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FMS 5.5 - Host Box Empty

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Hi, we have a client running FMS 5.5, hosting 125 multi-user files. There has never been a problem hosting these files. The files are opened using an "OPENER" file scripted to properly open the files through the Host dialog box. When the files open to the host dialog box, all the files just show up in the window. They have never had to "specify host". However recently they had to reboot the server where FMS is installed and now none of the files are showing in the Host dialog box. I had them "specify host" and enter the server address and check the box to permanently add the address. And now they must always “specify host”.

My question is why aren’t the files showing in the host dialog box anymore without having to “specify hotst”? Nothing has changed. The server just needed to be rebooted as it has in the past with no issues.

Any ideas?

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Take a look at this thread from 2003:


Version 7 made the problem go away for me but with the increasing popularity of wireless networks I can see this becoming more of a problem for those folks on v6 and earlier versions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I believe you are experiencing what we call "Stealth Mode". FileMaker was most reluctant to admit it actually existed, but lengthy calls to them soon got an answer. The problem is with FileMaker 5 networking and UDP packets. Somehow they cause this condition. FMS 7 and 8 no longer support OS 9 MAcs, and hence, no longer use UDP. Stealth Mode gone. We are converting from FMS5.5 on six servers (two PC based, the others are Macs). Stealth mode has only hit the PC based ones. It happens daily now. Most aggrevating.

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Hi Samwjunkie,

I can be considered an expert regarding this problem. The company I work for is considering dropping Filemaker because of it...

We have had many discussions about the subject, both with Microsoft and Filemaker and have, up until today, been unable to solve the problem.

It surfaced when we upgraded from WinNT 4 server to Windows Server 2000/2003.

I don't want to go into the details of the backgrounds that we have researched. Suffice it to say that there is NO fix and even if there were one, neither company would be willing and/or able to correct their code in an 'outdated' product.

There are some work-arounds, one of them being: roll-back to NT4, if you are in a similar situation we are in.

Or else, make sure that ALL references in the files used are made by locating the files via the Specify Host dialog. This includes relationships, value lists and all external script calls, open/close/import actions. In the old days or in environments with a single server, this was often not done and this would be instantly clear by looking, for instance, at scripts and seeing either no IP address at all, or the asterix. Any script referring to an external file should show the name or IP address of the server.

And, last but not least, create a startup file that holds buttons with which to open the hosted files. The buttons of course referring to the exact server address.

In all other occurrences of external file references (values lists, relationships, etc.) will not show up so best re-do them all, just to be sure.

I can only hope you are not in my situation. I have some applications running on our (8) Filemaker servers that contain of both server and local files. Obviously there is no way for me to call back all local files and re-do the references. It would be keeping me busy until the Grim Reaper comes to get me!

In Filemaker's defence: they have tried to find workarounds, and so has Microsoft, but it simply cannot be fixed.

So here is a question to anybody out there who runs FM8 products on multiple servers: how does the new product hold up?

I am still fighting to keep Filemaker in the company, or else I am looking for another job! They would be willing to let me learn Oracle or even Dot Net, but currently I am not ready to say yes to that. If anybody out there can show me that FM8 handles this better (on Windows), please do not hesitate to contact me!

In the meantime, the thing to do seems to develop solutions that are supposed to run (partly) on server, on that server. If you develop locally and later put the files on the server, there are some product that might be useful for changing file references to server addresses, but it still takes an awful lot of extra time. Plus, corruption in server-run files is happening a lot less often.

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Hello Tricky,

I've been live on v7 & v8 for a couple of years now and have had no problems of this type whatsoever. It completely ended with the upgrade to v7.

Are you familiar with v8? If not you should really give it a test ride. The changes between v6 and v7 are HUGE! Security is orders-of-magnitude better now and the multi table per file has cleared the path for a really bright future.

The downside is that once you've tasted v8 you won't want to go back.

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Hi Ted,

Yep, I work with FM8 now, just not at work. We have not yet upgraded to SP2 due to various reasons, so Filemaker 8 will not run on that. But it is in the making.

Being an application programmer, I am only now getting into server administration technicalities and it is quite clear to me that we do stuff here that might still compromise FM8 running flawlessy on server, but I guess I will have to wait and see how that goes. We run (currently) well over 500 databases worldwide. Nearly all are accessed via local servers, not many log in from say China into the main office in Holland. But this may change.

A lot of the applications are of the type Do it yourself, so they might not even be included in the upgrade, if it ever happens. We had a change of management six months ago and one of the objectives was to make the IT department more efficient and less cost consuming. On paper dropping Filemaker seems like a good choice, as I am the only resource they have for it, as opposed to a complete team of Oracle and VB and C programmers. Hard to beat that in terms of redundancy and company risk.

But, I will not go down without a fight!

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I thought I would never be able to resolve this issue. But I just posted an item regarding VPN's and their ability to block FM. Once diabled vpn adapters are diabled FM is fine.

However, I don't know if there is a setting within these adapters that will prevent them from blocking FM. Any ideas?

Thanks soooo much for all your input!!


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