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Installing and Configuring FileMaker Server

This installation process is pretty straightforward—you just insert the disk, launch the installer, and follow the instructions. However, there are a couple of options depending on which machine configuration you are planning to use.

After you read and agree to the software license agreement, you will be asked to decide between a single or multiple machine configuration (see Figure 5.1).

Figure 5.1

Figure 5.1 The FileMaker Server installer prompts you to specify the number of machines for the installation.

If you select Single Machine and click Next, you will then be asked to enter your name, organization, and your license key. Then, you click the Install button and sit back. The installation can take a few minutes—there are more than 6,000 files that need to be created on your hard drive.

If you opt for a Multiple Machines install, you will be presented with an additional screen asking whether this particular installation is the Master machine, or a Worker machine (see Figure 5.2). The master machine is the one on which your FileMaker files will be hosted, and might or might not be running the WPE. The worker machine is the one running the WPE, the web server, or both.

Figure 5.2

Figure 5.2 For a multiple machine installation, you are asked to specify whether this is the master machine or a worker machine. The master machine is the one that will actually host the database files.

If you select Master and click Next, you are prompted to enter your name, organization, and your license key. If you select Worker and click Next, the installer does not prompt you for any information and just proceeds with the installation.

After the FMS install is complete (either the Single Machine or Master Machine), the installer asks you whether you want to deploy FileMaker Server. You can opt to continue, which will launch the Deployment Assistant, or you can quit to leave the installer.

Click Continue to launch the Deployment Assistant. The server prelaunch page opens in a browser (see Figure 5.3). After a minute or so, the page updates and tells you that the Admin Console is starting. Be patient while this process completes. It can take several minutes.

Figure 5.3

Figure 5.3 The Admin Console Start Page appears automatically after the installation of the Database Server.

A file named admin_console_init_webstart.jnlp will be downloaded to your default download directory. It is a Java Web Start application that kicks off the initial launch of the Admin Console and the Deployment Assistant. In another minute or so, you will be presented with the first page of the five-page Deployment Assistant (see Figure 5.4) and walked through the following steps.

Figure 5.4

Figure 5.4 This is the first page of the Deployment Assistant that launches after your initial install of the Database Server.

  • Page 1—Specify a username and password that will be used to open the Admin Console.
  • Page 2—Specify a name and other optional information about this FMS installation. The server name that you choose is what will appear in the Open Remote dialog box for FileMaker Pro users.
  • Page 3—Specify whether you want to allow clients to connect to your FileMaker database via ODBC. This is only available with FileMaker Server Advanced.
  • Page 4—Specify whether you want to enable web publishing. You should select Yes on this page.
  • Page 4, part 2—Specify which web technologies you want to enable. For now, you just need to enable PHP. Under the PHP option, you need to choose whether to use FileMaker Server's version or not. You will probably want to use FileMaker's version, unless you have your own customized version of PHP installed. (Note that Instant Web Publishing is only available with FileMaker Server Advanced.)
  • Page 4, part 3—Select a web server. In most cases, there will only be one web server option. If there is more than one, specify your selection.
  • Page 5—A summary of your deployment. Click Finish to close the Deployment Assistant. You will be asked to stand by while the deployment is executed.

When the deployment process completes, you will see the FileMaker Server Admin Console Welcome dialog box (see Figure 5.5). Click the OK button to dismiss the dialog box.

Figure 5.5

Figure 5.5 The Admin Console Welcome dialog box allows you to register your server or open the technology tests page. You can easily access these options from the Admin Console later, if you want.

You will be presented with the Overview page of the FileMaker Server Admin Console (see Figure 5.6). The overview page gives you a quick view into the status of the server. There should be three green circles in the center area—one each next to the Web Server, the Web Publishing Engine, and the Database Server.

Figure 5.6

Figure 5.6 The Admin Console Overview page gives you a quick view into the status of the server.

There are an enormous number of configuration options in the Admin Console, but, in most cases, the default configuration should serve you just fine. Still, there are a few things you should be familiar with if you are administering the FMS machine.

Administration: Clients

This page allows you to disconnect or send a message to an individual client or all clients of the server. The tabs at the lower portion of the page alternately provide information about which databases the selected client has open, or details about the selected client (see Figure 5.7).

Figure 5.7

Figure 5.7 The Administration: Clients page of the Admin Console allows you to see who is connected to what. You can then send messages to, or disconnect one or all clients, from this page.

Administration: Databases

This page displays a list of databases hosted on your server. Using the Actions menu, you can opt to Open, Close, Pause, Resume, Upload, or Remove one or all databases. You can also send a message to the FileMaker Pro clients of one or all databases (see Figure 5.8).

Figure 5.8

Figure 5.8 The Administration: Databases page of the Admin Console displays which databases are on the server, their status, what types of connections are allowed, and which clients are connected to each file, if any.

Administration: Schedules

This page allows you to specify automated tasks. There are three types of scheduled actions supported:

  • Back Up Databases
  • Run a Script (executes a shell script, batch file, or FileMaker script)
  • Send a Message (sends a message to connected FMP users)

By default, three backup schedules are created when you install FMS—Daily, Hourly, and Weekly—but only Daily is enabled (see Figure 5.9).

Figure 5.9

Figure 5.9 The Administration: Schedules page of the Admin Console shows you what automated tasks have been scheduled, what type they are, whether they are enabled, and when they are going to run next, among other things.

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