Hosting databases > Uploading database files manually
Uploading database files manually
Note  The following information is for server administrators and group administrators.
You can manually copy FileMaker Pro database files to FileMaker Server; however, you must be sure to do the following:
Place the database files in the proper location. FileMaker Server hosts database files in a default folder (Databases) and two optional additional folders (additional_1 and additional_2). You can select or change those folders on the Database Server > Folders tab. See Setting up additional database folders.
If your database uses container fields that store objects externally, then place the externally stored container field objects in the proper location. If you created folders for your database, then make sure you create the correct folders on the server and copy the field objects into those folder.
macOS: Change group ownership for database files and container field objects.
Important  If you need to move, copy, or rename a hosted file, be sure to close it first. A database file must be closed before you can manually move, copy, or rename the hosted file. You can close the open databases on the Activity > Databases tab. See Closing hosted files.
The Database Server checks whether a database has some form of sharing enabled when the database is opened. If no other sharing is enabled, the Database Server automatically enables sharing via FileMaker Network (extended privilege fmapp) for the Full Access privilege set. If you enable only the fmwebdirect extended privilege for sharing via FileMaker WebDirect and don’t enable fmapp, then users can’t access the file with FileMaker Pro.
For information on how to remove databases that are already hosted, see Removing hosted files.
You can manually copy files with a filename extension of .fmp12 or files with a registered runtime solution filename extension. For information on registered runtime filename extensions, see Database settings.
Database filenames must be unique for the entire server regardless of the folder or subfolder.
For security reasons, the databases you manually upload should not have a Guest account using the Full Access privilege set, a Full Access account with an empty password, or a Full Access account with the password stored in the database using the File Options dialog box Log in using option. Database files with these types of accounts are insecure. If the Host password-protected databases only setting is enabled, then these insecure database files cannot be opened for hosting.
Place database files in the proper location
Place the FileMaker Pro database files that you want FileMaker Server to open—or shortcuts (Windows) or aliases (macOS) to those files—in the following folders:
Windows: [drive]:\Program Files\FileMaker\FileMaker Server\Data\Databases\
If FileMaker Server is installed in a non-default location, the beginning portion of the default path shown above, \Program Files\FileMaker\FileMaker Server, is replaced with the path that was specified during installation. For example: \My_Path\Data\Databases\
macOS: /Library/FileMaker Server/Data/Databases/
Or you can place the files in an optionally specified additional database folder. See Database and backup folder settings.
Place the externally stored container field objects in the proper location
If your database uses container fields that store objects externally, you must also place the externally stored container field objects in the proper location when you manually upload the database.
1. In the folder where you placed the database, create a folder named RC_Data_FMS, if it doesn’t already exist.
2. In the RC_Data_FMS folder, create a folder with a name that matches the name of your database file. For example, if your database file is named Customers, then create a folder named Customers: RC_Data_FMS\Customers
3. Place the externally stored objects in the new folder you created.
For example, your database file, Customers.fmp12, has a table named Rewards with a container field named Photo. Photo is a managed container that stores externally and uses open storage. By default, FileMaker Pro creates the following folder structure as the base directory for your externally stored objects:
Note  To see the base directory for your container fields, in FileMaker Pro, choose File menu > Manage > Containers and click Storage.
If your database file is encrypted, you should select Secure storage for the container fields to ensure the security of the data. Selecting Open storage for the container fields doesn’t encrypt the data. See FileMaker Pro Help.
Copy the folders for your base directory (with the contents of the folders) into the RC_Data_FMS\Customers folder on the server, giving you this folder structure:
Place the externally stored objects into this folder on the server.
Note  When databases are hosted on FileMaker Server, multiple databases can’t share a common folder of container objects. The container objects for each database need to be in a folder identified by that database’s name. The information about the container folders is stored with the database. See Setting up additional database folders.
Change group ownership for files (macOS)
For files that will be shared from macOS, change the files (database files and container field objects) to belong to the fmsadmin group. To edit databases shared from macOS, files should also have group read and write access enabled.
See Users, groups, and permissions (macOS).
Note  Any macOS subfolders containing databases, external container field objects, backups, script files, or plug-in files must also be readable and executable by the fmsadmin group. Database and backup folders need to be writable by the fmsadmin group for backups and uploads. Some plug-in files or scripts that use preferences or folders of additional files may require write permission to those files or folders.
Related topics 
Verifying databases are available to FileMaker clients
Enabling the Install Plug-In File script step to update server-side plug-ins
Understanding backup options