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Old 01-21-2005, 12:31 PM   #1
TommyMontana
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Filemaker Server remote access?????

i am trying to access my office's FM server from home and cannot seem to get it to work. i have a static ip dsl line in the office. can anyone help me get this up and running???
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Old 01-21-2005, 04:03 PM   #2
AHunter3
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FmServer version?

I'll assume 6; if you're using 7, I'll simply guess that not much has changed.

You have to specify, on the FileMaker Server box, that Server is to allow remote administration.

Go to the actual FmServer box and...

On a PC Server:

Open the FileMaker Server Console (, I think it's in Administrative Tools; if not, it's not hard to find in the Start Menu); Click the gear-motif icon labeled "Admin./Networking" which brings up one of those infernal Microsoft "Wizards" and go "Next" until you get to Remote Administration.

On a Mac:

do a Finder search for an application named FileMaker Server Config and launch it; then go to Preferences; pick the tab "Administration".

By default it will probably say "Disable remote administration". Switch it to "Requires password" and enter the pw you wish to use; or, if you've taken leave of your senses, "Requires no password".

NOW...on your local box, insert the FileMaker Server Installation CD (not the FileMaker Pro Installation CD) and poke around until you find the option of installing the Remote Administation plug-in, without which you still aren't going anywhere. After it runs, launch FileMaker, check in Preferences to make sure the plug-in shows up and is checked. If so, you should now be able to Go to Open, go to Hosts, {if necessary, i.e., different subnet from server, pick "Specify Remote Host" and type in the IP}, and when you see the Server, identified by name or IP address, double-click the Server name itself, enter the pw you specified, and you're in business.
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Old 01-22-2005, 04:58 AM   #3
acme.mail.order
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And lets also make sure that the office router/firewall is forwarding port 5003 to the appropriate machine.
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Old 01-22-2005, 05:32 AM   #4
AHunter3
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Good catch! I somehow missed the "from home" part.

If you can open the FileMaker databases themselves from home as a client, you'll be able to open the admin panel for the server without any additional adjustments to the firewall, though.
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Old 04-18-2005, 12:01 PM   #5
TommyMontana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3
FmServer version?

I'll assume 6; if you're using 7, I'll simply guess that not much has changed.

You have to specify, on the FileMaker Server box, that Server is to allow remote administration.

Go to the actual FmServer box and...

On a PC Server:

Open the FileMaker Server Console (, I think it's in Administrative Tools; if not, it's not hard to find in the Start Menu); Click the gear-motif icon labeled "Admin./Networking" which brings up one of those infernal Microsoft "Wizards" and go "Next" until you get to Remote Administration.

On a Mac:

do a Finder search for an application named FileMaker Server Config and launch it; then go to Preferences; pick the tab "Administration".

By default it will probably say "Disable remote administration". Switch it to "Requires password" and enter the pw you wish to use; or, if you've taken leave of your senses, "Requires no password".

NOW...on your local box, insert the FileMaker Server Installation CD (not the FileMaker Pro Installation CD) and poke around until you find the option of installing the Remote Administation plug-in, without which you still aren't going anywhere. After it runs, launch FileMaker, check in Preferences to make sure the plug-in shows up and is checked. If so, you should now be able to Go to Open, go to Hosts, {if necessary, i.e., different subnet from server, pick "Specify Remote Host" and type in the IP}, and when you see the Server, identified by name or IP address, double-click the Server name itself, enter the pw you specified, and you're in business.

actually running 5.5 (is a specialty database that has not been updated in far too long). still have not figured out how to access this thing.
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Old 04-18-2005, 04:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyMontana
actually running 5.5 (is a specialty database that has not been updated in far too long). still have not figured out how to access this thing.

I think the ports are the same on FmServer 5.5 (was it between 5.0 and 5.5 that they changed? That sounds right).

What have you done so far?

Can you do remote admin from there in your office, from a different Mac (or PC)? If so, we know you've got remote admin set up correctly on the server box. So that's a good thing to check. If we know FmServer is set up correctly to allow for remote access, the prob is in the network or on your local (home) machine.

Can you open the databases themselves (as a client) from your home machine? If so, networking is set up fine if you can open the database files you should be able to open up remote admin as well, if you're set up properly for it on your home box.

When you type the IP address of the FmServer box in the Hosts dialog, what (if anything) eventually comes up? Do you see a server name or IP in italics? Greyed out or in black?

If it's in black, what happens when you double-click the server name? Are you queried for a password?

----EDIT----

The port changeover was indeed between versions 5.0 and 5.5 but had more to do with the client software (FileMaker 5 versus 5.5). As long as your client software is at least FileMaker Pro 5.5 and not 5.0, the firewall should have UDP turned on for both incoming and outgoing traffic on port 5003. (Not being a network geek, I'm not prepared to tell you what that means. It was just info I always had to relay to whoever was netgeeking at any new installation).

On reread of your original post, it's not as obvious as I originally thought that you're even necessarily asking about remote administration. Are you, or are you just trying to open the freakin' database as a client from home?

Last edited by AHunter3; 04-18-2005 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 04-18-2005, 04:52 PM   #7
TommyMontana
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thanks for the hearty response. i AM just trying to log on as a client of my filemaker server. i can get onto the box through timbuktu, but when i try to use the same ip from filemaker i get nada.
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Old 04-18-2005, 05:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyMontana
thanks for the hearty response. i AM just trying to log on as a client of my filemaker server. i can get onto the box through timbuktu, but when i try to use the same ip from filemaker i get nada.

OK.

You know the FileMaker Server box's IP address?

Assuming "yes", launch FileMaker Server; do Command-O for open; click the "Hosts" button; click where it says "Specify Host"; input the FmServer's IP address.

Report back what you see. (Should be a wriggly line, and then in the top half of the dialog a file list of open shared files. Might instead be that it eventually reverts back to just "Default Host" and "Specify Host" at the bottom, with the top half staying empty.

If you get the empty dialog box and no file list, check the company firewall to see if they're allowing traffic on port 5003 to go through. Oh, and also report what it is that you see when you're in the office and you go to File:Open and click "Hosts".

(Is that how you get in at the office, or were you given a "launcher" file to use?)
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Old 04-18-2005, 05:19 PM   #9
TommyMontana
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i use the host dialog to log in in the office, yes. i have to double check that 5003 was on the list of ports that were listed to be opened by our, somewhat idiotic, developer who wrote to database software. i have a sneaking suspicion that it is NOT. at this point what happens is i enter the ip in specify host and nothing comes up. in the office, on local network, it does come up. i will let you know if the port is open and is not the cause of the issue. thank you so so much for your help.
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Old 04-18-2005, 08:04 PM   #10
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You would probably well advised to consider a VPN for your connections or at least fully understand the exposure resulting from having ports and services such as Timbuktu or FM open to the internet at large.
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Old 04-19-2005, 12:06 PM   #11
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Oh, and hey wait a minute anyhow...

By the way, if you're currently using Timbuktu to connect to your regular office computer, and then remotely access the database.... why do you want to connect directly to the database from home? It will be considerably slower.

It will also be more volatile. If your internet connectivity goes a bit wonky sometimes and you're connected via Timbuktu to your office box, you lose your Timbuktu connection, you cuss and reconnect and hey, there's the database exactly as you left it. If, on the other hand, you're connected to FmServer as a client and you lose your connection, you get to click past as many "Communication with the host has been lost and could not be reestablished" dialog boxes as you have individual open files, and then you get to reopen and refind the database element you were working on. If you were typing in a data entry field, you get to start over (you may well have lost the entire record, or even several records' worth of new/edited entries); likewise if you are the solution developer and were creating/editing FileMaker scripts or layouts. And if you were defining fields, it's much worse: you get to shut down FileMaker Server and reopen the files in local host mode (FileMaker Pro) and let it verify the blocks of all the files and hope you didn't totally hose any files...and when it's done, then you get to start over!

Now, obviously if you want/need to connect files that are local to your home computer with the database that's running on server (run scripts that move data back and forth, or use relationships that connect the files, etc), you don't have much choice. (Unless you want to put your local files up on FmServer, which you should, but I won't go into that any further right now).

But if you just want to view/edit/lookup data that's on the database, you've already got a situation that's superior in nearly every way to directly connecting over WAN as a FileMaker client.

Voldenuit:
Quote:
You would probably well advised to consider a VPN for your connections or at least fully understand the exposure resulting from having ports and services such as Timbuktu or FM open to the internet at large.

Good point. The latest version of Timbuktu intrinsically supports ssh encrypted sessions. No more passwords-in-clear text, and you don't need to punch any holes in your firewall. Yet another argument in favor of TB2.

If you're going to connect as a remote FmPro client, a good VPN is indeed advisable unless there's nothing remotely confidential about what's in the database.
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Old 04-19-2005, 12:12 PM   #12
TommyMontana
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i was told this was possible, but can't seem to get it to work. our database is comprised of about a dozen single FM files. when i try to open the one that shows up in the dialog when i connect at the office i get a multi-user error of some sort (i am at the office so i can't recall exactly what it was) and then the database "opens" but with none of the data. i know it would be significantly faster to go through timbuktu, but i am unsure of how to access the files.
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Old 04-19-2005, 03:45 PM   #13
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Hmm. So you can OPEN one file (primary file?) of the database but then get errors and the rest of the solution doesn't open for you. Very interesting. (Your ports are fine, we know that by you getting into the one file you tried).

When you open the files at the office (where you are now, yes?): Do you get momentary windows popping up saying "Opening <FileName.fp5> as a guest of <FmServerName>" for each of the dozen-or-so individual files?

When you go file, open, click hosts: do you see all fifteen files, or just one? Hmmph, that doesn't prove anything though, since files can be shared "invisibly". OK...

Try doing this: create a new, empty database file on your desktop. (File: New Database...). Give it any old name (let's say "test"); just click "Done", don't bother defining any fields. Go to ScriptMaker (Scripts:ScriptMaker), create a new script (type any name, click "Create"). From the lefthand side of the next screen, pick the top item, "Perform Script", double-click it so it shows up on the righthand side. Select it on the righthand side with a single-click. At the right bottom, now, click where it says "Specify". It will say "<unknown>" by default, change that to External Script. Now click the "Change File" button. When the dialog comes up, click the "Hosts" button, same as you do when you're opening the main file in the solution. (Enter the IP address in "Specify Hosts" if you usually have to. If you normally see the files right away without entering an IP address, don't do so now either). Do you see all fifteen files now?


If you don't see all the files there, the problem is that some of the files that you need for this solution aren't on FmServer. (A really bad design problem in my opinion...although sometimes there are mitigating circumstances). And that would explain why you can't run the database from home.

(Once you get this far (seeing, or not seeing, the fifteen files), you can cancel out of everything, just click "Cancel" or "Done" until you're staring at the blank white page of your empty database. Close it and delete the "test" file.)

A multi-user error usually refers to a file that's currently open in single-user mode (not served up by server and FileMaker filesharing not turned on for that file) that FileMaker attempts to open in the Finder. This fits with the possibility that the files in question are not being served up by Server at all. Question is, where are they then? That you see a multi-user error message implies that you've got the volume the files are actually in mounted on your desktop. When you're at home trying this, do you by any chance have any remote volumes (SMB or AppleTalk) mounted over the network and appearing on your Desktop?

Last edited by AHunter3; 04-19-2005 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 04-19-2005, 03:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyMontana
I know it would be significantly faster to go through timbuktu, but i am unsure of how to access the files.


The computer you Timbuktu into should be your regular office computer. (NOT FileMaker Server. No one but a FileMaker developer has any business ever Timbuktu'ing into FileMaker Server). You would then do exactly what you do when you're actually at the office.
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Old 04-19-2005, 04:28 PM   #15
TommyMontana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3
The computer you Timbuktu into should be your regular office computer. (NOT FileMaker Server. No one but a FileMaker developer has any business ever Timbuktu'ing into FileMaker Server). You would then do exactly what you do when you're actually at the office.

my regular office computer is a laptop and goes home with me, but i finally get the picture. i have to timbuktu into a DIFFERENT computer than the one hosting the database. well that's pretty simple. no one asked me the obvious "ummmm....is it plugged in" question!

Last edited by TommyMontana; 04-19-2005 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 04-19-2005, 04:38 PM   #16
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I apologize for jumping in here, but I'd like to know if your network at work uses a proxy setting? If it does you may need to disable it while at home and re-enable it when you return to work.
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