Monitor FileMaker Server XML connectivity with AWS

If you have a FileMaker server that you want to ensure high availability, Amazon’s AWS Route 53 service has some functionality that you’ll want to know about. For this post, I’m going to show how you can set up monitoring and alarms for the XML interface on FileMaker Server.

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Test Driving The FileMaker Server 17 Admin Console

Changes in FMS 17 Admin Console and How We’re Adapting

FileMaker Server 17 introduces a new generation of Admin Console, refreshed, fast, and reliable. If you are familiar with the FileMaker Cloud console, you’ll feel right at home in the new FileMaker Server 17 Admin Console. However, the update also brings some of the biggest changes in administrative functionality in years, perhaps ever.

While FileMaker provides an excellent overview of the differences, here I will highlight changes that affect us most here at Beezwax and some adjustments we’re making to compensate.

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Azure AD (Active Directory) Authentication with FileMaker

In addition to the more typical external authentication methods, FileMaker supports client authentication using OAuth accounts from Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. In this instance, I needed to set up a FileMaker Cloud server to use a company’s directory accounts, which were hosted at Azure. In order to set this up I hit a couple of minor complications, which I’m going to cover here.

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Working with FileMaker Cloud Backups Using SSH

Recently, I needed to revert a database file hosted on a FileMaker Cloud 16 server. Due to a problem I was having with the Download function however I had to take a different route from the usual method.

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Monitoring FileMaker’s CWP Connectivity

I needed to set up some monitoring for FileMaker Server that made moderately heavy use of the XML interface for Custom Web Publishing (CWP). The server was mostly working well, but was due for a rebuild, or at the least, an upgrade, but the client wanted to squeeze out one more season before we did this.
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Creating Your Own SSL Certificates For FileMaker

Typically, you buy an SSL certificate for a server from a SSL vendor. However, some companies may decide that they want to issue their own SSL certificates. Often this is because the domain is only used internally, and most vendors don’t easily allow (if at all) the signing of server certificates for non-public domains. Additionally, issuing your own certificates can remove complications caused by the certificate verification process used by most vendors, and there are no fees needed for each certificate.

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Removing port 80 and 443 conflict with macOS Server 5

Apple’s macOS Server 5.x has a rather different Apache configuration compared to the core macOS setup or those used in previous versions of Server. In particular, an instance of Apache is used as a proxy to any ‘backend’ copies of Apache. Here’s how to work around this…

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FileMaker Client installers with FileMaker Cloud

If you purchased your FileMaker Cloud server with user connection licenses,  you may well wonder “Where do I get the client software to connect to my server?”.

A fair chance you’ll initially land on the screen below. This seems relevant, but there’s still no indication here how you can download the FileMaker Pro clients you have licenses for.

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Using an AWS Reserved Instance with FileMaker Cloud

We’ll discuss how you can use a one or three year reserved instance for your FileMaker Cloud instance. This can shave 30% or more off your AWS instance charges.

Determine Usage

When you spin up any new AWS based VM you will by default be using an hourly instance. This can be perfect for short-term usage or where your usage may fluctuate frequently.

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