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
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 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.
- FileMaker Cloud does not support custom FileMaker WebDirect homepages.
- FileMaker Cloud does not support uploading a FileMaker Pro runtime solution.
- 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.
- If you create a file in FileMaker Pro 16 and set the Minimum version allowed to open this file option to 16.0 (in the File Options dialog box), you will not be able to open the file in FileMaker Cloud 15. This message is added to event.log: "Database name could not be opened. Database version incompatible; try opening in FileMaker Pro."
- FileMaker Cloud does not support automatic login to a FileMaker Pro file using a specific account and password. If you upload a file and then change the file options in FileMaker Pro to specify an account and password, the file will not subsequently open in FileMaker Cloud.
- 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 administrator 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.
- If an on-demand backup does not appear in the All Backups list, check the awsmanager.log file for a failure message.
- Occasionally, after a FileMaker Cloud server or instance restart, broken HTML will appear in Admin Console. Refresh your browser to resolve the problem.
Plug-ins and data sources
- 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.
- If you run a script that includes the Perform Script on Server and Send Mail script steps using a Microsoft SMTP server, you must configure the email service with the FileMaker Cloud public IP address (provided in the EC2 Management Console).
fmsadminCommand Line Interpreter (CLI) commands are not supported in FileMaker Cloud. If you use the Perform Script on Server script step with an
fmsadmincommand in your script, you might see FileMaker error code 812, "Exceeded host's capacity."
- 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:
Consider the following information as you work with your FileMaker Cloud instance in AWS.
Working with your instance
You perform several instance-related tasks in the AWS EC2 Management Console. For example:
- To reset your password, you look up a value on the Tags tab of the FileMaker data volume.
- To make port changes, you edit inbound and outbound rules for your security groups.
- To name your instance (for easy visibility), you enter a name on the Instances page on the EC2 Dashboard.
You must know the instance ID to work with your instance:
- Find the instance ID in the System Overview on the FileMaker Cloud Admin Console Dashboard, and copy it or write it down.
- In the EC2 Dashboard, click Instances, and search for the instance ID in the search box.
- In the row for your instance, assign a name by hovering over the Name field until a pencil appears. Click the pencil and type the name, then click the check mark to save the name.
The Description tab provides a summary view of your instance. It shows the public IP address and provides links to your security groups and attached devices (also called volumes).
The attached volumes are:
- dev/sda1 – the root volume, where log data resides
- dev/sdb – the swap volume, used by Linux for processing
- dev/sdf – the FileMaker Data volume
Do not rename any of these volumes, even if the names are blank. In particular, do not rename an instance's FileMaker Data volume, or the instance will become unusable. Instead, use tags to safely keep track of your volumes:
- In the EC2 Dashboard, locate and note your instance ID.
- Under Elastic Block Store, click Volumes, and add a filter for your instance ID (or locate it in the Attachment Information column).
- Select the FileMakerData volume.
- Click the Tags tab for the volume, then click Add/Edit Tags.
- Click Create Tag, enter the key and value names, click Save.
- Click Show Column to see the key added as a column to the volume information.
For example, add a key that identifies the host name for the instance, so you know which instance that FileMaker Data volume is associated with.
- You receive notifications when your storage volume is nearing capacity. Upgrade the storage volume size after such a notification appears. When the storage volume is full, you cannot upgrade the volume size and you receive a switchover failure message.
- If you forget the host name of your instance, you can sign in using the FileMaker Cloud public IP address (provided in the instance description in the EC2 Management Console). Thereafter, use the URL with the host name and domain name to sign in.
- 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.
- If you uploaded several large databases within a short time and see the AWS error "ConcurrentSnapshotLimitExceeded," you have reached the limit of concurrent snapshots you can create on the data volume. In the EC2 Management Console, under Elastic Block Store > Snapshots, review the Status column. Wait for any pending requests to complete, and then check if any snapshots are in an incomplete state (such as Error), as they count against your limit.
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.
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 Default VPC and Default Subnets.
Note: To use your own VPC, see the FileMaker Developer Subscription Software page for an alternative CloudFormation template: FileMaker Developer Subscription. You can then use that template when you deploy FileMaker Cloud.