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mfisher

Preventing cross-talk between test and production

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I'd like your help preventing the dread disease called "cross-talk". "Using FileMaker 8" applies this term to a situation where the wrong version of a referenced file might be opened, if more than one file by that name is being served at the same time, anywhere on the network. (See pp. 526-528.)

Our users have FM Pro 8 and 8.5, and we're developing in FM Pro 8.5 Advanced. We'd like to run two FileMaker servers on the same network: one for production, and one for testing. The same set of files would be deployed on both servers.

If we were to only use relative paths, and only put one path in each file reference's file path list, would that be sufficient to prevent cross-talk? The assumption is that a relative file reference would never open any file outside the relative path specified. Which of course could never be on another server.

... but as with everything I wonder what hidden peril awaits. It worries me that the experts behind "Using FileMaker 8" didn't say anything at all about a solution which seems so obvious, and so simple.

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The 100% safe method is to rename the files. Only do this with the Developer/Advanced tool.

Any places where filenames are hard-coded into functions will need to be updated manually however.

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I have never seen this occur at all using any format .fp7 file. It used to happen in the past with older versions.

The simplest way to prevent this is just not to give users access to the files while you are testing them. Or, you can put them on a separate subnet.

Steven

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My situation my have been rather unique but here was my solution. I made sure that all my file references had relative paths so that it was easy to port the solution to different servers. I also made it so that all my users use an External Active Directory server to log in to FileMaker. This allowed me to disallow users access to the Test Server because I just removed access to Active Directory and since they no longer had any means to authenticate they couldn't get in. Then when developers want to login they just use a Filemaker based account with the '[Full Access]' privilege set and they were all set. It worked quite well for me and I never had any problems of people accidently logging into the wrong system.

As far as the 'cross-talk', I also haven't heard of that with Server 7+.

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