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Anyone have experience with a database that FileMaker suddenly develops a sharing problem with? I have a database mounted on an FMP 4.1 client that is being web shared and periodically, FileMaker stops sharing it. If I try to look at the Sharing option for the database (via the File menu), nothing happens. I can select the option but the sharing options dialog box never pops up. Plus, the Define and Change Password options are suddenly greyed out. When this happens, the web companion stops sharing the database but it is still responsive in FileMaker and information can be added/deleted or changed.

The database structure is quite large (nearly 500 fields). I have 2 FMP 4.1 clients acting as parallel web servers (each is configured identically and our DNS server ping pongs between them) and both servers exhibit the same problem.

The only fix I have found is to shut down the database and re-open it. Since both web servers (FMP clients) exhibit the same problem and no other database mounted on the systems shows this problem, I can only guess that I have some issue with the database itself. Do I have too many fields? I know 500 is a lot but I need the flat structure and would not be able to reference things correctly if I *portal'ed" related information.

Thanks in advance for any guru information someone might have.

TTFN

David Wolfe

Fax Daily, Inc. http://www.faxdaily.com

[This message has been edited by dwolfe (edited October 18, 2000).]

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Just a thought - I had a similar thing happen on my network and it transpired tha tsomeone was messing with the TCP/IP settings on another machine so they clashed. I can't verify that the sharing & p/w setteing became unavailable tho'

Cheers

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There was a bug in Web Companion that caused a problem something like this. It affected Windows more than Mac but it affected both.

Step 1 would therefore be to download the latest patch from the FileMaker Inc web site. I think the latest patch level is v3.

If pain persists then the problem lies elsewhere.

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New information on this problem. It appears that the reason the database is no longer being shared and that some of the menu options are no longer available is that the security on the database gets snafu'ed. When the database goes "offline" to the web companion, all admin level options also go unavailable. The Layout and ScriptMaker option go dim.

What would make FileMaker suddenly shift it's security for a single database that's loaded so that it has basic limited user level access?

In the words of Bob Hope, "Isn't that wild?"

Anyone have an idea?

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Is there a reason (like a script step) that is closing the databsae? It might then be being opened through a relationship, but now on the default password which is limiting the privileges?

Just a wild guess. I'd maybe start by taking a long hard look at the server and giving it a bit of preventative maintenance.

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Nope. The database isn't being closed at all. Even when it goes offline to the web companion, it's still open in FileMaker and responding fine. Plus, there are no scripts that are running or data entry that is taking place. It's exclusively a read-only database that serves up our web site's home page.

At one point I thought it might be that the web companion was getting overloaded with hits to the home page but I doubt that now since I have seen the database go offline within a couple hours of restarting the it from a previous crash (at that restart occurred during non-peak hours). I have also seen both FMP web servers last for days without a glitch (like this morning {Monday} after a long weekend).

I have updated to v3 of the web companion and the problem unfortunately still persists. Next time the database drops, I;m going to spend a few minutes with it offline and try to set the default user security to be a bit more permissive that I want to see if that takes care of things.

David Wolfe

Fax Daily, Inc. http://www.faxdaily.com

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Tell us more about your database and server setup. You state above that you "have 2 FMP 4.1 clients acting as parallel web servers..." Describe *exactly* how you have them arranged: are both copies running on the same processor? Which hard disk does the database file reside on?

If the file is on a shared/network drive then that may be your problem.

[This message has been edited by Vaughan (edited October 31, 2000).]

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Rightio....

Three machines make up our company's FileMaker web architecture. One FMP 3.x server which serves up all our database information (system is a PIII, 800 Mhz, Raid 5 triple SCSI HD, 256 meg of ram, etc...).

One FMP 4.1 client/web server is a P166 system with an 2 gig IDE drive and 96 megs of RAM. It loads the database via the FMP server.

The other FMP 4.1 client/web server is a PII/400 system with 128 megs of RAM and a 6 gig IDE drive. It also loads the database from the FMP server.

Both systems also act as VPN servers for our company network. Therefore, both systems have public and private IP addresses assigned to their 100BaseT NICs. Our DNS server simply has two A record entries in its table for ww2.faxdaily.com. The DNS server round robins IP returns to DNS queries to that host name. It's a primative load balancing mechanism that does not compensate if one of the FMP web servers goes down but it does allow two machines to respond to the same Internet address. The FileMaker server is only visible on the private side of the network. It has no public IP.

Both sets of directory trees under each FMP client's WEB directory are identical but are local to each machine. I manually make sure both WEB directory structures are in sync.

I have enabled the web logging on both FMP clients/web servers and strangely enough they both tend to take a dive within about 20 minutes of each other. The log files don't show any unusual events. They show the FMP web companion doling out HTTP information as usual and then blamo. No more traffic. No error messages, no strange HTTP request, just no further traffic being issued out for home.fp3.

Oh, and both FMP clients/web servers are running under Windows NT 4.0 Server with SP6a installed. I have configured both machines to load FileMaker as a service which works great when all the databases are responding as they should. But, often times I have to log onto the server(s) and shut down the FMP Web Server service and manually load FMP (and all the necessary databases) in order to have interface control over FMP so that I can restart/reload the home.fp3 database when it gets wiggy on me. I hate having the shell active under NT because it sucks up CPU time but when you gotta have an interface it's a neccesary evil. The home.fp3 database has dropped both when FMP is running as a pseudo service and as just a running application under the shell.

Anyhoo, many thanks for the brain effort on this. It's a puzzler, that's for sure. Let me know if there is any other info you'd like. I'll be happy to give it up.

David Wolfe

Fax Daily, Inc. http://www.faxdaily.com

[This message has been edited by dwolfe (edited November 01, 2000).]

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Ahhh... <wince> I aint no network nor NT weenie so I might not be able to offer much help. Other than to highlight one thing...

You state that "I have configured both machines to load FileMaker as a service..." I assume that you refer to FMP 4.1 on the two lesser machines?

FileMaker specifically advises *against* running the 4.1 client as a service under NT. Refer to The FileMaker TechInfo Article #105642, but in part it says

"FileMaker Inc. Technical Support has heard from people who are running FileMaker as a service with only minor feature failures. The Send Mail script step and other features will return error messages because they are dependent on Windows settings which are just not available until someone logs in. However, we have also heard from customers who experience more serious crashing and stability issues. Again, FileMaker Pro 5 / 4.0 is not designed or supported as a service on Windows NT."

This could be your problem... try running the client normally (on both machines) and see if it makes a difference.

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My best suggestion is to upgrade to FM v. 5 Unlimited.

My FM 5 Unlimited is 5 - 7 times faster in serving web than v. 4 from the same NT server.

To do the upgrade on remote server was job for 10 minutes inclusive of remote installation, but without restart! Actual downtime was 1-2 minutes. Wow! FileMaker rules!

[This message has been edited by Anatoli (edited November 06, 2000).]

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Well, as an update to this issue for anyone following it....

After changing the default security on the database to be much more permissive for the password-less login to the database, it appears to be staying up more more solidly. The database has been online for a full week without dropping which is longer than it has ever gone when the password-less login just had browse access.

I have both FMP web servers set to perform basic FMP security on all databases rather than web security. Perhaps when I get the time, I'll make the change and see if the problem persists. Does anyone know of a way to mount the web security databases on an FMP server so that the security settings for all databases can be shared between multiple FMP web servers? Just curious.

Thanks for the advice on upgrading to FMP 5 Unlimited, Anatoli. That is in the plans but not in the budget. $900+ per Unlimited client is a little salty for a small company like ours. Personally, I think FileMaker is a wee bit unreasonable on it's charge for the Unlimited version of the client but maybe that's just me.

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quote:

Thanks for the advice on upgrading to FMP 5 Unlimited, Anatoli. That is in the plans but not in the budget. $900+ per Unlimited client is a little salty for a small company like ours. Personally, I think FileMaker is a wee bit unreasonable on it's charge for the Unlimited version of the client but maybe that's just me.

It was silly from FileMaker to not charge server license for version 4, when you can have 10 000 users using it from HTML, if you ask me.

The choice is yours, unlimited license with 5-7 times faster engine all that for 900 bucks -- show me other company offering that terms....

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hahahaha. Thanks for that little quip. I've never had a problem with my v4 clients being pokey even though I have about 30 databases loaded on them with about 15 of them being web shared. Of course, they have to stay visible to the web companion to be shared which has been my main problem.

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quote:

Originally posted by Vaughan:

This is the first time I've heard any claims that FMP5 is faster than FMP4 (other than draining the bank balance).

We did our homework :-) In Czech Rep. 900 bucks is 2-3 month salary. But we where about to lose client with sophisticated info and layouts. It took version 4 17-20 seconds to render an answer. This is now 2-3 seconds.

Also opening databases from server or on server is more brisk.

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Vaughn: Service, full app with interface, no difference. I have seen the database in question drop from the web companion when it was running as both. But, as I mentioned earlier, since I opened up the basic security on the database, it has been very solid. Up now for about 7 or 8 days solid.

I have also seen one other database that is mounted on our FMP web servers go down in the same manner as our home page database but that was once and I was tinkering with the layouts on another machine. That could be the link. I have been monkeying with the layouts in the home database a lot recently. Could there be some kind of collision going on? Or, could it be that when data is being entered into the database from another client that a web access call happens to collide with something internal to FMP and the web companion just craps because of it?

I have not experienced the problems with running FMP as a service that others seem to have mentioned. I don't believe I am using any of the script steps that need window settings to operate correctly. Lucky me. FMP is great as a service from my stand point. It's either that or horking over NT by telling it to log on with a default username and password at boot up and putting FMP in the Start Up folders of each NT server. ack.

[This message has been edited by dwolfe (edited November 10, 2000).]

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