FileMaker Cloud Help
Introducing FileMaker Cloud
What is FileMaker Cloud?
FileMaker Cloud provides reliable access to your database solutions (custom apps) that use FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and FileMaker WebDirect. Your data is managed by FileMaker Cloud and hosted through Amazon Web Services (AWS). FileMaker Cloud is offered by Orbitera on AWS Marketplace.
FileMaker Cloud hardware and software requirements are listed here:
FileMaker Cloud Technical Specifications.
FileMaker Cloud technical overview
FileMaker Cloud uses Apache HTTP server as an access point. FileMaker Cloud Admin Console is the user interface that allows users to monitor and administer their instance. Instance-related data from AWS and FileMaker-related data from the FileMaker Data API is sent to Admin Console through the FileMaker Cloud web server.
FileMaker Cloud uses these Amazon Web Services:
- Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) provides scalable computing capacity
- Elastic Block Storage (EBS) provides persistent storage volumes for your data
- Simple Storage Service (S3) stores Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), used to launch EC2 instances; S3 also stores snapshots (backup copies) of data volumes
- Simple Email Service (SES) provides a platform for sending email notifications
- CloudFormation provides a template for provisioning AWS resources needed to create an EC2 instance
Monitoring and managing instances
After you create and set up your FileMaker Cloud instance, you use FileMaker Cloud Admin Console to monitor and manage your instance. There are two main types of tasks:
- FileMaker Cloud instance-related tasks, such as upgrading the storage volume size
- FileMaker data-related tasks, such as preserving backups or downloading databases
Note:When a new software version or patch is available, you see an Upgrade link or a notification in FileMaker Cloud Admin Console. Always keep your software up-to-date.
About FileMaker Cloud users
FileMaker Cloud users are server administrators. There are two types of FileMaker Cloud administrators: root and non-root.
- The root administrator creates the FileMaker Cloud instance and has full access privileges. As the instance creator, the root administrator receives all FileMaker Cloud emails. The root administrator invites other users to be non-root administrators.
- Non-root administrators are authenticated with Amazon credentials and have limited privileges. They can work with FileMaker Pro databases and backups, upgrade or refresh the FileMaker Cloud instance, and receive system notification emails. Non-root administrators do not have access to FileMaker Cloud opt-in registration.
Note:FileMaker Cloud does not permit guest administrator account access.
There are also FileMaker client users, which you see on the Databases page of FileMaker Cloud. These users are connected to hosted databases via FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, or FileMaker WebDirect User Connections licenses.
FileMaker Cloud and AWS considerations
FileMaker Cloud considerations
Consider the following information as you use FileMaker Cloud.
- If the root administrator changes their password to one that contains non-ASCII characters, the administrator will not be able to sign in to FileMaker Cloud. The workaround is to reset the password.
- FileMaker Cloud does not support custom FileMaker WebDirect homepages.
- FileMaker Cloud does not support uploading a FileMaker Pro runtime solution.
- In FileMaker Cloud, the FileMaker Script Engine (FMSE) can only access the Data/Document and Data/Database folders. FMSE is blocked from accessing a localhost port.
- FileMaker Cloud supports up to ten concurrent administrator connections to each instance.
- The following processes will take about ten minutes: FileMaker Cloud upgrade, data volume upgrade, instance type change, and instance refresh. No clients can connect to FileMaker Cloud during this downtime. Administrators should notify users to save their work and disconnect all users before initiating any of these processes.
- When a FileMaker Cloud user initiates an instance upgrade, refresh, or restore, they are informed that the process will take about ten minutes and to wait for a success email. However, any other users who are signed in during this time do not see this message. Also during this time, other users can sign in until the server shuts down for restart. After shutdown, they cannot sign in but do not see an explanation message. To prevent potential problems, it is important for the initiator of an instance change to advise any other users who might be signed in.
- Updating a plug-in on FileMaker Cloud does not update the function in FileMaker Pro. You must refresh the FileMaker Cloud instance for the update to take effect.
- You cannot establish an ODBC connection if the source name contains extended ASCII characters.
- When you configure an ODBC source with the Microsoft SQL Server driver and a non-default port, you must append the port number to the server IP address (for example:
- Occasionally, after a FileMaker Cloud server or instance restart, broken HTML will appear in Admin Console. Refresh your browser to resolve the problem.
- If you forget the host name of your instance, you can sign in using the public IP address, which is shown in your instance description in the AWS Management Console. Thereafter, use the URL with the host name and domain name to sign in.
- The FileMaker Cloud Admin Console always shows time in the host UTC time zone. If you want to use the local time zone, you must include the calculation (the difference between UTC and your time zone) in FileMaker Pro scripts.
Consider the following information as you work with your FileMaker Cloud instance in AWS.
Backups will not take place when the snapshot limit is reached for the data volume. When the limit is reached, an exception is logged in awsmanager.log. You have two options:
- In the AWS EC2 Dashboard, under Elastic Block Store (EBS) > Snapshots, delete some snapshots.
- Contact AWS Support and request an increase in your EBS snapshot limit.
- When a FileMaker Cloud user performs an instance switchover, the instance's name tag in the EC2 Management Console disappears. Go to the instance list in that console and click the pencil to name your instance again, then click the check mark to confirm.
- When a FileMaker Cloud user performs an instance switchover, any security group updates that you made do not carry over. You must reinstate those changes.
- For FileMaker Cloud, in the EC2 Dashboard, instance protection is on by default. This setting prevents an instance from being deleted. If you try to delete its associated stack, you will see an error message. If you disable instance protection and delete the instance, you can then delete the associated stack.
FileMaker Cloud does not support use of static IP addresses for cloud computing, known as Elastic IP addresses. If you choose to use an Elastic IP address, be aware that AWS accounts are limited to five Elastic IP addresses per region. In addition, terminating an instance does not remove the association of an Elastic IP address, and AWS imposes an hourly charge if an Elastic IP address is not associated with a running instance.
If you choose to manage your own DNS entries, you can create a DNS A record for your custom domain name that points to the Elastic IP address, but you must still manually disassociate and reassociate the address whenever there is an instance switchover event, such as an instance refresh.
FileMaker Cloud requires a default Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) in each AWS region. With a default VPC, an EC2 instance will always be assigned a public ipv4 address, which is required for users to connect to both FileMaker Cloud Admin Console and the Database Server from anywhere on the Internet. AWS accounts created before March 18, 2013, might not be able to launch a default VPC in their chosen region. (Such accounts have "EC2-Classic" attributes, in contrast to "EC2-VPC" attributes.) If your AWS account was created before then, contact AWS Support about enabling a default VPC for your account. For more information, see http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonVPC/latest/UserGuide/default-vpc.html
Note:To use your own VPC, see the FileMaker Developer Subscription Software page for an alternative CloudFormation template: https://community.filemaker.com/community/my_software/fds. You can then use that template when you deploy FileMaker Cloud.