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Java Update Broke My Server 9 Install


Peter Payne
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About to leave on a business trip for three weeks, I thought I'd check to see if our Filemaker Server Advanced 9 machine (a Mac Pro) needed a software update. The new Java update was there (I think it's 10.6 update 3), and I installed it...little realizing that a monster was sneaking into my house to make my life way more difficult. Now I cannot load the admin at all -- it's totally broken, crashes on startup either giving an "Unable to launch the application" error, or alternately just quitting when I try to load the app via the shortcut on the desktop. This is _really_ a pain. I already reinstalled the OS once, being sure to uncheck the java update when it showed it to me, and I thought it would work. I was able to (laboriously) set up the new database install, but when I was done...lo, I found that I couldn't re-load admin anymore. So updating one's Mac, which _every_ Mac user does without thinking, will absolutely screw up every install of Filemaker Database? How is it okay that Filemaker has done this? (I know I can theoretically access the server remotely via computers not yet updated with the java update, but it gave connection errors for me repeatedly.)

So what I'm going to do is reinstall everything to 10.5.0 and set up Filemaker Server again, without updating any software. This isn't optimal, I know, but I need my system to work for my staff while I'm away. Can anyone tell me exactly what to not install to avoid messing up my system in the future?

Thanks, and sorry to vent, but it's not very "Mac-like" to have software sneak in and mess up one's most important computer.

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Little more information. I did a reinstall of the OS but chose to keep the settings, so I'm guessing the reason the 2nd time didn't work was, the "bad" Java settings were still in place because of this? Getting it to work with a complete re-install, but please tell me exactly what Software Update items to avoid installing to keep it working.

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*groan*

Okay, so, I've done a complete reinstall of my box. It's running fresh 10.5.0 software with nothing installed on top of it. I did a fresh install of Filemaker 9 Server Advanced (fully licensed), added the fms_9.0.3.326_mac_ssl_updater patch, and went to load the database and...ha, my crashing bug is back. I cannot load the admin even with a totally fresh install, totally patched without the problematic Java update that caused all this trouble. (If that's what was happening.)

I found that I can access to a certain extend my admin via other computers that don't have the new Java patch installed. However, accessing the database tab causes this error 100% of the time, so it's useless for the most part.

Can anyone tell me what the heck has happened? Been in business 15 years, and running FM server for 11 or so of them, and this kind of voodoo has never happened. I am in Japan so I'd like to say it's related to the Earthquake, but there's no reason to believe that really.

Screen shot 2011-03-12 at 6.06.27 PM.png

Screen shot 2011-03-12 at 6.10.16 PM.png

Screen shot 2011-03-12 at 6.20.56 PM.png

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I thought I'd check to see if our Filemaker Server Advanced 9 machine (a Mac Pro) needed a software update.

Why? Seriously. A production server should never be updated on a whim but only if an OS update is critical for its functioning and after testing.

Of after some research, the information that the Java update was going to break the console has been out there for 3, 4 weeks. It's in the FM knowledge base (www.filemaker.com/kb)

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Yes, I know that now. Never had this happen before.

Anyway, it looks like accessing the admin on the Mac side is just too unstable, I get the quitting issue when accessing on the Mac, but happily it's working acceptably well accessing through Windows with the correct Java version installed. I wonder if Filemaker will make a patch for FM 9 users? Or am I being really optimistic?

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Anyone heard anything about progress on fixing the new Java compatibility problem of the console?

All the FM Kb has to say is they are "aware"....

And seriously, don't they talk to Apple at all? Why aren't they ready with a patch by the time the OS update comes out?

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In part, as a stop-gap until they come out with a fix, we've put together a web based application for OS X. It's a web based application that runs from the database server, if you also have php installed there.

All interaction with FileMaker Server is achieved via it's command line interface. Please note any security considerations when enabling this solution, since it allows you to administer your database server with any web browser. If needed, you can disallow/allow subnet ranges or specific IP addresses in the configuration (config/config.php). SSL for your web applications could also be enabled at the server, if required.

This solution is being offered "as-is" and made freely available. If you would be interested in contributing to future revisions to this application, please contact me.

I would love to know if there's interest in this to continue developing it. This is really just a starting point.

The zipped file is here with the app:

http://logicurio.com/files/fmsadmin.zip

Posting on my blog about it, comments welcome:

http://logicurio.com/site/archives/105

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There is now a fix for the Java update issue:

Beware that the fix only applies to Filemaker Server 11. It did not work for my Filemaker Server 10, and Filemaker support told me today that they are still working on a fix for earlier versions.

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I would love to know if there's interest in this to continue developing it. This is really just a starting point.

The zipped file is here with the app:

http://logicurio.com...es/fmsadmin.zip

Posting on my blog about it, comments welcome:

http://logicurio.com/site/archives/105

Check out AdminAnywhere from 360Works.com

HTH

Wim

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