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External user authentication for FMP7/8

brian rich

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Advice needed please!

We are looking at a CWP project to allow users to set preferences for a non-Filemaker extranet with it's own userIDs and passwords. Our idea is to provide a parallel set of identical Filemaker logins to allow us to set up session IDs for each valid user and allow them to reset preferences - these would in turn update the extranet system through an ODBC connection. These users are only validated in the extranet, not in any external domain controlled by Windows or OSX servers. Currently we have 3000+ users of the extranet, and this may double in the next five years. As a once-off exercise we could probably create Filemaker accounts for these users and then continue to maintain existing accounts and add new accounts as required.

Does anyone have any recommendations about whether we should be using Filemaker accounts or whether we should consider using external validation though an OSX or Windows server.

At present none of the users have accounts in a Windows or OSX domain, although there is a possibility of accessing their details though LDAP services on the extranet. However it appears that this is pretty well irrelevant from what we read on FMP external authentication.

We are presently using FMP7 Server Advanced but have licences to install FMP 8 Server Advanced if we need to.


Brian Rich


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I think there's no technical necessity to use external authentication in your case. The number of internal FileMaker accounts can be quite big; I've seen reports about more than 30,000 accounts and the only catch was that with that many accounts it took about 3 minutes to close the Account & Privileges dialog. You can avoid this delay if you write your own scripts to manage accounts; also, you probably should script the creation of the existing 3,000+ accounts: import the credentials in a table and then loop through them creating a new account for every record.

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