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Run Filemaker Pro 13 on own in-house server?


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Hi.

Having created two Filemaker Pro 13 databases, and used them for sometime on one computer, we have now built a new office with...

  • Three new PC Workstations
  • An in-house server [not a NAS]
  • All linked via ethernet

...are wondering if we can put the two databases on the new 'in-house-server' and access them from each workstation via the ethernet network?

Having contacted Filemaker, they told me in no uncertain terms that if I placed the database on a NAS [Network Attached Storage] it would corrupt the file, but then I wasn't aware that we were having a inhouse-server fitted so didn't asked regarding that option at the time.

[A] The lady at Filemaker said that if we wanted to access a Filemaker Pro 13 database on up to... I think she said 'five?' computers, it must be located on one of the computers hard drives with Filemaker open, and then map the other workstations to that file with each running their own Filemaker Pro 13 program.

The reason we are trying to avoid that option, and get it on the 'in-house server' is because a tech company is monitoring, backing-up, restoring and managing that server externally saving us the worry. In other words we want to dump all that responsibility on them.

The reason we are trying to avoid using Filemaker Server is not only because our internet is very slow, but currently intermittent.

At the end of the day I'm guessing we will will have to go for option [A], but don't like it because one computer has to be running all of the time even when not in use, as well as the issue that if it won't boot, crashes or whatever everyone is unable to access the database. The in-house sever will back-up that workstation but still... if we can we would prefer to run the databases from the in-house server itself.

One guy from the tech-company said that if we want to run it on the in-house server, we need to upgrade to "Filemaker Server"... if that is the case would we then have to upgrade all of our current Filemaker 13 programs to version 14... to access the databases? Personally I'm not sure he is right.

SO, to clarify....

  1. Can we run our databases on our in-house server with Filemaker Pro 13.
  2. Or are we required to upgrade to Filemaker-server on one or more workstations? 
  3. Or is our only option [A]

Again, we can not run it from Filemaker's server because of an unreliable internet connect which could isolate the office from the database at any given time.

Any advice would be appreciated, Karlos.

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The reason we are trying to avoid using Filemaker Server is not only because our internet is very slow, but currently intermittent.
...
Again, we can not run it from Filemaker's server because of an unreliable internet connect which could isolate the office from the database at any given time.

I am afraid you are misunderstanding some of the basic concepts here. FileMaker Server is an application you run on your own network. Filemaker (the company) does not provide a server for you (although there are hosting companies that will).

As an alternative to FileMaker Server, you have the option of hosting the files by one of the computers connected to the network. This computer would have to have a copy of the FileMakerPro application installed, and it could serve the files to up to 5 users. See more details here: http://www.filemaker.com/help/14/fmp/en/html/sharing_data.17.1.html#1029496

 

The reason we are trying to avoid that option, and get it on the 'in-house server' is because a tech company is monitoring, backing-up, restoring and managing that server externally saving us the worry. In other words we want to dump all that responsibility on them.

That might be a problem if the tech company is not familiar with Filemaker.

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You should use FileMaker Server to host the files for multi-user access.  That's one of its main purposes.

 

Steven

Thanks for taking the time to reply Steve.

Are you saying that all workstations must upgrade from Filemaker Pro 13 to Filemaker Server? Or is Filemaker Server something that needs to be installed on the server itself while the workstations themselves run FMP 13?

Otherwise, can we upgrade one account to "Filemaker Pro Advanced" and make a standalone database to run on the in-house server with or without "Filemaker Server"?

I think I need to become familiar with the attributes of...

  1. Filmaker Pro Advanced.
  2. Filemaker Server.

Thanks, Karlos.

To comments point...or if you are not familiar with FileMaker server

Thanks Kris.

Where is the best place to 'familiarise' myself with the attributes of Filemaker Server, Thanks.

Karlos.

I am afraid you are misunderstanding some of the basic concepts here. FileMaker Server is an application you run on your own network. Filemaker (the company) does not provide a server for you (although there are hosting companies that will).

As an alternative to FileMaker Server, you have the option of hosting the files by one of the computers connected to the network. This computer would have to have a copy of the FileMakerPro application installed, and it could serve the files to up to 5 users. See more details here: http://www.filemaker.com/help/14/fmp/en/html/sharing_data.17.1.html#1029496

 

Ah, missed the top reply, that is very helpful "comment" I'll read the link.

Regards, Karlos.

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Thanks for taking the time to reply Steve.

Are you saying that all workstations must upgrade from Filemaker Pro 13 to Filemaker Server? Or is Filemaker Server something that needs to be installed on the server itself while the workstations themselves run FMP 13?

FMS only goes on the server machine.  All other workstations use FMP or FMPA

 

 

Otherwise, can we upgrade one account to "Filemaker Pro Advanced" and make a standalone database to run on the in-house server with or without "Filemaker Server"?

 

No.  "standalone databases" or "runtimes" can not be networked.  They are truly standalone.

 

One guy from the tech-company said that if we want to run it on the in-house server, we need to upgrade to "Filemaker Server"... if that is the case would we then have to upgrade all of our current Filemaker 13 programs to version 14... to access the databases? Personally I'm not sure he is right.

 

You can use FileMaker Server 14, and leave the clients at FileMaker 13...

To comments point...or if you are not familiar with FileMaker server

I am going to echo Chris' and Comment's concern here.  You absolutely need to vet whether that company understands all the best practices around a stable FileMaker server deployment.  And realistically you need to understand them too otherwise how can you verify that they are doing their job and that your files are in good health?

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The reason we are trying to avoid that option, and get it on the 'in-house server' is because a tech company is monitoring, backing-up, restoring and managing that server externally saving us the worry. In other words we want to dump all that responsibility on them.

One guy from the tech-company said that if we want to run it on the in-house server, we need to upgrade to "Filemaker Server"... if that is the case would we then have to upgrade all of our current Filemaker 13 programs to version 14... to access the databases? Personally I'm not sure he is right.

 

You can't dump responsibility onto an external party. It's always your responsibility to ensure they do their job. You have to know what they're expected to do and ensure they actually do it.

If you're deploying a new environment, I'd investigate a Qnap NAS. They can provide all the storage you need, perform backups into the cloud, and run a virtualized FM server. I haven't worked with Qnap's, but have with Synology NAS's (they don't support virtualization though). If at all possible, and depending on the amount of data you need to store/backup, get a second NAS to do inhouse backups as well. DO NOT use the same brand/make disk in a second NAS, use a different vendor. If your budget is limited, at least ensure you purchase kit that can be expanded easily in the future. Ie, if you purchase a NAS, get one with more bays than you need now. The chassis is generally not that expensive.

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You can't dump responsibility onto an external party. It's always your responsibility to ensure they do their job.

Well stated.  The only thing you can dump onto the external party is the execution of the tasks.  But you have to tell them what the tasks are and be able check that execution against your requirements and against the established best practices.

Ultimately those are your files and your data, not theirs.  It doesn't run their business, it runs yours.

 

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