capability to serve

databases over the internet to other FM users, instead of using a web brower.

I'm succesfully publishing a database using Web companion.

The IP addresses work fine, and users are able to access with a browser.

Can FM 5.5 host a remote user of FM, i.e. that is not on a local network?

For example,on the same local network, TCP/IP shows a host fine.

Can a remote user with FM on their machine

connect to the internet and then get to a FM host that is not local?

the ODBC stuff looks more for 'foreign' database access.

(though it's called remote access companion)

I've got a port sniffer finding an open port when a FM database is open

on the host machine, but no remote FM sees a host.

any suggestions?

thanks in advance

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Try using Apple remote access. Let the end user dial into a partition on you HD with either FM or a DB in there, they will then be able to open a Hosted file from your FM server. The user won't even need FileMaker installed on there System. Hope this makes sense??

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No no no. Don't do that: that's the *worst* way to do it. File corruption is almost certainly guarranteed.

This is what you do: make your desktop computer into an FM Host.

1) Determine what the TCP/IP number of the computer is: this is a OS dependent function, but you've gotta find out.

2) Give each of the databases a password to limit access -- they'll be open to the internet soon. Just one "admin" password that allows access to the whole file is OK. Make the password secure.

3) Run FileMaker Pro 5.5 (5.5v2 is the latest, download the patch if necessary) and make sure the networking is set to TCP/IP (look in Edit menu, Preferences, Application). Quit and re-launch FMP if necessary. (You don't need Server or Unlimited, the normal client is fine for <50 files. Server will be faster though.)

4) Open the file(s) to be shared in FMP 5.5. They should be on the local hard disk, definately *not* on a network volume.

5) Set each database to multi-user: from the File manu choose Sharing and click the multi-user option. The machine is now a FM host. Congratulations.

To access the databases from anywhere on the Internet, launch a copy of FileMaker Pro 5.5, choose Open Remote Host from the File menu, click on Specify Host and type the IP number into the box. Click OK. Type the password. You are in.

It will be very slow compared with ethernet or local disk access -- especially through a modem -- but you are in. Simplifying layouts and minimising bitmapped and other graphics helps speed things up.

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thanks for the answer. I checked out Apple Remote Access at Apple's site.

here's what I found about ARA v3.5


Remote Access Personal Server cannot perform the following tasks:


Bridge two networks. ARA cannot bridge two networks connected via modems. It may be necessary for the client to configure AppleTalk for Remote Only if problems arise in such a scenario.


Handle multiple connections. ARA Server can only handle one remote dial-in connection at a time.


Connect over the Internet. ARA must connect over a phone line using analog modems. It is not possible to use ARA over LANs or LAN connections such as T1s, cable modems, ADSL, etc. ISDN connections are supported.


So where as FM 5.5 can have up to 10users connect via the web, the ARA

solution would be one at a time. And, they must use dial-up only.

unfortunately, not a viable solution.

any other ideas?

anyone using Timbuktu for remote access of files?

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Thank you , Vaughan.

You verified that FM 5.5 can do what I thought it could, and have been trying to

get it to do.

I setup my 'FM host' just as you described, yet the remote user is not

seeing any hosts.

I know my IP address is correct, since users are able to log on the

Web Companion without any problem.

I'm having them put the same IP address that they use in their browser into

the FM 'Open Host' dialog, and with no result.

I'm even going off my cable modem to dial-up AOL and trying to get there

myself on another Mac, with no success. I will double check all my settings.

When I use the IP address with my TCP/IP set to the cable modem,

I see the FM files on the FM host. And I'm not using the local network IP,

I'm using the IP of the router connected to the cable modem, with

port 591 (FM's port) open. It must be open ok, since the Web publishing

works fine. There's some small element I'm missing about letting a

remote user get to the FM host directly.

At least with your reply I know that it is supposed to be possible,and will

continue to look for a solution.

Your input is greatly appreciated.


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Hi, access over the Internet direct in to the databses is no problem - try leaving one of your web databases on 'Multi-user' to see what I mean smile.gif" border="0

I think your problem is the port numbers - 591 is just for http access and you'll need others open to connect in to the databases directly. Port 5003 comes to mind, but I've a nagging suspicion there may be others - help Vaughan!!

regards, Jeff

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Hi, access over the Internet direct in to the databses is no problem - try leaving one of your web databases on 'Multi-user' to see what I mean
smile.gif" border="0

This is a very important consideration to webmasters who use FMServer as part of a multiple FMPro client RAIC setup.

The databases are multi user but you probably don't want your databases visible over the internet to a FMPro client.

I have closed port 5003 on my router for this reason

I also use password protection and limit the client connections to the number of database clients that will access the server on the LAN.

laugh.gif" border="0laugh.gif" border="0

[ January 31, 2002: Message edited by: scratchmalogicalwax ]

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hi, that's wise advice!

I see virus attacks and attempts to ftp into my servers every day - all sorts of stuff goes on out there!

If MuseProS wants client users to connect direct in to his database, I think that port's got to be open. The best protection I can think of is to use the firewall or router to limit access by client IP address.

Either way, databases deliberately shared on the public Internet must be something of a risk.

back to the original question - does your host machine have a registered IP address or is there some kind of mapping going on on the router??

regards, jeff

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A few items:

If the network is using Network Address Translation (NAT) block Port 5003 for UDP and open it for TCP if using FM Server 5. If using FM Server 5.5, open for TCP; UDP doesn't matter.

Databases being served to the web (to browers) do not--repeat NOT--have to be set to multiuser. So leave them as single user.

Be sure that databses to be accessed over the Inetrnet as a WAN by FIleMAker Pro are not set to Multiuser Hidden. Set them to Multiuser. This is preferable to durecting FM Server to host Single user databases.


Old Advance Man

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Thanks to everyone. I worked long into the night and with the help

of resources here got things working.

With knowledge that it should work, I removed the firewall temporarily

and suddenly there it was, FM to FM direct access.

Since the firewall I'm using does Network Address Translation (NAT),

I was chasing ports to open to get through to FM, but a port sniffer found

nothing. It did work for ports I opened for web companion- i.e. 591 (filemaker web).

In the end I opened up the server address completely (DMZ) and it worked.

I'm concerned about safety, but need function. I'm not a major data server,

just a workgroup member trying to give access to a shared database.

I'm wondering about this 5003 port. I'm only using FM Pro 5.5, and am

considering FM Server 5.5, but will FM pro work if I just open TCP on

port 5003? That way I could close off everything else and regain some security.

To answer Jeff Spall's question ??? <does your host machine have a registered IP address or is there some kind of mapping going on on the router??>

there is mapping in the firewall/router, and now the global address is routed

to a certain local IP that is the server. Other IP's on the local network should

still be protected, but I wonder about the server.

I may try just having port 5003 open and see if I still get function.

but I found that the IP that a remote client puts into FM works best if

it is just the global IP, rather than one with a port appended.

Thanks to all, a very great resource, and I hope return the favors to

other users.


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Hi, mapping all of the calls on your registered address to an inside IP address is OK until you want other services to go to a different computer - like a web server.

I think you should be able to map port numbers to an internal IP address without the client having to specify the port in the url - that's the way to have a mailserver, ftp and a web server behind a firewall with one IP address. The firewall is set up for all port 80 to address a, port 25 to address b, port 20, 21 to address c, etc.

I must confess I've never tried it with other than the standard 'well known ports' so I can't be sure it would work properly with 5003.

regards, jeff

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