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DataCruncher

FM Server 14 is the finest collection of bugs I have ever encountered

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I'm sorry, forum - you serve a merely psychotherapeutic purpose today. I came here merely to VENT - because I have given up any hope that FileMaker will ever get its act together. As I am sure many of you have suffered through also, even the slightest one of software updates in either Filemaker or any of the supporting packages - from Java to OS X - will almost certainly result in an entirely unpredictable and prohibitively nonsensical trail of incompatibility issues, software errors, or warning messages that will wreck your system. 

 

Remember how, when FMS 12 came out, Web Publishing would keep crashing at random intervals and had to be restarted manually? 

Remember how, when FMS 13 came out, all of a sudden, the Java admin interface would not work any more for some security setting in the java engine? 

Enough to get your pulse pumping on any live or development system - but Filemaker 14 Server REALLY shoveled FileMaker's grave even deeper. 

 

Sure, it looks nice and fancy on FileMaker's own spam-emails. So I decided to give it a shot a while back. On one of our development servers. After downloading the FMS 14 server trial version, I was basically told to go ***** myself and the time I had spent trying to do it - it will only work from Version OS X 10.Y onwards. Right. Like I would entirely upgrade my development server just to see if I'd like to shove some more $$$$ up some Apple companies rear end. 

 

Which brings me to the next issue. The insane pricing model for FMS 14 server. There is no flat rate pricing any more - you pay per user. Which is insane if you run anything other than your local massage salon scheduling on it. Will I really risk having my clients locked out of access to our systems just because Filemaker didn't sense the last session close alright????? Without going into too much detail, FMS 14 is overpriced for anything behind a YMCA environment. 

 

Then, again, this may have been priced out of the market on purpose - because, as I had to find out after I had finally gotten FMS14 to run on another one of our servers - the database would completely clog down resources on our MONSTER machine of a server. Where FMS13 had performed flawlessly for years on a machine of even lesser hardware capabilities, FMS14 has managed to NOT EVEN ALLOW ONE SINGLE SIMULTANEOUS Web User to log in without catastrophically draining everything from memory to lag times to CPU utilization. 

You can't test-run FMS14 if another FMS version may still be installed. Not even on different ports. 

I've had trouble installing FMS14 from scratch on a brand new machine running Mac OS X - which is twice as frustrating considering that Filemaker is an Apple Company. 

 

The installer would simply crash mid-way saying nothing but 'Searching' on the main HD and becoming unresponsive. 

 

FMP 14 then, upon trying to connect to a server, simply flips you off by telling you 'The SSL certificate for FileMaker Server is not compatible with this Filemaker Client. Contact your server administrator'. Great. So I'm being told to contact myself about an issue that was not there before, has never been an issue, and is now supposedly made an issue by some brainiac FileMaker intern? How dare, Filemaker, you clog down my staff with issues that you create?! I should invoice you for the time my administrators have to spend chasing down your boggy issues. You should have enough cash on hand, courtesy of your volume licensing usury. 

And the best part: THIS WAS ON A NON-SSL test environment. Throwing an SSL error on a system that does not use SSL is like telling you your gas tank is empty when you're driving a Tesla. 

 

In short: FMS 14 is financially utterly disproportionate; technologically shockingly deficient; and, diligently, grossly negligent. 

This is coming from someone who has used nothing but Filemaker Solutions over the past 10+ years. It saddens me that an established line of software products that once led the market seems to be driven into the ground without any consideration for the fallout and the industry that was built around it over the past years. 

 

Again; your YMCA will still get your schedule right. But I would have to be placed under conservatorship should I ever sign up to FMS14 pricing. 

  

Edited by DataCruncher
corrected FMS 15 for FMS 14 in one instance.

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xochi    13

After downloading the FMS 14 server trial version, I was basically told to go ***** myself and the time I had spent trying to do it - it will only work from Version OS X 10.Y onwards. Right. Like I would entirely upgrade my development server just to see if I'd like to shove some more $$$$ up some Apple companies rear end. 

http://help.filemaker.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/14401/~/system-requirements-for-filemaker-server-14  claims that it runs on 10.9, which seems reasonable to me, e.g. two versions back.    If you don't agree, at least some of the blame falls on Apple who is releasing new OSs (and buggy ones) at a breakneck speed.

 

 

Which brings me to the next issue. The insane pricing model for FMS 14 server. There is no flat rate pricing any more - you pay per user.

 

Agree - I used to use FMServer for academic purposes, e.g. using Instant Web Publishing to set up a survey for my class.  Even with an EDU discount the new pricing is not affordable for this purpose.   

 

Where FMS13 had performed flawlessly for years on a machine of even lesser hardware capabilities, FMS14 has managed to NOT EVEN ALLOW ONE SINGLE SIMULTANEOUS Web User to log in without catastrophically draining everything from memory to lag times to CPU utilization. 

That sounds like a bug - can you report it?

 

The installer would simply crash mid-way saying nothing but 'Searching' on the main HD and becoming unresponsive. 

I've seen this behavior before and in some cases the installer was searching my Time Machine backup drive - if you have one, try unmounting it while you do the installation?

 

FMP 14 then, upon trying to connect to a server, simply flips you off by telling you...

​Rant appreciated, hang in there I'm sure some of these issues will be worked out!

 

Edited by xochi
fixed URL for system requirements
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Wim Decorte    455

I'm sorry, forum - you serve a merely psychotherapeutic purpose today. I came here merely to VENT - because I have given up any hope that FileMaker will ever get its act together.

  

​OK then. In case you want to sign off here: good bye.

I had a great deal of trouble following through your write-up.  There's a lot off issues there.  What we don't know is how many of those you took up with FMI support and were resolved.

None of what you are reporting is the norm and I spend a lot of time deploying FMS solutions.  FMS is a complex entity and there are a lot of issues that are outside of FMS's reach that need to be addressed before it will install.  That's not different than any other server software.

I was not able to review your other 8 posts to see if there were some issues there that would shed some light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LaRetta    480

Hey, Wim, I like the new look.  I wouldn't want to mess with ya!  The only thing I don't see is your Harley.  :-)

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BrentHedden    11

I certainly agree with you that there are many technical issues that FMS has. Considering all of the other technologies that it interfaces with (Java, Apache/IIS, Active Directory, etc), they've done a fairly good job on making a stable product.  The most frustrating part to me is when something isn't working according to the manual, and there is no technical documentation on what to do to fix the issue.  For example, if external authentication isn't working, there is no way to tell, fix, or understand what the issue really is, except to reboot the AD server.  Then it magically starts working again.

This forum is a very good resource for getting things resolved.  Especially with having Wim here.  But they don't have all the answers, and sometimes I have to spend the time calling FMI.  

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Josh Ormond    89

I've had exactly the opposite experience with 14 ( aside from SSL issues which isn't really a 14 issue ). It's faster, takes less resources. Was really easy to install. So there has to be something else going on.

Also, explain to me how the pricing is too high?! I have heard this from several people. I don't get it. Unless you are just mad that the connections aren't free.

Options for concurrent connections:

  1. Lease connections on an annual basis: $8/month.
  2. Buy the connections for 1x fee: $288/connection.
    • If you use it 1 year = $24/month.
    • If you use it 2 years = $12/month.
    • If you use it 3 years = $8/month.
    • If you use it 4 years = $6/month.
    • If you use it 5 years = $4.80/month.
    • If you use it 6 years = $4/month.
    • If you use it 7 years = $3.43/month.
    • If you use it 8 years = $3/month.

So what is the problem? What software are you using that cost you less than $5 month that allows multi-user access, back-up routines, and access from nearly anywhere with an internet connection.

 

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artvault    6

Also, explain to me how the pricing is too high?! I have heard this from several people. I don't get it. Unless you are just mad that the connections aren't free.

​I find that it has grown disproportionate to what we can charge for development. If FileMaker was in fact a "dot it all yourself with not time" database, as FM marketing is trying to make people believe, I could understand. But most clients have to pay for licensing AND development.

If the licensing cost for a development environment (not a finished solution), is as high as the development cost itself, I start to have a problem selling my services. 

I wish that there were more significant volume discounts.

PS: I might also add that I'm in Europe where a FMS license with 40 WebDirect connections costs almost USD 17,000.00, compared to 12,000 in the US.

Edited by artvault
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Josh Ormond    89

So if you were to build the same solution in with an Oracle backend, or MS Server, or a php/mysql combo...how much would you charge?

We have had several quotes for work done. For a solution that costs us ~$1500/yr in license costs, we have received quotes for $25k - $250k ( mind you we are talking about a solution that has between 5-10 users ). A solution that is handling 40 concurrent users is no small solution.

So either they pay up front for triple the development costs, or they pay less for development and more for the license fees.

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artvault    6

So either they pay up front for triple the development costs, or they pay less for development and more for the license fees.

That's probably precisely what FileMaker is thinking.

I hope clients see it the same way and we can continue to write our FM success stories :-) 

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James Gill    8

Sounds like a lot of your issues are a result of Apple OS X Server and not Filemaker 14 itself.  I hate to say it, and I'll likely get some flak for it, but I find that OS X Server is just not viable to support in anything but the most basic Filemaker deployment at this point.  With the breakneck speed that Apple releases new OS's (and new bugs), coupled with their relatively poor documentation & Community support resources for OS X Server, I'd stick with a 'real' Server OS aka Windows Server 2008 or 2012.  

Just for kicks, I tried to deploy Filemaker 13 Server Advanced with a single machine deployment a custom PHP solution a few months ago.  The process was, to put it mildly, infuriating.

This is coming from somebody who was heavily invested in OS X Server infrastructure up until about 4 years ago.  Using Windows as a back end and Mac OS X for end users is a win-win.  You get the flexibility, excellent support & industry standards of Windows as a back-end (and the hardware that goes with it) and the aethestics & ease of use of Mac OS X for your desktop users.

Edited by James Gill
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Wim Decorte    455

I hate to say it, and I'll likely get some flak for it, but I find that OS X Server is just not viable to support

​No flak to be expected I think.  Apple abandoned the server space a long time ago.

 

 

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Wim is completely correct.  And while on this topic of Server management, I encourage all attending the 20th Anniversary DevCon to attend Wim's session on FIleMaker® Server 14 and the standby server:

http://www.filemaker.com/learning/devcon/2015/schedule-thursday.html#COR019

 

Steven

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I've read in several posts that using Mac OS X Server with Filemaker Server was a no no, so my X-Serve runs regular Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, without Server Extensions.  I'm about to try Filemaker Server 14, but will be doing this within a Parallels Desktop Virtual Machine.  I realise that this won't give an indication of true speed, but it will let me proceed with testing without upgrading the main server to 10.9 Mavericks (at least until I'm ready)

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Wim Decorte    455

Is there a question in that statement, something we can help with?

 

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I was agreeing with James Gill about Mac OS X Server (although not necessarily about using Windows Server instead)

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