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FileMaker Server Set-Up Instructions

Below the bulleted list of recommended configuration settings is a step by step guide for setting up FileMaker Server in the basic configuration for use at MIT. If you are familiar with the FileMaker Server Deployment Assistant, but just want a reminder of the important recommended settings at MIT those are listed in bullet form here:

  • Do not enable ODBC/JDBC (This enables FileMaker to become a source for other databases)
  • Do not enable web publishing
  • Enable SSL
  • Password-protect the Server Admin console

NOTE: The above list does not include all necessary settings but represents those for which MIT has specific recommendations.

Step-by-Step Configuration Guide

After installing FileMaker Server, you will be prompted to launch the Deployment Assistant.

  1. In the Set Up Admin Console Account window, enter a User Name and Password for accessing the Admin Console, then click Next. The user name and password can be changed later through the Admin Console.
    Warning: For security reasons, do not use your Kerberos password or your Mac OS X administrator account password.
    Setup Admin Console Account screen

  2. In the Import Previous Settings window, select the import options you would like, then click Next.
    Name filemaker server screen

  3. In the Name FileMaker Server window, enter a Server Name, Server Description, and Administrator Contact Information for your server, then click Next. This information will be visible to the users of the database at the Open Remote File dialog and at the Admin Console Start page.
    Name filemaker server screen

  4. In the Enable ODBC/JDBC window, select No, do not enable ODBC/JDBC, then click Next.
    Note: Using a FileMaker database as a Data Source is not supported by IS&T at this time, but you may opt to enable this feature. Unless you plan to access your FileMaker database as a source via ODBC/JDBC, do not enable it.
    Enable ODBC/JDBC window

  5. In the Enable Web Publishing window, select No, do not enable Web Publishing, then click Next.
    Note: IS&T does not support the web publishing features of FileMaker Server at this time, but you may opt to enable them. If you do choose to use these features, review the MIT FileMaker Security Guidelines and the ITAG Infrastructure Requirements for Applications and Systems.
    Enable web publishing screen

    Result: The Deployment Summary is displayed.
    Deployment summary

  6. Click Finish.
    Result: The Deploying FileMaker Server dialog opens.
    Register filemaker server screen

  7. Click OK.
    Result: The FileMaker Server Admin Console opens, and displays a Welcome dialog.
    Note: Do not register FileMaker Server; it has been registered through the MIT volume license agreement.
    Register filemaker server screen

  8. In the Welcome window, click the link Open FileMaker Server technology tests page.
    Result: The FileMaker Server Technology Tests page opens in your default web browser.
    Test page screen

  9. Click the link Test FileMaker Pro.
    Result: FileMaker Pro launches, and opens the FileMaker Server sample database hosted on the server.
    Sample database screen
    Note: Windows users may be prompted to select an application to open the link. Choose FileMaker Pro, and click OK. If you see a Windows Security Alert, choose Allow Access.

  10. To enable SSL encryption for communication between FM Server and FM Pro, return to the Admin Console.
  11. In the left-hand column, select Configuration > Database Server.
  12. In the Configuration: Database Server window, click the Security tab.
  13. Under Secure Connections, click to check the box for Secure connections to Database Server, then click Save.
  14. For SSL encryption to take effect, click the icons in the toolbar to stop Stop icon and restart Start icon the database server.
    Database server configuration screen

Other Server Settings

Use the FileMaker Server Admin Console to place additional constraints specific to your particular needs and environment. Provide only as much access and availability as your needs require. You may want to limit the following:

  • Number of allowable connections from FileMaker clients
  • Number of files to host
  • Disconnection of idle clients after a specified amount of time

Password-protect the Server Admin console to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your system's settings. This can be set during use of the Deployment Assistant at the time of installation, or anytime afterwards on the Admin Console tab of General Settings.

For more instructions on how to upload your databases, and create scheduled tasks to back them up, see Chapter 4 of the FileMaker Server 12 Getting Started Guide (PDF).

Important: FileMaker Server's backup feature creates a local copy of your databases, stored on the host machine. You should still use another mechanism, such as TSM, to back up those saved files to another secure location, in case of system failure.

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

April 11, 2014

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