FileMaker Cloud for AWS 1.18.0 Help
Introducing FileMaker Cloud for AWS
What is FileMaker Cloud for AWS?
FileMaker Cloud® for AWS is a service that provides access in the cloud to custom apps that use FileMaker® Pro Advanced, FileMaker Go®, and FileMaker WebDirect™. FileMaker Cloud for AWS runs on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud and is offered through AWS Marketplace.
FileMaker Cloud for AWS hardware and software requirements are listed here: FileMaker Cloud for AWS Technical Specifications.
FileMaker Cloud for AWS technical overview
FileMaker Cloud for AWS uses Apache HTTP server as an access point. Admin Console for FileMaker Cloud for AWS is the user interface that allows users to monitor and administer their instance. Instance-related data from AWS and FileMaker data from the FileMaker Data API is sent to Admin Console through the FileMaker Cloud for AWS web server.
FileMaker Cloud for AWS 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 for AWS instance, you use Admin Console to monitor and manage your instance. There are two main types of tasks:
- instance-related tasks, such as upgrading the storage volume size
- FileMaker data-related tasks, such as preserving backups or downloading databases
About FileMaker Cloud for AWS users
FileMaker Cloud for AWS users are server administrators. There are two types of administrators: root and non-root.
- The root administrator creates the FileMaker Cloud for AWS instance and has full access privileges. As the instance creator, the root administrator receives all FileMaker Cloud for AWS emails. The root administrator invites other users to be non-root administrators.
Non-root administrators are authenticated with Amazon credentials and have limited privileges.
Non-root administrators can:
- work with FileMaker Pro Advanced databases and backups (but not backup snapshots)
- receive system notification emails.
- perform configuration tasks related to session timeouts, database filtering, plug-ins, and Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) data sources
- download client software and logs
- upgrade the FileMaker Cloud for AWS version, refresh the instance, or change the instance type or storage volume size. Non-root administrators will see an error if they initiate these tasks.
- update the FileMaker license, configure SSL certificates, change user passwords or email addresses, set up client authentication, enter opt-in registration information, or discontinue the FileMaker Cloud for AWS subscription. These features are not visible to non-root administrators.
- in a FileMaker Cloud for AWS Bring Your Own License (BYOL) instance, they cannot upgrade the FileMaker Data API annual limit, or sync the license.
Non-root administrators cannot:
Note:FileMaker Cloud for AWS does not permit Guest account access.
There are also FileMaker client users, which you see on the Databases page of Admin Console. These users are connected to hosted databases via FileMaker Pro Advanced, FileMaker Go, or FileMaker WebDirect User Licenses.
Considerations and troubleshooting
FileMaker Cloud for AWS considerations
Consider the following information as you use FileMaker Cloud for AWS.
- FileMaker Cloud for AWS does not support custom FileMaker WebDirect homepages hosted on the FileMaker WebDirect web server. However, custom FileMaker WebDirect homepages are supported on an external website.
- FileMaker Cloud for AWS does not support uploading a FileMaker Pro Advanced runtime solution.
- FileMaker Cloud for AWS installs the following Linux fonts: Liberation, Baekmuk Batang (Korean), IPA Gothic (Japanese), and WenQuanYi Zen Hei (wqy-zenhei) (Chinese).
- Admin Console always shows time in the UTC time. 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 Advanced scripts.
- FileMaker Cloud for AWS does not support automatic login to a FileMaker Pro Advanced file using a specific account and password. If you upload a file and then change the file options in FileMaker Pro Advanced to specify an account and password, the file will not subsequently open in FileMaker Cloud for AWS.
- In FileMaker Cloud for AWS, the FileMaker Script Engine (FMSE) can only access the Data/Documents and temp folders. FMSE is blocked from accessing a localhost port.
- FileMaker Cloud for AWS supports up to ten concurrent administrator connections to each instance.
- The following processes will take about ten minutes: FileMaker Cloud for AWS upgrade, data volume upgrade, instance type change, and instance refresh. No clients can connect to FileMaker Cloud for AWS during this downtime. Administrators should notify users to save their work and disconnect all users before initiating any of these processes.
- When FileMaker Cloud for AWS administrators initiate 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 for AWS server or instance restart, broken HTML will appear in Admin Console. Refresh your browser to resolve the problem.
Plug-ins and data sources
- FileMaker Cloud for AWS 1.18 requires ODBC and JDBC drivers that are supported in the FileMaker 18 Platform. Earlier driver versions are not supported.
- Updating a plug-in on FileMaker Cloud for AWS does not update the function in FileMaker Pro Advanced. You must restart the FileMaker Cloud for AWS 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 for AWS public IP address (provided in the EC2 Management Console).
fmsadmincommand line interface (CLI) commands are not supported in FileMaker Cloud for AWS. 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 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. You can also edit the inbound rules for a security group, blocking access from other IP addresses, to prevent clients from signing in during maintenance periods.
- 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 Dashboard page in Admin Console, 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 FileMaker data 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 for AWS 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 for AWS 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 for AWS user performs an instance switchover, any security group updates that you made do not carry over. You must reinstate those changes.
- For FileMaker Cloud for AWS, in the EC2 Dashboard, instance protection is on by default. To delete the instance and its associated stack, see Discontinuing your subscription.
- 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 for AWS does not support use of static IP addresses, known as Elastic IP addresses, for cloud computing. 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. You must still manually disassociate and reassociate the address whenever there is an instance switchover event, such as an instance refresh.
FileMaker Cloud for AWS 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 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, go to Downloads and Resources, and download an alternative CloudFormation template from the list of technical resources. You can use the downloaded template when you deploy FileMaker Cloud for AWS.