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Handling Relationships across IPs (two servers)


fedixon
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I've always found good advice here... so I'm giving it a shot!

In our department we have a few hundred relational files all hosted on one of two NT servers, and "collapsed" in the hosted list under a handful of front-end opener files with descriptive names. We have about 100 clients using both Windows and Macs (v 5.5). In the past, all clients who opened the Hosts dialog were presented with the complete listing of these files, viewing both servers.

Recently, my company has undergone a complete IP restructuring, which has split my FMP user base into two separate subnets (this cannot be changed). This means that users who are on the SAME subnet as the servers (myself included) see the lists as before, and all relationships are intact. All users on the OTHER subnet now have had to have the IP addresses individually added, and can only view one list at a time, and the relationships have all had to be re-established. (What a pain!... I know you would say to use opener files, but the maintenance of these on each workstation each time we change/add FMP "apps" is dreadful, with the number of clients we have)

So my question is this:

Since my workstation (sole FMP developer) is in the same subnet as the two servers, how can I define relationships and/or scripts that will still path for users outside of this subnet? Is there a way to hardcode these to a specific IP?

Any advice (other than the obvious: get another machine on the other subnet) would be appreciated!!

Thanks,

Felicia

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Felicia->

Why not use an "opener" DB on the server? Make it the only visible file. It has buttons, or menus, or lists, etc. that show the DBs to be opened. That way each user only needs to manually enter/add one address per server in their Hosts dialog. You will have to add/delete DBs as they change, but at least it's only one DB per server to maintain.

I design my sets of databases with a "menu" database that is simply a way to logon and choose the database to open using buttons with scripts. This way you can also add a text description of the DB if the filenames aren't descriptive enough.

Sam

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Thanks, Sam... that would be an excellent solution if I could get one of the servers to populate the Hosted list automatically (then I could put the opener there). The problem is that FMP does not detect either server when the Hosts button is clicked. Users are required to click on an IP address to get to anything at all... so it would actually add a second step.

Still wanting to hear if anyone has a way to hardcode the relationships?

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Felicia->

FMP will not detect the server unless it is on the local subnet. When the user clicks on the IP Address button, they can add it to their Hosts list, so this second step only needs to be done once.

If you setup all the files (except the Opener) on the server as Multi-User (Hidden) in the file's Sharing... menu, they will not appear in the file list the server shows in Hosts. You will have to add new files manually to the Opener file.

I'm not sure I got something from your original post: do any files on Server A relate to files on Server B? If so, that's another can of worms to delve into...

Sam

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..."do any files on Server A relate to files on Server B? If so, that's another can of worms to delve into..."

YES!!!.. that is my biggest issue. I've got cross-server relationships and script steps all over the place! I have fixed them all from a workstation outside the local subnet, so they are currently working, but my development for the future is a problem. I'll have to continue to relate and script across two servers, but my computer is in the same subnet, and hence I get the (*), which I cannot seem to change. I'm looking for a way to INSERT the IP address when I create a relationship or script step. I don't know how to do this! Can anyone help?

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Felicia->

What is the reason you cannot move the two servers to the same subnet?

To me, this would be the best solution for performance. My understanding of how FileMaker Server works is that having servers communicate across subnets will slow down clients more than having half the clients communicate across a subnet. How much of an issue this is varies by the network design & hardware.

With an opener file (or one for each server), the users outside the server's subnet would only have to enter their address once.

I don't know how to hard code the IP address using FileMaker, but you could use a binary file editor and search for the IP address quartet & replace it. Needless to say, make backups before trying this...

Sam

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Thanks again for responding, Sam. Our users are scattered across two floors of a large building, and the powers-that-be have decided to subnet by floor. That leaves our two servers AND roughly half our users on Subnet A (myself included), and the remaining users on Subnet B. It's lousy, but fixed.

What is the IP address quartet? and how would I search for it? I must admit I'm technically-challenged in this area.

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Why don't you try creating the opening db on the server and then create and opening db for subnet b. The opening db for subnet b can simply open the opening db on the server, if its created from subnet b then the ip address will be stored that way all the user has to do is open the local file on there desktop which will trigger a script to open the db on the server and then close itself down.

The only thing that needs to be in the opening file on the client machine is a pointer to the opening db on the server so it should never have to be changed.

As far as future development goes try entering filemaker via a specified ip address rather than the local host, I haven't tested this but it may store the ip if you do it that way.

I hope that all made sense.

Version: v5.x

Platform: Mac OS X Panther

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Felicia->

I still think that the best solution is an opener file on each server that shows menus (popups, lists, buttons, whatever) of the available DBs. It may take time to update when DBs change, but how often do you remove old DBs & add new ones? Again, each user in the other subnet will have to add each server to their hosts lists once. Ideally, you would make all DBs hidden except for the opener.

The address quartet is the just the four bytes in the numeric address, like 168.192.10.1. Convert your server's IP to 4 hex #s and do a binary search in a FM file for it. Make sure there is only one occurence of the address, Multiple finds could be other data that coincidentally has the same pattern.

Sam

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