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FM Proper vs. IWP


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I have been developing a database to be IWP compatible assuming that my clients would be able to access the database more easily and interact within the database without the risk of getting booted off of a connection to a server or experience long lag times. I made the assumption that this was common after my experience with linking to a server to work within FM proper and experiencing quite a bit of trouble when attempting simple data entry.


My question is, If the server had enough resources and speed could my clients connect to the server and use filemaker proper without the issues I had experienced in the past?


When looking for a server to host the database on, what are key pieces of information to consider so I can better my chances of a smooth connection?

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Sorry amatureuser...must have missed this one when I was reading through the new posts.


Well, the answer is not all that easy. The Server can have an impact for sure...but a problem with FileMaker disconnecting, is a problem with something on the network that is cause the broken/slow connection. And the problems can be as varied as your network itself.


So I guess we need to start with some question to pinpoint a possible culprit ( some may sound really basic, but remember I don't know exactly what level you are at regarding networking and FM ):

  • Are you using FileMaker Server? Or plain vanilla FileMaker Pro? To host the files.
  • Is the box dedicated to just FileMaker?
  • Is the file sharing turned on or off? Meaning, can you navigate from another computer on the network to access files on that network drive?
  • Wireless or LAN? Data speeds? Switch size?
  • Are your users connecting via Open Remote? Or going to the network drive and double clicking the file?
  • What else is running on that server?
  • Do you have intermittent internet problems, as well?

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Sorry about that. Sometimes one person assumes someone else whose strong points are in that area will provide a better answer, and then they don't show up to do so!




If the server had enough resources and speed, you ask, could your clients connect without the issues you had experienced in the past, which presumably consist of losing the connection in the middle of whatever they were doing or experiencing long lag times?


That depends on the connection on your CLIENT end of the network (T1? Broadband DSL? Mobile phone network piggyback connection? Dialup?) and where your clients are AT (down the hall and connected to the LAN? across town and accessing via WAN? in a suburb of Korat, Thailand and connecting through a VPN with encryption?) to an extent on the design and composition of your database (10,000 records average per table and mostly form views with a simple portal or list views without related data? or 8,000,000 records average per table with large graphics on the layouts and in container fields, summary fields and complex calculation fields that tally up values across multi-term relationships?) and also on what kinds of activity the database has to endure overall (simple data entry with a few reports? or massive imports and exports and long looping scripts that have to process vast quantities of aggregate data, with backups running hourly just to add to the pile-on).


I can tell you that performance was not a big issue on an 18 GB file hosted on a dedicated server in Minneapolis MN, accessed by perhaps 50 people in-house and by me in New York, a dozen or so people in California and Texas and another dozen or so from laptops using Sprint wireless LAN cards. The people on the laptops had the worst of it because of the speed of their connections.


Some people who find direct connection to FmServer via FileMaker Pro from afar to be too sluggish solve the problem by remoting in to a LOCAL computer that IS down the hall from FmServer: this can be a one-workstation-per-remote-user solution like setting up an otherwise unused little iMac or Dell with VNC or Timbuktu and then Joe from Cincinnati connects to it and runs it via remote control; or it can be a Terminal Services type of connection of the sort supported by Microsoft and Citrix, where 2, 7, a dozen, or 75 users simultaneously connect to a server and each get a session; a multi-user license for FileMaker is installed on the box and each remote user runs their own FileMaker connection in their separate remote session. It is faster than direct FileMaker Pro connection (because you're only transferring screen pixels, mouse movements, and keyboard keystrokes over the wide area network) and not so subject to disconnections (if you lose the remote connection, the box you were connected to still has FileMaker open and running and when you reconnect you continue where you left off without loss of data or context).


Hope this helps.

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  • 1 month later...


Thanks so much for your response. Your input really helps especially the last paragraph dealing with remoting into a local computer.


Thanks again!

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