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Keeping database Open perpetually okay?

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Hi -- I have a client who is going to use their database via "Network Sharing" (they can't afford FMP Server). I have shared with them the relevant FIlemaker support pages such as:

http://help.filemake...1I0aVBUaw%3D%3D

. . . and I believe they understand that the Users need to access the Hosted file via "Open Remote" within Filemaker rather than opening it "directly" over a shared file network. So, they are going to have a computer dedicated to Hosting the file, so the Users will always "Open Remote" to get there.

They asked whether it is okay to leave the file on the Server "open" perpetually -- that is, not close up the file after work every day and re-open every morning. They have an automated back-up system backing up all files on the serving machine every night after closing.

My sense is that this is okay -- all records that have been committed will be backed up effectively by the system, even if tyne file remains open. Am I right about that? Any other concerns I should share?

thanks

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No, sorry, this is not correct. Do not ever backup and open FMP file especially in a peer to peer environment. perhaps they can investigate a hosting service?

Steven

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You can setup an OnTimer script to make a backup of the DB using the Save A Copy as script step and by specifying the output file to another location outside the folder hosting the DB. This should run before the automatic backup system runs.

Can the automatic backup system be set to ignore folders/files? If so, then tell it to ignore the folder that holds the hosted DB.

In order to prevent users opening the DB via network sharing place the DB in a non-shared part of the server.

Please note that FMPro hosting is limited to 9 clients, and your client will need a license of FMPro to host the file on the "server".

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Oh, that sounds like a very good solution for our situation. I've not done this before and haven't been able to figure out a couple things so far:

1) I see the Install OnTimer Scrip step invites me to choose a Script (my backup script) and specify an interval, which for a nightly backup would be 86400 seconds . . . But how do I pin that cycle to begin at a particular hour, say 3 AM? I'm assuming I should have this OnTimer script included as part of my general File-Opening script . . . but how do I govern the initial firing of this OnTimer at the desired time?

2) If I wanted the new backup to replace yesterday's backup, how do I make this over-writing happen? I expect we'll be saving the File to a folder that the larger system backs up in a separate process (while keeping the active, perpetually Open file in a separate location safe from the backup routine) -- so I'd think we need only the most recent backup version named something like "Filename_backup" in that folder. Does Filemaker have a way of "answering" the likely system prompt that says something like "Overwrite existing file of that name?"

3) Once we set this up, there aren't any other reasons not to leave the active file open for protracted periods of time?

Thanks for the guidance!

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1. Run the OnTimer script every hour, but inside the script check for the current time and action accordingly

2. If you use the same file name each time FM doe NOT baulk when over writing

3. Don't see why not.

Consider this...

The purpose of backups is to have something to recover - yes? So why have a backup at the end of every day? in the event of recovery this guarantees that every one will lose yesterday's work.

Why not run a backup at lunchtime too - you reduce the time lost to workers in the recovery event.

etc., etc.,

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If FMP peer-to-peer sharing is used to host the file -- not FM Server -- then backups will be made with the Save a Copy As command. This command is only available if the file has no other users except the host have the file open -- which is unlikely during the day.

IMHO get FMS. None of this mucking around.

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Too bad hourly backups won't work in this scenario then -- but I think we can live with the daily backup. I will certainly present them the option of installing Server. (Have done).

Thanks for the reassurance that the script will simply over-write the previous version of the file - that's unexpectedly easy!

One further question: if they don't have some sort of security firewall in place that would keep me out, will I be able to safely make adjustments to the database in Layout mode over the internet, using the "Open Remote" feature? I'd think I'd only want to do that when the Host alone has the file open, yes? Or should I have them close it down, transfer the file to me, work on it here and send it back to be re-hosted?

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Too bad hourly backups won't work in this scenario then -- but I think we can live with the daily backup.

Well this is it: if a user has the database open all night -- say doing a huge import or something -- then there will be NO backup.

There are many reasons to get FMS and backups is a big one.

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... Save a Copy As command. This command is only available if the file has no other users except the host have the file open

Are you sure about this? I am accessing an open file via IWP - and I experience no problems with saving a copy from the host.

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Only sure about FMP clients, not IWP.

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Well, before I wrote my posting I actually tested it with a FM11 hosting and an FM10 as a guest on the same machine - and Save A Copy as DOES work when there is a connected guest in this instance.

I also just tested with a 2nd machine as guest. no problems. Even when a record is part modified the backup still runs.

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Well I stand corrected then. :-)

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Are you sure about this? I am accessing an open file via IWP - and I experience no problems with saving a copy from the host.

Is the Save A Copy function which works while the file is open as good a back up option as backing up a closed file?

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I know of no reason to think otherwise.

BTW, data can also be backed up by exporting.

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Thanks for all the elucidation -- can I get a reply on the safety of working on the hosted database in Layout mode over the internet via "Open Remote"? It feels like this would be a dubious practice and I should just have them send me the file to work on here and sent it back, but want to be certain.

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Layout mode is no problem.

However reportedly if the network connection droops out while define fields or security is being modified then the fie can be corrupted. I avoid wireless networks and use ethernet whenever possible to mitigate the risk.

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eGads -- one final question (I hope) - - how do I specify the Filepath for the SaveAs action? I see the examples given in the 'Specify Output File' Path List control box . . . and of course I understand the concept of directory/FOlder/filename type hierarchies . . . but what I don't know is how to accurately describe these file paths in a given situation - - for example, on my Mac, or less yet on my client's PC.

Id there a way to perform an actual save, navigating to the appropriate folder and then copying the resulting path somehow? Or is this just something you're supposed to find out from the given computer's help resources?

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FileMaker has a set of 'generic' data points using Get(DesktopPath), Get(FileMakerPath), Get(DocumentsPath). Using these in conjunction with a sub-directory should do it.

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