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Looking for anecdotal/experiential information on IWP via FMSA 8.x


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Folks,

I am looking for feedback from anyone who has hosted applications via IWP/FMSA 8.x with multiple files to many users. I have not found much "heres what you can expect" information published anywhere. Having been part of the vendor community for a long time, I full-well understand there are published specs and then there's what you can really expect, so...

Feedback wanted:

-----------------

Who has experience with this type of deployment on FMSA 8.x and IWP?

- relatively small app/file, available only through IWP

- many deployed instances of the app/file per server

- low user count per app/file

- high overall user count per server

Background:

---------

It's my intention to publish an application via IWP on FMSA. The app has been designed for and hosted via FMproA 8.x snd IWP for some time now, and it works well. It is responsive within 2-3 seconds even with the most complex scripts executing. All application functions available to the user are accessed via custom scripts by buttons on the WebUI, so there is very little variability in how a given application can be exmployed by the user community. Here's some characteristics about the app:

- allows an organization that has 25-100 users to manage their day-to-day operations

- intention is to roll out this app to multiple organizations

- single file, many tables and relationships (I purposefully designed it as single file and not split data/presentation). Each organization that uses the application gets their own file

- tables are fairly small - average table size is thousands of records, with the largest being tens-of-thousands of records. File size is in the 20-30MB range

- typical user activity is to log in once or twice per day. At most, there would be 2-3 users logged in simultaneously. Could be one user who logs in regularly throughout the day.

As mentioned above, each organization that subscribes to this application will be accessing their own file/tables. Thus if 10 organizations subscribe, FMSA will have 10 files open simultaneously and could have up to 30 users active at one time via IWP.

Ideally, to maximize the cost-basis of the HW and SW to publish the app, we'll push the limits of the system to max out the number of simultaneous files/users active at any one time. However, we have to achieve a balance of this desire with availabilty and scalability.

- How does response time of the app(s) change with increasing open file count?

- With active user count?

- What manageability issues did you face?

- Are you hosting the app in a co-location facility on your own server?

- What HW/OS are you running the system on?

- Did you consider hosting your app with a FM hosting service?

Plus any other helpful advice you can give...

Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

IWP works well for what it is intended to do. it is not designed to be a replacement for FMP; rather it is an alternative UI to display data.

Its proper use requries modern web browsers. That basically means Safari 2 or 3 on OS X; on Windows XP it means IE 6. IE 7 may or may not work; it is not certified. Firefox will work in some OS configurations. Firefox 1.x seems to work better than later versions according to some reports. YMMV.

IWP is session based, and there are timeouts. So users may have to reauthenticate if their sessions timeout.

If you plan on having more than about 20 users and are running the all-on-one configuration of FIleMaker Server 8 Advanced, you will want to have 4 GB RAM. Otherwise, you can probably get by with 2 GB.

The unified security model works with IWP. User Accounts can be specified in the files or (better in my view) by External Server Authentication based Accounts. Guest access is for the most part an explicit choice, not an implicit choice. Implicit guest access, such as might be used on a pubic website, can be configured in a couple of different ways.

A number of the standardized features can be customized, especially useful if the IWP solution is part of a larger website.

If you are not familar with IWP, you may need to retain a consulting developer to assist you with your system.

HTH

Steven

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